This time a month ago, there was still dissection of the New York Jets trade of safety Jamal Adams to the Seattle Seahawks.
Such was the magnitude of the Jets sending their biggest star out in a blockbuster deal that the return on investment from general manager Joe Douglas’ first major move has proven tricky to evaluate.
The Jets sent Adams, an All-Pro last year and their only Pro Bowl selection, along with a fourth round pick to the Seahawks. In return, the Jets got a starting safety in Bradley McDougald, two first round picks (2021, 2022) and a third round pick (2021). It sounds like quite a ransom, especially since McDougald is a well-respected and accomplished safety in his own right.
But considering that the Seahawks are a likely playoff team who project to pick late in the first round, the net return for the Jets trading one of the best defensive players in the game (and their biggest star) all of a sudden makes analyzing the trade a bit murky.
Yes, the Jets netted two first round picks. But they are projected to pick late in the first round where an impact player the caliber of Adams may not be found.
“The truth of the matter is that we won’t know who won the Jamal Adams trade until five years down the road,” said Rick Serritella, found of the NFL Draft Bible. “If the Jets can hit on both picks, it will be deemed a success but expecting to find the type of blue chip talent such as Adams, who would be a consensus top ten selection in any draft class, will be a difficult task. New general manager Joe Douglas has positioned himself well for the latest ‘rebuilding phase’ this organization has undergone. His draft success will ultimately determine whether or not he can last longer than his predecessors.”
Douglas, to his credit, was hailed for his draft with the Jets this past April. He secured a franchise left tackle in Mekhi Becton. He also was able to trade back in the second round and still select a highly-rated wide receiver in Denzel Mims. Throughout the remaining four rounds of the draft (the Jets didn’t pick in the seventh round), Douglas found solid selections that had good production in college but off tumbled down a round or two due to an injury in 2019 (see Hall, Bryce).
With the Seahawks pick, which is likely going to come in the last handful of selections in the first round, Douglas has a bargaining chip with which to move up in the draft or potentially trade back or trade out, as he did three times this past April.
How he fills those two first round picks acquired from Seattle will likely determine the viability of his tenure as general manager.