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New York Jets NFL Draft Grades 2023: Will McDonald Surprise Round 1 Pick

Apr 27, 2023; Kansas City, MO, USA; Iowa State defensive end Will McDonald IV is selected by the New York Jets fifteenth overall in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft at Union Station. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The 2023 NFL Draft is complete, and the New York Jets made a total of six picks.

The Jets started draft week by finally adding quarterback Aaron Rodgers and then spent their first-round pick on an edge rusher. Still, the Jets got better during the 2023 NFL Draft. Here’s a recap of how their draft class fared.

NYJ 2023 NFL Draft Grades

15. Will McDonald IV, Edge, Iowa State

The offensive line was a bigger need for the Jets, but the top linemen were already off the board. The Jets love to roll in pass rushers in waves. Will McDonald IV was 30th on our big board, but he has as much bend and twitch as any pass rusher in this class to go along with 35-inch arms. He was an extremely productive player despite being forced to play inside the tackle in some of Iowa State’s three-man fronts at under 240 pounds. He will need to play stronger against the run, but he gives excellent pursuit and has some big-time athletic upside.

Grade: B

Wisconsin Joe Tippmann

43. Joe Tippmann, OC, Wisconsin

Even with the signing of Connor McGovern, the Jets still felt like they needed to address the center position. Joe Tippmann is tall for a center, but he is a good bender who plays on his feet. He is smart and will lead the Jets’ offensive line.

Grade: A

120. Carter Warren, OT, Pittsburgh

The Jets took a player in Carter Warren (scouting report) who has starter potential as an offensive tackle. Warren has good length and overall movement skills to produce in both the pass and run game. He was a solid producer who should translate as an NFL player.

Grade: A

143. Israel Abanikanda, RB, Pittsburgh

The Jets value the running back position, and Israel Abanikanda (scouting report) is a good fit in their scheme. Abanikanda is a patient glider with very good top-end speed, but he lacks juice and creativity in tight quarters.

Grade: B-

184. Zaire Barnes, LB, Western Michigan

Zaire Barnes (scouting report) is a good-sized player who had production with 93 tackles and three fumble recoveries last season. He was a First-Team All-MAC player and is a good value pick in the sixth round.

Grade: B-

204. Jarrick Bernard-Converse, CB, LSU

Experienced player who played more than 3,500 snaps in his career split between Oklahoma St. and LSU. He has length and high-level athleticism with the versatility to line up at corner or safety. He had three interceptions in 2022, but he did make a lot of plays on the ball.

Grade: C+

207. Zack Kuntz, TE, Old Dominion

Zack Kuntz (scouting report) is a big athlete with a solid frame. He plays with fluid athletic ability despite great testing numbers at the combine. He needs to improve as a blocker to have an impact at the next level. The Jets get a project with size and athleticism late.

Grade: B