The Jets weren't going to take Broderick Jones if the Steelers didn't leap them

Steelers, Joe Douglas
Steelers, Joe Douglas / Tom Horak-USA TODAY Sports

Since the 2023 NFL Draft concluded, there have been a number of theories about who the New York Jets would have taken with the 15th overall pick if the Pittsburgh Steelers didn't leapfrog them just before their selection.

The national media as well as some scouts and general managers were convinced that the Patriots stuck it to the Jets by allowing the Steelers to trade ahead of them and snatch Georgia offensive tackle, Broderick Jones. New York was heavily eyeing the offensive tackle position during the pre-draft process (as were the Steelers), and an aggressive move from Omar Khan allowed them to get the player they had their hearts set on at the cost of giving up their first and fourth-round picks.

Apparently, this decision might not have been necessary. On an episode of All-Access on YouTube, the New York Jets released a video of their draft room at the time things were going down in the first round. General manager Joe Douglas was not distressed when his team didn't land Broderick. In fact, he actually predicted exactly what would happen.

Douglas actually said 'I bet somebody will trade up in front of us for Broderick Jones.' He even predicted that the Patriots would trade the 14th pick to Pittsburgh. This proved to be spot-on. Here's a brief clip cut from the nearly 45-minute video on the Jets' draft:

From the video and the feel in the Jets draft room, Jones didn't seem to be the plan. When Douglas was asking his team to list off their top three prospects coming up at pick 15, it was EDGE Will McDonald, TE Michael Mayer, and OT Broderick Jones, in that order.

Like every team typically does, the Jets seemed thrilled to land McDonald in the middle of the first round and weren't visibly bothered by the fact that the Pittsburgh Steelers traded ahead of them for Broderick Jones. However, just because New York apparently wanted somebody else doesn't mean it's what's best for their team.

Steelers were still right to trade up for Broderick Jones

Regardless of how the outcome came about, it's still hard to blame Omar Khan for trading up a few spots and sacrificing a fourth-round pick in order to land Broderick Jones. The Georgia product was the last in the top tier of first-round offensive tackles, and Khan wasn't willing to sit around and find out what the Jets (or another team) might have been willing to do.

With Pittsburgh so focused on their own pre-draft process, we can't expect them to perfectly predict the interests of every other team drafting. Theoretically, the Steelers may have been able to stay at pick 17 and take Jones with their original first-rounder, but Khan wasn't willing to risk missing out on Jones. Besides, the Steelers GM was able to recoup his fourth-round pick in a trade-back -- which resulted in stealing TE Darnell Washington at pick 93.

Next. NFL player comparisons for Steelers OT Broderick Jones. NFL player comparisons for Steelers OT Broderick Jones. dark

This could very well prove to be one of those situations where it works out for both parties involved. Will McDonald could be a great player for the Jets and Broderick Jones could be excellent for the Steelers. Regardless of whether the trade-up was completely necessary or not, Pittsburgh crushed it on paper in Omar Khan's first draft as general manager.