The 2016 NFL Draft is ten days away, and amidst all the storylines, the New York Jets could end up being one of the most interesting teams to watch. NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport tweeted that barring a significant breakthrough, the Jets will not have a deal done with Ryan Fitzpatrick prior to the draft. They likely would have considered a quarterback even with a re-signed Fitzpatrick, but this makes it even more likely.
The timing of this is interesting given the Jets existing situation with defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson. ESPN's Jets blogger Rich Cimini discussed the situation over the weekend, and seemed to suggest the team was flashing Muhammad Wilkerson as part of a move into the top part of the draft. He didn't say sources said, but it reads like maybe he got off the record or deep background information.
Cimini offered up his own opinion that a move up only makes sense if the Jets can get Jared Goff or Carson Wentz. If that's the case, either the Jets would need to deal for the No. 2 pick, or would need to wait and see how the draft board shakes out after those first two picks. The bigger problem with that is that Wilkerson likely would want a long-term deal as part of any trade. One option would be for the Jets to let Wilkerson's agent speak with other teams to try and work out a deal in advance of a potential trade. However, given the moving parts, I would think something would leak out about that.
Over the weekend, Matt Barrows discussed the idea of a hypothetical Wilkerson-to-49ers trade, and he said he was hearing Wilkerson would love to play for the 49ers. Whether that's correct or not remains to be seen, but the 49ers certainly are one option if the Jets want to make a big move.
Chris Biderman brought up some good points in discussing why the trade would not be a good idea. Wilkerson is certainly a much more proven option than most options available, but I am still more inclined to roll the dice on DeForest Buckner at No. 7, than paying a huge sum to Mo Wilkerson. I can live with doing the latter, but the more logical step forward is drafting Buckner. And I think it is significantly more likely the 49ers draft Buckner than trade for Wilkerson.