NFL Mock Draft: Jets Select Aaron Rodgers' New Protector?

After giving up the league's fourth-most sacks this past season and Mechi Becton's contract expiring, the New York Jets have a glaring need at offensive tackle.

An offseason after landing future Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Aaron Rodgers in a blockbuster trade, the New York Jets still have holes to fill on their roster if they hope to contend for a Super Bowl. From offensive line to receiver and even quarterback, as the Jets look to trade away former first-round pick Zach Wilson, could all warrant the use of a selection.

So, which one will the Jets fill with the No. 10 overall pick in the NFL Draft? Based on a recent mock draft from Chris Trapasso, New York will invest in the trenches with their first-round pick, as he has them selecting the offensive tackle out of Notre Dame, Joe Alt. 

"There's a touch of projection with Alt -- he needs to get stronger. Technically, he's all set," CBS writes. "This Jets have to address the offensive front with Aaron Rodgers set to return in 2024."

Jan 1, 2022; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish offensive lineman Joe Alt (76) defends against Oklahoma State Cowboys defensive end Brock Martin (9) in the 2022 Fiesta Bowl at State Farm Stadium.  

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

With the uncertainty of Mekhi Becton, another former first-round selection of the Jets, as he is currently set to enter free agency, finding their next blindside protector is a must. 

Alt would certainly be one of those potential replacements, as the Notre Dame tackle has three seasons' worth of impressive grades from PFF, who gave him a 78.8 in 2021, 91.4 in 2022, and 88.9 this past season.

Related: Analytics Mock Draft: Who Does Computer Model Pick For Jets?

If the draft unfolds as CBS predicts, Alt would be just the second of four offensive tackles taken in the first round. Only Oregon State's Taliese Fuaga went ahead of him, as the Tennesee Titans took him at No. 7. 

Alt would give the Jets offensive line that gave up 64 sacks last season, which was the fourth-most in the league, their next left tackle, who would be tasked with keeping Rodgers upright on his blindside.

While the argument can be made for New York to find another play-maker to pair with Garrett Wilson, in a draft that has so many talented receivers available, the Jets could take care of both needs with their first two picks. 

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