It is the question that could define the 2020 NFL Draft for the Jets: a tackle or a wide receiver in the first round?
If mock drafts and projections are at least somewhat accurate, there appears to be a good chance general manager Joe Douglas will face this decision at No. 11 overall: take the fourth-best tackle on his board or the No. 1 wide receiver?
To Hall of Famer Gil Brandt, who was the vice president of player personnel for the Cowboys from 1960-89, the decision is based on which position is stronger later in the draft.
“I think I would probably take a tackle,” said Brandt, who hosts “Late Hits” on SiriusXM now and will be part of its draft coverage. “I think you can go into the second round and get a good wide receiver.”
There is debate about the order of the top tackles in this draft, but not who the top four are. Alabama’s Jedrick Wills Jr., Iowa’s Tristan Wirfs, Louisville’s Mekhi Becton and Georgia’s Andrew Thomas are all considered to be high first-round picks.
The problem for the Jets is there are many tackle-needy teams ahead of them in the draft — including the Giants, Cardinals and Browns. They may be left with the fourth-rated tackle on their board. But Brandt said any of the tackles would be a good pick.
“I don’t think there’s a lot of difference between four tackles in this draft,” he said. “I think Willis of Alabama, Wirfs of Iowa, Thomas of Georgia and Becton of Louisville are all very good.”
Brandt said he would go with a tackle because the drop-off after the top four is much steeper than it is at receiver, where the Jets might have a crack at the top receiver in the draft — possibly Alabama’s Jerry Jeudy or Henry Ruggs, or Oklahoma’s CeeDee Lamb.
“There’s some really good wide receivers, in my opinion, that you’re going to be able to get down there in the second round that we’re talking about,” Brandt said. “I don’t think you get the same type of offensive lineman in the second round value-wise as you would a wide receiver.”
Brandt mentioned TCU’s Jalen Reagor and Notre Dame’s Chase Claypool as second-round possibilities.
“They’re pretty good wide receivers,” Brandt said. “I think they’re going to be available in the second round when the Jets pick. I just don’t think you get the caliber of offensive lineman if you wait until the second round to get one.”