As the Jets and Giants play out the string of regular season games the next two weeks and the Bills try to lock in a spot for the upcoming NFL Playoffs, sports bettors and fans in New York will start looking ahead to 2022 and the NFL Draft for hope and optimism, as well as the dawn of New York sports betting apps.
Although the official order of player selection won’t be established until after Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles on Feb. 13, the Jets and Giants are currently both looking at two picks each within the Top 10. And that alone is reason for optimism to jolt rebuilds.
If the postseason ended today, the top 10 draft order would be: 1. Jacksonville Jaguars, 2. Detroit Lions, 3. Houston Texans, 4. New York Jets, 5. New York Giants, 6. Jets (from Seattle), 7. Carolina Panthers, 8. Giants (from Chicago), 9. Washington Football Team, 10. Atlanta Falcons.
New York bettors can take a look at football odds and much more in our NewYorkBets.com guide. For now, though, let’s take an early look at what each of the New York NFL teams might need moving forward into 2022:
What the Jets Need
The Jets (4-11) wiped the slate clean from a year ago and started with a new head coach, new coaching staff and a rookie quarterback, selected with the second pick overall.
Former Brigham Young University QB Zach Wilson was just trying to get his feet wet this season and learn everything there is to learn in the sport’s most important position.
Wilson has had growing pains in his first year at the helm of the Jets’ offense, but he also has shown flashes of what he could be over the next few years in trying to lead the Jets to their first Super Bowl title since, yes, 1969.
On offense, Wilson needs some help at wide receiver and more big fellas in front of him on the offensive line. On defense, the Jets will look to strengthen and improve their secondary.
Currently, the Jets are tied with two other teams (Giants, Texans) but have the toughest schedule of those three the remaining two weeks. An 0-2 finish against the Bucs and Bills could move them up to the No. 3 pick.
What the Giants Need
As far as the other city team, the Giants (4-11) need a lot of help in a lot of spots. Front office needs include possibly a new general manager and possibly a new head coach (though it looks like current head coach Joe Judge will be there for another season).
Quarterback Daniel Jones ended this season early with a neck injury and his status as the starter for next season is up in the air as the Giants decide if they want another year with him (which seems to be the early indication) or go in an entirely different direction.
The team’s biggest needs are up front on the offensive line, a huge need for a pass rusher at the edge position and maybe even a quarterback if the thinking starts to lean that way.
Ironically, the Giants visit the Chicago Bears this week while holding the Bears’ draft pick for next season (currently in the eighth spot). Big Blue Nation has wanted not only their team but the Bears to keep losing to ensure the highest possible draft positioning for two first-rounders.
What the Bills Need
Unlike their down-state neighbors, the Buffalo Bills (9-6) are on a playoff push. The current leaders in the AFC East aim to lock in their playoff spot and improve their seeding as they host the Atlanta Falcons (7-8) on Sunday.
Obviously, as it relates to the draft and roster building, everything revolves around quarterback Josh Allen. The Bills will look to fill in needs on both the offensive and defensive lines and strengthen the wide receiver depth.
Next season, the Bills have just 14 players headed for unrestricted free agency, which is the fewest in the AFC East, ahead of the Patriots (16), Jets (18) and Dolphins (20). That translates to a good position for the Bills with the players they currently have and possible re-signings in the future.
The NFL Draft takes place April 28-30.