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Are Zach Wilson and the New York Jets headed for another high draft pick in 2023?

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New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson (2) calls a play in the first half an NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson (2) calls a play during an NFL game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Sunday, Jan. 2, 2022, in East Rutherford, N.J. ESPN’s Football Power Index predicts that the Jets will again have a high draft pick in 2023, despite the number of moves the team has made to bolster its roster.

Corey Sipkin, Associated Press

The New York Jets have spent the offseason bolstering their roster through free agency and the draft in hopes of building around their young quarterback, second-year pro Zach Wilson.

Will the moves pay off for New York?

Only time will tell, though ESPN’s Football Power Index doesn’t shine favorably on the Jets for the 2022 season.

Using FPI, ESPN projected what the 2023 NFL draft order could look like, and New York is back in a familiar position — near the top of the draft.

The Jets have picked sixth or higher in the NFL draft six times since 2015 thanks to their regular-season finish the year before, and per ESPN’s FPI, it’s likely to happen again.

What is ESPN’s projection for the New York Jets’ 2023 first-round draft pick?

ESPN’s projection has New York ending up with the No. 1 pick in the 2023 draft. That includes a 13.6% chance at the top pick, and a 68.4% chance landing in the top 10.

The Chicago Bears, projected as the No. 2 pick, actually have a slightly higher chance of grabbing the first overall pick, at 13.7% but a lower chance at a top pick, at 67.9%.

Why could the New York Jets pick high again?

ESPN’s Seth Walder said “you can see the upside with the Jets,” pointing to some of the talent New York is putting around Wilson in the past two offseasons.

That includes free agent additions like wide receiver Corey Davis, edge rusher Carl Lawson and cornerback D.J. Reed, while others — receivers Garrett Wilson and Elijah Moore, and cornerback Ahmad Gardner — are draft picks being counted on to produce early in their careers.

Wilson, the former BYU and Corner Canyon High star who was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2021 draft, struggled as a rookie. He went 3-10 as a starter while throwing nine touchdowns and 11 interceptions, before showing more positive signs late in the year.

“But none of that — most importantly Wilson — is guaranteed to pay off. ESPN’s FPI is betting that most of it likely won’t,” Walder wrote.

Why should New York Jets fans be optimistic?

ESPN Jets beat writer Rich Cimini provides some words of optimism, though, for a franchise that hasn’t had a winning season in six years and is looking to build a winning culture instead of another year of high draft picks.

“Between free agency and the draft, the Jets added playmaking potential on both sides of the ball, most notably with Wilson, Gardner, Reed, running back Breece Hall and safety Jordan Whitehead,” Cimini wrote.

“Improved team speed should allow them to create game-changing plays, which were in short supply in 2021. The Jets ranked 31st in takeaways and 20th in explosive plays on offense (runs of 10-plus yards or passes of 20-plus yards).”