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2021 New York Jets Draft

Mock Draft Monday: New York Jets Mock Draft 4.0

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 02: USC Trojans guard Alijah Vera-Tucker (75) during a college football game between the Oregon Ducks and the USC Trojans on November 02, 2019, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Jordon Kelly/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

We are now halfway through this Mock Draft Monday series, as we are 31 days away from the NFL Draft on April 29th. After two weeks of free agency, the front office has signed a dozen new players to the roster, filling several different position groups in the hope of making this a winning team. There are inevitably going to be some spots to fill on the team after going 2-14 but overall the decision makers have done a solid job thus far. Just like last week and maybe the remaining four, Sam Darnold is still on the roster. As we’ll get to soon, that should not be the case much longer after the events on Friday afternoon. So in the meantime, I decided to put my Joe Douglas hat on and trade the fourth year quarterback to Chicago (details below). With that out of the way, Douglas and Robert Saleh can now worry about how to structure this team around the new face of their franchise.

By now, most of us know about the top prospects in the country, but hopefully what this will do for you is learn more about the depth of the draft and about guys that will likely hear their name called in the later rounds. Not only that, but what could possibly be going through the minds of a Joe Douglas when they are making their decisions.

Without further ado, the New York Jets are now on the clock.

Round 1, Pick 2

Trade Offers: N/A

What am I thinking?

After last week I thought maybe we would change it up at two, but following the craziness that was Friday, this selection is practically locked in until further notice. If the Niners wanted to move up to three to take a quarterback,you would think they tried to make a move with the Jets. Douglas and company obviously said no or Robert Saleh told his buddies in San Francisco to not even bother asking. Then it was reported that the Eagles wanted to move up to three, but only for Zach Wilson. Obviously, they no longer pick at six so they found out quickly, Wilson would not be available. Putting the pieces together, it would be an absolute shock if they did not select their new quarterback and that quarterback being the BYU product. His pro day late last week was, as Daniel Jeremiah put it a “show-and-tell”. Wilson threw from different platforms, with accuracy, touch and great zip on the ball. Not only that, but he measured slightly over 6’2 and 214 pounds, a little bigger than many expected. For the last four installments, do not expect any other result at two. The time for whacky scenarios is over, this is now real.

Selection: QB Zach Wilson, BYU

TRADE! 

Round 1, Pick 20 for Sam Darnold and 34

Trade Offers: N/A

What am I thinking?

This worked out perfectly. We take the new quarterback of the future, use the one we had to move 14 spots up and into the first round and get the guy I had my eye on the entire time. The offensive line is notoriously in need of some upgrades. After his measurements were taken, it became pretty clear that he will need to be kicked inside with his 32 ⅛ inch arms. I was evaluating him at guard anyways so that does not hurt his stock for me one bit. To me he is a top 10 player in the class, providing good strength, good enough quickness to handle speed rushers from inside, footwork is sound in pass protection and has the ability to go outside if needed. Putting him next two Mekhi Becton could solidify the left side of the offensive line for many, many years to come. Do not be shocked if Vera-Tucker becomes a Pro Bowl guard by his second year in the league.

Selection: IOL Alijah Vera-Tucker, USC

Round 1, Pick 23

Trade Offers: N/A

What am I thinking?

They added Carl Lawson and more recently Vinny Curry to a young group of guys at the defensive end position. It’s great to have one guy that rarely comes off the field, but what about getting a second? Paye will join a rotation in year one but has the upside of becoming one of the better 4-3 ends down the road. He was much smaller than what Michigan listed him at for the 2020 season, 6’2 261 pounds. It was a little expected as he looked to have more of a compact build than say a Jaelan Phillips or Gregory Rousseau. Paye has a solid all around game on the outside. He won’t win as flashy with spins or crazy bend as some other rushers do, but he gets the job done with quickness, power, along with active hands and leverage. There may even be some downs where he is lining up next to Quinnen on the inside on some passing downs. This would allow the defensive front to get fancy with the alignments.

Selection: EDGE Kwity Paye, Michigan

Round 3, Pick 66

Trade Offers: Cleveland – 89 and 91 for 66 and 2022 6th

What am I thinking?

Looking at this trade, it looks good to make a move down and accumulate more draft capital, especially two third rounders. However, with how the board has fallen thus far and what we have selected, it’s hard to move down right now. Cornerback is still a massive need and with nine coming off the board in the first 65 picks, the position is dwindling. There is still one name out there that fits that need and the value of where we are. So I have to pass on Michael Carter and Landon Dickerson and go with a player previously slotted at this pick, Elijah Molden. The case remains the same now as it was back when I selected him back in 2.0, Brian Poole is not around. The front office and the coaching staff may actually like Javelin Guidry to take over as the slot corner from here but there’s no telling what the new staff thinks at this point. Molden could step in and lock down the nickel position leaving just one starting corner spot left to be filled….. Nelson anyone?

Selection: CB Elijah Molden, Washington

TRADE UP!

Round 3, Pick 84 for 86 and 2022 SF 6th round pick

What am I thinking?

Trading up two picks is not something I like doing but knowing that Michael Carter was falling this far, it was an easy choice. The Eagles and Titans were the two teams remaining and knowing what the running game means to both teams, the risk could not be taken. The team signed Tevin Coleman this past week but does that move the needle for anybody? So with Coleman, Perine and Johnson as the likely top three backs headed into the draft, the position still needed another name in the mix. Carter should jump to the top of the committee in this scenario. As many of you know, he split his carries and snaps with Javonte Williams in college and still managed to rush for over 1,000 yards in each of the last two years, including a clip of eight yards per carry in 2020. Carter brings a lot to the table in both the run game and passing game. He may not be the bowling ball that is Williams but he’s a shifty ball carrier with that one cut ability to go along with great vision in between the tackles. He should fit into this style of run game flawlessly.

Selection: HB Michael Carter, UNC

Round 4, Pick 107

Trade Offers: Baltimore – 107 for 128 and 131

What am I thinking?

Outside of the second overall pick, this was the easiest decision to make and Brevin Jordan was still on the board. While a tight end would have been nice to have, getting the opportunity to take Christensen at this point of the draft is a must. For what it’s worth, my grade for the former Cougar is a late second round grade and this was before his dominant pro day on Friday. He may be relegated to a “redshirt” type season to start his career and sit behind George Fant, but I would not put it past the team to start him right away. Christensen is strong, athletic and plays with a high IQ. Not only that but he will have familiarity with his quarterback and he is training with Duke Manyweather this offseason, which many Jets fans should know by now for his work with Mekhi Becton. When watching the Wilson tape, the left tackle kept popping up and it was for good reason, consistently giving his quarterback plenty of time to work with. Just like some other players I have shined a light on recently, he should move up quite a bit in the following weeks. But for now, we’ll take it!

Selection: OT Brady Christensen, BYU

Round 5, Pick 146

Trade Offers: N/A

What am I thinking?

With free agency and the first four rounds of the draft, the team is starting to look like it’s coming together. There are still some areas of need though and one of the top ones is speed on the offense and the ability to take it to the house at any moment, enter Dazz Newsome. The other receivers on the board were all bigger types like Sage Surratt, Trevon Grimes and Simi Fohoko and while I like the values of those players, they have enough of that style with Corey Davis and Denzel Mims. After every other receiver on the roster could be seeing their last year in a Jets uniform. Newsome would be able to join his former teammate, as well and be in line to take over the starting slot position in the future. As for the immediate future, he can come in and be an electric return man, particularly in the punt game. 

Selection: WR Dazz Newsome, UNC

Round 5, Pick 154

Trade Offers: Baltimore – 184, 210 and 240

What am I thinking?

There are not many names on the board that are valuable at 154. The names that pop out are Shaka Toney and Janariuos Robinson but considering we now have six or seven guys in the defensive end rotation, that doesn’t seem to be a requirement right now. Possible to double dip at running back but going with Carter and Perine as a potential one-two tandem moving forward could potentially work, at the very least it’s worth a try. So I say move back these thirty picks and fill out the rest of the roster with the extra two picks.

Trade Accepted with Baltimore Ravens (154 for 184, 210 and 240)

Round 5, Pick 184

Trade Offers: N/A

What am I thinking?

We are finding depth here. The team has lacked legitimate NFL depth for a few years and the safety position has always been one of those in need of it. They signed Lamarcus Joyner to join Marcus Maye and Ashtyn Davis but they are all best at free safety. Davis and Maye may see some snaps at the strong safety position but do not really have a guy that can do it after them. Stevens comes in from LSU who can fill in at a couple different spots. As mentioned, the strong safety position where he can bring his bigger size closer to the line of scrimmage, playing more downhill. But Stevens should be able to be a special teamer out of the gate on coverage teams. Do not expect to see Stevens get playing time right away but it’s a good opportunity to get depth at a position that needs it and maybe a long time special teamer, which as the team showed with signing Justin Hardee, they care about.

Selection: S Jacoby Stevens, LSU

Round 6, Pick 186

Trade Offers: N/A

What am I thinking?

The offensive line may have only seen one addition in the first couple weeks of free agency, but we’re really filling it up now. With Vera-Tucker and Christensen in the mix we now bring in Anderson. Unlike the other two, Anderson can bring the ability to play center, which the team is lacking behind McGovern. Having the ability to play center or guard as a spot starter will be key, especially if injuries hit the offensive line like it has in the past few seasons. At the Senior Bowl he showed the athleticism to play in the offensive style that will be implemented in New York’s offense. This selection may not be the “high upside” that many would like to see later in the draft, but sometimes it’s okay to go with just a good player too. Plus, he just like Becton and Christensen, will be working out with Duke Manyweather. Coincidence?

Selection: iOL Jack Anderson, Texas Tech

Round 6, Pick 210

Trade Offers: N/A

What am I thinking?

Here we go! Not only another teammate tandem in this draft but I am excited to be able to give a full back to the team. Considering how important they were to the Shanahan offense, this is legitimately a possibility. Because Lafleur has never been an offensive coordinator, we do not know if that will translate here, but let’s just assume it will. Mason is the best full back in this class, not like I actually scout full backs, but that is the word on the street. From what I have seen, Mason looks like a good athlete at the position, playing with a killer mentality to want to hit any guy that is in his way. Not only that but can catch the ball out of the backfield too, shown at the Senior Bowl, not Michigan. It’s a fun selection but something that could be a priority for LaFleur to have on his offense. Fun fact, he also played defensive line from time to time, as well.

Selection: FB Ben Mason, Michigan

Round 7, Pick 240

Trade Offers: N/A

What am I thinking?

No Ficken way am I going down this road again at kicker. Between Sam Ficken and Sergio Castillo this past season, the kicking game was miserable making 75% of their field goals and only 83.3% of their extra point attempts. So to join our second year punter, we take a junior kicker out of Florida, Evan McPherson, to make the youngest duo between kicker and punter in the league, probably. McPherson was dominant in his three years at Florida, making 85% of his kicks (51-60). Of those nine misses, three of them were from 50+, after starting 5-5 from that range. McPherson did not get many opportunities to show off the deep ball but he has an absolute rocket of a leg showing the ability to make it from over 60 yards out, if needed. If the goal is for each offensive drive with a kick, whether it be an extra point, kick or punt, grab yourself a guy who can do two of those three at an efficient rate.

Selection: K Evan McPherson, Florida

At the end of the 2021 NFL Draft the New York Jets walk away with:

1.2 – QB Zach Wilson, BYU

1.20 – iOL Alijah Vera-Tucker, USC

1.23 – EDGE Kwity Paye, Michigan

3.66 – CB Elijah Molden, Washington

3.84 – HB Michael Carter, UNC

4.107 – OT Brady Christensen, BYU

5.146 – WR Dazz Newsome, UNC

5.184 – S Jacoby Stevens, LSU

6.186 – iOL Jack Anderson, Texas Tech

6.210 – FB Ben Mason, Michigan

7.240 – K Evan McPherson, Florida

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