- Date/Time: January 10, 8 p.m. ET
- Staduim: Lucus Oil Stadium, Indianapolis
- TV Coverage: ESPN
- Georgia vs Alabama
The New York Jets 2021 season came to an end like the ten seasons before it, with them not making the playoffs. The Jets have now locked up the fourth and tenth picks in the first round of April’s NFL draft and the offseason for Gang Green is in full swing. With lots of draft picks and salary cap room, this promises to be a very exciting offseason. Here are eight players for Jets fans to watch that could be in play for Joe Douglas at some point in April’s draft.
1. Evan Neal, OT, Alabama
Neal checks in at 6-foot-7, 350 pounds, and is a likely top 10 pick. The Florida native, a junior, is a three-year starter and a 2021 team captain. Neal is a massive human that moves well, he has only allowed 22 pressures in his three-year career. I’m not sure general manager Joe Douglas would invest another first-round pick in an offensive tackle but having Neal opposite Mekhi Becton could go a long way in speeding up the development of quarterback Zach Wilson.
2. Nakobe Dean, LB, Georgia
A linebacker from Mississippi, Dean graduated in three years. The junior is projected to get drafted in the mid-to-late first round of the 2022 draft. At 6-foot, 225 pounds, Dean is fast and fun to watch, as he seems to be all over the field. In 2021 he recorded 68 tackles, six sacks, two forced fumbles, and two interceptions. Dean would solve a lot of problems for the Jets defense but it is unlikely they would select him with their second first-round pick, as they have too many needs to fill in premium positions like cornerback and edge rusher.
3. Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama
Williams a 6-foot-2, 189-pound transfer from Ohio State is fast, fast, fast. He leads the nation with four receptions of 70+ yards and 11 receptions of 30 or more yards. The first-team All-American is third on Alabama’s single-season receiving list with 1,507 yards. Williams will be a dangerous home run hitter at the NFL level and it is easy to get excited at the idea of seeing him on the same field as Elijah Moore in 2022.
4. John Metchie III, WR, Alabama
Metchie a 6-foot, 195-pound junior hauled in 96 catches for 1,142 yards and eight touchdowns in 2021. Look for Metchie to be selected sometime during round two. He is versatile enough to play slot or on the outside at the next level. He is exciting to watch when given the ball in space. The Jets are going to add another pass-catching weapon for Wilson and Metchie could be that guy.
5. Henry To’o To’o, LB, Alabama
Another transfer this time from Tennessee. To’o To’o is a 6-foot-2, 228-pound linebacker that led Alabama in tackles with 107 in 2021. The California native recorded 8.5 tackles for a loss and four sacks. It is no secret that the Jets need linebackers and the athletic To’o To’o could be the answer in the middle rounds of the 2022 draft.
6. Christian Harris, LB, Alabama
Harris is a three-year starter for the Crimson Tide. The 6-foot-2, 232-pound junior from Louisianna recorded 72 tackles, 2.5 sacks, and a forced fumble in 2021. Harris is a very good athlete that has muscles on top of muscles. He has shown an ability to cover both tight ends and running backs, something the Jets struggled with during the 2021 season.
7. Travon Walker, EDGE, Georgia
Walker played his first two seasons at Georgia as a 290-pound defensive tackle. In 2021 he dropped down the 275-pounds and played a mix of EDGE and defensive tackle. The Junior is 6-foot-5 and is a physical specimen. He is explosive off the snap and offers some versatility at the NFL level.
8. Jordan Battle, S, Alabama
The junior safety from Florida is listed at 6-foot-1 and 210 pounds. Battle had 82 tackles, three interceptions (two he returned for touchdowns), and six passes defended in 2021. He offers some versatility as he has played both box safety, deep safety, and some nickel. The Jets have a huge need at safety and Battle could be just what Joe Douglas is looking for.