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Mock draft: who the experts are selecting

The Jets have Picks #2 and #23 in the First Round of the 2021 NFL Draft. Let’s dive into who the experts have them taking as of February 23rd, 2021.

zach wilson
Cougars throws a pass in the second half against the Houston Cougars at TDECU Stadium on October 16, 2020 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)

Mock Draft SZN is here and the Jets have two picks in the first round. Every expert has an opinion and a thought on who they think the Jets will pick at Pick #2 and Pick #23. We wanted to dive into what some of the top draft experts are doing with these picks in their most recent mock drafts.

The Draft Network – Brentley Weissman
No. 2: QB Justin Fields (Ohio State)
“I definitely am beginning to feel in the minority here, but I need to stick with my evaluations and I simply think Fields is a better prospect than Zach Wilson. Maybe I’ll be wrong—and I do love Wilson too—but for my money, I believe Fields is the superior player now and has a higher ceiling. Fields has all the tools you look for in terms of arm strength, accuracy, and mobility, and he is a hell of a leader on and off the field. He’s the exact type of player that general manager Joe Douglas and head coach Robert Saleh should want as they look to jumpstart this rebuild.”

No. 23 (via SEA): RB Travis Etienne (Clemson)
“New head coach Robert Saleh has spent most of his career working for coaches who believe in running the football. Saleh will want to have a strong running game in New York, and right now their depth at running back leaves a lot to be desired. Etienne is an explosive back with excellent vision and contact balance. He would be a perfect fit in offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur’s wide zone running scheme.”

The Athletic – Dane Brugler
No. 2: QB Zach Wilson (BYU)
“This is where the draft starts and there will be plenty of speculation on a possible trade at No. 2 if the Jets decide to stick with Sam Darnold. However, there is a greater chance New York sees an opportunity to reset the franchise with a new quarterback, but which one? If Wilson does well during the interview process, many around the league expect him to be the favorite here.”

No. 12 (projected trade with SF): OL Rashawn Slater (Northwestern)
“This is a fun trade. Even with a new quarterback with the No. 2 pick, the Jets don’t have to trade Darnold. But they can maximize his value if the right deal presents itself, like this proposed trade from the 49ers. With their pick from the Jamal Adams’ trade, the Jets are able to jump up 11 spots in the first round and land Slater, who has Pro Bowl potential as a plug-and-play guard who can also kick out to right tackle if needed.”

“What the Jets do here will alter how the draft plays out — but this projection is more about the spot than the team because, frankly, the Jets have some evaluating and decision-making ahead. We know they are listening to offers for QB Sam Darnold, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are aggressively pursuing a trade. Regardless, this much is pretty clear to me: If Darnold is traded, Wilson should be the pick. And if New York keeps Darnold, I think a team — perhaps Carolina — will jump on the chance to move up to take Wilson here. The BYU signal-caller is tough in the pocket but can also create when it all breaks down, and he excelled on the deep ball this season, hitting 20 of 27 passes thrown at least 30 yards downfield.”

No. 23 (via SEA): RB Travis Etienne (Clemson)
“We got them a quarterback. Now let’s get them a running back. The Jets were one of two teams with single-digit rushing touchdowns this season and their 4.1 yards per carry tied for the sixth worst in the NFL. Scoring won’t be a problem for Etienne; he had 78 touchdowns over his four-year career at Clemson. And while this could be Alabama running back Najee Harris, Etienne gives the Jets a little more explosiveness to La’Mical Perine’s power.”

The Jets have a lot of options here, but I think the decision ultimately comes down to Wilson versus Sam Darnold. With a new head coach, they decide to start fresh at quarterback.

Daniel Jeremiah – NFL Network

Pro Football Focus – Austin Gayle
No. 2: QB Zach Wilson (BYU)
“While some Jets fans are encouraged by what Sam Darnold has shown in flashes throughout his three-year NFL career, the former USC standout hasn’t shown enough to warrant passing on a talent like Wilson at No. 2 overall.”

No. 23 (via SEA): WR Rashod Bateman (Minnesota)
“Bateman isn’t a freak athlete with high-end top speed, but he’s still one of the best pure separators in this class because of his ability to get off the line of scrimmage and win with his efficient route-running. The former Minnesota standout led the country in yards per route from an outside alignment as a sophomore in 2019.”

CBS Sports – Josh Edwards
No. 4 (projected trade with Falcons): OT Rashawn Slater (Northwestern)
“Joe Douglas comes from an executive tree that values offensive line play. If the team is going to move forward with Sam Darnold, they need a strong supporting cast around him. Rashawn Slater could slide in at right tackle and stabilize that unit.”

No. 23 (via SEA): WR Kadarius Toney (Florida)
“Between Rashawn Slater and Kadarius Toney, the Jets are finally beginning to surround Sam Darnold with talent that will either lead to his success or his demise. Toney has blistering speed in addition to refined route-running.”

NFL Network – Bucky Brooks
No. 2: QB Justin Fields (Ohio State)
“The Jets opt for Fields over BYU’s Zach Wilson in this scenario as GM Joe Douglas and coach Robert Saleh build a new-school offense around the former Buckeye QB’s unique talents.” 

No. 23 (via SEA): RB Travis Etienne (Clemson)
The Jets’ shift to a Shanahan-style offense could make Etienne the perfect fit as a one-cut runner with home run speed and acceleration. 

Sports Illustrated – Jack Despeaux
No. 2: QB Justin Fields (Ohio State)
“There is talk that this pick will be Zach Wilson of BYU. However, Fields is a better prospect who possesses excellent physical traits and has shown strong leadership skills. When Fields was hurt against Clemson in the college football playoffs, his toughness united his offense and rallied his team. Those are impressive intangibles that scouts saw and shouldn’t be ignored. Add in his talent and traits, this is a no-brainer selection for a team in need of a quarterback.”

No. 23 (via SEA): EDGE Joseph Ossai (Texas)
“A nine-technique edge-rusher, Ossai will be a fine addition to Robert Saleh’s defense in New York. The Jets have more needs than any team in the NFL but they have players in place who can build on top of additional talent. Ossai being added to this Jets team opens up the potential for defensive tackle Quinnen Williams to have more opportunities as a pass-rusher on the inside. The addition of another edge-rusher in free agency should also help maximize Williams and the trio can be the beginning of a strong Saleh defense in New York.”

NFL Network – Daniel Jeremiah
No. 2: QB Zach Wilson (BYU)
“The Jets have a lot of options here, but I think the decision ultimately comes down to Wilson versus Sam Darnold. With a new head coach, they decide to start fresh at quarterback.”

No. 23: Edge Ronnie Perkins (OU)
“Perkins is a very productive edge rusher who plays with physicality and tremendous effort.”

Written By

The Gang Green Guv’Nor has faith in The Johnson, Douglas and Saleh connection and is excited for 2021. Chris loves fan content and debate between all fans unless you celebrated winning those 2 games. He’s looking forward to seeing who the Jets select at #2 and is ready to get back into his seat at Metlife. Debate with him on Twitter at @WeRetaliate1st and chat Tech, Music, Start-Ups or Pets.

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