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2021 New York Jets Draft

MOCK DRAFT MONDAY: New York Jets Mock Draft 3.0

In the third edition of our Mock Draft Monday and first since the new league year started, we start to get more of an idea of what this team could be targeting come draft time. They have hit a bunch of different position groups to try to fill out the roster. One thing they have yet to do is decide on what they will do with Sam Darnold. What I have chosen to do is be proactive and move Sam and San Francisco’s sixth round pick to Washington for their second round pick, who I believe is still a legitimate candidate to trade for the quarterback, despite signing Ryan Fitzpatrick. 

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: Cincinnati – 5, 38, 69 and 2022 1st round pick

What am I thinking?

Real quick answer… No. That is not nearly enough to entice me to trade down after trading Sam Darnold. There are varying opinions on who the Jets would select if they were to take their new quarterback. Justin Fields and Trey Lance do have many qualities about their game that make them worthy here and they would likely be the first and second picks if they entered the 2022 draft. With that being said, I will stick with Zach Wilson for the time being. Many of us here at Play Like a Jet have shown and said why Wilson is QB2 in this class so no need to dive much further. But now with the additions of Corey Davis and Keelan Cole, the receiver options are starting to look like a strength for their young quarterback for the first time since Braylon Edwards, Santonio Holmes and Jerricho Cotchery were around. That is, of course, if they live up to their respective contracts. Just need to continue to put Wilson in a good spot early on so he doesn’t have to try to put the team on his back to start his career.

Selection: QB Zach Wilson, BYU

Round 1, Pick 19

TRADE (23 and 66 to Washington for 19)

What am I thinking?

Heading into the draft, I am not the biggest advocate for trading up. Due to the state of the roster, they need as many premium picks as possible. However, when an opportunity like this arises, we need to take the chance. There are no receivers like Devonta Smith left on the board and when we only need to give up 66 to get him, so be it. As mentioned above, Corey Davis and Keelan Cole were signed but that should not stop Douglas from making this move. Davis will likely be the X receiver in 2021 and Cole signed on to be the fourth receiver on the roster, at the very least. This gives Zach Wilson yet another target and this one he can grow with for the next five-plus years. Smith is light in weight but that should not force him inside. The Heisman winner is a versatile pass catcher who can line up anywhere on the field, allowing Lafleur to mess around with a bunch of different alignments for the five receivers (Davis, Mims, Crowder , Cole and now Smith).

Selection: WR Devonta Smith, Alabama

Round 2, Pick 34

Trade Offers: N/A

What am I thinking?

Newsome is a name that is rising all around league circles. Even though he did not play every game in 2020, the former Wildcat flashed great potential in Pat Fitzgerald’s defense. In the first edition, the Jets were able to grab Newsome with the 51st pick but this time around, there is no telling if he can fall that far again. The cornerback group is desperate for some help opposite Bryce Hall and Newsome brings that. He should be able to fit the Cover 3 defense pretty well with his length, deep speed, fluid hips and ability to play the ball. On March 22nd, he falls to the second round, but do not be shocked if he sneaks his way into the first round the closer we get to the draft.

Selection: CB Greg Newsome II, Northwestern

Round 2, Pick 51

Trade Offers: Chicago – 52 and 2022 7th

What am I thinking?

It is enticing to take a future seventh rounder just to move down one pick but there is no way we can make that trade knowing what player is still on the board (Humphrey) and who would be moving in front (Chicago). Unfortunately, the offensive line still needs a lot of work after one week of free agency with Dan Feeney being the only signing thus far. While he may have a great mustache, that does not mean he is a lock to be a starter. Humphrey falling this far was unexpected but it’s a must to take advantage of this. He can come in and either take over the center position and force Conor McGovern to a guard spot or he can start his career at guard until McGovern is no longer a Jet. Humphrey is not the most athletic so he may not necessarily be the best fit on paper for the outside zone scheme but he would not be a liability either. Give me the Sooner.

Selection: iOL Creed Humphrey, Oklahoma

Round 3, Pick 86

Trade Offers: Buffalo – 93, 161

What am I thinking?

The only trade on the table was to move down seven spots with our division rival but this offer was an easy one to ignore. Just like the previous picks, the free agent pick ups thus far are not keeping me away from any position. Jarrad Davis was signed on to potentially be the starting SAM linebacker alongside CJ Mosley as the MIKE, who is returning after opting out of 2020. The WILL is still needed since they failed to finalize a deal for Keanu Neal. Blake Cashman is looking like the starter at the moment and could see an improvement in this defensive system but he has struggled to stay on the field two years into his career. So with Jamin on the board, this looks like the selection that best fits this defense. Davis is long and athletic who still has some things to tighten up from a processing standpoint. He could stand to see the field a little better but with Saleh and Mosley being two voices in his ear, I like his chances.

Selection: LB Jamin Davis, Kentucky

Round 4, Pick 107

Trade Offers: San Francisco – 117 and 172

What am I thinking?

Carl Lawson was an amazing signing for Joe Douglas and we should see his career take flight in this defense, pun intended. Lining up next to Quinnen Williams should only help his play on the field but that is just one side of the equation at defensive end. On the other side, there will be a fight between Jabari Zuniga, Bryce Huff and nobody else at the moment. We may see another signing or two at the position but with that still a question, we need to be proactive and take a guy who can join the aforementioned names in the competition for the starting LDE. Turner has fun traits at 6’5 270 who has a chance to find playing inside on passing downs. There are parts of his game that could need work like developing as a pass rusher and pad level in the run game, but a fourth round pick is a good spot to take the gamble. 

Selection: EDGE Payton Turner, Houston

Round 5, Pick 146

Trade Offers: N/A

What am I thinking?

With no offers to consider, this came down to Sterns and three running backs (Kylin Hill, Chuba Hubbard and Jemar Jefferson). Since we are back on the clock in less than ten picks, I like the chances that one of those three backs make it to 154. That makes this a little easier to go with the once heralded Longhorn. Sterns was looked at as a potential first round pick at a point during the 2019 season, but as you can see, that is now a pipe dream. But having shown that potential in the past, this seems like a good chance to take here in the fifth round. Maye and newly signed Lamarcus Joyner are both playing on one year deals and Ashtyn Davis who was a third round pick last year needs to prove himself to the new coaching staff. Regardless, this gives them some versatility in the back end allowing Saleh to mess around with some things, if Sterns is able to see the field in year one.

Selection: S Caden Sterns, Texas

Round 5, Pick 154

Trade Offers: N/A

What am I thinking?

Three running backs were being looked at at 146 and now only one remains, with Hill and Jefferson having been taken in between. Unfortunately the big names were not really an option early on but luckily, the offenses used in the Shanahan systems never needed running backs picked in the first round or two to have a successful running game. Now there will be no lies told here, I am not exactly a fan of Hubbard. In fact, he was extremely disappointing to watch on film. But if there is one positive to take away, he has a chance to succeed if he goes to a team with an outside zone running style. Guess what the Jets are expected to be using? If that is the case, Hubbard will be more valuable as a runner here than many other places. His pass protection is non-existent, he was not too valuable in the passing game and his lower half needs some more strength, but he can fit that one cut offense pretty well and break off some big plays. With a fifth round pick, it is worth the chance to see if he can become what many expected he would be heading into the 2020 season.

Selection: HB Chuba Hubbard, Oklahoma State

Round 6, Pick 188

Trade Offers: N/A

What am I thinking?

I would have liked to get a little more on the offensive line in this mock but it did not work out that way in terms of value on the board. We were able to get Creed Humphrey which should solidify one spot but the remaining guard position and depth still need to be worked on. Cam Clark could potentially be a piece to the puzzle but we still are not sure whether or not they view him as a guard or a tackle. With Anderson, you get a player who fits the zone scheme they want to implement and provides some versatility inside, showing ability to play either center or guard. He was very impressive in his tape at the Senior Bowl practices and teams could be looking at him for some solid depth for the near future.

Selection: iOL Jack Anderson, Texas Tech

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

1.2 – QB Zach Wilson, BYU

1.19 – WR Devonta Smith, Alabama

2.34 – CB Greg Newsome II, Northwestern

2.51 – iOL Creed Humphrey, Oklahoma

3.86 – LB Jamin Davis, Kentucky

4.107 – EDGE Payton Turner, Houston

5.146 – S Caden Sterns, Texas

6.154 – HB Chuba Hubbard, Oklahoma State

6.188 – iOL Jack Anderson, Texas Tech

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