Which players could the New York Jets possibly target on Day 3 of what’s going to be a crucial 2021 NFL Draft?
Joe Douglas prefers to build through the draft.
Luckily for the New York Jets general manager, he owns a whopping 10 selections in this year’s edition of the event, including two in the opening round.
But what’s interesting (and quite frankly very beneficial) is how the Jets possess a great deal of capital in the later rounds. On Day 3 (rounds 4-7), the organization has a total of five picks, which can be used for depth purposes in regard to a number of positions.
These positions of need may include wide receiver, defensive back, offensive tackle, inside linebacker, as well as a quarterback to compete for a backup role behind whomever the Jets choose to be their starter.
Of course, New York’s late-round decisions may depend on the spots they prioritized during the first two days of the draft, but nonetheless, these possible Day 3 prospects could land in Florham Park by the time the draft concludes.
WR Whop Philyor
The Indiana wideout faced great collegiate talent as a member of the Big Ten, and while he doesn’t sport phenomenal size at 5-foot-11, 181 pounds, Whop Philyor’s talent and athleticism make up for it.
Philyor is a speedy slot receiver who could prove to be reliable on bubble screen-type plays and quick slant routes. He’s additionally able to implement aggression into his game and hold his blocks.
Philyor proved to be a talented possession receiver for the Hoosiers, having averaged nearly 6.0 receptions per game in 2019 and then 6.75 receptions per game the following season. His efforts in the former year led to his second-team All-Big Ten selection, a superb accomplishment when you consider the competition within the Power Five conference.
The Jets will need all the offensive weapons they can get their hands on, regardless of who’s playing quarterback in 2021 (Sam Darnold, Zach Wilson, or maybe even Deshaun Watson). Last year, the Jets were last in both total offense and scoring and second-to-last in passing.
OT Foster Sarell
Stanford offensive tackle Foster Sarell stands at 6-foot-7, 315 pounds but has quick feet and can hold his blocks, sporting the ability to get his hands in the right place and drive the defender. He additionally takes good angles in order to seal opponents.
His on-field efforts earned him an All-Pac 12 Honorable Mention selection during his 2019 junior campaign.
Sarell wouldn’t start right away if he came to the Jets but would be a reliable depth piece. If he impressed and ultimately developed in the pros, there’s a chance he could eventually find himself in the starting right tackle role while 2020 first-round pick Mekhi Becton continues to man the left side.
Current starting right tackle George Fant has just two years remaining on his current three-year deal.
S Caden Sterns
The Texas defensive back might be a third-round prospect, but considering the Jets own the second selection in the fourth round (No. 98 overall), there’s a chance they could still acquire him if he were to descend the draft board just a tad bit.
One aspect that stands out about Sterns’ game is his physicality — he totaled 62, 59, and 52 combined tackles respectively during the 2018, 2019, and 2020 seasons.
He can fly up, take great angles, and initiate contact with the ballcarrier and is aggressive enough to do so, but his strengths don’t stop there. Sterns additionally can locate the ball in mid-air and make a play on it at its highest point.
Sterns was a first-team All-Big 12 selection as well as the Big 12 Defensive Freshman of the Year in 2018.
He could certainly be a depth piece and situational defensive back for the Jets, but maybe the coaching staff would like him enough to eventually start him? 2020 undrafted rookie defensive back Lamar Jackson started six games for Gang Green last year, so it’s not an impossible scenario whatsoever.