The Jets own a whopping nine picks in the upcoming draft. Who will they add to the roster ahead of a crucial 2021 season?
Free agency is settling down, and looking back, Joe Douglas and the Jets front office did a tremendous job. Not only did they add a new No. 1 receiver in Corey Davis but they additionally snagged multiple players that will be tremendous fits within Robert Saleh’s defense, including defensive end Carl Lawson, defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins, and linebacker Jarrad Davis.
But the offseason isn’t over, so neither are the acquisitions. The Jets own nine picks in the upcoming NFL Draft (set to commence Thursday, April 29) including a pair in the first round.
Who will they ultimately select?
Let’s dive into ESNY’s Jets 7-Round Mock Draft 2.0.
Round 1, Pick 2: Zach Wilson, QB, BYU
While the Jets could keep Sam Darnold and utilize guys like Davis and free-agent pickup Keelan Cole to assist in his development, I just can’t see them passing on a guy like Zach Wilson at No. 2 overall.
Don’t forget, Wilson would also need to develop; the offensive acquisitions in free agency would help with that important task. If the Jets really wanted to undergo a full restart in 2021, they’d be best off drafting the versatile BYU quarterback and starting fresh.
So why haven’t they traded Darnold just yet?
Well, because they have some time. If the Jets elect to go with Wilson, they could wait until the draft to get a deal involving Darnold done.
Round 1, Pick 23: Gregory Rousseau, EDGE, Miami (FL)
The Jets would benefit from adding a talented edge rusher especially after their defense struggled mightily in 2020. Gregory Rousseau is one of the better EDGE prospects in this draft class and surely would complement Carl Lawson well if he were to come to Florham Park.
Rousseau was dominant in 2019 and notched 15.5 sacks for the Miami Hurricanes en route to earning first-team All-ACC and second-team All-America honors. He additionally sports decent size for his position at 6-foot-7, 265 pounds.
Rousseau and Lawson on either side of the line in a 4-3 set would be a tough challenge for opposing offenses.
Round 2, Pick 34: Nick Bolton, LB, Missouri
Missouri linebacker Nick Bolton would be a perfect asset for Saleh’s defense.
He’s a tackling machine, having racked up 103 and 95 combined tackles in 2019 and 2020, respectively. His efforts earned him a first-team All-SEC selection in each of the two aforementioned seasons.
Bolton would have an opportunity to win a starting job in a 4-3 set and perform alongside C.J. Mosley and Jarrad Davis. He carries a ton of upside to his game, and with the proper coaching, could turn into an extremely productive front-seven asset for Gang Green.
Round 3, Pick 66: Jackson Carman, OT, Clemson
The Jets are set right now with their pair of starting tackles — Mekhi Becton will man the left side while George Fant is on the right. However, Fant has just two years left on his current contract and Chuma Edoga is really the only depth option.
Clemson’s Jackson Carman would be a project of an offensive tackle. There’s no way he would start right away or even find any sort of significant playing time. He would need to develop on the bench while learning the position at the pro level, but at some point down the road, could become the Jets’ long-term answer at the right tackle spot.
Carman was a second-team All-ACC selection this past season and is greatly sized at 6-foot-5, 335 pounds.
Round 3, Pick 87: Seth Williams, WR, Auburn
Seth Williams has awesome size in comparison to some of the other wide receivers in this draft, standing at 6-foot-3, 212 pounds. He also carries a knack for the end zone, having caught eight touchdowns through 12 games in 2019.
While the Jets may not need a first-round caliber wide receiver after signing Corey Davis, they should still add to their slate of targets. Given his size, Williams could possess a ton of upside to his game and was certainly productive at Auburn — he caught 59 and 47 balls respectively in 2019 and 2020.
Round 4, Pick 108: Hunter Long, TE, Boston College
The Jets are likely bound to part ways with at least a few of the tight ends they currently possess on the roster. Is Chris Herndon overly valuable to the point where he must be kept? What about Ryan Griffin?
With the expectation that multiple guys may be cut, the Jets could add another tight end to the mix in Hunter Long out of Boston College. Long was one of the best at his position in the ACC this past season and provides notable height at 6-foot-5.
His statistics as a tight end are impressive — he notched 57 receptions for 685 yards and five touchdowns.
Adding yet another passing-game target would be beneficial for whoever starts at quarterback in Florham Park.
Round 5, Pick 147: Thomas Graham Jr., CB, Oregon
You can never have enough depth in the defensive backfield, so the Jets could select a defensive back in one of the later rounds.
Thomas Graham Jr. from Oregon is a versatile corner who collected 64 combined tackles in the 2019 campaign before opting out of this past season.
Graham would be more of a situational cornerback and could find time in the slot — he wouldn’t compete for a starting role on the outside, at least not initially.
Round 5, Pick 155: Jack Anderson, iOL, Texas Tech
The interior of the offensive line is another position group that requires great depth — the Jets would be adding to said depth via this selection.
Texas Tech’s Jack Anderson started every single game of his collegiate career at the right guard position and is 6-foot-5, 315 pounds. The size is a concern — he’ll need to put on some more weight if he expects to compete at the professional level.
Anderson was a 2020 first-team All-Big 12 selection for the Red Raiders.
Round 6, Pick 187: Brady Breeze, S, Oregon
More depth in the defensive backfield. Another Oregon kid as well.
Brady Breeze didn’t play this past season but proved to be a physical defensive back and recorded 62 combined tackles from the safety position in 2019. He could learn a lot from an up-and-coming star in Marcus Maye and take on a situational role if he were to make the team.
Breeze was also a superb special teams player for the Ducks — the conference’s coaches voted him to the All-Pac-12 first-team for his efforts in that area of the game in 2019.