The New York Jets have added a 2021 draft pick via the Sam Darnold trade. Who will they acquire with their ten total selections?
Earlier this week, the Jets finally made the move many were anticipating.
New York agreed to trade Sam Darnold to the Panthers for three draft picks, one of which will be in this year’s sixth round.
Increasing your collection of picks is always a beneficial action for a rebuilding organization; general manager Joe Douglas understands that notion ahead of a crucial 2021 campaign.
The Jets thus possess an advantage over other teams when it comes to this annual event given they now own a whopping 10 selections — who will they ultimately select in the 2021 NFL Draft?
Let’s dive into ESNY’s New York Jets Mock Draft 3.0.
Round 1, Pick 2: BYU QB Zach Wilson
As was previously mentioned, the Jets traded Sam Darnold to Carolina earlier this week for a trio of draft picks, one of which is the No. 227 overall selection in the 2021 sixth round.
Thus, welcome Zach Wilson to Florham Park.
The BYU quarterback’s stock has risen this offseason and reasonably so. Wilson sports talent both through the air and on the ground. While he threw for 33 touchdowns and nearly 3,700 yards in 2020, he additionally recorded 10 rushing touchdowns for the Cougars.
Wilson is a multifaceted quarterback who’s certainly the second-best at his position in this draft class behind Trevor Lawrence. His ability to produce in a number of different areas of the game will be beneficial for a Jets team looking to undergo a full restart after a two-win 2020 season.
Round 1, Pick 23: Florida WR Kadarius Toney
Since the Jets are very likely to draft Wilson with the second pick, they’ll need to garner offensive assistance in order to make his transition into the NFL as smooth as possible.
Kadarius Toney is a talented slot receiver out of Florida who most certainly carries first-round potential. His speed and elusiveness make him such an attractive prospect and are the qualities that helped him find on-field success for the Gators in 2020 (Toney earned first-team All-SEC honors).
A receiving unit of Toney, Corey Davis, Keelan Cole, Jamison Crowder, and Denzel Mims would be a scary group to defend and would surely help Wilson efficiently develop.
Round 2, Pick 34: Wake Forest EDGE Carlos Basham Jr.
The Jets addressed two significant offensive needs in the first round.
Now it’s time to add to the defense, specifically at the edge rusher position.
Carlos Basham Jr. is more of a defensive end than an outside linebacker given his size — 6-foot-3, 281 pounds. This would work for the Jets given their need for an end in Robert Saleh’s 4-3 defensive scheme.
Basham is a talented pass-rusher as well as a productive run-stopper. While he recorded 10 sacks in 2019, he additionally notched 57 total tackles that same season and 64 the year prior.
Round 3, Pick 66: Stanford CB Paulson Adebo
You can’t have enough depth in an NFL defensive backfield, and while the Jets may be set with Bryce Hall and Bless Austin at the two cornerback spots, Stanford’s Paulson Adebo would be a reliable body to possess on the depth chart.
Prior to not playing in 2020, Adebo heavily portrayed his knack for the football with Stanford, recording eight interceptions and 27 pass breakups from 2018-19 (22 total games).
His efforts during those two seasons earned him first-team All-Pac-12 honors in either campaign.
Round 3, Pick 87: Alabama LB Dylan Moses
What does C.J. Mosley’s future look like after the four-time Pro Bowler opted out of the 2020 season? Is free-agent pickup Jarrad Davis going to be consistently reliable in a 4-3 scheme?
The Jets enter the 2021 season potentially requiring linebacking depth and someone who could possibly be a situational player within that position group.
Dylan Moses was a tackling machine at Alabama. He racked up 86 and 76 total tackles in 2018 and 2020 (respectively) along with 16 tackles for loss combined through those two seasons.
If the Jets were to select Moses, there’s a chance he would eventually find significant playing time given a number of uncertainties surrounding the unit.
Round 4, Pick 108: BYU OT Brady Christensen
Just like in the secondary, depth is incredibly crucial on the offensive line. And right now, the Jets don’t possess much of that on the exterior of the unit.
Mekhi Becton and George Fant are expected to retain their starting roles as the left and right tackles, but the only real depth piece at either spot is Chuma Edoga, so the Jets would benefit from selecting someone like Brady Christensen in the fourth round.
The BYU lineman obviously played with Zach Wilson at the collegiate level, so he’d possess some sort of familiarity if he was to eventually find himself in Florham Park.
Christensen is also, simply speaking, one of the most underrated offensive linemen in this draft class. He was a consensus first-team All-American and allowed a .8% quarterback pressure rate this past season, the lowest of any tackle since 2014 (per Pro Football Focus).
Lowest QB pressure % allowed by an OT since 2014:
Brady Christensen, 2020 – 0.8% pic.twitter.com/fyjplRMNcQ
— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) March 26, 2021
Round 5, Pick 147: Florida WR Trevon Grimes
Further adding to Wilson’s slate of offensive weapons would benefit both the young quarterback and offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur.
Trevon Grimes would be teaming up with Kadarius Toney once again, but more importantly, the Florida Gator would be providing a notable quality to the receiver room: height.
At 6-foot-4, Grimes would be one of the taller receivers on the Jets roster and a reliable target down near the goal line
Grimes caught nine touchdowns for Florida last year — his knack for the end zone would be great for a Jets team that threw just 16 touchdown passes in 2020 (tied for the second-fewest in the NFL).
Round 5, Pick 155: Oklahoma St. RB Chuba Hubbard
Tevin Coleman isn’t exactly capable of being an every-down back.
La’Mical Perine likely isn’t experienced enough to be the top guy either
If the Jets don’t upgrade the running back position early in the draft, they may need to acquire one later on and utilize a committee.
Oklahoma State’s Chuba Hubbard might end up becoming one of the steals of this year’s draft. His stock has dropped after a 2020 season in which he struggled, but it’s unfair to say he doesn’t possess superb talent.
Through 13 games in 2019, Hubbard was dominant and rushed for over 2,000 yards with 21 touchdowns and a 6.4 yards-per-carry rate.
He additionally carries experience returning kicks (he returned 23 in 2018 for 510 yards), so the Jets could utilize Hubbard in that department if they were to acquire him.
Despite the fact he’s projected to be a Day 3 pick, you cannot overlook Chuba and his potential. The speed, elusiveness, and size (6-foot, 207 pounds) could provide his selection with legitimate upside.
Round 6, Pick 187: Oregon S Brady Breeze
The Jets employ a talented free safety in Marcus Maye and are seemingly banking on the development of pending second-year man Ashtyn Davis. They additionally signed Lamarcus Joyner this offseason.
But again, depth is very important in the secondary, which is why the Jets could acquire a safety in one of the later rounds.
Brady Breeze is a physical defensive back (62 combined tackles in 2019) who additionally has an eye for the football (two interceptions, three pass breakups, four fumble recoveries, one forced fumble, two scoop-and-scores during that same season).
He could be a situational safety if he were to make the team following the preseason.
Round 6, Pick 227: Michigan TE Nick Eubanks
Finally, the Jets use their last pick in this draft (and the 2021 selection they received via the Darnold trade) on a tight end for depth purposes. It couldn’t hurt to add another one to the roster just to see if they can get something out of him — maybe the Jets find a diamond in the rough with this pick.
Nick Eubanks caught just 10 balls through five games for Michigan last year but notched four touchdown receptions through 12 matchups the season prior.