The Jets acquired 10 players during the 2021 NFL Draft. A number of these players have already signed deals with rookie minicamp commencing.
Numerous 2021 draftees of the New York Jets have inked their contracts as rookie minicamp begins Friday.
According to ESPN’s Rich Cimini, cornerback Brandin Echols (sixth round, No. 200 overall out of Kentucky), defensive lineman Jonathan Marshall (sixth round, No. 207 out of Arkansas), and defensive back Jason Pinnock (fifth round, No. 175 out of Pitt) have signed their rookie deals.
Fifth-round linebacker/safety Jamien Sherwood (No. 146 out of Auburn) became the first 2021 draftee out of all 259 to sign his rookie deal earlier this week.
The deals for both Echols and Marshall are four-year contracts worth $3.65 million. Pinnock’s deal, on the other hand, is a four-year contract worth $3.75 million.
Sherwood’s contract is worth $3.83 million across four years.
Thus, four of ten contracts in regard to the Jets’ draftees are reportedly done. Contract signings for the rest — including those of quarterback Zach Wilson, offensive lineman Alijah Vera-Tucker, and wideout Elijah Moore — have yet to be reported.
The Jets rookie minicamp commences Friday at the team facility in Florham Park. The exact roles for the defensive draftees when it comes to the eventual regular season are unclear, but expect guys like Sherwood, Pinnock, and defensive back Michael Carter (fifth round, No. 154 out of Duke) to at least find some notable reps in Robert Saleh and Jeff Ulbrich’s defense.
The four offensive players the Jets acquired during this year’s draft, however, will surely see the field an exceptional amount.
Zach Wilson will likely be the No. 1 signal-caller for the organization moving forward — at the moment, the team doesn’t employ another quarterback who’s capable of taking the reigns as the clear-cut starter.
But in order for the No. 2 overall selection to develop and achieve on-field success, he’ll need offensive assistance, which is why Alijah Vera-Tucker, Elijah Moore, and fourth-round running back Michael Carter should be legitimate components of the offensive unit.
Expect the Jets to field Vera-Tucker as one of the starting offensive linemen, potentially at the left guard spot right next to 2020 first-round tackle and rising star Mekhi Becton. While Moore won’t be the No. 1 wideout (that’s currently slated to be free-agent pickup Corey Davis), the now-former Ole Miss standout could be a No. 2 receiver and one that provides Wilson with yet another reliable and talented target in the passing game.
The Jets may not utilize Carter as the top running back on the roster, but that’s okay. Taking the recent decline in the value of the position, the Jets would be better off using a committee, one that includes Carter, La’Mical Perine, and free-agent acquisition Tevin Coleman.
But regardless of who’s on the field, developing the future face of the franchise and enhancing the overall production level of this offensive unit should be two of the organization’s top focal points moving forward. Last season, the Jets were 32nd in total yards and points — Wilson, offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur, and the rest of the group will be looking to change that.