ESPN’s Todd McShay has released his first mock draft of 2021, and it has the Jets bolstering their offense.
With the second overall pick, McShay gives the Jets another first round tackle.
2. New York Jets Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon*
General manager Joe Douglas has a lot of decisions to make ahead of free agency and the draft, not the least of which is what to do at quarterback. The Jets’ pair of late-season victories made it an even more difficult call. BYU’s Zach Wilson or Ohio State’s Justin Fields could be in play, as could a trade back to stockpile more picks. Moving down would really be the ideal move.
Since we’re not mocking trades this far out, and with Lawrence off the board, I think the Jets will stick with Sam Darnold as their guy under center and build around him. That begins with a game-changing offensive tackle. New York allowed 43 sacks this season, and its rushing attack tied for sixth worst in yards per carry (4.1). Sewell, a 2020 opt-out, would do wonders for both weak spots. And after taking Mekhi Becton in Round 1 in April, the Jets would have a pair of elite tackles bookending the line.
The Jets have an additional first round pick from the Jamal Adams trade. Here McShay has a wide receiver as the pick.
25. New York Jets (via SEA) Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State*
In an effort to continue giving Sam Darnold a better supporting cast — remember, we gave the Jets an elite offensive tackle at No. 2 — let’s go to the wide receiver well. No one in this class separates as well as Olave does, thanks in part to tremendous wheels. He was terrific against Clemson (two touchdowns), and he has gone for 100-plus receiving yards in five of six games so far this season. The Jets’ passing attack ranked second worst in the NFL despite trailing a good deal of the time. No receiver went over 700 yards for them. Jamison Crowder has struggled to stay healthy. Breshad Perriman is potentially headed out of town. And the Jets haven’t had a 1,000-yard wideout since 2015.
I think passing on a quarterback would be controversial. It would be especially noteworthy if the Jets didn’t take Justin Fields but did select his favorite receiving target with their extra first round pick.
This certainly would be a sign that the Jets would be focusing on a slow, steady build. There would be less excitement around the team without a rookie quarterback, but there would be more pieces in place down the line for when the Jets picked one.
If the team isn’t going to pick a quarterback, it probably would make sense to explore a trade down. A team that wants Fields or Zach Wilson might be willing to pay a big price.