The process is simple, I am picking players who might fall to the Jets picks, but represent a probable reach at times. Using Mockdraftable's consensus big board which takes the composite average of all mock drafts and players posted on the major websites (PFF, PFN,CBS, etc.), I define "almost too good to be true" range as any players ranked at the Pick # minus 20% of the pick number on the big board as the starting point for my range. For example, the Jets pick at 23, subtracting 20% is ~18 so all prospects ranked 18 and higher on the big board are eligible for me to select.
Without further ado:
Pick 2: Zach Wilson, QB, BYU (Consensus Big Board Rank 2)
While this has been beaten to death in the Flight Connections comments, I believe Zach Wilson is the correct pick at #2 and not Justin Fields or any realistic trade back scenario. While some are uncomfortable with Wilson's injury history and "1 year wonder" status, I see it differently: Wilson's talent has flashed ever since he won the job as a true freshman over then multi-year starting BYU QB and team captain. A significant throwing shoulder surgery cost him his 2019 off-season and COVID cost him his 2020 off-season yet he persevered by commuting weekly 10 hours each way to train at 3DQB with John Beck, a Tom House disciple who works with the QBs as well. John Beck is the same guy who trained Justin Herbert last offseason and has been involved with training Dak his entire career along with the famous Tom Brady and Tom House connection.
To reiterate for the folks in the back: Zach Wilson demonstrably improved facets of his game mentally from 2018-2019 despite having no offseason to physically train due to surgery, then made a significant leap in his mental and physical development in the 2020 offseason without a complete offseason due to COVID. That alone epitomizes what every employer looks for when hiring: attitude and being a "self starter". I have no doubt Wilson will continue to develop and grow in the NFL given he is the third youngest QB in this class and has the best age-adjusted single season stats of the last decade of FBS college QBs to declare for the NFL draft. Oh, and Zach Wilson set the all-time single season PFF passing grade this past year.
Pick 23: Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota (Consensus Big Board Rank 22)
95th percentile Breakout Age, 88th percentile Dominator Rating, >6' tall (6'2"), >26 BMI (27), sub 4.55 40 (4.39 supposedly), early declare, will be drafted in the 2 rounds. Rashod Bateman has the highest statistical probability to become a top-12 WR in the NFL based upon his production and profile, and he can be had at 23 overall potentially.
From a non-statistical perspective, Bateman has the size, speed, and release package to immediately produce at the next level. His game has a lot in common with Keenan Allen - except he runs in the 4.4s instead of the 4.6s. Bateman has played both out of the slot and out wide at Minnesota, with his better reps being at outside WR. In my opinion, he is the complement to Denzel Mims given that Mims' strength is down the field and athletic contested catches outside the numbers while Bateman can win with separation early in the route and also has no fear over the intermediate middle of the field.
Zach Wilson made Dax Milne and Gunner Romney look like superstars this past year, just imagine what he can with bigger, stronger, faster, and all around better versions of those guys (albeit similar skill sets) in Rashod Bateman and Denzel Mims.
Pick 34: Teven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma St (Consensus Big Board Rank 31)
Jenkins is one of the more publicly slept on OT prospects in this class but is reportedly very much on NFL radars in the first round of this year's draft. Teven Jenkins is the only top OT who is a natural RT and not a LT, which makes his fit and projection significantly easier. Jenkins graded out as the 3rd highest graded OT in all of college football last year via PFF grades at 92.0 overall. He's a big RT with excellent balance and is a mauler in the run game. His ability as a run blocker and general competence as a pass blocker reminds me of Mekhi Becton last year. I though Becton would struggle in pass blocking in the NFL but he hasn't pleasantly proved me wrong. I think Jenkins will make a similar progression into the NFL and would give the Jets a nice young set of bookend tackles for years to come.
Pick 66: Elijah Molden, CB, Washington (Consensus Big Board Rank 57)
Molden projects as the slot corner with easily the highest floor in this draft class. Brian Poole played well last year but isn't getting any younger or healthier. I think Molden could be a day 1 starter but could benefit from sitting and developing for a year and playing spot duties as well. Don't rule out outside CB potential in Molden either.
Pick 87: Alim McNeill, DT, NC State (Consensus Big Board Rank 77)
In what is a weak DT year, Alim McNeill has one of the higher floors and ceilings than most in this class. Sporting the third highest PFF grade of interior defensive linemen in CFB last year (90.7 overall PFF grade), Alim McNeill could be a force either at the 1 technique in a 3-4 or the 3-technique in a 4-3 should the Jets make the switch. Pairing McNeill next to Q in a 4-3 sounds like a recipe for not only stuffing the run, but also generating relatively consistent interior pass rush. Particularly after Henry Anderson's release, and Saleh and the 49ers recent draft history of stocking up on talented young defensive linemen, this move looks fairly realistic for the Jets.
Pick 108: Dyami Brown, WR, UNC (Consensus Big Board Rank 97)
If Dyami Brown weighs in at over 200lbs and over 6 foot 1 inch while maintaining 4.4 speed, just book him in the top-50 and forget this post. If Dyami Brown measures something like 6'0.5" 189lbs and runs a 4.45, then he will fall here and the Jets will reap the benefits. Dyami Brown is who everyone thought and hoped Henry Ruggs was last year. He is the best deep threat in this class in my opinion other than maybe Jaylen Waddle and has the height, athleticism, release package off the LOS, and ability to add good weight to his frame to potentially develop into top-12 WR status.
Dyami isn't a need or a perfect fit here, but I don't care. He has incredible upside and is an excellent value anywhere outside of the top-75.
Pick 147: Payton Turner, EDGE, Houston (Consensus Big Board Rank 139)
A guy who PFF is higher on than most, Payton Turner turned in one of the best senior bowl weekends before he even stepped foot out on the field. Check the measurements below:
Height: 6 feet, 5 3/8 inches
Wingspan: 84 inches
Arm length: 35 inches
Hand size: 10 1/4 inches
Payton Turner also had a very productive, albeit COVID shortened 2020 season where he gave that borderlie prolific BYU OL fits while consistently pressuring Zach Wilson. The prototypical EDGE measurements paired with high end recent on-field performance at pick 147? Too good to be true, or maybe it isn't due to his late breakout status and not being as athletic and shredded as some of the top EDGE guys in the class like Oweh, Ossai, Paye, Rousseau, etc.
Pick 155: Trill Williams, DB, Syracuse (Consensus Big Board Rank 146)
Low-key one of my favorite mid-round picks. Trill is a dawg in the secondary and has incredible athleticism and is one of the most willing and talented tacklers in this class. He has shades of Jalen Ramsey and Derwin James type of game, but his fit in the secondary isn't clear and he was playing alongside 2 other guys who will be drafted before in this draft in Andre Cisco and Ifeatu Melifonwu. Given the talent in that secondary and the weak ACC schedule, it's no wonder they gave even Trevor Lawrence issues over the last few seasons. However that surrounding talent adds to the risk that Trill is more athlete than he is shutdown CB and simply played alongside other top talent that consistently outmatched it's opponents. Regardless, his value is salvaged by his potentially elite ability on special teams, making him well worth at least pick 155 in my opinion.
Pick 186: Tommy Tremble, TE, Notre Dame (Consensus Big Board Rank 177)
It's unusual when you hear that a top blocking TE in a draft class isn't some slow-plodding 260lb miniature offensive lineman. This year in fact it is actually quite the opposite, where Tommy Tremble is arguably one of the faster and more athletic TEs in this class while simultaneously being arguably the best run-blocking TE as well. Tremble wasn't particularly productive as a pass-catcher at Notre Dame, but at 6'4" and an athletic and lean 247 lbs with soft hands, I think Tremble can project as a guy you draw up screens for or even an H-Back role in the Shanahan style offense. In a weak TE class, Tremble at 186 would be incredible value given the higher floor he possesses due to his run-blocking and potentially elite upside as an elite athlete and good size for the position.
Pick 251: Jermar Jefferson, RB, Oregon St (Consensus Big Board Rank 234)
Jermar Jefferson deserves much higher than 251. 72nd percentile BMI, 81st percentile college dominator, 82nd percentile yards per carry, and he isn't even 21 years old yet. As an 18 year old freshman at a power 5 school Jermar ran for nearly 1400 yards and 12 TDs at a rate of nearly 6 yards per carry. He lacks elite measurables and high end traits, which is why he will fall much lower than his production and film may otherwise suggest. He's not as big as Najee Harris, he isn't faster in a 40 or a better pass catcher than Travis Etienne, and he doesn't have the physicality and elusiveness of Javonte Williams. What he does have is prototypical NFL size, decent long speed but excellent foot quickness and vision. He has all the ear marks of a productive and undervalued zone-scheme RB and the Jets would do well to take the value in the last few rounds of the draft if he is there.