With the NFL Draft coming this week I figured I would unveil my final mock draft with trades. I know everyone has their favorite players as do I. Yet I will try to incorporate what I think the Jets might do in regards to their change in offensive and defensive philosophies adding players who are more analogous to our new schemes.
I am not looking for a debate on which players fit our system better. You can do that on your own. I am trying to pick players the Jets might feel work best in their system but also have the high character standards that I believe Joe Douglas is trying to install.
First the trade scenarios...
The Jets trade the 23rd pick in the draft when they see the players they targeted (Alijah Vera-Tucker, Greg Newsome, Teven Jenkins. and Christian Darrisaw) all selected before their turn. There are still some quality players on the board, but when Kwity Paye falls to their spot the Ravens call and offer the 31st and 94th picks to which the Jets accept. The Jets like Paye but are targeting another edge rusher later in the draft and can use the extra Draft capital to move around the board or give them more selections.
After the first round the Raiders call looking to trade up when they see Terrace Marshall still on the board after the first round. The Raiders broke the Jets heart when they picked Teven Jenkins at #17, but the Jets don’t hold a grudge and trade the #34 pick to the Raiders for picks #48 + 80. The Raiders then select Marshall at #34.
Also there are a few players the Jets could trade during the Draft if they are able to select the players they want to replace them. I will not incorporate those selections into this as I believe that Joe Douglas would probably target 2022 picks to give him some leeway in navigating next year’s Draft.
There are more offers for trades but for the sake of not making a mockery of this let’s say they hold on to their picks and make their selections.
THE NEW YORK JETS 2021 NFL DRAFT SELECTIONS-
Round 1 Pick #2 Zach Wilson QB BYU
I am not looking to make any statement on which QB is best. It has been widely reported the Jets will select Wilson so I am going with that assumption. Could it be a ruse? Sure, but to what end would they do that? Trevor Lawrence in going to the Jags (poor guy) so it doesn’t help the Jets to try and con anyone with the pick.
If you prefer another QB to Wilson then you are more than allowed to just replace Wilson with your favorite (Jones for the Ultimate Stapler) if you wish. This mock works no matter who you want at the top. I will leave it at that.
Round 1 pick #31 Elijah Moore WR Ole Miss.
Elijah Moore is a quintessential slot receiver that can be a game changer in the NFL. He has a lean frame with oily hips to get in then out of breaks. He is a fluid receiver who makes moves at full speed look effortless while breaking into the clear. He is a tough kid who can take a shot but still hold onto the ball. He has exceptional quickness and speed combined with terrific elusiveness which make him a threat to make any play a splash play. He has solid hands dropping only 2 of 101 targets this year with a completion rate of over 86% of those targets. He ran a high variety of routes, often getting deep down the seam and poco (post corner) routes. He had 21 screen receptions on the year but still had a 10.9 average depth of targets. He has tremendous balance combined with a sturdy frame. He tied for 6th with the most forced missed tackles on the year with 18. He had 11 catches that went over 20 yards in the air which was tied for 9th in college football. That is an amazing stat for a primary slot receiver. He is a high volume receiver who can be a chain mover as well as a occasional deep threat. He had a phenomenal 3.85 yards per route run in 2020 which is outstanding considering Justin Jefferson led the NFL in that stat at 3.16 yards per route run (per Reddit). This pick will probably signal the end of the Jamison Crowder era.
Round 2 pick #48 Jabril Cox OLB LSU
Cox is a lean, athletic, speedy off ball linebacker who is a perfect fit for the new NFL. He has a linear frame with a well muscled upper torso and excellent length. He is a sideline to sideline type player if he can stay clean on the 2nd level. He has loose hips, he can turn to run with TEs or even some slot receivers. He has 26 passes defended plus 9 INTs in his career which is more than most safeties or corners. He has excellent lateral movement and change of direction speed. He moves like an athletic safety in a LB body. His speed, length, and athleticism make him a great candidate to be a occasional blitzer off the edge although he wasn’t used that way. He could be a Sam or Will with equal upside. He has a 2nd gear when in coverage or when closing on a ball carrier. He is said to be liked by his peers, a workaholic and very goal oriented person and player. He is a 3 down LB who will rarely come off the field plus can even play on special teams if needed. He has played in all types of coverages in his career including man, zone or off coverages over the slot. He is a very fluid player who moves effortlessly in space and gets there quickly.
Round 3 Pick #66 Payton Turner EDGE Houston
Payton Turner is a powerful end with great height, good bend, and exceptional length. The former defensive tackle had to shed 20 lbs in his move outside then learned an entire new skill set. His training began with workout drills to add flexibility but also work on using his hands much more violently. He had great pressure against the BYU offensive line which is considered one of the best in the country with a sack and a pressure when he worked inside and completely ran over a guard. He is tall but still gets low when engaging linemen to increase his power with better leverage. He is relentless in his pursuit often running down plays from the back side after running across the field. His team played in only 5 games this year, but Turner showed up with 5 sacks an 11 TFL in those games.
His long arms help with vicious rip/swim moves that tear at the arms of the offensive lineman allowing him to get by. He has exceptional feet for such a large man. Ge can cut back with an inside move very quickly and before the lineman can react. He also has some great bend for a player who is almost 6’6” to corner the edge of the lineman. He has a long, lean frame but it has some unexpected power that takes some linemen by surprise. He is the type of EDGE player that Robert Saleh looks for with great height and length.
Round 3 Pick #80 Kendrick Green OG/OC Illinois
Green is a powerful, agile, interior lineman with the right mental makeup. He has started 33 straight games with 29 at left guard and 4 at center. He is has a great get off at the snap and has the natural ability to make reach blocks one gap over. His snap to step quickness is very good, and he is able to help his guards in blocking then still make it to the 2nd level to make a cut off block on a LB. He has superior power in his legs to drive players off the line.h He has does a 700 lbs squat during weight training. He has superior short area quickness to get to blocks that other players could never make. He is scheme versatile but offers great value for a team that runs an outside zone type concept. He also would be great in short and long pulls plus inside zone schemes. He could also be used in a power/gap system with his leg drive if needed. He has big hands which is key to maintaining good snaps in cold weather. He uses his hands well and has very good hand placement especially on pass sets. He is a always alert when he is uncovered in pass protection, head on a swivel looking for stunts, and late blitzes and helping out fellow linemen.
Green is an athletic interior lineman with guard/center versatility. He has a non stop motor and will bury opponents when he gets a fire in his belly. He is quick and insanely fast for a big man who moves easily in space. He has the right mindset and has vowed to himself to always work hard. He is the LG #53
Round 3 pick # 86 Kenneth Gainwell RB Memphis
Gainwell is an explosive runner with excellent receiving skills who has enough vision and wiggle to turn short gains into splash plays. He is a tough little runner who is unafraid to run between the tackles. He has a jump cut to make the first man miss then is a sudden player who can quickly get back up to speed then down the field. He is best used in space where his excellent vision and cutting ability can turn a short pass into a game changing play. He is not just a dump off RB. He has skills to run a variety of routes and could double as a fine slot receiver if needed. He would be impossible for a LB in coverage. His agility and cutting ability would leave them in the dust. He has WR type hands as he caught over 86% of his targets in his college career with only 3 drops. He averaged 12 yards per reception in 2019 (opted out of 2020) on 51 receptions in 14 games. He would be part of a rotational RB by committee with the Jets similar to the group that worked in San Francisco last year.
He was a workhorse like back at Memphis despite his smaller stature handling over 20 touches a game. He can play in any offensive scheme with the speed to turn the corner and the hips to be a solid one cut runner. He would be great in an offense with spread type principles or a wide stretch zone scheme where his acceleration through the hole could be valuable. He plays off his blocks well. His vision is excellent. He sees breaks at the next level before they appear plus he makes tacklers miss by making them stop their feet with a stutter step before exploding out of a cut in another direction. He opted out of the 2020 season after his brother (who was trying to walk on at So. Miss) suffered a stroke while weightlifting and had numerous brain surgeries.
Round 3 pick #94 Dillion Radunz OT North Dakota State
Dillon Radunz is an athletic offensive tackle prospect with near elite movement skills who was a dominant blocker in the run game with some nasty finishes at the FCS level. He is a quick mover off the snap looking to jump on his man early. He gets himself in good angle by positioning his feet quickly then attacking, driving in that direction. He is near lethal on double teams, coming from the side then attacking the defensive tackle who is engaged from the great angle who he will drive into the turf is he gets the chance. He has a wide base in his anchor as he uses his hands well to grip his opponent so he does not slip off to the side. Once he drops his hips he is pretty solid against the bull rush.
He is fantastic moving to the 2nd level where he finds his man quickly then takes him out of the play. His hands are active and in position to attack without leaving them available to be knocked down. He jabs at oncoming rushers, stopping their momentum all the while keeping himself in perfect position with great movement with his lower half. He moves fluidly with purpose on pulls, cut blocks, off blocks, or to the outside taking out safeties or OLBs. He is a smart, calm, technician who works well in space. In the trenches as his temperament doesn’t change. He will start out as a swing tackle before taking over on the right side. He is #75 the left tackle on this play. There is not a lot of quality video to get from North Dakota State.
Round 4 pick #107 Tommy Tremble TE Notre Dame
Tremble has the type of tools you look for in a “do it all” tight end in the NFL. He has excellent speed combined with being a sudden player. He is quick off the ball, a very fluid athlete who is at home crashing into LBs making a block as he is running free on a route down the seam. He is a blocker with special written all over him. He can block as well inline as he does in space. He is above average finding and making blocks on the 2nd level. He has a bit of nasty to his game that is offensive line coach will love. ND had him making trap type blocks against ILB coming from the edge on middle screen plays.
He was an afterthought many times as a receiver in the ND scheme because of his blocking and the presence of Cole Kmet and Michael Mayer in 2019-2020. He has the athleticism and speed to run any route in all three zones of the defense. He can be used all around the formation, even in the backfield as a lead blocker on run plays. He has that type of tenacity in his game that he relishes the contact and the making of blocks. Tremble is an athletic tight end who is very underdeveloped and could be a revelation to a team that can unlock his vast potential. He is not a large player but packs a lot in a smaller frame and uses the momentum of his speed to make his blocks more explosive. He has physical traits that can’t be taught and a nasty disposition which will beloved by his o-line coach. He is a player with huge upside at a position that lacks a lot of playmakers. If he can be developed the has Pro Bowl type upside with the floor of a good blocking TE and special teams player. He has soft hands and is explosive off the line then into his route. He can run any route and is fearless.
Round 5 pick #146 Derrick Barnes ILB Purdue
Barnes is an exceptional athlete with speed, power, length, and a varied skill set. He packs a huge wallop when he hits plus he has superior speed for a man his size. He was switched from a rush LB in 2019 to a off ball ILB in 2020 and was a tackling machine averaging 9 tackles a game. As a part time edge rusher in 2019 he has 8 sacks and 11 tackles for loss so he is adept at numerous spots within the first two lines of defense. He played in 39 games in 4 years for the Boilermakers with 32 starts. He has a lean but heavily muscled frame with superior length to keep blockers at arms length then make the tackle. He showed great anticipation to fill the right hole then make a perfect textbook tackle as a MLB despite the fact that he had never played the position before 2020.
He’s played in space mostly in zone coverage but he has the ability to cover TEs or play as a Sam LB. He uses his diminutive stature well to increase his leverage. In this way he is able to hold the edge (helped by his great length) at under 240 lbs. He has extensive use on special teams which is an added bonus. He is a part time player who can do multiple roles. Barnes is an intriguing prospect in that he has the ability to play any LB position and play it well once he has a chance to learn the position. He is a run and hit LB no matter where he plays, and his ST and edge experience only help his ability to be a force on a defense right away. Barnes has been a under the radar type of player because of his teams lack of real success over the years and the lack of NFL players from his school. His size and speed and playing style is very similar to Ray Lewis. Now he is not going to be a Ray Lewis but he can be a plus starting LB. He is #55.
Round 5 pick # 154 Nate Hobbs CB Illinois
Nate Hobbs is a super athletic CB with good length, great speed, quickness, and the mental fortitude to excel in any defensive scheme. He has quick feet with great lateral agility, his backpedal is rapid but smooth. He played in a lot of Cover 3 and off man at Illinois. He has the ability to run with receivers with great deep ball tracking. He gets his head turned around in coverage. He is a solid tackler who will come from the secondary and put a lick on a ballcarrie. He is not afraid to stick his nose in the fray. He had over 160 tackles in his career playing mostly as a Cover 3 corner. Illinois was run on by opponents unmercifully the last 3 years. Over 70% of the offensive plays against the Illinois defense were runs in 2020, 62+% in 2019 and 57+% in 2018. This also led to the low INT total and pass defended numbers by Hobbs 3 INTs and 11 PBU in 38 games of which he started 35.
Mainly his good coverage in zone work led to less targets. He has loose hips and is able to turn in transition without losing contact with the receiver. He is a tough kid who will fight larger receivers for the ball. He has very good balance to be able to jump with receivers to knock the ball away. He was a high school long jump and high jump champion which aids with contested catches. Hobbs is a solid, tough kid with great mental toughness who has the skill set to be a special player in the NFL. He has some special teams experience so he could start out as a nickel/dime corner and a special teams maven until he gets up to speed with pro defenses. He lacks press experience but would be perfect in a Cover 3 system where he can use his speed and athletic ability to close on receivers and make plays. Playing against so many run heavy schemes in college he may need time to decipher route combinations. He has Pro Bowl type talent if he develops.
Round 6 pick #186 Royce Newman OT/G Ole Miss
An incredibly athletic right guard/tackle who can be the cornerstone of the Jets stretch running scheme on the right side, he has excellent hand usage and his footwork in pass sets is top notch. He needs to get a little stronger against bigger ends, but his great technique helps him win his battles. He has guard/tackle flexibility so he can play inside then pop outside if needed because of injury.
He makes 2nd level blocks with ease, and his lateral agility combined with his height and length make him a natural on wide zone runs. With his great hand usage he is able to get the proper hand technique on zone runs which is left hand on the sternum and right hand by the left armpit. This will leverage the defender down the line allowing the RB to find a crease in the line. To find a perfect match to the Jets new offensive scheme at this point in the draft is a near miracle and the Jets are happy to find there future o-line star. He is #72.
Round 6 pick #226 Tyler Coyle FS Purdue
Coyle is super athletic, smart with great speed, length plus physical and mental toughness. He has a chip on his shoulder a mile wide since he felt overlooked for so long. He failed to get any Division I scholarship offers coming from his high school in Connecticut despite him winning the state track championship in the 100M, 200M, 4x100M, and the high jump. He is a physical player who can play as a single high safety then speed down to lay the wood to a RB or WR. He is a determined, ultra competitive player who likes to work and prepare for games. He studies his opponents. He was the MVP of the Tropical Bowl game in Orlando after playing only 3 games in 2020 because of Covid, a foot sprain, and the birth of his daughter. He was a 4 year starter at UConn and Purdue. He was named a team captain in his only season at Purdue. He played primarily as a single high or in two deep safety sets, but his skill set can have him in the box or as a fast, free flowing LB. He was a coach on the field in the backfield making sure players were lined up correctly. He is solid in coverage with a smooth, quick, easy backpedal, and he has loose hips to turn and run with receivers without losing contact in the transition. He is considered a high character player who is well liked by his coaches and peers. He was a corner as a freshman with 2 INTs then moved to safety by the new coaches. He got his degree in economics in 3 years then went into the transfer portal to play in the Big Ten for the Boilermakers
There you have it, a start to get the Jets back on their winning ways Like all college picks these kids will have to develop before they can contribute. The more they work the faster they will get on the field. They all have talent but need to transition to the pro game.
Let me know what you think, and be kind.