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Mock Draft 1.0: Jets Focus on the Trenches

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 20 Florida State at Boston College Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

We’re into February now and I’ve yet to release my first GGN mock draft, considering I’ve been sitting watching countless drills from the Senior Bowl over the last two days, now seemed like the perfect time.

For the sake of simplicity, this mock draft will not involve trades. My preference has always been to trade back in this draft, but for 1.0...I’m selecting as our picks stand.

Now, this isn't necessarily what I think the Jets will do. More what I would do if I were the Jets. Nobody knows where players will be available, so I’m going to use the Draft Network simulator for the purpose of this mock.

Obviously, this is just a bit of fun. We don’t know who the Jets are going to keep from their own free agent pool and we don’t know who they’re going to bring in from other teams.

Let’s get into it:

Round 1, Pick 4: Ikem Ekwonu, OT, NC State

2021 Stats: 3 sacks allowed, 13 pressures allowed

There is a chance that Ikem goes #1 overall, if Jacksonville took him I wouldn’t be shocked. Ekwonu is a bad man, but in all the ways you want as an NFL team. Although some teams may play him outside I actually like Ekwonu at that RG spot in year one and then if needed we can push him out. Most will say it’s too high for a guard, but I’m not getting caught up on the positional side of this equation. He’s a mean, nasty blocker with plenty of finish and plenty of athleticism. Whether he plays inside or out at the next level, he’s going to make a team very happy.

Round 1, Pick 10: Jermaine Johnson, Edge, Florida State

2021 Stats: 11.5 sacks, 17.5 TFL, 70 tackles, 2 FF, 2 passes defended

People are starting to catch on that Johnson is a premier talent in this draft. Nearly everyone in attendance at the senior bowl has raved about him. I’ve seen all his reps in the one-on-ones and he has won the vast majority. He has speed, strength, explosiveness and athleticism in abundance, he has an assortment of pass-rushing moves and he’s stout against the run. He’s almost perfectly designed to play in a wide-9 system that allows him to use the speed off the edge. I’m not even convinced he’ll be available at #10 when this process has played out.

Colorado State v Iowa Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images

Round 2, Pick 35: Trey McBride, TE, Colorado State

2021 Stats: 90 catches, 1121 yards, 12.5 yards average, 1 TD

McBride is having himself a fine week in Mobile, and he’s separating himself from the pack in terms of his status as TE1 in this draft. He has a good combination of agility and movement skills to go with his good speed and body control. He’s made a couple of highlight contested catches in the team drills at the senior bowl and his senior tape from Colorado State shows a reliable receiver who would quickly become a young QB’s best friend. The Jets need to re-make their TE room and bringing in McBride would be a good start.

Round 2, Pick 38: Lewis Cine, S, Georgia

2021 Stats: 73 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 INT, 9 passes defended

I’ll say right now that I absolutely hate our safety room. With Marcus Maye likely moving on, I’m not sure we have a single NFL starting-caliber player on the roster. There is a good chance we try and address this in free agency, but I’d still be in favor of drafting a highlight talented player at safety in the 2nd round. Cine is a player who does a little big of everything, he plays as a single high or in split looks, he covers the slot as an overhang and he’s a physical tackler. You don’t have to worry about his speed or instincts in coverage either.

Wyoming v UNLV Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Round 3, Pick 69: Chad Muma, LB, Wyoming

2021 Stats: 142 tackles, 8 TFL, 1.5 sacks, 3 INT, 2 defensive TD’s

The Jets often only have two linebackers on the field in a 4-2-5 formation to counter the pass, and while CJ Mosley and Quincy showed flashes, both of them struggled in coverage. How long CJ will be here is anyone's guess and I need to see a lot more from Quincy before anointing him as a starter. Chad Muma is one of my favorite prospects in this draft and that’s for two main reasons. His ability to cover and the depth he gets dropping back into zone, and his pure football instincts and ability to stay patient and wrap up the ball carrier. He could start his career as a WILL before eventually replacing CJ as the MIKE.

Round 4, Pick 107: Romeo Doubs, WR, Nevada

2021 Stats: 80 catches, 1109 yards, 11 touchdowns

I think when the draft process has been completed, Doubs is going to go much higher than this. However, as he’s here in the simulator and I don’t know for sure, I’m going to take him. Doubs is a 6’2, 200lb receiver who runs extremely well. Earlier in his career he had a few issues with drops, but he improved dramatically on that in 2021 with a drop rate below 5%. He is quick and sudden off the line with good footwork, he can win contested-catch situations and he showcases A+ body control to adjust to balls in the air. He was the best receiver at Nevada and he’s another weapon for Zach Wilson.

Round 4, Pick 113: Cole Strange, OL, Chatanooga

2021 Stats: 1 sack allowed, 5 pressures allowed

You can never have enough depth on the offensive line and you can never have enough versatility. Strange came into the Senior Bowl having spent the majority of his time as a left guard in college with a handful of snaps at both tackle spots. The Jets have him working as a center and at 304lbs and + athleticism he has the game to make him an interesting replacement for Connor McGovern in a year's time. His anchor, movement skills, and punch make him a very interesting option and he’s been turning heads this week in Mobile.

Round 4, Pick 144: Thomas Booker, DT/DE, Stanford

2021 Stats: 59 tackles, 5.0 TFL, 1 sack

The Jets had a lot of talent this year on the defensive line, but that didn’t stop them from looking slightly overmatched at points. Booker is an interesting option because he’s played all along the defensive line from over the center all the way to a pass-rushing DE. For me he suits inside as a 3-tech and his first step quickness and speed to power conversion make him an interesting option in the 4th round. He has plenty of length to keep offensive linemen off his frame and he can stack and shed in the run game.

Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl - UAB v Brigham Young Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Round 5: Pick 161, Tyler Allgeier, RB, BYU

2021 Stats: 1601 yards, 5.8 average, 23 touchdowns, 28 catches, 199 yards

Giving Zach one of his old running mates here in Tyler who can form a formidable partnership with Michael Carter in the NFL. Tyler is a running back who wants to dominate you, he is near impossible to bring down in the open field by a single defender and when you pair his physicality to his initial burst, he is going to be a problem at the next level. He doesn’t have elite long speed and he’s not going to consistently duke tacklers in the open field, but give him 10-15 carries a game and he’s going to wear down a defense, which in turn opens things up for Carter. Tyler is one of my favorite backs in the draft and personally think he’ll go in the 3rd, but again, he was available so I took him.