As the Jets focus towards the future and with the success of Joe Douglas’s first draft class, I took a stab at my first mock of the 2021 Draft. So, here goes nothing.
#1 Trevor Lawerence QB, Clemson
Is anyone surprised? The only if regarding Lawerence to the Jets is if the Jets win a game. A win complicates things heavily, but if the Jets hold the first pick in the draft it’s time to start this rebuild right. Pairing Trevor Lawerence with a good coach and a stable young nucleus will give him the best chance for success which is something that the Jets did not do when they selected Sam Darnold a few years ago. The Lawerence pick is a lock, the rest of this draft is about doing right by him and giving him the best chance of success.
#26 Liam Eichenberg OT, Notre Dame
Liam Eichenberg, a red shirt senior, is a crucial cog in Notre Dame’s success this season. He is built like a productive NFL lineman and he has tremendous power. He is a leader and the kind of piece that could speed along the gelling process of a young offensive line. Eichenberg has room to grow in how he handles more advanced pass rush moves, but you know who they said that about last year? Mekhi Becton. Eichenberg has great size and with a good coach can be groomed into a pro bowl caliber tackle. He will have to make the transition to the right side (where he may be better suited) but if he is able to, he will be an awesome compliment to Mekhi Becton for the next 15 years.
#33 Carlos Basham Jr. EDGE, Wake Forest
The Jets are starved for a pass rusher. Jabari Zuniga has not gotten a large opportunity to prove himself yet. Bryce Huff and some other young pieces have flashed at times. Jordan Jenkins is on a prove it deal. Basham is not an elite level pass rusher, but he would provide proven production. Basham offers the most proven production of any pass rusher on the board at this point. Basham has 5.0 sacks so far this season with 28 tackles and a FF. Last season though, Basham had 57 tackles, 11.0 sacks and 3 FFs. Basham has a high ceiling, and would provide a stable option off the edge for the Jets for the next few years. He won’t be an absolute game wrecker, but having at least some essence of a presence off the edge is something the Jets need.
#65 Paris Ford S, Pittsburgh
Ford is one of my favorite secondary prospects in this class. Ford is a hard hitting tackler who consistently makes a play on the football. Ford has good downhill speed and impressive sideline to sideline ability. In shorter coverage situations he does very well, but in deep coverage there is room to improve. With Marcus Maye in a contract year and Ashtyn Davis waiting in the wings behind him, Ford could become a compliment to Davis for the future.
#89 Tylan Wallace WR, Oklahoma State
Tylan Wallace is a physical receiver who catches EVERYTHING. Wallace has the hands, the YAC ability, run blocking ability and the physicality to be a talented receiver. Wallace paired with Mims could make for a Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffrey esque duo. The two would be capable of elevating Lawerence’s game to the highest level by being two stable threats. Wallace needs to get more advanced overall as a receiver to do exceedingly well in the pros, but he is a great piece to build around.
#102 Elijah Molden CB, Washington
Molden is a very good corner. He is a nickel corner in Washington’s defense but he has proven to be versatile. He is a very good tackler, has really strong instincts and consistently can make a play on the football. He struggles at times in certain more advanced formations and his small stature could be a problem in the pros. However, if you value talent over all else he should be the pick. Molden would slot well into the Jets defense at a position that significantly lacks depth.
#141 Amari Rodgers WR, Clemson
This pick made too much sense not to take advantage of here. Amari Rodgers has been one of the most reliable weapons for Trevor Lawerence during his tenure at Clemson. Rodgers would provide a stable connection for Lawerence at the pros and that is really what this selection was about. The Jets failed to do this with Darnold when they had a promising perimeter threat in Deontay Burnett, but Douglas should jump on the chance to give Lawerence familiarity. Rodgers also adds good depth to a position where depth was needed this past season.
#159 Jaret Patterson RB, Buffalo
Most people recognize this name for his recent breakout performance of 400 plus yards and 8 scores. Those who follow him know that when he isn’t breaking NCAA records, he is still a talented back. The Junior rushed for over 1,000 yards in that last two yer, nearing 1,800 last year and he added 33 scores in the last two years. So far this season he is closing in on 1,000 yards with 16 scores currently. Patterson is a consistent rusher and he has great explosiveness, consistently rushing for over 5.5 yards per carry which is astounding. Patterson will likely see a dip in production at the next level and struggles as a receiver, but as a lead back in a committee he has high upside. He and La’Mical Perine amongst others, could be a solid backfield for the longterm.
#192 Jack Anderson IOL, Texas Tech
Anderson is a flyer pick to close out the draft. The Jets will look to continue to build the trenches and this is a pick that contributes to that philosophy. Anderson has really good size and strength. He is not a phenomenal athlete though and he has some serious technique issues. He also fails to provide versatility as his only experience is at right guard. He does possess the makeup to be a stable backup though and that is worth the pick here.