With the NFL Draft exactly two weeks away, what better time than to give ya’ll my latest mock draft? This one comes with a slight twist, as its me trying to tackle what I THINK Joe Douglas will do. Let me be clear: this isn’t what i’d do, as Douglas and I very clearly disagree on a few things. Namely the QB he’s seemingly hitching his career as Jets GM to, re-signing Robby Anderson, and whether he should’ve upgraded the interior offensive line during free agency. Be that as it may, let’s take some swings and see what we end up with. I’ve said for months that I think the Jets have four trades in them on draft night, so I try to predict those here.
Picks at the beginning of the draft:
1.1, 1.23, 2.34, 3.66, 3.86, 4.107, 5.146, 5.154, 6.186, 6.226
Who: BYU QB Zach Wilson
Why: the lightning release, decisiveness with the football, arrogance, and ability to attack the field vertically.
Jets receive: 10th pick and the 227th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft
Cowboys receive: 23rd pick and the 154th picks in the 2021 NFL Draft and a 2nd and 4th rounder in 2022
Why? Jets use the Panthers 2022 2nd rounder they received for Sam Darnold to go back up to the top 10.
10th Overall Selection:
Who: USC IOL Alijah Vera-Tucker
Why: the best IOL in the NFL Draft and someone Douglas believes will be the best IOL in the NFL in short order, Vera-Tucker pairs with Mehki Becton to solidify the left side of the OL.
Jets receive: 40th, 114th, and 237th picks in the 2021 NFL Draft
Broncos receive: 34th pick and the 146th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft
Why: Trading back 6 spots and netting two additional picks in this year’s class makes up for the one you lost this year in the trade up for Vera-Tucker, even if you had to throw in a 5th rounder to Denver.
Who: Alabama OT Alex Leatherwood
Why: can play both guard and tackle on day one and with two picks i’ve solidified the OL for Zach Wilson, with Leatherwood being able to take over for RT George Fant in 2022.
66th Overall Selection:
Who: Washington CB Elijah Molden
Why: steps right in to the nickel role vacated by Brian Poole in Robert Saleh’s defense and is a bonafide playmaker in the slot.
Jets receive the 87th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft and a 2022 6th rounder
Steelers receive the 86th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft
87th Overall Selection:
Who: USC WR Amon-Ra St. Brown
Why: a playmaker from the slot both in the short and intermediate game, St. Brown becomes the heir apparent to Jamison Crowder (who I do believe the Jets move during the draft).
107th Overall Selection:
Who: Ohio State RB Trey Sermon
Why: a leader at Ohio State who fits the projected Jets zone system and who absolutely dominated a very good Clemson defense on the biggest stage.
Jets receive the 125th pick in the NFL Draft and a 2022 6th rounder
Vikings receive the 114th pick in the NFL Draft
125th Overall Selection:
Who: Syracuse S Andre Cisco
Why: a year after adding a safety to replace Jamal Adams, Joe Douglas opts to add a safety that can replace Marcus Maye in the playmaker from the Orange.
186th Overall Selection:
Who: Tulane EDGE Patrick Johnson
Why: The Jets have absolutely nothing at OLB, and Douglas and Saleh aim to fill that with one of the most productive edge defenders in the entire class.
226th Overall Selection:
Who: Michigan IDL Carlo Kemp
Why: Insurance for Sheldon Rankins who hasn’t been healthy in a couple of years, the Jets select a pass rusher from the interior who can play in their wide-9.
227th Overall Selection:
Who: Auburn LB KJ Britt
Why: The Jets have a returning CJ Mosley and the newly-acquired Jarrad Davis at ILB, so they add the former Auburn Tiger as depth and special teams help.
237th Overall Selection:
Who: Georgia CB DJ Daniel
Why: Joe Douglas doubles up on OL and CB, the two positions he ignored in free agency so far. Daniel had decent tape and projects to being able to contribute in Saleh’s cover three scheme.
Zach Wilson, more than Justin Fields and Trevor Lawrence, is going to need a legitimate OL in front of him due to his struggles when not given a clean pocket. This draft takes the Jets from a bottom third OL in the league to a top half OL. The work isn’t done entirely yet, but a five of Becton, Vera-Tucker, McGovern, Leatherwood, and Fant works very well. You’re asking two rookies to produce right out of the gate, but Vera-Tucker and Leatherwood are two of the ones in this class that I think can do that. St. Brown gives you your long-term slot WR who can also win downfield, while Sermon gives you the bell-cow in your RBBC. Molden, Cisco, and Daniel get every chance to contribute in a very young secondary that should still add a veteran post-draft. I’m really excited about Patrick Johnson from Tulane, as I think he could be a force in this front. Britt and Kemp are depth for a team thats lacking some.