TOJ Pick Six: NFL Draft Pass Catchers for the New York Jets

Dalbin Osorio gives his top 5 pass catchers in the 2021 NFL Draft.

With 10 days until the NFL Draft, we continue my pick six with the pass catchers of this class. We went through RBs yesterday: today it’s wide receivers and tight ends, with guards, tackles, centers, interior defensive linemen, edge, linebackers, cornerbacks, and safeties following. If you’re new to our draft coverage, the way these rankings work is I will give you:

-my top 6 at each position with stats
-my round grade
-their overall ranking on my big board
-something that wows and worries me about each prospect.

While the Jets did add Corey Davis and Keelan Cole to a WR room that has Denzel Mims and Jamison Crowder already in it, I still believe they should add a WR. I’d trade Crowder for a pick in this draft or next (he’d be excellent on a team like Baltimore) and add one of the many slot options in this draft class. The team lacks a true vertical threat, but luckily this class has a lot of those guys too. You’ll notice I blended TE and WR into one pass catcher top 6, and the Jets should add some competition for Chris Herndon after a really bad 2020 season.

Let’s take this pick six to the house, word to Slip-N-Slide Records.

1. Florida TE Kyle Pitts
Overall Ranking: 4th
Round Grade: 1st
Stats: 43 REC, 770 yards, 17.9 YPC, 12 TDs
Wow: the best offensive player in this entire class and is the best TE prospect of the last 10 years, Pitts can play in the slot, on the outside, with his hand in the dirt as a traditional TE, and has the athleticism to excel as a moveable chess piece all over the offense. Pitts has the athleticism and size that makes him a mismatch versus LBs and safeties, and he has exceptional hands. Pitts is also a very good blocker, always engaged with edge defenders, and willing to put linebackers on their back in the run game.
Worry: that our QB play from the last year makes it unlikely that we add him to our offense.

2. Alabama WR Jaylen Waddle
Overall Ranking: 5th
Round Grade: 1st
Stats: 28 REC, 591 yards, 21.4 YPC, 4 TDs (6 games)
Wow: the best Wide Receiver in this class, had Waddle not gotten injured he would’ve won the Heisman and pushed Ja’Marr Chase all year for the title of Baddest WR on the planet with the media. Waddle is a master technician at running routes whether he’s in the slot or on the outside, and is able to create separation effortlessly despite not having the strongest hands that we usually see from receivers when being pressed.
Worry: the only concern for Waddle is he’s not a great blocker.

3. LSU WR Ja’Marr Chase
Overall Ranking: 8th
Round Grade: 1st
Stats: 84 REC, 1780 yards, 20 TDs, 15.9 YPC
Wow: Chase excels at running routes and using his size to create separation from DBs. He is the Najee Harris of this wide receiver group in that he is a violent runner who does not shy away from contact. He’s also a violent blocker and seems to relish getting hit and delivering the hits. Chase is a weapon for any offense in the league from day one.
Worry: Chase doesn’t have the speed other WRs have in this class, so i’m curious to see how his big-play production in college translates to the NFL.

4. Alabama WR DeVonta Smith
Overall Ranking: 19th
Round Grade: Mid-First
Stats: 117 REC, 1856 yards, 23 TDs
Wow: the Heisman Trophy winner can win versus man or zone, and is excellent versus press coverage. Smith can run every route from every alignment in the offense. For a player his size, he plays substantially bigger and has a power forward’s mentality when the ball is in the air.
Worry: his size, and whether he can withstand NFL punishment, is a concern for me.

5. Minnesota WR Rashod Bateman
Overall Ranking: 25
Round Grade: Late-First
Stats: 60 REC, 1219 yards, 20.3 YPC, 11 TDs (2019)
Wow: an all-hands catcher that demonstrates great concentration when going up for the ball, Bateman also has a wide array of moves that make him a dangerous route runner. Bateman does a great job of tracking the ball and he wins in the vertical game consistently.
Worry: had covid last year, which caused him to lose almost 20 pounds.

6. Ole Miss WR Elijah Moore
Overall Ranking: 27
Round Grade: Late-First
Stats: 86 REC, 1193 yards, 13.9 YPC, 8 TDs
Wow: Excellent after the catch and able to use his quickness to create separation consistently, Moore is one of my favorite WRs in this class. He is elusive and a legit home-run threat with the ball in his hands.
Worry: Primarily worked from the slot at Ole Miss, so am curious how that transitions to the next level if a team tries to play him outside.

Author: Dalbin Osorio

Dalbin Osorio is a Case Planner for Graham-Windham, New York's oldest child welfare agency. He is, also, a student at the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College. Dalbin graduated from Monroe College with a degree in Business Administration. A 3 sport utility man in high school (think a mix of Jerome WIlliams, Brad Smith, and Jayson Nix), he joined TOJ in 2013.