TOJ’s #MockDraftMondays: Zantz’s Mock Draft 2 Weeks Before The Madness

(yes, this is being published on a Wednesday)

The draft is nearly 2 weeks away and we are going to hear a ton of rumors and rumblings about what is going to happen. Most of which will be lies but let’s talk about some prospects with a mock draft from TOJ Live’s co-host Stephen Zantz.

Before we dive into my mock, I wanted to offer the caveat that this mock was done using the PFF simulator and I was making selections based on what I would do with how the board was falling. I will make it clear that Kayvon Thibodeaux would be my pick at 4 if he’s available. Unfortunately he was not so let’s get to it!

Round 1: Pick 4: T Ikem Ekwonu (NC State) – This was a case of best player available despite there not being a glaring need at tackle assuming Becton is healthy. Ickey is considered to be one of the top 3 overall players in the draft and has long term pro bowl potential for a decade. If JD makes this move, you can start the Becton trade rumors immediately. I’m not out on Becton but you need to think about the future especially with George Fant a free agent after the season.

Round 1: Pick 10: WR Garrett Wilson (Ohio State) – This would make me super excited as I am in the hive of Garrett Wilson as WR1 in this draft. My preference would be the Jets to get a big body at WR (e.g. Drake London or Burks) but Garrett Wilson’s play is too good to pass up. He’s silky smooth and is a great route runner. He has comparisons to OBJ but is a little taller. Even though his frame isn’t the biggest (6″0 192lbs), he plays much bigger than that. WR is a massive need and the Jets get a legit day 1 starter with Garrett Wilson.

Round 2: Pick 35: S Daxton Hill (Michigan) – I know there has been plenty of discourse surrounding the Jets taking Kyle Hamilton in the 1st round. Positional value when you have other holes is totally a fair argument. I am totally fine with the Jets taking a safety here because as of now you are banking on Joyner or Ashytn to start. I am not comfortable with that and Daxton Hill is probably a 1st round talent who will fall because of positional value. He has blazing speed (4.3 at the combine) with the versatility to play in multiple coverages. Dax Hill was a major reason why Michigan’s defense was one of the best in the country in 2021.

Round 2: Pick 38: Edge Nik Bonitto (Oklahoma) – In the event the Jets don’t take an edge at 4, my hope would be packaging these two 2nd rounders to move back into the 1st round and potentially select one. I didn’t do any trades so I took the best edge available in Bonitto. I know people will point to OU having awful defenses but that shouldn’t scare you from a guy like Bonitto. He may be viewed as undersized compared to a Hutch or KT but he is super athletic with a lot of bend. He also will have a lot of versatility to be moved around. In a very good edge class, this could end being a steal.

Round 3: Pick 69 (Nice): ILB Brandon Smith (Penn State) – Off-ball linebacker is a much bigger need than most Jet fans, or their writers, realize. Mosley was awesome last year and Quincy Williams was a major surprise. Let’s be honest: there’s no depth behind them. CJ may start to show signs of age and Q might be a flash in the pan. Going with a guy like Smith could be a long term pick to have a successor for Mosley while also creating depth. Penn State has long been known to be a LB factory so I like betting on Smith to become a contributor down the road. RB was also considered in this spot, which brings me to my next pick…..

Round 4: Pick 111: RB Tyler Allgeier (BYU) – Call this a “making your franchise QB happy by taking his college RB” pick if you want but Allgeier cant flat out ball. He is a highly productive zone scheme runner from his days in college so he’s a perfect fit for this scheme. Michael Carter is awesome but we need to select a long term running mate for him because Tevin Coleman is probably only here for one more season. He wasn’t known for his pass catching ability but that is fine when you have MC already. He can give the Jets a more physical type of runner to help get those short yards on 3rd down.

Round 4: Pick 117: TE Jeremy Ruckert (Ohio State) – Another buckeye! The Jets did great work in FA by signing CJ Uzomah and Tyler Conklin. They shouldn’t stop there, and should aim to add a developmental prospect to be the long term starter. Ruckert was an awesome player in college and probably hasn’t even reached his ceiling as a receiver (the skill players around him were unreal). He is a move TE with strong blocking skills and that’s what the Jets are looking for in their offensive scheme. Ruckert is also a Long Island native and growing up a Jets fan makes this way too perfect of a pick.

Round 5: Pick 146: CB Cordale Flott (LSU) – Corner isn’t a huge need but the Jets still don’t have a lockdown corner. DJ Reed was signed to be their #1 guy with Echols and Hall battling for #2 duties. Adding depth to this position isn’t something you can be mad about. He’s tall with long arms (6″2 with 30 1/8″ arms). The issue here is size as Flott is too light to handle NFL WRs right now. He will definitely put on weight and should be able to develop due to his athletic upside. This is a dart throw but it’s worth taking a swing at this point in the draft.

Round 5: Pick 163: DT Noah Elliss (Idaho) – Another dart throw at a position that has been devalued in the modern NFL because of the passing explosion. The Jets lost Foley Fatukasi in FA and will be looking to find a long term run stuffer. Rankins should be able to fill that role in 2022 but most likely will be cut after the season. Eliss started his collegiate career at Miss State before transferring to Idaho. He dominated lower level competition which pegs the question if he actually is a legit NFL player or was feasting on lower level talent. He is a massive human at 6″4 367 but has good athleticism. He also is the son of former pro bowl DL Luther Elliss so why not bet on the family genes here.