Over the last decade, the New York Jets have had some less than stellar drafts. History has shown that the 2010’s has not been kind to a franchise that has seen year upon year of roster turnover. Would the 2021 NFL Draft be kinder to the New York Jets? It’s time for an NFL Draft post-mortem.
With the second pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the New York Jets select…
Zach Wilson: Quarterback, Brigham Young University
A few weeks ago, I broke down the trade that sent Sam Darnold to Carolina. Unlike the Jamal Adams experience, this split was amicable and gives both sides a fresh start. On Thursday, the second-worst secret in the NFL was finally revealed when the Jets selected Wilson. The 21-year old is a solid fit for offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur’s system, which is predicated on zone runs to setup the play action passing. Like Darnold, there are concerns about durability and the fact that he was a one-year starter at BYU could have hurt Wilson’s stock. But the Jets were impressed enough with him to take Wilson second overall.
TRADE ALERT! The Jets trade the 23rd overall pick and two third round picks (66th and 86th) to Minnesota for the 14th overall pick and one fourth round pick (143rd overall).
And with the 14th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the New York Jets select…
Alijah Vera-Tucker: Guard, University of Southern California
After Wilson’s selection, general manager Joe Douglas went to work surrounding Wilson. The first thing Douglas did was to make an aggressive move by trading three picks for two, including swapping positions in the first round. The selection became Vera-Tucker. The guard originally opted out of the 2020 season, but changed his mind when the Pac-12 decided to play an abridged season. It was a good decision: Vera-Tucker was named to the First Team All-Pac-12 and won the Morris Trophy as the best offensive lineman in the conference. Now, Wilson has tackle Mekhi Becton and Vera-Tucker to protect his left side.
With the 35th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the New York Jets select…
Elijah Moore: Wide Receiver, Mississippi
Moore had one of the greatest single seasons in Ole Miss history as a wide receiver. In 2020, he finished with 83 receptions for 1,193 yards and eight touchdowns in eight games.. His statistics earned him a selection to First Team All-SEC as well as a Consensus All-American. Moore opted out of the final game of the season and declared for the draft. Moore’s speed (he ran a 4.35 40-yard dash) and versatility made this selection easy for the Jets as he can either play the slot or line up wide.
And with the 107th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the New York Jets select…
Michael Carter: Running Back, North Carolina
For the first time in 38 years, the Jets selected offensive players with their first four picks. The fourth pick became Carter in the fourth round. Carter was one half of the Tarheels running game that ranked fourth in the nation overall with 2,830 yards. He was responsible for 1,245 of them. Carter joins an already loaded backfield. But with no clear cut RB1, Carter has the chance to fight for the job from Day One.
With the 146th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the New York Jets select…
Jamien Sherwood: Safety, Auburn
With the offense settled, Douglas and Saleh went to work on the defensive side of the ball to add depth. The first selection was Sherwood. He played safety at Auburn, but he could be a hybrid player that lines up at linebacker in different packages. Sherwood finished with 75 tackles and a sack in 11 games played in 2020 for the Tigers.
And with the 154th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the New York Jets select…
Michael Carter II: Safety, Duke
(No, that is NOT a typo.)
Carter’s versatility made him someone the Jets had their eye on. He has played safety, cornerback, and at nickel. Carter’s speed (he ran a 4.32 40-yard dash) makes him someone that could compliment Marcus Maye or Ashtyn Davis in the secondary. He won’t start, but adds more depth to a secondary that was depleted at times in 2020. This pick is from the cross-town Giants that is the final part of the Leonard Williams trade.
TRADE ALERT! The Jets acquire the 175th and 207th overall picks from Kansas City for the 162nd and 226th overall picks.
With the 175th pick in the NFL Draft, the New York Jets select…
Jason Pinnock: Cornerback, Pittsburgh
Pinnock’s idol growing up in Windsor, CT was Jets cornerback Derrell Revis. He went to the same university and now he gets to play on the same team as his idol. Granted, that’s where the similarities end, but Pinnock brings additional depth that the Jets were looking for in the secondary. He had three interceptions in his senior season.
And with the 186th pick in the NFL Draft, the New York Jets select…
Hamsah Nasrildeen: Linebacker, Florida State
Nasrildeen’s size (6’3”, 215) became the primary factor as to why the Jets selected him. Due to a knee injury in his junior season in 2019, he missed most of his senior season. Nasrildeen finished with 13 tackles and an interception. The Jets hope that the former Seminole can be a diamond in the rough despite his past injuries.
With the 200th pick in the NFL Draft, the New York Jets select…
Brandin Echols: Cornerback, Kentucky
More depth at secondary? Sure, why not! Echols became the fifth defensive back to be selected by the Jets, the first time since 1978. His speed can be game changing as Echols ran a 4.35 40-yard dash. Echols played in 24 games at Kentucky after two years at JUCO, but started in his final 22 games. He’s a development player that could crack the lineup.
And with the 207th pick in the NFL Draft, the New York Jets select…
Jonathan Marshall: Defensive Tackle, Arkansas
The Jets’ final pick of the 2021 draft was Marshall. Like the running back position, the Jets are loaded at defensive line. It’s probably the best position group on the team. Saleh runs a 4-3 offense and Marshall was the nose guard in a 3-4 scheme. He was a one-year starter for the Razorbacks, but had 29 QB pressures, four quarterback pressures, and 6.5 tackles for loss. Marshall could use a season to learn Saleh’s scheme, but could be part of a group that has the potential to be elite.