The New York Jets own the second overall selection in this month’s NFL Draft following a 2-14 season. They also own the 23rd selection following their trade of Jamaal Adams to the Seattle Seahawks.
The Jets traded Sam Darnold to the Carolina Panthers last week for a sixth-round pick this year, a 2022 second-round pick, and a 2022 fourth-round pick. The trade makes it 100 percent certain that New York will select a quarterback with the second pick. Aside from quarterback, look for Joe Douglas to focus on adding playmakers for their new quarterback and the secondary.
For this mock draft, I used The Draft Network’s mock draft simulator.
Make sure to check out all of our other NFL Team Mock Drafts.
Round 1, Pick 2: Zach Wilson, QB, BYU
Lock this one in as signed, sealed, and delivered. Behind Lawrence to Jacksonville, this is the second lock of the draft. Wilson saw his draft stock skyrocket after his tremendous 2020 season in which he threw for 33 touchdowns to just three interceptions. Wilson offers the Jets tremendous potential for their franchise quarterback. With the new Jets’ coaching staff, Wilson should thrive and he could fast forward their rebuild. The 21-year old can make plays in and out of the pocket and has outstanding anticipation.
For more on Wilson, check out our scouting report on him here.
Round 1, Pick 23: Azeez Ojulari, EDGE, Georgia
After getting their new quarterback, the Jets shift to the defense. They need to boost their pass rush and Ojulari would be a great fit opposite Carl Lawson off the edge. The Jets had just 31 sacks last season and Ojulari would immediately start for Robert Saleh. The Georgia edge rusher led the SEC in sacks (8.5) and tackles for loss (12.5) in 2020, while also taking home defensive MVP honors in the 2021 Peach Bowl with three sacks.
For more on Ojulari, check out our scouting report on him here.
Round 2, Pick 34: Eric Stokes, CB, Georgia
The Jets need serious help in their secondary and Stokes is a guy who could go late first round. The cornerback had a lockdown season in 2020 as he rose up draft boards. He is a speedy coverage guy, running an unofficial 4.25 40-yard dash at Georgia’s Pro Day. Stokes was named second-team All-SEC as he led the Bulldogs with four interceptions while recording four pass breakups and 20 tackles.
For more on Stokes, check out our scouting report on him here.
Round 3, Pick 66: Nico Collins, WR, Michigan
Adding depth to a wide receiver room to help give Wilson weapons will be important for Joe Douglas. Their current receiver corp consists of Corey Davis, Denzel Mims, Jamison Crowder, and Keelan Cole. They are all solid options in the passing game, but adding more won’t hurt. The former Michigan Wolverine averaged almost 20 yards per catch in his last two years in college while adding 13 touchdowns.
Round 3, Pick 86: Michael Carter, RB, North Carolina
Even after signing Tevin Coleman in free agency, the Jets could still target the running back position in the draft. The expectation is that New York will employ a running-back-by-committee of sorts. Adding a youngster to the mix would be important as they rebuild. Their running backs currently include Coleman, La’Mical Perine, Ty Johnson, and Josh Adams. Carter is a very versatile back, who helped create a formidable duo for the Tar Heels alongside Javonte Williams. He is a natural pass-catching tailback and has the elusiveness to be a threat in the passing and running game.
For more on Carter, check out our scouting report on him here.
Round 4, Pick 107: Benjamin St-Juste, CB, Minnesota
After adding Stokes to their secondary in the second round, the Jets attack another corner. St-Juste is a versatile option with his experience playing man coverage and having the ability to play zone coverage. He finished his 2019 season – first with the Gophers – tied for the team lead with 10 pass breakups. Then in the Senior Bowl, he caught the eyes of scouts with his performance in practice and leading the National team in pass breakups.
Round 5, Pick 146: Monty Rice, LB, Georgia
The Jets add a third Georgia player as they address their linebacker situation. The quick and elusive linebacker had a dominant junior and senior season as a Bulldog. With an increased role, he led the team with 89 tackles and showed some coverage ability with three pass breakups in 2019. That earned him second-team All-SEC honors. When he returned for his senior season, he put up a career-high tackle for loss total (4) and earned first-team All-SEC honors, and was a finalist for the Butkus Award.
Round 5, Pick 154: Sadarius Hutcherson, IOL, South Carolina
Along with adding weapons to their offense, the Jets need to protect their new quarterback. Hutcherson is a versatile lineman with experience playing both tackle and guard. Douglas is someone who values versatility, and the South Carolina alum has raw power with developmental ability. Finding value in the later rounds of the draft is always important. Hutcherson adds much-needed offensive line help.
Round 6, Pick 186: Josh Imatorbhebhe, WR, Illinois
How about a day three steal to add more to their receiving corps? Imatorbhebhe is often called a developmental prospect but he is a freakish athlete with an impressive ability to make contested catches with a massive vertical. He would likely be able to make a solid impact for the Jets in year one as maybe more of a red zone threat and then continue to develop into a more complete receiver.
For more on Imatorbhebhe, check out our scouting report on him here.
Round 6, Pick 226: Josh Ball, OT, Marshall
Ball is a controversial prospect, as he had a dating violence issue that caused him to get kicked out of Florida State. He went to community college before transferring to Marshall. He spent the last two seasons there at left tackle. Ball is very raw but he is has a good frame and would add some solid depth for the Jets. As long as all the personal issues check out, he could be worth a flier.
Follow Alex Kielar on Twitter @AlexKielar
Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images