Among the top three picks in April’s NFL Draft, the New York Jets hold the second overall selection. This is following a 2-14 record last season. Furthermore, the team will also select 23rd overall following star safety Jamal Adams‘ trade to the Seattle Seahawks.
As Sam Darnold‘s future in New York remains uncertain, a primary focus will be adding their potential future quarterback. An added emphasis will also be placed on bolstering their offensive line to sure up their protection upfront. Lastly, look for general manager Joe Douglas to focus on adding playmakers on the offensive side of the ball. The group finished 31st in passing yards per game and 32nd in the total yards per game a year ago.
To help with this mock draft, I used The Draft Network’s mock draft simulator.
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Round 1, Pick 2: Zach Wilson, QB, BYU
The heir apparent to Darnold, following the presumed selection of Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence at the number one spot, Wilson has become one of the hottest names in the draft heading into April. Fresh off a 33 touchdown to three interceptions season with the Cougars in 2020, the 21-year-old offers everything teams look for in a potential franchise quarterback. Making tremendous strides as a drop-back passer over his last few seasons, Wilson possesses the ability to make throws all over the field with proper timing and anticipation. A tremendous athlete, Wilson can also make plays both inside and outside of the pocket, making him a perfect fit for new offensive coordinator Mike Lafleur’s west-coast scheme. The BYU product offers the team a chance to move on from Darnold. Furthermore, the perfect opportunity remains to start over and rebuild under head coach Robert Saleh.
For more on Wilson, check out our scouting report on him here.
Round 1, pick 23: Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson
Etienne is the all-time leading rusher in the ACC and capable of taking it to the house from anywhere. He would provide an immediate upgrade to a Jets running back room in desperate need of help. A proven workhorse over his time at Clemson, Travis rushed for over 1600 yards in his sophomore and junior seasons. Furthermore, he has also made strides as a pass-catcher with 85 receptions over his last two seasons. While the team could look to address their offensive line with this selection, Etienne offers the ability to become one of the best offensive weapons around the league. This makes him a perfect fit for a group in desperate need of playmakers.
Round 2, pick 34: Eric Stokes, CB, Georgia
Extremely thin at the cornerback spot, the Jets turned to rookies Bryce Hall and Lamar Jackson to play the majority of snaps at the position last season. In tough all year long, the group allowed more than 275 passing yards per game, setting the stage for an upgrade at the position in the offseason. Enter Stokes, who appeared in nine games for the Georgia Bulldogs in 2020, racking up 14 tackles and four interceptions. His draft stock has risen over the past month. The redshirt junior ran a 4.25 40 yard dash at the House of Athletes Mock Combine. Possessing the ability to play man or zone at the next level, he would provide a much-needed young building block.
For more on Stokes, check out our scouting report on him here.
Round 3, pick 66: Amari Rodgers, WR, Clemson
A reported target of the team during the pre-draft process, Rodgers enjoyed increased production over his four-year career at the University of Clemson. Capped off by a 77 reception for 1,020-yard season in 2020, the senior captured first team all ACC honors. He also skyrocketed up draft boards after a strong performance at the Senior Bowl in January. Standing at just under six feet tall, he is primarily a slot receiver, with the burst and vision to run away from defenders after the catch. In need of an overhaul at the receiver position, Breshad Perriman is set to hit the open market after a disappointing one-year stop in New York. Along with this, Jamison Crowder is set to head into the final year of his contract with the team.
Round 3, pick 86: Josh Myers, IOL, Ohio State
A two-year starter at Ohio State, Myers is both powerful and mobile with the football and IQ and quickness to play along the interior of the offensive line in the NFL. The redshirt junior can also maintain leverage while also possessing the footwork to mirror interior defensive lineman. The Jets allowed more than 2.7 sacks per game, ranking them 24th in the league. This makes them in desperate need of help in the middle of the offensive line. both Connor Mcgovern and Greg Van Roten struggling at their respective positions, look Douglas and company to add 1-2 interior offensive lineman this offseason. Maintaining the ability to become a starting-caliber offensive lineman at the next level, Josh would represent a tremendous value in the third round.
Round 4, pick 107: Victor Dimukeje, EDGE, Duke
A strong and physical edge defender over his four-year career at Duke, Dimukeje was widely productive, racking up 15 sacks and 40 tackles combined over his final two seasons. Strong at the point of attack, he is stout with his hands, allowing him to get off blocks and haul down opposing signal-callers. He also remains one of the better run defenders off the edge heading into April’s draft as a result of his smarts and outstanding gap responsibilities. In need of a quality edge rusher to complement defensive tackle Quinnen Williams along the interior, the senior would provide a valuable rotational pass-rushing piece for New York. Dimukeje would be an ideal fit in new head coach Robert Saleh’s 4-3 scheme as a day three pick.
For more on Dimukeje check out our scouting report on him here
Round 5, pick 147: Joshuah Bledsoe, SAF, Missouri
A primary nickel/slot defender over his time at the University of Missouri, Bledsoe is strong in man coverage near the line of scrimmage against slot receivers. In addition to this, he is active in the run game, with the ability to shed blocks and make plays behind the line of scrimmage against opposing ball carriers. A major need of the team heading into the offseason, current free safety Marcus Maye remains on a one-year deal after New York placed the franchise tag on him. Also, veteran Brian Poole is set to hit the open market after re-upping on a one-year deal an offseason ago. Projecting as a number three safety in base, Joshuah represents an ideal fit in the new wave of nickel defenses.
Round 5, pick 155: Kary Vincent Jr., CB, LSU
A primary piece of the Tigers defense over his three-year career, Vincent recorded 27 tackles, 15 passes defended, and four interceptions in 32 games with the team. Provided the opportunity to play cornerback and safety, he has the quickness and coverage skills to hold up. The senior also has tremendous ball skills, allowing him to stare down opposing quarterbacks and make plays on the football. He needs to develop a better feel as a zone defender, to become an every-down player at the NFL level. This makes Vincent an ideal fit in Saleh’s man-heavy defensive scheme. In need of an overhaul at the defensive back position after struggling to slow down opposing passing attacks in 2020, Vincent is a steal on day three.
Round 6, pick 199: Garret Wallow, LB, TCU
Once a defensive back, Wallow made the switch to linebacker from free safety before his sophomore season. Productive during his final three seasons at TCU, the senior racked up 114 tackles, 8.5 sacks, and four passes defended. Benefitting from his tremendous closing speed, Wallow is able to finish off plays and wrap up opposing quarterbacks on blitzes. In addition to this, he also possesses the athleticism and awareness to hold up in man and zone coverage. In need of an upgrade in the second level, the team’s linebacking core struggled to hold up in coverage. They were also below par in blitz packages. A developmental day three prospect Wallow would be an ideal fit as a weak-side linebacker early on. He also has the ability to switch to the strong side after gaining experience at the NFL level.
Round 7, pick 245: Jaelon Darden, WR, North Texas
A dynamic player with the ball in his hands, Darden was wildly productive during his final two seasons at the University of North Texas, with 150 receptions for over 1,900 yards. A primary vertical receiving threat, he is able to generate yards after the catch and slip by opposing defensive backs. Darden would help the team develop a more consistent downfield passing attack. They will look to upgrade at wide receiver after ranking 31st in yards per attempt and 26th in yards per completion. Furthermore, the senior is also explosive on special teams as a punt returner, leading him to make people miss. A returner for two seasons during college, he racked up nine yards averaged per return, leading to over 300 yards.