The NY Jets were recently connected to these four players in 2021 NFL Mock Drafts.
The NY Jets may be gearing up for the upcoming 2020 season, but it’s hard not to get excited about the team’s future at the same time.
The Jamal Adams era has come and gone quicker than anyone could have expected, but the disgruntled safety left the Jets with one gracious parting gift in the form of a substantial amount of draft capital.
With two first-round picks in each of the next two years, general manager Joe Douglas will have ample opportunities to continue reshaping the roster to his desires.
In just one offseason with the Jets, Douglas managed to overhaul many of the team’s weakest positions and while there are still holes on the roster, just wait and see what he could do with a few more years and a heap of draft picks.
The 2021 NFL Draft promises to be a very interesting one given the uncertainty surrounding the college football season. It won’t be shocking to see many more big-name players opt-out in the coming weeks.
And as a result, teams may only have their pre-2020 tape to evaluate. So while mock drafts around this time tend to be premature and very inaccurate when all is set and done, that might not be the case this year.
We recently gathered up a few names who had been connected to the Jets in recent 2021 NFL Mock Drafts. These four players are sure to be high on the team’s priority list come next April and they’re undoubtedly players who Jets fans should be keeping an eye on.
Let’s take a look at four college prospects the Jets have been linked to in recent mock drafts.
Next: 1. Trey Smith
1. Trey Smith, OG, NY Jets?
Trey Smith was considered one of the better offensive line prospects in the 2020 NFL Draft and many assumed that he would eventually declare. But after a lot of discussions, the Tennesse standout ultimately decided to return to Knoxville for his senior season.
And depending on what happens in 2020, Smith should be able to solidify his status as the surefire first-round pick that he’s projected as now.
Originally a starter at right guard, Smith was moved to left tackle in the middle of his true freshman season which is where he remained into his sophomore campaign.
Unfortunately, blood clots were discovered in the Tennessee native’s lungs and he was subsequently ruled out for the remainder of the 2018 season.
After being cleared by team doctors, Smith would return in his junior season and he once again excelled after being moved back inside to guard. As a result, he would be named first-team All-SEC and solidified his place as one of the best interior linemen heading into 2020.
Want your voice heard? Join the The Jet Press team!
A recent mock draft from Luke Easterling of The Draft Wire mocked Smith to the Jets with the No. 25 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, selected with the first-rounder they acquired from the Seattle Seahawks.
Given the uncertain future of both guard positions, Smith would provide the team with a long-term solution to pair alongside either Mekhi Becton at left tackle or whoever is starting next year at right tackle.
Provided Smith stays healthy in 2020, expect to hear his name called in the first round come April.
Next: 2. Patrick Surtain II
2. Patrick Surtain, CB, NY Jets?
The Jets attacked the offensive line in the first round in Easterling’s mock draft, but that wasn’t the only selection they made in that round.
With their first of two first-round picks, they took Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtain II with the No. 7 overall selection. The son of the former NFL cornerback, Surtain comes from a long line of recently successful Alabama defensive backs.
And he’s making a strong case to be the first cornerback selected in next year’s draft.
Listed at 6-foot-2, 203 pounds, Surtain has all the physical tools needed to be a shutdown No. 1 cornerback in the NFL. On top of that, he’s flashed elite ball skills with 15 pass deflections and three interceptions over two years as a starter.
The Jets revamped the cornerback position in the offseason bringing in a ton of new faces such as Pierre Desir, Quincy Wilson, and Bryce Hall who are all expected to compete for playing time in a crowded position group.
But while there is plenty of optimism surrounding the unit, there’s very little in the way of sure things.
Desir is hardly a long-term solution and Hall and Blessuan Austin‘s injury histories are certainly concerning. The Jets could use a true No. 1 cornerback and Surtain has all the makings of one.
Will he be a top-10 pick when all is set and done? That remains to be seen.
But from a physical standpoint, few cornerbacks in the nation stand out as much as Surtain does.
Next: 3. Wyatt Davis
3. Wyatt Davis, OG, NY Jets?
We move from one mock draft to another, Bleacher Report’s Kristopher Knox recently released a mock that saw the Jets selecting Ohio State offensive lineman Wyatt Davis with their second of two first-round picks.
Much like Easterling, Knox has the Jets targeting an interior offensive lineman with their latter first-round pick — something that shouldn’t come as a surprise to most people.
And if you’re going to target an interior lineman, few are as polished and NFL-ready as Davis.
The upcoming junior broke out in 2019 after flying under-the-radar as a backup in each of his first two collegiate seasons. And what Davis did in his redshirt sophomore campaign was nothing short of phenomenal.
Davis started all 14 games at right guard for the Buckeyes and quickly established himself as perhaps the best guard in the country. The California native was named first-team All-Big Ten and a Consensus All-American and it’s easy to see why.
Pro Football Focus named Davis the best interior lineman in the upcoming 2021 draft class after he didn’t allow a single sack or pressure on any of his 459 pass-blocking snaps.
Davis is probably the most technically-refined guard in the country and if he puts together another year similar to 2019, he could rise into Quenton Nelson territory when all is set and done.
But for now, he’s only started for one year so he managed to fall to the Jets late in the first round. And quite frankly, that might be the steal of Knox’s entire mock.
Next: 4. Ja'Marr Chase
4. Ja’Marr Chase, WR, NY Jets
If you thought the Wyatt Davis selection was excellent, Knox made sure to go 2-for-2 with his star-studded Jets selections by mocking the team LSU wideout Ja’Marr Chase with the No. 5 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
For those of you who paid even mild attention to college football last year, you already know who this is.
Chase burst on to the scene as a sophomore last season putting together a campaign matched by few players in college football history. The 20-year-old finished with an FBS-leading 1,780 yards on 84 catches for an unbelievable 21.2 yards per reception.
More from The Jet Press
- NY Jets: Patriots will not use the franchise tag on Joe Thuney
- NY Jets officially place the franchise tag on safety Marcus Maye
- NY Jets: 3 offensive linemen who are realistic trade targets
- NY Jets: 3 reasons to be optimistic about the 2021 season
- NY Jets: Analyzing the ways to upgrade the cornerback position
As a result, he was awarded a slew of honors including first-team All-SEC, Unanimous All-American, the Biletnikoff Award (given to the best wide receiver in the country), and he topped that all off with a National Championship.
Not a bad year for the incoming junior.
NFL Draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah went as far as to claim that the best wide receiver in college football wasn’t even in this past year’s draft class. And given that the 2020 draft class was considered to be one of the best receiver classes in recent history, that’s insanely high praise.
And who could blame him? After seeing what Chase did last season, it’s hard to argue that he wasn’t the best receiver in college football.
Provided he doesn’t take any major step back in 2020, Chase shouldn’t have to worry about hearing his name called after Day 1 of the draft. The question now becomes, just how high will he be taken?
Knox has him at No. 5 overall to the Jets. And if that’s what it takes to get him, count me in.