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The NY Jets will have a total of 10 picks to make in next year’s 2021 NFL Draft.
It’s the very beginning of October and we’re already talking about the 2021 NFL Draft. Such is the life of a NY Jets fan in 2020.
It’s been a difficult season for Gang Green and it doesn’t appear to be getting easier any time soon. An incompetent coaching staff is leading the way for an abysmal roster and the results haven’t been pretty.
The Jets currently sit at 0-4 through four weeks with a very real chance of finishing the season winless. It’s typically unreasonable to predict that an NFL team finishes 0-16 — but this Jets team is just that bad.
The future of the season looks bleak, but the future of the organization at least provides a little more promise. Setbacks aside, general manager Joe Douglas has done a nice job of acquiring resources to set the franchise up for future success.
On top of a tremendous amount of cap space, few teams will have more draft capital over the next couple of years than the Jets. In the 2021 NFL Draft, the Jets will have 10 total selections including two first-rounders and six within the top-100.
We recently put together a 2021 NFL Mock Draft using The Draft Network’s mock simulator. The order of selections was determined by the website using current 2020 record projections.
That means the Jets landed the No. 1 overall pick. And as you’re about to see, there wasn’t much discussion about who that player would be.
Let’s take a look at the results from our first 2021 NFL Mock Draft of the season.
Next: 1. Blockbuster first-round picks
Round 1, 1st Overall, NY Jets: Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
Barring any unforeseen developments, the Jets will be drafting Trevor Lawrence if they land the No. 1 overall pick. They just haven’t seen enough from Sam Darnold to convince them to pass on a player unanimously viewed as a generational quarterback talent.
Darnold will be entering his fourth NFL season and, if the Jets finish with the first overall pick, it’s safe to say that he didn’t turn things around in a significant way by the end of the season.
Lawrence is the complete package at quarterback. He’s a supremely-talented passer with outstanding size, athleticism, and arm talent. Throw in his intelligence, composure, and toughness and you have the best quarterback prospect since Andrew Luck.
You also might have the future quarterback of the NY Jets.
Round 1, 31st Overall, NY Jets: Quincy Roche, EDGE, Miami
After addressing offense, the Jets switch over to their biggest defensive need and finally land the superstar-caliber pass-rusher that they have been searching for.
Miami’s Quincy Roche is one of the most explosive athletes in the entire class with a quick first step that allows him to use his speed to get into the backfield on a regular basis.
He’s listed at only 235 pounds at the moment meaning he’ll likely have to bulk up for the NFL, but he already has the length — at 6-foot-4 — you look for in an every-down edge.
Despite his smaller stature, Roche is also stout against the run with excellent functional strength. Miami will miss Gregory Rousseau — a likely top-10 pick who opted-out of the 2020 season — but look for Roche to step right in and fill his role.
A standout 2020 season will solidify his status as a surefire first-rounder.
Next: 2. Fixing the offense
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Round 2, 33rd Overall, NY Jets: Terrace Marshall Jr., WR, LSU
The Jets come right back two picks later and address wide receiver. And don’t expect it to be the last time they do so in this draft.
While the top receivers are already off the board here, the Jets manage to land one of LSU’s top returning wideouts from a year ago in Terrace Marshall Jr. While Ja’Marr Chase and Justin Jefferson stole the show last season, Marshall was oftentimes overlooked.
Marshall has an ideal blend of size and speed that makes him a very intriguing selection at this spot. He should run somewhere in the 4.40’s come the Combine and he pairs that with excellent jump-ball skills and a superb catch radius.
In many ways, he’s reminiscent of the Jets’ second-round choice this past year in Denzel Mims. Marshall, however, is a more refined route-runner and could skyrocket up draft boards with a successful junior season.
Luckily in our mock, he’s still on the board with the first selection of the second round.
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Round 3, 65th Overall, NY Jets: Jalen Mayfield, OT, Michigan
After addressing wide receiver, the Jets hopefully land their new quarterback a long-term starter on the offensive line in Michigan’s Jalen Mayfield.
The Jets already secured their long-term starter at left tackle in Mekhi Becton. The following year, they use their first of two third-round picks to secure their right tackle of the future.
With just 16 career collegiate starts, this is a bit of a projection pick. But Mayfield has shown all the traits of a high-ceiling offensive tackle prospect. At 6-foot-5, 319 pounds, the redshirt sophomore has prototypical size for a right tackle and he combines that with excellent mobility.
George Fant has played well through four weeks, but he’s not the future at the position and could be cut after just one season if need be. Chuma Edoga hasn’t shown enough to indicate that he’s the long-term answer either.
Jalen Mayfield, however, could be the solution.
Next: 3. Doubling up at WR
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Round 3, 94th Overall, NY Jets: Tylan Wallace, WR, Oklahoma State
The Jets weren’t done at wide receiver as they grabbed the exciting Tylan Wallace out of Oklahoma State with the second-to-last pick in the third round. Quite frankly, it’s amazing he was still on the board here.
Wallace is a little different from the Jets’ second-round pick Marshall in that he’s three inches shorter and a little more explosive. A quick-footed route-runner, Wallace is fantastic after the catch and isn’t afraid to physically challenge an opposing defensive back.
He needs to work on his release, but Wallace is not only a value pick, but a pick for need here in Round 3. A foursome of Jamison Crowder, Mims, Marshall, and Wallace seems very appealing going into 2020.
Round 4, 96th Overall, NY Jets: T.J. Carter, CB, Memphis
A handsy man-cover cornerback, T.J. Carter is one of the stars of Memphis’ defensive unit. Even at just 5-foot-11, 190 pounds, Carter is exceptional in press coverage and he has the speed to stick with receivers downfield as well.
The senior defensive back combines elements of speed and physicality to give him one of the more complete skillsets out of any cornerback in this class.
Perhaps the biggest knock on him is that he tends to get grabby downfield and draw flags too frequently. An undisclosed leg injury suffered in late 2019 could also affect his draft stock.
But make no mistake about it, Carter has the tools to be a starting-caliber cornerback early in his career. And that’s something the Jets are desperately in need of.
Next: 4. Addressing two underrated needs
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Round 5, 128th Overall, NY Jets: Jaret Patterson, RB, Buffalo
Frank Gore isn’t going to be here next season. Le’Veon Bell will likely be shown the door as well. That means the Jets will need to remake their running back room and it’s always smart to take a flier on a mid-round running back.
Buffalo’s Jaret Patterson put up eye-popping numbers in 2019 totaling 1,799 yards and 19 touchdowns as the Bulls’ bell-cow back. And he has all the traits of a potential playmaker at the next level.
Patterson is well-rounded in that he has the toughness to run in between the tackles as well as the shiftiness to be used in off-tackle runs. Despite being only 5-foot-9, 195 pounds, Patterson packs a punch and size shouldn’t be a concern for him as a pro.
Pairing Patterson with a second-year La’Mical Perine should give the Jets two good young backs to build around. Throw in a competent veteran and the Jets could have a pretty respectable trio of tailbacks in 2021.
Round 5, 129th Overall, NY Jets: Dimitri Moore, LB, Vanderbilt
Linebacker isn’t a position that many likely see as a need, but it’s certainly one the Jets are going to have to address in the offseason. As of now, the only player the team will be returning as a starter in 2021 is C.J. Mosley.
Avery Williamson, Neville Hewitt, and Patrick Onwuasor are on expiring contracts and Blake Cashman hasn’t proven himself to be a reliable starter yet. That’s why drafting someone like Vanderbilt’s Dimitri Moore makes sense.
Moore has the potential to be a true three-down linebacker with ample athleticism and sufficient coverage skills. He’s undersized at just 225 pounds which is why he tends to struggle shedding blocks.
But Moore will at the very least be a stout special-teamer with starter potential if he could add a little more weight.
Next: 5. Late-round sleepers
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Round 6, 181st Overall, NY Jets: Jeremy Ruckert, TE, Ohio State
Chris Herndon has arguably been the Jets’ biggest disappointment this season. And while they may not outright replace him in the offseason, they could always look to provide him with some competition.
Long Island native Jeremy Ruckert is a dynamic receiving threat who also doubles as a very willing blocker. Not the most explosive athlete, Ruckert more than makes up for it with his outstanding hands and catch radius.
It’s rare to find such a well-rounded pass-catching tight end this late in the draft. Expect that to probably change once Ruckert transitions into a starting role in 2020.
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Round 7, 192nd Overall, NY Jets: Dicaprio Bootle, CB, Nebraska
The Jets’ final pick comes with the first selection in the seventh round, and they opt for their second cornerback of the draft in Nebraska’s Dicaprio Bootle.
Bootle is a feisty cornerback who makes up for his small stature (5-foot-10, 180 pounds) with impressive physicality for a player his size. Nebraska has asked him to line pretty much everywhere in the secondary from outside cornerback to the slot to even safety.
His ball skills are subpar and he’s a woefully-bad tackler (despite his willingness to do so), but he’s also a high-IQ zone-defender and is scrappy in man coverage.
Bootle’s versatility and intelligence make him comparable to someone like Lamarcus Joyner, but he’s far from a finished product and is limited athletically.
But with a name like Dicaprio Bootle, it was impossible to pass on him here.