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The NY Jets look to completely revamp their offense in this 2021 NFL mock draft.
The NY Jets will go into the 2021 NFL Draft simply needing good players. General manager Joe Douglas will have nine selections, at the time of writing at least, to increase the talent level of the organization both in the present and for the future.
Given the current state of the roster, the Jets can ill-afford to be picky. That said, there are quite a few important positions that must be addressed come April.
Douglas and the Jets most definitely have their work cut out for them. A league-worst roster will enter the offseason with just a handful — if that — of players who are true building blocks of the future.
Fortunately, the team will have its fair share of valuable draft capital to land a few instant-impact players.
With two first-round picks and close to six top-100 selections, Douglas will be given the chance to completely reshape the Jets’ roster to his liking. And that will start with what appears destined to be the No. 1 overall selection.
The Jets need help everywhere, but will they be able to pass on one of the greatest quarterback prospects to come out in recent memory? It seems doubtful at the moment.
But who else might the Jets have their eye on this spring? We conducted a hypothetical seven-round 2021 NFL mock draft using The Draft Network’s mock machine.
Here are our results.
Next: 1. Star-studded first round
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Round 1, 1st Overall, NY Jets: Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
Who else was it going to be? As long as the Jets have the first overall pick, this will continue to be the selection.
Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence is the best quarterback prospect we’ve seen since Andrew Luck featuring ideal arm strength, athleticism, and mechanics that make him as close to a can’t-miss QB prospect as possible.
Sam Darnold‘s future with the Jets is very uncertain and it’s very likely we see him playing for a new team next season. If the Jets land the top pick, that’s pretty much a guarantee.
Lawrence will usher in a new era of Jets football — one that will hopefully produce more promising results.
Round 1, 26th Overall, NY Jets: Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
The Jets must rebuild their receiving corps if they are to start over at the quarterback position. And while many will be eyeing a number of excellent first-round wide receivers, we went in a different direction with this pick.
With our favorite receivers off the board and star Florida tight end Kyle Pitts just sitting right there, it was impossible to look the other way.
Pitts has emerged as perhaps the best tight end in this year’s class and has the athleticism and receiving ability to essentially double as a wideout. While not the most accomplished blocker, he’s willing and isn’t afraid to shy away from contact.
That said, he’s best utilized as a true receiver/tight end hybrid and would be wasted as an in-line blocker. But if you’re looking for a dynamic, game-breaking playmaker, Pitts is your guy.
Chris Herndon‘s disappointing showing this season makes this selection even easier.
Next: 2. Addressing two major needs
Round 2, 33rd Overall, NY Jets: Asante Samuel Jr., CB, Florida State
The Jets’ offense is far from the only unit that needs addressing and perhaps no position group on defense has been more underwhelming this season than the team’s cornerbacks.
Pierre Desir has proven to be a bust of a free-agent signing while Blessuan Austin has taken a major step back in his second season. At the moment, it’s hard to pinpoint any true building blocks at the position unless either Austin or someone like Bryce Hall pans out.
Expect the Jets to address the cornerback position early in the draft and they do so here with the first selection of the second round where we took Florida State’s Asante Samuel Jr.
The son of the former four-time NFL Pro Bowler, Samuel is an excellent man-cover cornerback who’s at his best in off-man coverage. At just 5-foot-10, he isn’t the tallest player, but he makes up for it with extremely fluid hips and quick closing ability.
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Samuel continues to shine at Florida State and might garner first-round hype by the end of the college football season. Expect him to be on plenty of teams’ radars, including the Jets.
Round 3, 65th Overall, NY Jets: Tylan Wallace, WR, Oklahoma State
Oklahoma State’s Tylan Wallace is the only carryover from our last mock draft, although we made sure to grab him much earlier this time around. After taking Pitts in Round 1, it was time to draft a true wide receiver.
An explosive, dynamic receiver in Oklahoma State’s high-octane offense, Wallace is a sound route-runner who possesses excellent run-after-the-catch abilities.
While not necessarily the largest receiver at just 6-foot, 185 pounds, Wallace has no trouble getting physical at the point of attack and makes a large number of his catches in traffic.
That said, there are concerns about his release and ability to beat press coverage which could have some teams seeing him as a slot-exclusive guy. But he’s improved immensely in the past year and there’s no reason to believe he can’t become an every-down outside receiver at the next level.
A trio of Wallace, Denzel Mims, and Jamison Crowder in 2021 paired with Pitts at tight end and Lawrence at quarterback would be a massive improvement over the current crop of offensive players the Jets have now.
Next: 3. Solidifying the trenches
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Round 3, 89th Overall, NY Jets: Victor Dimukeje, EDGE, Duke
Aside from the cornerback position, the one position on defense that absolutely must be addressed this offseason is edge rusher.
Jordan Jenkins has been disappointing this season and he’s never been more than an average run-stopper at best. And while there’s some intrigue with guys like Bryce Huff, Tarell Basham, and Jabari Zuniga, the Jets need another high-upside player to throw into the mix.
That’s why we targeted Duke’s Victor Dimukeje here in the third round. Dimukeje is a sudden, explosive pass-rusher with quick hands and an impressive first step that leads some to believe he could be a 10+ sack guy in the NFL.
He’s probably a better fit in a 4-3 at 6-foot-2, 265 pounds, but the Jets mix in plenty of different looks on defense already. Besides, it’s not as if they won’t have a new defensive system, in all likelihood, by next season anyway.
Dimukeje is an experienced, agile pass-rusher who fills a major position of need on defense making this an easy pick in Round 3.
Round 4, 102nd Overall, NY Jets: Tyler Vrabel, OT, Boston College
The second son of a former NFL player in this mock, Boston College’s Tyler Vrabel is the son of former linebacker and current Tennessee Titans head coach, Mike Vrabel.
Vrabel shined as a redshirt freshman last season quietly emerging as perhaps Boston College’s top offensive lineman. As only a redshirt sophomore, there’s no guarantee he even declares, but he’s already off to another impressive start this season.
He has excellent length at 6-foot-5, 310 pounds, and should have no trouble transitioning over to right tackle to start opposite Mekhi Becton. Vrabel is patient in pass sets and has no issues sliding his feet horizontally to mirror opposing pass-rushers giving him a high ceiling as a pass protector.
The Jets still need to work on their offensive line and while he’s flashed at points this season, George Fant hasn’t done enough to solidify himself as a long-term starter.
Pairing Vrabel up with Becton would give the Jets two high-upside tackles to build around for the future.
Next: 4. Three more potential building blocks
Round 5, 141st Overall, NY Jets: Ronnie Bell, WR, Michigan
Even with the selection of Pitts in Round 1, we decided to double up at the wide receiver position giving Lawrence a third weapon in the passing game in the form of Michigan’s Ronnie Bell.
Bell is a tough-as-nails wideout who’s not afraid to go over the middle and make contested catches. While more of a slot target at Michigan, Bell has the quickness and toughness to become a better outside receiver with more time to develop.
Nonetheless, he’s already a proficient route-runner and excellent at creating yards after the catch. So if you’re looking for a silky-smooth runner who’s fearless over the middle of the field, Bell is your guy.
Round 5, 142nd Overall, NY Jets: Jack Anderson, iOL, Texas Tech
The Jets’ offensive line, while improved, is still a below-average unit and the majority of the blame falls on the interior of the line. Alex Lewis is hit or miss at left guard, Greg Van Roten has been subpar in his first year with the team at right guard, and the same goes for Connor McGovern at center.
McGovern will likely be the starter next season, but there is no guarantee that either Lewis or Van Roten will return. That’s why it would be valuable to draft a potential replacement and Texas Tech’s Jack Anderson certainly looks the part.
At 6-foot-5, 320 pounds, Anderson anchors a shaky Red Raiders’ offensive line. Injuries limited him to only three games in 2019, but the 22-year-old has plenty of starting experience, exclusively at the right guard position.
His lack of positional versatility could scare some teams away, but he’s a scheme-versatile guard who specializes in pass-protection — something the Jets’ guards have really struggled with.
Anderson is good value at this spot and he fills a major position of need.
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Round 6, 189th Overall, NY Jets: Amari Burney, LB/S, Florida
With their final pick, we took a flier on Florida hybrid defender Amari Burney. Burney is more of an athlete than a football player at this stage, hence why he fell all the way to the sixth round, but he’s an interesting player to snag at this point in the draft.
A safety by trade, Burney also has experience playing wide receiver, but has settled into the “STAR” role in Florida’s defense which is essentially a hybrid linebacker/safety.
His athleticism and speed are evident every time he’s on the field and he’s pretty reliable not only as a tackler but at diagnosing plays. However, his shortcomings are also pretty apparent.
Burney is undersized for a linebacker — even by today’s standards — at just 6-foot-2, 224 pounds. And that’s what Florida lists him at, he may be even smaller.
On top of that, he’s still a major work in progress in coverage and his lack of a defined position will cause him to fall in the draft.
But as a late-round flier with ample special teams upside, this is a fine pick to make at this spot.