The NY Jets landed their best haul yet in our latest seven-round 2021 NFL Mock Draft.
The NY Jets are now 0-10 following yet another loss in Week 11, this time a nail-biter at the hands of the Los Angeles Chargers. In a lost season, the Jets have their eyes on one thing and one thing only — the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
As of now, the team still sits in the driver’s seat with a one-game lead on the Jacksonville Jaguars. At this point, it seems pretty clear that it’s going to be a two-team race from now until the end of the season.
No matter the outcome, the 2021 NFL Draft will be a crucial turning point for the Jets’ organization. With nine picks total including nearly six within the top-100, general manager Joe Douglas will have the opportunity to completely change the fortunes of the franchise.
As we’ve done pretty much every week for the last couple of months, we took it upon ourselves to run a quick mock draft using The Draft Network’s “Mock Machine.” What else are you going to do with an 0-10 team?
We’ve had some pretty impressive hauls in the past, but our latest draft haul might be our favorite yet. The goal was to address every major need while also landing talent that could serve as building blocks for the future.
From the looks of things, this mock seems to be a complete success. Let’s take a look at our results.
Next: 1. Two franchise cornerstones
Round 1, 1st Overall, NY Jets: Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
The Jets made sure to keep their eye on the prize with their Week 11 loss — that prize being Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence. There’s been some talk in recent weeks that Ohio State’s Justin Fields could challenge Lawrence for the first overall pick come April.
But a disappointing showing this weekend seemed to calm those discussions. And at the end of the day, it’s best not to overthink things.
Lawrence is the best quarterback prospect we’ve seen since Andrew Luck came out of Stanford and you can easily make the argument that he’s better than him.
He has the arm talent, intelligence, timing, athleticism, and everything needed to be a top-tier quarterback in the NFL for a long time. Lawrence is a player who can overcome his surroundings based on sheer talent alone.
Trevor Lawrence is going to be the No. 1 overall pick come April. He’s going to completely change the future of one NFL organization.
Let’s just hope that it’s the Jets.
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Round 1, 25th Overall, NY Jets: Shaun Wade, CB, Ohio State
This is the first time we’ve mocked Ohio State’s Shaun Wade to the Jets, and that’s partially because this is the first time it’s made sense to slot him with their second first-round pick.
Wade is next in a long line of stellar Ohio State cornerbacks — most of which have gone on to be excellent players in the NFL. See Marshon Lattimore, Denzel Ward, and Jeff Okudah for recent examples.
Wade primarily manned the slot and was overshadowed by Okudah last season. But now in a full-time role on the outside, the Buckeyes have seen plenty of promising play from their young defensive back.
At 6-foot-1, 194 pounds, Wade certainly has the size and athleticism to play the position. Combine that with his instincts in zone coverage and his physicality in press and you have a legitimate No. 1 cornerback prospect.
Wade could catapult himself into top-10 contention if he continues to play well throughout the season, but for now, we were able to snag him here towards the end of Round 1.
Next: 2. Solidifying the trenches
NY Jets Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
Round 2, 33rd Overall, NY Jets: Creed Humphrey, iOL, Oklahoma
These two picks are going to look very familiar as they’re nearly identical to our last mock. That starts with the selection of Oklahoma offensive lineman Creed Humphrey with the first pick in the second round.
We considered Humphrey with the Seattle pick, but ultimately hoped that he would fall to this spot right here. Fortunately, he did and the Jets managed to land a day-one interior starter on the offensive line.
Humphrey might be the best overall center prospect in this class with the power, instincts, and leadership to anchor an NFL offensive line for the next decade. That’s good news for a Jets’ interior line that has struggled mightily in 2020.
Ideally, the Jets would slot Humphrey in at center and slide Connor McGovern, who will be under contract next season, over to one of the guard positions. McGovern has experience playing guard so the move shouldn’t be asking too much of him.
The Jets land their franchise quarterback in Round 1 and give him his second young building block on the offensive line 32 picks later.
Round 3, 65th Overall, NY Jets: Quincy Roche, EDGE, Miami
In our last mock, we went Miami edge rusher Jaelan Phillips with this pick. But this time around, his teammate, Quincy Roche, was still on the board and we couldn’t pass up the opportunity.
The Jets have been desperate for pass-rush help for nearly two decades now and Roche would give them some of the best upside they’ve had at the position in years.
Listed at 6-foot-4, 235 pounds, Roche is slightly undersized for an every-down edge rusher role, but it’s likely he comes into the Combine weighing a bit more. Besides, he plays bigger than 235 when on the field.
Roche possesses elite first-step quickness and is as explosive out of his stance as anyone in this class. Ideally, Roche would be a better fit as a 3-4 outside linebacker, but he could certainly bulk up and play a down lineman role as well.
More of a true pass-rusher than a well-rounded run-defender right now, Roche could use some time to develop his all-around skill set.
But if you’re looking for an uber-talented athletic edge rusher who can contribute from day one, then Roche is an ideal guy to target on Day 2.
Next: 3. A pair of offensive weapons
Round 3, 88th Overall, NY Jets: Seth Williams, WR, Auburn
It would have been nice to address the wide receiver position earlier, but we’re banking on the Jets landing at least one starter in free agency. For that reason, drafting a receiver early wasn’t a necessity.
Still, the team lands a pretty good player here in Auburn’s Seth Williams. Williams is a contested-catch monster with excellent hands and a physical frame at 6-foot-2, 224 pounds.
His strengths are similar to those of Denzel Mims which make his skill set a little redundant, but the one difference is his ability to double as a big slot— partially due to his poor release at the line of scrimmage.
Williams’ biggest concern is his lack of separation skills, but just look at a player like Courtland Sutton as an example of someone who was able to overcome that in the pros.
Williams is a fearless receiver who will win more often than not in 50/50 situations. Throw him the ball in the red zone and watch that scoreboard light up.
Definitely a player who can contribute right away as a fourth wide receiver and develop into a starter down the line.
Round 4, 102nd Overall, NY Jets: Kenneth Gainwell, RB, Memphis
The Jets will also need to figure out what the plan is for their running game in 2021. La’Mical Perine will certainly be back, but it’s likely that he isn’t asked to play a feature role.
Instead, he’ll be part of some sort of backfield rotation that could also feature a veteran running back. But that doesn’t mean the Jets should ignore the position in the draft.
Memphis’ Kenneth Gainwell is a player who can immediately step into a rotation, but he’s also someone who has three-down back potential.
Gainwell is equally as effective as an inside and outside runner possessing the agility and decisiveness to be very efficient on early downs. He’s also a natural pass catcher with high upside as a receiving back.
That’s why Memphis made sure to utilize him out the slot plenty of times last season. Gainwell opted out of the 2020 season which could hurt his stock, but many saw him as a top-five running back in the class heading into the year.
A trio of Gainwell, Perine, and a veteran like Kenyan Drake or Malcolm Brown could make for a very appealing (and realistic) backfield in 2021.
Next: 4. Addressing needs with late-round picks
Round 5, 141st Overall, NY Jets: Anthony Schwartz, WR, Auburn
After drafting one Auburn wide receiver two selections ago, we doubled back and took the Tigers’ other starting wideout here in Round 5. I swear, this wasn’t intentional.
Anthony Schwartz is a very different type of player than Seth Williams and he’s someone who could provide additional depth to the Jets’ receiving corps. While Williams wins more with his physicality, Schwartz will keep defenses honest with his track speed.
A phenomenal athlete with superb speed, agility, and suddenness, Schwartz is a legitimate home-run threat every time he touches the ball. His tracking ability gives him the potential to be a downfield threat and he’s dangerous after the catch as well.
Schwartz still needs to work on the nuances of the position and would ideally add a little more mass, but the potential is there for him to be a Robby Anderson type of player at the next level.
And seeing how well Anderson has played in his post-Jets career, that’s certainly high praise.
Round 5, 147th Overall, NY Jets: Abraham Lucas, OT, Washington State
We went back to the offensive line with the Jets’ second-to-last pick in the form of Washington State offensive tackle Abraham Lucas. The Jets landed their left tackle of the future in this past year’s draft, and Lucas has the potential to be a long-term starter on the right side.
The junior standout is massive standing at 6-foot-7 and 324 pounds. While he’s nowhere near the athlete that Mekhi Becton is, he’s an effective pass-blocker who also packs a punch in the run game.
The nature of Washington State’s Air Raid offense probably covers up many of the weaknesses in his game meaning that he’s more of a project than anything, but his high football IQ and impressive college tape provide hope for the future.
At the very least, Lucas projects as a swing tackle with the potential to be a starting-caliber right tackle in the NFL.
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Round 6, 188th Overall, NY Jets: Joshua Kaindoh, EDGE, Florida State
After drafting their second wide receiver of the class a round earlier, the Jets decide to double up at edge rusher here with their final pick of the 2021 NFL Draft.
And they do so by taking a swing on a late-round flier with serious athletic upside. Florida State’s Joshua Kaindoh stands at a whopping 6-foot-7 and weighs in at 247 pounds with exceptional length and athleticism.
He’s raw as an overall talent with just eight sacks in his three years at FSU, but the tools are there for him to develop into a starting-caliber player down the line.
However, a serious lower leg injury limited him to just three games in 2019 and there are plenty of concerns about his leverage ability given his tall stature.
But the Jets need upside at pass-rusher and Kaindoh gives them that. Certainly someone worth taking a flier on here in Round 6.