NY Jets Mandatory Credit: Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY Sports
The NY Jets go heavy on offensive linemen in our seven-round 2021 NFL Mock Draft.
Another week, another NY Jets loss. Following a sluggish outing against the Miami Dolphins in Week 12, much like nearly every outing this season, the Jets have fallen to 0-11.
But more importantly, they maintained their one-game lead over the 1-10 Jacksonville Jaguars for the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. And in turn, they maintained their lead for Trevor Lawrence.
Just as the Jets kept up their weekly tradition of losing, we here at The Jet Press have to do our part as well. That’s why we’re back with yet another 2021 NFL Mock Draft running down just one scenario for what will be a crucial three days for Gang Green.
With nine picks and plenty of roster holes to fill, general manager Joe Douglas is going to have his work cut out for him as he looks to turn the fortunes of this franchise around.
He’ll have the capital to do so, but the hard part is making the most of said capital.
As we’ve done every week, we made use of The Draft Network’s “Mock Machine” to run through a hypothetical scenario of how the Jets’ 2021 draft might go.
Let’s take a look at how this week’s mock turned out.
Next: 1. Building around your new QB
NY Jets Mandatory Credit: Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY Sports
Round 1, 1st Overall, NY Jets: Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
With their loss to the Dolphins on Sunday, the Jets took one step closer to the grand prize of the 2021 NFL Draft, Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence.
While Ohio State’s Justin Fields is an outstanding prospect in his own right, no quarterback that we’ve seen come out in the past couple of decades matches Lawrence’s abilities.
He’s an accurate, intelligent passer with impeccable arm talent and athleticism to boot. He quite literally is the total package as a quarterback prospect.
Sure, some will overanalyze this pick and point to his lack of success as a deep passer and a brief underwhelming stretch of games last season, but if you’re going to do that, make sure you take note of all the incredible things about his game that you’re overlooking.
Trevor Lawrence is the best quarterback prospect since Andrew Luck, maybe since John Elway. He’s going to be the first overall pick in the draft and if the Jets land that pick, he will be their starting quarterback next season and hopefully for the foreseeable future.
They have five games left to lock this pick up.
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Round 1, 26th Overall, NY Jets: Wyatt Davis, iOL, Ohio State
If the Jets are going to start over at the quarterback position, they better do it right this time. That means sufficiently building around your young QB with an improved supporting cast and offensive line.
Fortunately, we just so happened to have one of the best offensive line prospects fall right into our laps at No. 26 overall.
Ohio State’s Wyatt Davis is a rock-solid guard prospect who should immediately step in as a day-one starter for any team that drafts him. The best word to describe Davis might be “bully” as the bulky guard routinely punishes opposing defenders at the line of scrimmage.
Few players in this class are as physically imposing as Davis and he combines that with scheme versatility that should make him very appealing to prospective teams.
A stout athlete and strong, fluid blocker, few offensive linemen come more NFL-ready than Davis. If he lasts this long, the Jets would be fools to pass on him.
Next: 2. Continuing to bolster the trenches
Round 2, 33rd Overall, NY Jets: Rashawn Slater, OT, Northwestern
The original plan wasn’t to take another offensive lineman with this pick. But when there’s value on the board, you have to jump at the opportunity. That’s what we did here when Northwestern’s Rashawn Slater somehow slipped out of the first round.
Slater is one of the best offensive tackle prospects in this class and is widely considered to be a top-20ish prospect. In all our mock drafts, this is the first time he’s fallen this far — and we simply couldn’t resist.
Slater is a nimble, quick-footed lineman who packs a punch in the run game. There are concerns about his overall length which could have some teams view him as a guard in the pros.
But with his positional versatility, there have been talks about him playing anywhere from tackle to center in the NFL. Think of a more physical version of Jonah Williams.
Slater could serve as George Fant‘s replacement at right tackle if the Jets move on in the offseason or he could slide inside to guard and pair with Wyatt Davis for one of the most promising young guard tandems in the league.
Either way, you can’t go wrong with this selection.
Round 3, 65th Overall, NY Jets: Carlos Basham Jr., EDGE, Wake Forest
We’ve managed a common theme in these mock drafts where we address edge rusher with the Jets’ third-round pick. But that’s just where a lot of the value at that position lies in this class — in the middle of Day 2.
This time, we kept it in the family selecting Wake Forest’s Carlos Basham Jr. — the cousin of Jets’ outside linebacker Tarell Basham.
Basham is a well-rounded edge defender who offers significant upside as both a run-defender and pass-rusher. At 6-foot-5, 275 pounds, he’s a much better fit as a 4-3 defensive end so this pick might depend on the defensive scheme the Jets run next year.
Regardless, Basham has made quite the name for himself over the last few years as a productive pass-rusher recording 15.0 sacks in his last 19 games including 10 a year ago and five in six games this season.
On top of that, he’s a sound run-stopper with excellent gap patience and a strong anchor. He’s not an overly-twitchy athlete, but that shouldn’t stop him from being productive in the pros.
This is a good value pick here at the beginning of Round 3 at a critical position of need.
Next: 3. A pair of Oklahoma State skill players
Round 3, 89th Overall, NY Jets: Tylan Wallace, WR, Oklahoma State
This mock assumes that the Jets landed at least one starting-caliber wide receiver in free agency or else we would have addressed the position sooner. That said, waiting until the third round for Oklahoma State’s Tylan Wallace is hardly a bad thing.
Wallace is a tough-as-nails receiver who may not be the fastest straight-line runner on the field, but he more than makes up for it with his shiftiness and physicality.
Few players are as dangerous after the catch as Wallace and this is particularly evident in Oklahoma State’s up-tempo offense that manages to get him the ball in space more often than not.
That said, one of the biggest concerns about Wallace’s game has been the number of manufactured touches he’s received, whether on screen routes or elsewhere.
He’ll likely need to expand his route tree a little in the pros and work on separating against NFL defensive backs.
That said, he’d be an excellent fourth wide receiver from the start with the potential to develop into a very exciting part of any offense down the line.
Round 4, 102nd Overall, NY Jets: Rodarius Williams, CB, Oklahoma State
We doubled up on Oklahoma State skill players here in the middle rounds next taking cornerback Rodarius Williams in the fourth. Admittedly, this pick was a bit of a reach.
Cornerbacks were running thin and the likes of Tyreke Johnson, Israel Mukuama, and Chase Lucas were all drafted in the 10 picks before this selection. It left us with little choice but to take the next best option.
Williams, the brother of Greedy Williams, stands at 6-foot, 180 pounds, and is a lanky, aggressive outside cornerback. Much more effective in man coverage than zone, Williams has played particularly well in off-man coverage where he can use his aggressiveness to his advantage.
The fifth-year senior was recently invited to the Senior Bowl and added to the Bednarik Award watch list — evidence of the growth he’s experienced over his whopping four years as a starter.
There are definitely concerns about his lack of ball skills and tendency to get a little overaggressive, but he’s an early Day 3 target who could surprise at the next level.
The Jets add another young cornerback to develop in Williams.
Next: 4. Three offensive projects
Round 5, 141st Overall, NY Jets: Tre’ McKitty, TE, Georgia
The Jets will likely address the tight end position in some fashion in the offseason given Chris Herndon‘s struggles this year. Even if Herndon remains with the team, it would be wise to add another competent player to the tight end depth chart.
Georgia’s Tre’ McKitty could be someone to target on Day 3 of the draft.
McKitty is a Florida State transfer playing in his first season with the Bulldogs in 2020. While he doesn’t have a ton of production to his name, he has the traits and talent to be a much more productive player in the NFL.
The 6-foot-5, 245-pound senior is everything teams are looking for in a modern tight end. He’s athletic, can create separation, and is a willing blocker in the run game. Combine that with his positional versatility and you have a player who could be a very effective part of an NFL offense.
While at Florida State, McKitty was asked to play anywhere from in-line tight end, to slot wideout, to H-back. It’s that versatility that should make him very intriguing to Joe Douglas.
Certainly a worthy selection here in Round 5.
Round 5, 159th Overall, NY Jets: Jaret Patterson, RB, Buffalo
You’re going to hear Jaret Patterson’s name quite a bit over the next few months, and rightfully so. The star Buffalo tailback is in the midst of a historic career and just came within 18 yards of tying the FBS record for rushing yards in a game this past week.
Patterson rushed for a whopping 409 yards and eight touchdowns against Kent State tying the FBS record for touchdowns in a game. That wasn’t a statistical outlier either, however, as the junior running back came one yard shy of 1,800 rushing yards last season.
This season, he has 920 yards and 16 touchdowns. In four games. That type of production is unheard of.
Patterson may not hear his name called on Day 1, but he’s sure going to make some team happy on Day 2 or 3. A powerful, confident runner, Patterson lacks the breakaway speed to be a home-run threat at the next level, but that doesn’t matter.
It’s nearly impossible to take him down on first contact and his do-it-all skillset gives him three-down potential in the NFL.
He’ll likely be taken earlier than the fifth round come April, but the Jets land a steal here in the local Western New York product.
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Round 6, 189th Overall, NY Jets: Reggie Roberson Jr., WR, SMU
The Jets have used the later rounds of the draft to take chances on injured prospects who have seen their stock plummet in recent years — Blessuan Austin and Bryce Hall being prime examples.
This time, we opted to do the same thing taking a flier on SMU’s Reggie Roberson with the Jets’ final pick of the draft.
Roberson is a speedy deep threat who suffered a non-contact knee injury early in the season knocking him out for the remainder of his senior year. The West Virginia transfer hoped to establish himself as SMU’s top receiving target, but was unfortunately never given the opportunity.
In a crowded receiver class, he’ll likely fall to the late rounds. But players with his speed (4.37 40-yard dash) and deep route-running ability don’t come around very often.
Roberson could be the Jets’ eventual replacement for Breshad Perriman whether they decide to bring him back or not.
The Jets could take advantage of another late-round prospect’s injury-riddled past if they target Roberson in the draft.