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Draft

NY Jets make surprising 1st-round pick in 7-round 2021 NFL Mock Draft

NY Jets (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images)
NY Jets (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images)
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NY Jets (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
NY Jets (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)

Round 1, 2nd Overall, NY Jets: Zach Wilson, QB, BYU

Following the trade of Sam Darnold, this pick seems like a given at this stage. Right? The rumors surrounding the Jets’ interest in Zach Wilson aren’t exactly “rumors” anymore.

They’ve transitioned into Joe Douglas outright hinting that Wilson will be the pick at No. 2 overall.

The Jets decided to move on from Darnold after three years of lackluster play. And his replacement will be the player they select with this pick. If it’s Wilson, the Jets will be landing a high-upside, dynamic quarterback with elite potential.

His combination of natural arm talent, mobility, accuracy, and improvisation skills give him sky-high potential. The injury concerns are valid and his frame isn’t ideal for that of an NFL quarterback.

But Wilson is about as good of a quarterback prospect as you’re going to get in any given year — in a normal draft class, he’d be the consensus QB1.

Wilson is the pick here as the Jets usher in a new era at quarterback.

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Round 1, 23rd Overall, NY Jets: Jaelan Phillips, EDGE, Miami

The plan was always to address the offensive line or cornerback with this pick. But with all of our top targets off the board, and Miami’s Jaelan Phillips sitting right there, we didn’t have much of a choice.

Phillips is the most naturally talented pass-rusher in this class. He’s a former five-star recruit who possesses the athleticism, talent, and pass-rush traits to be an elite edge-rusher in the NFL.

However, injuries nearly ended his career in college and essentially forced him to transfer from UCLA to Miami. He has just one full year of tape after ankle, wrist, and head injuries tanked his career at UCLA.

The concussions are a major concern, and perhaps after taking Wilson this isn’t the safest of selections, but Douglas has shown that he’s not afraid to swing for the fences in the past.

All three of his top picks in last year’s draft were boom-or-bust prospects. Douglas seems to value traits/athleticism over floor/polish.

Phillips fits that bill and an already scary Jets pass-rush gets even scarier with the best edge-rush talent in the class.

Next: 2. Day one starters at OG and CB

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