NY Jets: 4 mid-round pass-rushers to target in the 2021 NFL Draft

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NY Jets Mandatory Credit: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports /
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NY Jets Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
NY Jets Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports /

3. NY Jets draft target: Payton Turner, EDGE, Houston

Payton Turner is one of my personal favorite prospects in this draft class. A high-effort freak of an athlete, Turner combines a massive wingspan (at 6-foot-5, 270 pounds) with an unrelenting motor.

Turner is more of a tweener than a true edge rusher and he played predominantly as a 4i defensive end at Houston (lined up inside the offensive tackle), although he did shift into more a true edge rusher role in his junior and senior seasons.

At 270 pounds, he has the inside/outside versatility to play on the edge on early downs before shifting inside on passing downs. And given his size, he’s quite the athlete.

Turner has excellent lateral mobility despite his tall stature and thrives chasing down the ball carrier with his long strides and above-average speed. His competitive energy just adds to his arsenal.

The 22-year-old could still use a bit of polish in the pass-rush department. His size works against him when it comes to the leverage battle and is more of an effort rusher than a true pass-rush specialist at this point.

You could also make the argument that Turner’s skill set is a bit redundant on the Jets. Both John Franklin-Myers and 2020 third-round pick Jabari Zuniga are seen as tweeners with outside/inside flexibility.

Turner is a more natural athlete than both, but perhaps it wouldn’t be the most sensible pick for the Jets.

That said, you could never have too many talented pass-rushers. And Turner is an excellent Day 2 prospect who should provide value to any NFL defensive line as soon as his rookie season.

Next: 2. Patrick Jones II