NY Jets: 4 mid-round tight ends to target in the 2021 NFL Draft

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NY Jets Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
NY Jets Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports /

3. NY Jets’ draft target: Jacob Harris, TE, UCF

Jacob Harris is one of the most incredible stories in this year’s draft class. Harris didn’t start playing football until his senior season at high school as soccer was his first love.

In fact, he originally committed to play soccer at Florida Gulf Coast before having a change of heart and opting to walk on as a football player at Western Kentucky. He would go on to redshirt his only year with the program.

Harris was homesick, however, and returned home to Florida in 2016, sitting out of football for a year. He returned in 2017, but didn’t play his first collegiate game until 2018 and didn’t record his first catch until 2018 at the age of 21.

That’s primarily because he wasn’t a true wide receiver (no, not a tight end either) until 2019 as he played safety and kick returner in high school.

Harris finally emerged as a regular contributor on offense in 2020 hauling in 30 catches for 559 yards and eight touchdowns. Still, he was hardly seen as a legitimate NFL prospect, that was until a standout performance at the 2021 College Gridiron Showcase.

Standing at 6-foot-5, 219 pounds, Harris ran an unreal 4.40 40-yard dash. He’s an athletic freak and his size has many NFL teams looking at him as a tight end in the pros.

Of course, he’s incredibly raw as a blocker and has had issues with drops in the past, but you can’t teach the natural traits that he has. Harris has the potential to be a dynamic matchup nightmare in the receiving game while doubling as a stout special teamer.

The biggest downside, unfortunately, is that he turns 24-years-old later this month meaning that he’s certainly old for an athletic project.

But Mike LaFleur is looking for speed and dynamic ability on offense. And Harris definitely fits the bill.

Next: 2. Hunter Long