3. The NY Jets shouldn’t target an edge rusher at No. 23
This is absolutely no disrespect to the 2021 edge rusher class, which has the potential to be one of the best we’ve seen for a long time, at least in terms of depth.
With players like Kwity Paye and Azeez Ojulari widely expected to be taken within the top-20 selections and other prospects like Jayson Oweh, Jaelan Phillips, Joe Tryon, and Gregory Rousseau also on the board, there are plenty of options available to draft at the position.
The Jets have needed to address their pass rush for years and earlier in the year, I outlined why the area was a key target area for the early selections in the draft.
But, we must consider how much they have improved following free agency.
After a breakout year from Quinnen Williams in 2020, the Jets have followed up by signing the impressive Carl Lawson, as well as defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins, now giving them a very solid defensive line for 2021.
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Adding another edge rusher would, on paper, give the Jets one of the best defensive lines in the entire NFL.
Nonetheless, the Jets will select a quarterback second overall and, despite as tempting selecting an edge rusher early will be, protecting the new QB must then be the next priority. Taking an edge rusher this early would be a risky option.
Elsewhere, should they instead choose to use this selection on their defense, the Jets should address the cornerback position and use this pick to improve in that area.
Jaycee Horn would be the best-case scenario for the Jets at No. 23, but other cornerbacks including Caleb Farley and Greg Newsome could be excellent selections if available.
If none of these are still around but a top edge rusher remains on the board at the time of their second selection, then maybe the Jets could think about taking one. Ojulari and Phillips particularly would be outstanding selections if they fall to No. 23.
But overall, with the edge class deep and extensive, the Jets will have other opportunities to address the position. Bringing in another edge rusher from the early rounds certainly shouldn’t be out of the question for the Jets, but ideally not with the 23rd overall selection.
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