Round 3, 66th Overall, NY Jets: Tyson Campbell, CB, Georgia
The Jets also need to address the cornerback position in the draft, ideally landing a potential day-one starter. In this case, we swing for the fences again with the selection of Georgia cornerback Tyson Campbell.
Campbell has the size and traits to be a star at the next level. At 6-foot-1, 193 pounds, Campbell has the prototypical frame you look for in a boundary cornerback and he pairs that with superb speed and athleticism.
The 21-year-old ran a blazing 4.36 40-yard dash at his pro day. You’d be hard-pressed to find a more ideal size/speed blend at the cornerback position in this class than Campbell.
Unfortunately, his play at Georgia was inconsistent at best. His ball skills are underwhelming and he was frequently flagged as a result of poor awareness. He’s a project.
But Joe Douglas is someone who is known to bet on upside over polish, as evidenced by his first three picks in last year’s draft. And under the guidance of Robert Saleh, perhaps Campbell could reach his potential.
The Jets would probably be wise to sign a veteran cornerback after the draft, but Campbell gives them a high-upside young cornerback to mold into a long-term starter.
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Round 3, 86th Overall, NY Jets: Kenneth Gainwell, RB, Memphis
This is one of those picks that I’ve mocked so many times purely in an effort to will it into existence. Kenneth Gainwell is everything the Jets should be looking for in a running back.
He’s fast, elusive, has great vision, and was incredibly productive in the passing game in college. In other words, he’s the perfect Mike LaFleur running back.
Gainwell is never going to be a three-down, between-the-tackles runner. He lacks ideal size (at 5-foot-8, 201 pounds) and he’s not an overly powerful running back. But his outside speed and electric feet give him ample upside in an outside-zone running scheme.
The Jets likely won’t spend a premium pick on a running back given their countless other needs on the roster. And that’s perfectly fine. The Jets will run a committee backfield in 2021 and few players would fit that committee approach more than Gainwell.
If the Jets look to the middle of the draft to address the running back position, Gainwell should be their top target.