NY Jets: Players to target on Day 2 of the 2021 NFL Draft

NY Jets Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
NY Jets Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports /
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NY Jets
NY Jets Mandatory Credit: Adam Cairns-USA TODAY Sports /

1. Running backs and wide receivers the NY Jets could target

  • RB – Javonte Williams – North Carolina
  • RB – Kenneth Gainwell – Memphis
  • RB – Michael Carter – North Carolina
  • RB – Trey Sermon – Ohio State
  • WR – Elijah Moore – Ole Miss
  • WR – Rondale Moore – Purdue
  • WR – D’Wayne Eskridge – Western Michigan
  • WR – Terrace Marshall Jr. – LSU

The Jets can go in so many different directions on Day 2, and there’s always the possibility that Joe Douglas doesn’t stay at 34 and decides to move down to stockpile picks. For selections later in the draft or future picks in 2022, the options are plentiful.

Many of the Jets’ needs are similar to the positions that were potential targets in Round 1. Although there was heated debate and speculation that the Jets would take a running back at 23, they ultimately did not. But because they didn’t do so at 23, the possibility that they will remain alive in Rounds 2 and 3.

One of the Jets’ aims is to not make the same mistakes they made with their last franchise quarterback, Sam Darnold. Joe Douglas and his staff need to surround Zach Wilson with as much support as possible to make his life as a quarterback in the Big Apple easier.

North Carolina’s Javonte Williams was one of college football’s best running backs last season. The elusive, tackle-breaking machine averaged over 7.0 yards per carry in 2020.

Former Jets running back, LaDainian Tomlinson, compared Williams’ elusiveness to that of New Orleans Saints megastar Alvin Kamara on NFL Network a few months back.

Williams’ forte is making defenders miss or running them over. A plus is that because he was in a timeshare situation at North Carolina, he doesn’t have the tread on his tires that most backs do.

The Jets’ new offensive staff has a history of relying on a plug-and-play system that utilizes multiple backs who are one-cut runners. As such, the Jets may hold off on drafting a runner at the top of Round 2, but the dynamic Javonte Williams could be the exception to that rule.

Players like Kenneth Gainwell could also provide value to the Jets’ new offense, potentially in Round 3, that’s if he makes it there, and that’s if the Jets make their way back into Round 3.

Wide receiver and tight end should be interesting positions to track on Day 2 as well. The top-four receivers on the Jets’ depth chart seem set with Corey Davis, Denzel Mims, Jamison Crowder, and Keelan Cole.

Still, with Cole and Crowder on one-year deals, it would not surprise me if the Jets look for a dynamic young player at wide receiver who can fill roles outside, inside, and on special teams.

The Jets have had success with receivers named Moore in the past, like former Pro Bowl wide receiver Rob Moore, and Elijah Moore and Rondale Moore are two explosive targets in the passing game with game-breaking ability.

Their versatility and upside could compel the Jets to take them at the top of Round 2. It’s not a major need, but giving Wilson more weapons to play with is not a bad strategy.