NY Jets draft Kentucky CB Brandin Echols in the sixth round

NY Jets, Brandin Echols Mandatory Credit: Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports
NY Jets, Brandin Echols Mandatory Credit: Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports /

The NY Jets continued the run on linebackers and cornerbacks selecting athletic cornerback Brandin Echols with the 200th overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft.

The Jets went offense with their first four selections. Since then, it’s been all defense for Gang Green.

Echols is the third true cornerback that the team has added on Day 3 along with Duke’s Michael Carter II and Pittsburgh’s Jason Pinnock. They’re joined by hybrid safety/linebackers Jamien Sherwood and Hamsah Nasirildeen.

The Jets clearly placed an emphasis on offense early on. But since then, it’s been all about adding defensive depth.

The NY Jets are getting an elite athlete in Brandin Echols

Echols is one of the most athletic players in the entire 2021 NFL Draft class scoring a 9.15 relative athletic score which ranked him 154th out of all 1,790 cornerbacks drafted since 1987.

A former JUCO star, Echols started two years at Kentucky despite only switching over to the cornerback position in college. He’s inexperienced at the position, but his athleticism allowed him to see significant playing time in college.

Echols tore it up at his pro day running a blazing 4.35 40-yard dash and posting an absolutely absurd 42.5-inch vertical jump. He’s an athletic specimen, even if he’s still learning the position.

At 5-foot-10, 179 pounds, he doesn’t have the greatest size and only has average arm length. On top of that, his poor technique got him in trouble at times at Kentucky.

Throw in the fact that he turns 24-years-old in October and it’s not surprising to see him fall this late in the draft, despite his elite athleticism.

Echols will join a suddenly crowded young cornerback room featuring players like Bryce Hall, Blessuan Austin, Javelin Guidry, and the aforementioned Michael Carter II and Jason Pinnock.

The Jets have a ton of young cornerbacks on the roster and are clearly hoping that one or two of them stand out and emerge as key contributors.

Echols is another Day 3 swing for Joe Douglas and the Jets who are betting on the former Kentucky star’s athletic traits serving as a foundation for his play at the NFL level.

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A worthy gamble at a position that has been thoroughly addressed on Day 3.