NY Jets draft Auburn linebacker Jamien Sherwood in the fifth round

NY Jets, Jamien Sherwood Mandatory Credit: John Reed-USA TODAY Sports
NY Jets, Jamien Sherwood Mandatory Credit: John Reed-USA TODAY Sports /

The NY Jets have selected their first defensive player of the 2021 NFL Draft in the form of Auburn safety/linebacker Jamien Sherwood. After taking four straight offensive players to open the draft, the Jets finally addressed the defense in Round 5.

Sherwood was a one-year starter at Auburn aligning predominantly as a box safety and in the slot in Kevin Steele’s defense. He made a living around the line of scrimmage and on special teams.

While many expected the Jets to take a cornerback or pass-rusher if the Jets went defense, Sherwood does fill a need. He’s a prototypical box safety — something the Jets don’t currently have on the roster.

Moreover, at 6-foot-1, 216 pounds, the Jets could see Sherwood as more of a hybrid safety/linebacker and he could fill the hole at WILL on defense.

The NY Jets bolstered their defense with Jamien Sherwood

The Jets were scheduled to pick at No. 143 at the end of the fourth round, but traded back with the Las Vegas Raiders. In return, New York received the 160th overall selection (fifth round) and an extra sixth-rounder (pick 200).

That left the Jets with three picks in both Round 5 and Round 6. With that first selection, they took Sherwood, 146th overall.

Sherwood was a standout track star in college as well as a star on the gridiron. His 4.74 40-yard dash is a bit slow for a safety which is why he’s a better fit in the box as a hybrid safety/linebacker.

The 21-year-old was also a notable special-teamer with Auburn playing a crucial role on specials in each of his three seasons in college. His attitude, aggressive playstyle, and versatility all likely intrigued the Jets.

The Jets signed Lamarcus Joyner in free agency who will join the likes of Marcus Maye and Ashtyn Davis at safety. However, all three are better fits as true free safeties. Sherwood is much more a strong/box safety.

On top of that, the Jets could opt to use him at linebacker where he could see playing time at WILL along with Blake Cashman. After striking out on Keanu Neal in free agency, Sherwood could fill that hybrid role in Robert Saleh’s defense.

Next. NY Jets: 5 players to target on Day 3 of the 2021 NFL Draft

The Jets landed a versatile, high-energy player in Jamien Sherwood. And with that, the run on offensive players has ended.