NY Jets: 2021 offensive rookies will make immediate contributions

NY Jets
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NY Jets general manager Joe Douglas attacked offense early and often in the 2021 NFL Draft. He learned from mistakes made with Sam Darnold and decided to help his young signal-caller out.

Douglas selected his franchise quarterback, Zach Wilson, with the No. 2 overall pick. He then used the next three picks on offense selecting Alijah Vera-Tucker, Elijah Moore, and Michael Carter.

All these moves were made to improve the Jets' putrid offense while giving Wilson playmakers and protection.

Wilson had a steller 2020 campaign, throwing for 3,692 yards, 33 touchdowns, and only three interceptions. The former BYU Cougar has outstanding feet in the pocket and has the ability to make off-platform throws with ease.

Pro Football Focus gave Wilson a 95.5 passing grade in 2020 — the highest they've ever given to a college quarterback.

Wilson can make any throw on the football field but his deep-ball accuracy is especially exceptional. In 2020, Wilson had a 74% completion percentage on passes that traveled 30+ yards in the air, which is the best by an FBS quarterback since 2012.

Wilson is an ideal fit in Mike LaFleur’s West Coast offense. This scheme needs a quarterback who can excel in play-action while making throws on the run. On play-action throws in 2020, Wilson threw for 1,548 yards, 20 touchdowns, and zero interceptions. 

Wilson also took great care of the football in 2020. According to Pro Football Focus, Wilson only had four turnover-worthy plays. 

The NY Jets added other offensive players to help out Zach Wilson

Douglas took another step in fortifying the offensive line selecting Alijah Vera-Tucker. New York gave up pick No. 23 along with No. 66 and No. 86 to move up to No. 14 for Vera-Tucker.

The standout former USC offensive lineman is a plug-and-play starter and has been considered one of the safest players in this draft.

Vera-Tucker has shown the ability to play both tackle and guard at a high level. In 927 pass-blocking snaps, Vera-Tucker allowed just three QB hits. Vera-Tucker is an agile blocker who has no trouble getting to the second level of the defense.

Many people around the league think Vera-Tucker will become an All-Pro guard. The Jets now have Mekhi Becton and Vera-Tucker protecting the blindside of their franchise quarterback.

Douglas kept adding talent to this roster and took wide receiver Elijah Moore at pick No. 34. Moore brings much-needed speed and juice to this offense.

The Ole Miss receiver led the nation with 149.1 yards/game. Moore had a dominant 2020 season, where he hauled in 86 catches for 1,193 yards and eight touchdowns.

iexecMoore can line up outside but does most of his damage from the slot. PFF gave Moore an exceptional 97.7 grade from the slot, which ranked first in his draft.

The Fort Lauderdale native is a crisp router runner who is fearless going over the middle of the field. Moore showed his game-breaking speed at his Pro Day, running a 4.35 40-yard dash, matching what was seen on film.

Moore is an extremely reliable weapon as 55 of his 86 catches in 2020 went for a first down. Moore’s hands are also like glue as he was credited with only two drops in 2020.

In 2020, Moore had 505 yards after the catch and forced 18 broken tackles. Despite being just 5-foot-10, Moore has shown the ability to go up and make contested catches. He caught 11 out of 15 contested balls this past season. 

The Jets continued to add weapons to this offense as Douglas chose running back Michael Carter in the fourth round.

On the “Michael Kay Show,” Douglas said the Jets would have taken Carter at pick No. 66. New York was fortunate Carter fell to No. 107 because they landed an absolute stud.

Carter averaged eight yards per carry in 2020 — best among FBS backs with at least 100 carries. He combines his tremendous burst and elusiveness with a low center of gravity making it hard for defenders to wrap him up.

The former North Carolina Tar Heel has the speed and vision to create big plays. Since 2019, Carter has 29 rushes of 20+ yards, which ranks first in college football.

Carter ran plenty of zone run concepts at UNC so he should be a perfect fit here in New York. He will be entering a backfield that is lacking a true lead back.

The NY Jets made it their mission to surround Wilson with talent on offense. All four of these rookies will immediately contribute in 2021 and help improve the inept offense that we've watched for the past two years.

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