NY Jets make Jaylen Key 2024 Mr. Irrelevant: Grade and analysis

Who is the Jets' Mr. Irrelevant pick?
Jaylen Key
Jaylen Key / Ryan Kang/GettyImages

The NY Jets have finally added a safety — it only took them until the final pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. The Jets have made Alabama's Jaylen Key this year's Mr. Irrelevant, using the 257th overall pick to select him.

Key joins a Jets safety room that also features the likes of Chuck Clark, Tony Adams, Ashtyn Davis, and Jarrick Bernard-Converse. The expectation is that he could compete for a roster spot as a backup and special-teamer.

Key spent the first four years of his career at UAB before transferring to Alabama as a senior. The Florida native started 12 games for the Crimson Tide in 2023, recording 60 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, and an interception.

Now, he's on his way to the Jets as the final pick in this year's draft.

Who is this year's Mr. Irrelevant?

A former three-star recruit, Key received offers from a number of FBS schools before choosing to attend UAB. He spent the first three years of his playing career in a backup role before taking over as a starter in 2022.

Key parlayed a successful 2022 season that saw him earn honorable mention All-C-USA honors into a surprise transfer to Alabama. He looked the part and held his own in his lone season at Tuscaloosa.

At 6-foot-1, 208 pounds, Key has excellent size for the safety position and blends with above-average speed. He's still a work in progress as an overall safety, but the arrow is firmly pointing up after a pair of impressive seasons in 2022 and 2023.

Key's ball skills are a concern and he remains unproven in man coverage, but the 24-year-old has a chance to stick around as a developmental backup and possible special-teamer.

He'll compete for a roster spot this summer with a chance to earn a role if he impresses special teams coordinator Brant Boyer. Key is a classic Mr. Irrelevant selection.

Grade: B