8. Brandin Echols, CB, NY Jets
The Jets focused heavily on offense in the 2021 draft, but late on Day 3, they managed to find a few gems. One of which is Brandin Echols who is slowly coming into his own at the NFL level.
Finding a talent like Echols in the sixth round won’t help a team back to the playoffs on its own, but when your general manager continues to find late-round gems, that’s how you build a team. Echols is another example of Douglas’ great late-round finds.
With D.J. Reed coming to the Jets via free agency, Echols’ starting spot may no longer be his, but after a great rookie campaign, he will provide great depth for this team, and will no doubt contribute for years to come.
9. Ashtyn Davis, S, NY Jets
Many criticized the Ashtyn Davis pick when Joe Douglas initially made it, and while he isn’t going to become a Pro Bowler and replace Jamal Adams anytime soon, Davis has provided solid play for the team.
Sure, he’s been burned on several occasions and has found himself on injured reserve more than you’d like to see, but in Douglas’ first draft, finding a depth piece like Davis in the third round isn’t anything to scoff at.
The addition of Jordan Whitehead will either help Davis take his game to another level or take him out of the lineup altogether as Lamarcus Joyner rejoined the team in free agency. But to have a player with speed and instinct like this is always a positive.
10. Braden Mann, P, NY Jets
Most people will scoff at a punter being on a list like this, but after being drafted in the sixth round in 2020, Texas A&M product Braden Mann has filled a need for the Jets.
Punter is a position too often ignored by teams, as they will just find a veteran name to fill that role, but finding a young, three-year starter in college in the sixth round shows Douglas’ commitment to long-term building with the Jets.
It’s not a flashy pick and one that most have probably already forgotten, but if Mann can be a consistent starter for the Jets for years to come, this one will have paid off big time for Douglas and this squad.