The Jets have made their plans clear for their first pick in this year’s draft, but there is plenty of mystery after that.
This is our first crack at a seven-round mock draft this year. With the help of Pro Football Focus’ mock draft simulator, we went through the exercise of what GM Joe Douglas might do in three weeks. Here is our draft:
*Picks acquired in forecasted trade
Round 1 (No. 2 overall) — QB Zach Wilson, BYU
When the Jets traded Sam Darnold on Monday, their plans here became even clearer. The truth is they have been leaning toward Wilson for months. There are questions about his competition level in college and why he had such a better 2020 than 2019. The Jets must feel they have the answers and believe Wilson can be the franchise quarterback they need.
Round 1 (No. 23) — Forecasted trade with Jaguars
Sending the No. 23-overall pick to Jacksonville in exchange for a first-round pick (No. 25 overall) and two seconds (Nos. 33, 45) The Jets are in a nice spot at No. 23 overall, the pick they acquired from Seattle in the Jamal Adams trade. They have so many needs that they can fill one here or look to move back and get more picks, which is what I chose.
Round 1 (No. 25)* — DL/OLB Jayson Oweh, Penn State
This is one of the most interesting prospects in this year’s draft. Oweh is a physical freak. The 6-foot-5, 257-pounder ran a 4.39 second 40-yard dash at Penn State’s pro day. The problem is his production. He had zero sacks last season for the Nittany Lions. If you’re drafting a pass rusher, that is something that needs to be investigated closely.
Round 2 (No. 33)* — WR Elijah Moore, Mississippi
The Jets signed Corey Davis in free agency, but they still could use help at wide receiver, especially with Jamison Crowder entering the final year of his contract. Moore set school records with 86 catches for 1,193 yards and eight touchdowns in 2020. He led FBS with 10.8 receptions and 149.1 receiving yards per game.
Round 2 (No. 34) — CB Asante Samuel Jr., Florida State
Thanks to my trade, the Jets have the first two picks of the second round. After taking a pass catcher with the first pick, they grab someone to stop the opposing team’s receivers next. Cornerback may be the Jets’ biggest need entering the draft. Samuel gives the Jets a potential solution at the position.
Round 2 (No. 45)* — RB Travis Etienne, Clemson
At the moment, the Jets’ top running back is La’Mical Perine, the second-year player from Florida. He is going to need some help. Etienne is a potential first-round pick. I think the Jets would rather wait until Day 2 of the draft to take their back, and if Etienne is sitting here, they would have to grab him.
Round 3 (No. 66) — OL Quinn Meinerz, Wisconsin-Whitewater
One of the stars of Senior Bowl week both for his play and his exposed belly, Meinerz is a Division III star who could fill a huge need for the Jets. Douglas did little to address the offensive line in free agency. Meinerz is a potential answer at guard where the Jets are weak.
Round 3 (No. 86) — LB Jamin Davis, Kentucky
Davis’ draft stock is rising, and I doubt he actually makes it this far. If he does, he’d be a perfect fit for Robert Saleh’s defense. The Jets need linebackers as they move from a 3-4 to a 4-3 base defense.
Round 4 (No. 107) — S Jamar Johnson, Indiana
Marcus Maye’s future is uncertain with the Jets, and they need some depth at the position.
Round 5 (No. 146) — DL Milton Williams, Louisiana Tech
We are in the best player available portion of the program, and you can never have enough defensive linemen.
Round 5 (No. 154) — CB Benjamin St-Juste, Minnesota
The Jets added a potential starting corner in the second round. Now, just looking for depth and special teams help.
Round 6 (No. 186) — RB Chris Evans, Michigan
There were some academic issues at Michigan that would need to be looked into before drafting him.
Round 6 (No. 226) — DL/OLB Chauncey Golston, Iowa
Saleh had a strong defensive line in San Francisco. He needs to add some depth here.