Jets Mock Draft 2021: Building Zach Wilson’s ideal landing spot

The New York Jets seem to be headed in the right direction after hiring Robert Saleh and signing key free agents such as Carl Lawson and Corey Davis. However, the quarterback position is a glaring need, and in the NFL Draft, they must improve upon a supporting cast that let Sam Darnold down. In this Jets 7-Round 2021 Mock Draft, we try to do just that. So who will join Zach Wilson in New York?

New York Jets Post-Free Agency 7-Round Mock Draft

  • Round 1, Pick 2: Zach Wilson, QB, BYU
  • Round 1, Pick 23: Teven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State
  • Round 2, Pick 34: Ifeatu Melifonwu, CB, Syracuse
  • Round 3, Pick 66: Michael Carter, RB, UNC
  • Round 3, Pick 86: Dylan Moses, LB, Alabama
  • Round 4, Pick 106: Patrick Jones, EDGE, Pitt
  • Round 5, Pick 146: Drake Jackson, C, Kentucky
  • Round 5, Pick 154: Quintin Morris, TE, Bowling Green
  • Round 6, Pick 186: Sage Surratt, WR, Wake Forest
  • Round 6, Pick 226: Israel Mukuamu, S, South Carolina

Jets 2021 NFL Mock Draft | Pick-by-pick analysis

Zach Wilson, QB, BYU

At this point in time, Zach Wilson to the Jets seems to be written in Sharpie. Urban Meyer and the Jacksonville Jaguars will hand the reigns to Trevor Lawrence, leaving New York with multiple intriguing options. 

North Dakota State’s Trey Lance and Ohio State’s Justin Fields, my personal preference, are both options as well. Nevertheless, as long as Mac Jones isn’t the pick, there will be reasons for optimism. That hopefulness spurns from Wilson’s, and the aforementioned passers’, ability out of structure, incredible arm talent, and overall athleticism.

Wilson is arguably the most consistent pure passer in the class, touting accuracy to all levels of the field. Outside of the pocket, he is always a threat to make magic happen. There are shades of Patrick Mahomes in his game, though Drew Lock may be the best stylistic comparison for him.

As far as his weaknesses go, Wilson is pretty raw above the shoulders. He rarely faced pressure in 2020, and his 2019 wasn’t spectacular. He’s struggled to get past his first read at times, missing open receivers downfield. His aggressiveness will likely shine bright in key moments but may make him volatile and turnover-prone in the NFL.

All in all, the Jets are getting a dynamic quarterback with incredible upside. He’s as risky as any QB prospect in recent memory, but Mike LaFleur’s wide-zone scheme will work to mitigate his weaknesses. Expect a lot of play-action passes and a similar amount of bumps in the road, no matter how he turns out.

Teven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State

It’s no secret the Jets need to address the offensive line in some capacity. Making life difficult for young passers isn’t a recipe for success, and it seems they’ve learned their lesson. Despite not needing a tackle as badly as a guard, New York takes Teven Jenkins with the No. 23 overall pick in this Jets 7-Round 2021 Mock Draft.

George Fant’s play last year was equally inspiring and surprising, so it makes sense to question his sustainability. They chase upside in Jenkins, who much like Mekhi Becton, is already incredible in the run game. He’s not a finished product, but he provides considerable upside as a pass blocker. Jenkins is exceptionally strong and an elite finisher as well.

Joe Douglas may have a type when it comes to offensive linemen. Freakishly strong and athletic is a nice combination, and at 23, they find just that. This pick gives them one of the best young tackle pairings in the league. 

Now, Jenkins is no Penei Sewell, as his stock would suggest. He’s still a work-in-progress but projects well as a right tackle in LaFleur’s offense. His 9.74 Relative Athletic Score (RAS) helps embody his ceiling. From a value perspective, New York hits the nail on the head.

Ifeatu Melifonwu, CB, Syracuse

Finally, the defense is addressed. In this Jets 7-Round 2021 Mock Draft, New York opts to boost their fallible cornerback group. Ifeatu Melifonwu saw a quick rise in his draft stock, and though it may have fallen in recent weeks, he’s talented enough to be a starter from the jump.

Melifonwu’s freakish athleticism is reminiscent of his brother, Obi, though Ifeatu possesses the higher floor. He has legitimate skills as a boundary corner and can handle responsibilities in single-high and low zones. His size and speed help him erase opposing X receivers and get to the football. Melifonwu can thrive at the line of scrimmage, especially against smaller targets.

His 9.69 RAS is stunning, though I’m not sold on his fluidity. Thus, I don’t think he’ll see much time in the slot. Anyhow, the rest of his athletic profile is there in spades. Like most young corners, Melifonwu will likely struggle early on, but I’m sold on his potential. The Jets need competent bodies in their secondary; his potential is merely a boost.

Michael Carter, RB, UNC

Despite New York having one of the worst running back groups in the entire league, I wouldn’t guarantee they take one. There are premium positions requiring an influx of talent, and it would be silly to waste valuable picks on a back in today’s NFL climate. Additionally, after Day 2, there are not many inspiring prospects left at the position.

However, in this Jets 7-Round 2021 Mock Draft, they select Michael Carter. A partner in crime to potential top-50 pick Javonte Williams, Carter has the talent to be a starting running back, without the draft-day price tag. 

Carter is a well-rounded back who can do it all. Despite lacking in the size department, he brings enough power and flashes solid fundamentals in pass protection. His footwork and vision are impressive. He offers good contact balance, speed, burst, and agility.

Carter compares well to Chase Edmonds, a style of running back we’ve seen succeed in wide-zone offenses. His frame may keep him from being a true workhorse, but he projects favorably as the lead back in a committee.

Dylan Moses, LB, Alabama

Douglas enjoyed a nice draft last year by taking advantage of talented players dropping down boards. Last year, Denzel Mims, Ashtyn Davis, and Bryce Hall all fell too far. This year, a candidate for such a slide is Dylan Moses.

Once a top-five prospect, Moses has all but fallen out of first-round consideration. He’s struggled not only with the presence of injuries but with his performance while playing through them. If teams aren’t convinced he’ll return to his 2018 self, he could very well find himself available at pick 86.

At his best, Moses is an athletic linebacker that can take on MIKE responsibilities and be a star in coverage. He’s shown the ability to match tight ends and running backs with ease. In zone coverage, he makes his presence felt over the middle and isn’t a liability on third down.

Additionally, we’ve seen the impact a great linebacker can have on a Saleh-led defense. If Moses can play at a level close to Fred Warner, the Jets defense could be elite. Although it’s not an extremely valuable position, running out C.J. Mosley, Blake Cashman, and Jarrad Davis isn’t anybody’s idea of faultless. Here, they can chase upside while filling a big need.

Patrick Jones, EDGE, Pitt

The Jets’ interior defensive line is a bright spot on the roster, but their edge rushers certainly are not. Adding Lawson was vital to the defense, but securing him a partner is equally important. Patrick Jones can be that guy for Gang Green.

He may just be a rotational piece, especially early on. Still, Jones’ prowess as a technician lends itself to starter-level upside, even without elite athleticism. He isn’t particularly explosive, but he knows how to get to the quarterback. 

As a pass rusher, he draws stylistic comparisons to the likes of Chandler Jones. The likelihood of hitting to that degree in Round 4 of this Jets 7-Round 2021 NFL Mock Draft isn’t likely. Still, a high-floor prospect with legitimate starter potential is far from a reach on Day 3.

Drake Jackson, C, Kentucky

This selection is likely the final starter selected for New York, though that’s more of a referendum on their interior offensive line. Their guard situation is dismal. Bringing in Drake Jackson to step in at center could allow Connor McGovern to slide over at guard and improve his play. 

If at all possible, killing two birds with one stone would be a massive boost to the Jets’ offensive line. Jackson is the best player available, offers guard/center versatility, and has a high floor. Even if he doesn’t have the ceiling of other picks, he presents dependable value.

Quintin Morris, TE, Bowling Green

The tight end room in New York flat out stinks. Therefore, we try to add some juice to it in this Jets 7-Round 2021 Mock Draft. Quintin Morris is a small-school tight end that could make some noise in LaFleur’s offense.

Morris ran a 4.66 40-yard dash, making him the most athletic of the prospective Jets’ tight ends. His athleticism can help him separate and generate yardage after the catch.

Unfortunately, there are a few reasons why he’s available at No. 154 overall. Morris is an unfinished product who stands at 6-foot-2. He’s small, and it shows in his struggles as a blocker. He won’t see many looks in-line, limiting his versatility.

Morris projects as a backup tight end with the athletic upside to put up acceptable numbers. In a room headlined by Chris Herndon and Tyler Kroft, that’ll do.

Sage Surratt, WR, Wake Forest

The Jets have a plethora of bodies buried in the bottom of their wide receiver depth chart, but there are not many future contributors. Outside of Braxton Berrios, none present intriguing options to stay on the roster by Week 1. 

Sage Surratt can step in as a WR5 and be their best depth option at X receiver. If Mims goes down, Wilson can turn to a big-bodied, jump-ball specializing receiver who can consistently win at the catch point. In turn, this adds to Wilson’s strengths as an aggressive passer.

Surratt poses excellent strengths above the rim, but the rest of his game runs thin. He’s not as athletic as one would hope and will likely struggle to separate at the next level. He’s arguably not dominant enough in contested-catch situations to endure his shortcomings.

Israel Mukuamu, S, South Carolina

Ideally, the final selection of this Jets 7-Round 2021 Mock Draft would be Kary Vincent Jr. With the requisite speed and athleticism, Vincent is enough to be a chess piece for Saleh. They could use someone to slide inside and play safety when necessary. Unfortunately, the board did not fall favorably, and they settled for South Carolina’s Israel Mukuamu.

Mukuamu had Day 2 hype early in the draft cycle. Since then, he’s seen his draft stock plummet after struggling in 2020. The Gamecock has the ball skills to see legitimate production, though hopes for him on the boundary have dissipated. Ultimately, his length and skills in zone coverage could make him a versatile safety asset for New York.

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