Sunday, January 17, 2021

New York Jets 2021 NFL Mock Draft Roundup, 4.0

Throughout the year and leading up to the 2021 NFL draft, we will update our New York Jets Mock Draft Roundup showing picks for the New York Jets from several prominent sites and draft analysts.

For a more inclusive lists of mock drafts for the New York Jets, check out our 2021 New York Jets Mock Draft Database.

The following are picks in recent mock drafts for the Jets:

EDSFootball - Hanson (1/15)

2. Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State

With so many positions in need of upgrade on their roster, the Jets could look to trade back a few spots with another QB-needy franchise. Although Sam Darnold has missed three-plus games in all three years he's been in the league and hasn't yet shown that he's the long-term answer, he's only 23.

If the team maintains this draft slot, they have the opportunity to reset at the most important position in sports. In any other draft, either Fields or BYU's Zach Wilson would be worthy of the No. 1 overall pick and it's unclear at this point which quarterback Joe Douglas would prefer.

While things didn't go as well against Alabama in the national championship game, Fields helped his stock in the College Football Playoffs. Not only did he show incredible toughness playing through injury after James Skalski was ejected for targeting, he lit up a talented Clemson defense for 22-of-28 for 385 yards and six touchdowns in the semifinal game. With prototypical size (6-3, 225), elite athleticism and the arm strength to make all of the throws, the dual-threat quarterback has thrown 63 touchdowns to only nine interceptions and added 15 rushing touchdowns in his two seasons as Ohio State's starter.

23. Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State

Whether or not the Jets draft a quarterback near the top of the draft, adding more weapons for whomever is under center is needed. The Jets receivers struggled to stay healthy in 2020, Breshad Perriman is a potential free agent and only the Ravens had a worse passing attack. An outstanding route-runner, Olave exceeded the 100-yard mark in five of his seven games this season and finished 2020 with 50 catches for 729 yards and seven touchdowns.

San Diego Union Tribune (1/13)

2. Zach Wilson, QB, BYU

GM Joe Douglas has three options here. Take whoever he believes is the second best quarterback in this draft class (I currently believe it's Wilson by a hair), trade for a stockpile of picks (always my preference) or select a potential franchise left tackle in Penei Sewell (not a bad consolation prize). Maybe Douglas still isn't sold on Sam Darnold and potentially tries to deal him this offseason or he really likes this quarterback draft class. The competition level hasn't been the strongest, but Wilson's performance has been eye-opening -- he passed for 3,692 yards (third in the nation) and 33 touchdowns (third in the nation) against only three interceptions. The Davey O'Brien semifinalist's arm talent and improvisation skills are equally impressive.

23. Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina

The Jets go defense after addressing the offense with their earlier pick. Horn -- his father Joe was a Pro Bowl wide receiver -- is a very talented press corner with elite speed, good size (6-foot-1, 205 pounds) and can make plays in run support.

CBS Sports - Trapasso (1/13)

2. Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State

Fields got one heck of a battle from Zach Wilson during the season, but the Ohio State product will land at No. 2 overall.

23. Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota

Bateman is a complete wideout who brings it with size, deceptive YAC skills, and polished route running.

The Athletic - Brugler (1/12)

2. Zach Wilson, QB, BYU

This is where the intrigue really starts. Should the Jets keep Darnold and build up the roster (either by drafting Oregon's Penei Sewell or by trading back)? Or should they start fresh with a new quarterback? And if so, which one? Wilson's accuracy and off-platform playmaking skills are why several around the league think he is the favorite at No. 2.

23. Azeez Ojulari, EDGE, Georgia

With three of the top 34 picks, the Jets can address plenty of needs, including pass rusher. Only a redshirt sophomore, Ojulari needs to diversify his pass-rush plan, but he is an explosive athlete with the dip-and-rip cornering skills to pressure the pocket.

The Draft Network - Marino (1/7)

2. Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State

The Jets have options with the second pick, but the course becomes clear once the decision on what to do with Sam Darnold is made. If New York wants to run it back with Darnold and build around him, trading back with a team that wants to move up for a quarterback would be a smart choice. My hunch is that with a new coach coming to town, New York will be eager to put the Adam Gase era behind them, which includes moving on from Darnold and having a clean slate at quarterback moving forward. Fields is a physically gifted passer that brings exciting mobility and arm talent to the table, and he has plenty of high-level experience from his time at Ohio State.

27. Derion Kendrick, CB, Clemson

The Jets may have an answer at one corner spot in Bryce Hall, but he needs a running mate and the group needs depth. Since switching from wide receiver to cornerback in the spring of 2019, Kendrick has made considerable progress and came into his own this year. His ball skills will be a major asset at the next level and he thrives in zone coverage.

ESPN - McShay (1/7)

2. Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon

General manager Joe Douglas has a lot of decisions to make ahead of free agency and the draft, not the least of which is what to do at quarterback. The Jets' pair of late-season victories made it an even more difficult call. BYU's Zach Wilson or Ohio State's Justin Fields could be in play, as could a trade back to stockpile more picks. Moving down would really be the ideal move.

Since we're not mocking trades this far out, and with Lawrence off the board, I think the Jets will stick with Sam Darnold as their guy under center and build around him. That begins with a game-changing offensive tackle. New York allowed 43 sacks this season, and its rushing attack tied for sixth worst in yards per carry (4.1). Sewell, a 2020 opt-out, would do wonders for both weak spots. And after taking Mekhi Becton in Round 1 in April, the Jets would have a pair of elite tackles bookending the line.

25. Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State

In an effort to continue giving Sam Darnold a better supporting cast -- remember, we gave the Jets an elite offensive tackle at No. 2 -- let's go to the wide receiver well. No one in this class separates as well as Olave does, thanks in part to tremendous wheels. He was terrific against Clemson (two touchdowns), and he has gone for 100-plus receiving yards in five of six games so far this season. The Jets' passing attack ranked second worst in the NFL despite trailing a good deal of the time. No receiver went over 700 yards for them. Jamison Crowder has struggled to stay healthy. Breshad Perriman is potentially headed out of town. And the Jets haven't had a 1,000-yard wideout since 2015.

USA Today - MMS (1/5)

2. Zach Wilson, QB, BYU

For some time, the Jets' choice here will be depicted as a consolation prize for a franchise that squandered its inside track on landing Lawrence. Yet there are several options poised to amount to far more than that in the long run. Bypassing one of the top quarterbacks to stick with Sam Darnold for another year seems like a tough sell, especially given that Wilson and Justin Fields likely would be seen as deserving No. 1 picks in a different year. For now, a slight edge goes to Wilson, a dynamic downfield thrower who frequently makes dazzling completions look easy.

27. Alijah Vera-Tucker, IOL, USC

After Joe Douglas bemoaned not equipping Darnold with the proper supporting cast, the fleet-footed and versatile Vera-Tucker would help the Jets GM set things right for his 2021 quarterback -- whoever that might be.

Athlon Sports - Fisher (1/5)

2. Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon

Since missing out on the top pick, attention in the Big Apple has turned to the franchise making a decision on Sam Darnold's future. While there is upside with selections like Zach Wilson or Justin Fields, general manager Joe Douglas and a new coaching staff can still unearth the potential in their starting signal-caller. Getting him help remains paramount, which means nabbing Sewell to form the best young tackle tandem in the league with Mekhi Becton.

27. Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson

The Jets will be going heavy to find additional weapons on offense and will not bat an eyelash at going against conventional wisdom in spending this draft capital on Etienne. Yes he plays running back but he is also the best threat out of the backfield in the draft and is ready to go in pass protection right away too.

Previous update: New York Jets Mock Draft Roundup 3.0

MORE TEAMS: All NFL Team Mock Draft Roundups

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