Although Sam Darnold didn't show that he was the franchise quarterback the team hoped he'd develop into when they selected him with the No. 3 pick of the 2018 NFL Draft, he also wasn't put in a position to succeed given the poor coaching and supporting cast. By trading him to the Panthers, the team resets and is absolutely flush with draft picks over the next two years to put the next quarterback in a position to flourish. In the 2021 and 2022 drafts combined, the Jets have 10 picks in the first three rounds -- four first-rounders, three second-rounders and three third-rounders.
Appearing on the Dan Patrick Show, former NFL quarterback and current analyst Chris Simms said, "I'm blown away by Zach Wilson, Dan. You know I look at it, and look at, and say this is an Aaron Rodgers, a Patrick Mahomes, Brett Favre-ish type guy." On top of lofty comparisons to HOF/MVP-caliber quarterbacks, Simms actually ranks Wilson ahead of Lawrence, but the BYU product's meteoric rise up draft boards this draft cycle has been similar to that of Joe Burrow in last year's draft.
If Lawrence weren't in this draft class, Wilson would be worthy of the No. 1 overall pick.
The Jets signed Tevin Coleman to a one-year deal, but they figure to be one of the few teams that could consider drafting a running back in the first round. By adding a talented do-it-all type of back like Harris, it would help the Jets take some pressure off of Zach Wilson. The all-time career rushing leader in Alabama history, Harris rushed for 1,466 yards and 26 touchdowns and added 43 receptions for 425 yards and four more scores last season.
Trading Sam Darnold guarantees what we've been projecting for months -- The Jets are resetting the quarterback position. With all due respect to the bigger, speedier Lawrence, Wilson is the most accurate passer in this class and the perfect building block for defensive-minded coach Robert Saleh to build around.
The investment in Zach Wilson at No. 2 overall won't matter if the Jets don't shore up the interior of their offensive line. GM Joe Douglas attempted to do so in free agency, but missed out on pricey free-agent guard Joe Thuney. Vera-Tucker would be a younger, cheaper and similarly gifted consolation prize.
The Jets have been infatuated with Wilson for months and the whole league has known it. Trading away Sam Darnold last week solidified this pick, which will define Joe Douglas' tenure as GM.
23. Teven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State
Douglas hit a home run last year with Mekhi Becton and saw how well Zach Wilson operated behind a stout BYU line. Jenkins can come in and immediately compete with George Fant for the right tackle position, and he has experience playing guard, too.
As soon as General Manager Joe Douglas finished observing the workouts of this year's quarterbacks, he appeared to firm up Wilson as his choice. Soon after, he traded Darnold, the former third overall pick, to Carolina.
The Jets added two defensive ends, a defensive tackle, a linebacker and a safety in free agency, but nothing at cornerback. Newsome would fit in nicely in Coach Robert Saleh's defense, but the Jets might need to trade up to get him.
The Jets upgraded the pass rush with Carl Lawson in free agency, but there is still work to do. At only 20 years old, Ojulari led the SEC in sacks, tackles for loss and forced fumbles due to his get-off, length and instincts. And it is clear he has yet to play his best football.
Perhaps there are more pressing needs, but GM Joe Douglas is a talent hound who knows a bargain when he sees one. JOK would work well as a weakside linebacker (or as a big safety) in the new defensive system and could develop into a playmaker like the ones new head coach Robert Saleh had in San Francisco with Kwon Alexander and Dre Greenlaw.
I said last month that I was 50-50 on whether the Jets should keep Sam Darnold or take a quarterback here, and general manager Joe Douglas and coach Robert Saleh made their decision last week. Darnold is off to Carolina, and so this pick is clearly going to be a quarterback. I have Ohio State's Justin Fields just ahead of Wilson in my rankings, but Wilson is the name I've consistently heard for New York. He can be a star with the right talent around him, but the Jets have to add another pass-catcher at some point, even after adding Corey Davis and Keelan Cole Sr. in free agency.
The Jets are a tough team to predict, and their defense could use an overhaul; you know new coach Robert Saleh wants a chance to reshape the side of the ball he coaches with a prime pick. Newsome has been a riser over the past month; his 2020 tape is phenomenal, and he had a great pro day workout. He fits well with what Saleh wants in his corners. Newsome is the last of four cornerbacks who I think are likely to go in Round 1.
In the end, I think Wilson will be the guy. His 2020 campaign numbers were eye-popping, but it's his toughness and fearlessness over the course of his entire college career that really impresses folks around the league.
23. Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue
Moore is a beast and a nightmare to tackle after the catch. He's neither a burner nor a huge physical specimen, but he fits everything the Jets are looking to be. Think Deebo Samuel, with his ability to carry the ball, catch the ball and generally be a DC's headache week in and week out.