Sunday, March 7, 2021

Pre-Free Agency New York Jets 2021 NFL Mock Draft Roundup

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 (3/5)

2. Zach Wilson, QB, BYU

Given the holes up and down their roster, the Jets could go in a number of different directions here.

Even though Sam Darnold won't turn 24 until June and wasn't put in a position to succeed, he has struggled with durability and hasn't yet shown that he's the long-term answer. Wilson has enjoyed a pre-draft rise similar to that of Joe Burrow last year. Although not the biggest quarterback in this draft class, Wilson uses his athleticism to make and extend plays and is especially accurate throwing downfield.

23. Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota

Bateman played only five games in an abbreviated 2020 season, but he had 60 catches for 1,219 yards and 11 touchdowns as a sophomore in 2019. The polished and productive receiver ran a sub-4.4 forty (per Bateman himself). While times at training facilities and/or Pro Days are less reliable from a comparison standpoint, the (much) faster-than-expected time only boosts his draft stock.

ESPN - McShay (3/4)

2. Zach Wilson, QB, BYU

The logic here stands from my last mock draft: I expect Wilson to be the No. 2 overall pick, whether or not it is the Jets making it. Projecting this pick isn't necessarily suggesting they should or will move on from Sam Darnold, but if they do, Wilson is the obvious next move. If they don't, watch for a QB-needy team to trade up to take him here. Wilson is creative and can extend plays, he can hit the deep ball and his toughness in the pocket stands out.

Rich Cimini on his fit with the Jets: If it is the Jets taking Wilson, that would mean the end for Darnold, who would be traded -- and perhaps before the Jets are even on the clock. I think New York would look to acquire a "bridge" quarterback to ease the transition for Wilson, but it also needs to find some playmakers to put around him.

23. Azeez Ojulari, EDGE, Georgia

The Jets landed a quarterback at No. 2, so let's pivot to defense here. They need someone who can get home on the QB besides Quinnen Williams, who led the team with seven sacks in 2020. Ojulari is a pass-rush specialist of sorts, showing good speed, bend and first-step quickness. As for the lack of playmakers on offense to support Wilson, keep an eye on free agency this month and then Day 2 at the draft, where numerous high-end receivers and running backs will be available.

Rich Cimini on his fit with the Jets: The Jets haven't had an explosive edge rusher in 15 years. The question with Ojulari is scheme fit, and at 6-foot-3 and 240 pounds, he could be a tweener for the Jets' new 4-3 front.

CBS Sports - Trapasso (3/3)

2. Zach Wilson, QB, BYU

Barring a trade for Deshaun Watson, or an amazingly well-kept secret that they love another quarterback, Wilson will land with the Jets.

23. Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue

If Moore can stay healthy, he can be a tremendous weapon for Wilson right away.

The Athletic - Beat Writers (3/1)

2. Zach Wilson, QB, BYU

Things were so, so much easier for the Jets when it looked like they would go winless and land Lawrence. Now? Oh boy. General manager Joe Douglas must decide if Wilson or Ohio State's Justin Fields‘ upside is greater than that of incumbent Sam Darnold. The Jets genuinely like Darnold. They believe his play will improve with better coaching and a stronger supporting cast. But Darnold was the worst-rated passer in the NFL last year. Better doesn't necessarily mean good. Through three years he hasn't shown ability to make those around him better. His mechanics are a mess. His technique is bad. He's turnover-prone and reads a defense like I'd read Mandarin.

It's time to move on.

Wilson isn't Lawrence -- no one in this class is -- but there's an awful lot to like about him. He's deadly accurate. He's elusive in the pocket. He's mobile. He has a cannon for a right arm. He's tailor-made for coordinator Mike LaFleur's offense. There are some rumblings of personality red flags -- that's a concern. But Wilson will have opportunities over the next few months to convince Douglas they're overblown. If he can, he's the pick. -- Connor Hughes

23. Jayson Oweh, EDGE, Penn State

The Jets can't make the same mistake they did with Darnold. They need to surround Wilson with talent. Good news: They'll have nearly $90 million in salary-cap space and another three selections in the second and third rounds (which could increase if they trade Darnold) to do that. So while a receiver or offensive lineman might work here, Oweh fills a big need on defense. The Jets haven't had an edge-rushing threat since trading John Abraham ... in 2006. Oweh will join a defensive line that features Quinnen Williams, Foley Fatukasi, John Franklin-Myers and Jabari Zuniga. -- Connor Hughes

Touchdown Wire - Farrar (2/26)

2. Zach Wilson, QB, BYU

Sam Darnold deserves the chance to show his athletic potential outside the nightmare that is an Adam Gase offense, but new Jets offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur also deserves the opportunity to get his quarterback and work from there. While I do believe that Darnold could work decently in a LaFleur offense, there are going to be a lot of Kyle Shanahan/Matt LaFleur characteristics in the Jets' new system, and Darnold isn't the first guy who comes to mind when you think about a quarterback who excels in boot-action and the other staples. Wilson, on the other hand, has the perfect profile to bring the most out of that type of scheme. An easy thrower on the move, Wilson also has the demonstrated ability to make consistently accurate second-reaction throws. He was especially devastating when using play-action, completing 89 of 123 passes for 1,548 yards, 20 touchdowns, and no interceptions.

23. Elijah Moore, WR, Mississippi

Since we've given the Jets a new quarterback in Zach Wilson, let's give Wilson a new table-setting receiver, as the combination of Jamison Crowder, Braxton Berrios, and Breshad Perriman didn't quite measure up. (Kudus to the Jets for allowing Robhy Anderson to leave for Carolina, feast on a more expansive route tree, and become a star. Alas). Now that Mike LaFleur has replaced Adam Gase as the shot-caller in Gang Green's offense, you can expect hallmarks of the Kyle Shanahan passing game, as LaFleur was Shanahan's passing game coordinator in 2019 and 2020, and has been working with Shanahan since 2014. So, expect schemed-open receivers, a ton of motion and backfield movement, and the maximization of targets who can move in space.

There are few players in this class more inclined to meet that last qualification than Ole Miss's Elijah Moore.

Eli has a point, to a point, about his near-namesake. Last season, Moore caught a preposterous 86 catches for 1,193 yards and eight touchdowns in just eight games. Whether from the slot or outside, he consistently proved to be one of the most elusive and toughest receivers to bring down in the country, as his 5.9 yards after catch per reception and 18 forced missed tackles proved. If Moore were 6-0 and 200 pounds putting up those numbers, that would be one thing -- but at 5-foot-11 and 184 pounds, he just packs a wallop you don't often see from receivers his size, and he does so without sacrificing a bit of his game-breaking ability. - Casserly (2/25)

2. Zach Wilson, QB, BYU

The Jets ultimately decide to trade Sam Darnold and go with the highly touted rookie.

23. Joe Tryon, EDGE, Washington

There's a chance the Jets fill this need in free agency, but if they don't, Tryon would fit well in Robert Saleh's scheme. - Meinke (2/25)

2. Zach Wilson, QB, BYU

The more Wilson tape I watch, the more I wish I would have spent my Saturday afternoons watching BYU football. He's far from a finished product, but the kid has a hose, he can run too, and he makes at least a couple plays every game that are kind of ridiculous. I think he's going second in this draft, whether that's to New York or some other team moving up the board for a QB.

23. Najee Harris, RB, Alabama

With Zach Wilson joining Sam Darnold at quarterback, the Jets have invested serious capital into the quarterback position. Now they need to go get some guys who can make plays with the ball in their hands, and few guys made more plays last season than this guy.

San Diego Union Tribune (2/24)

2. Zach Wilson, QB, BYU

Everything I'm seeing indicates the Jets are trying to move Sam Darnold, which means a quarterback will be the pick here, unless they flip the booty gained from Darnold (and a bunch of others) for Watson. This selection would almost certainly be a part of that deal. There's already been “anonymous” reports questioning Wilson's character and leadership. On the flip side, some teams reportedly have Wilson above Lawrence on their draft board. ‘Tis the season. I find his arm talent and improvisational skills equally impressive.

23. Azeez Ojulari, EDGE, Georgia

If past is prologue, once head coach Robert Saleh has his quarterback situation figured out, he'll focus on building a pass rush. Ojulari was a semifinalist for the Chuck Bednarik Award (the nation's top defensive player) with 8.5 sacks, 12.5 tackles for loss, four forced fumbles and 25 quarterback hurries. He's only scratching the surface of his talent.

Previous update: New York Jets Mock Draft Roundup 5.0

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