Let's meet the 2021 Draft Class for the New York Jets! Over the 10 picks they had, GM Joe Douglas drafted a loaded rookie class on both sides of the ball.
Round 1, Pick 2: Zach Wilson, QB, BYU
Jets fans should have reason to be fired up about this pick, and where the organization is heading. Wilson's arm, charismatic personality, and his ability to expose defenses' scheme mid-play offer great hope for the organization.
It's important to remember that nothing the Jets have done since the days' Joe Namath proves to us they can continually stay stable at the Quarterback position.
However, Wilson finds himself in good hands with OC, Mike Lafleur, and the Jets organization appears to be learning from their mistakes by building an O-Line around him early on.
Round 1, Pick 14: Alijah Vera-Tucker, OL, USC
Alijah Vera-Tucker is a pick that should give most Jets fans a sigh of relief. The Jets traded up from 23 to 14 with the Vikings.
He was the third-best lineman on most team's boards, so getting him at 14, even with paying that big price, will most likely prove to be worth the trade.
He will most likely end up starting at left-guard, next to Mehki Becton, and be part of the forefront in charge of protecting Wilson's blindside.
Round 2, Pick 34: Elijah Moore, WR, Ole Miss
This receiver will add great comfort for Wilson. He has great use in the slot, so these quick and easy throws will help Wilson's confidence.
Mike Lafleur should enjoy using him a lot. His route running abilities are deceptive to the defense, and he has very reliable hands, so once again more comfort for Wilson.
Moore insists he can do it all in the big leagues, so he will have to develop as a deep threat, but overall a really solid prospect.
Round 4, Pick 107: Michael Carter, RB, North Carolina
Carter is slightly undersized and has average speed. However, he has elite balance when he stays low to the ground. Michael Carter can also serve as a decent pass catcher if he needs to. He is super explosive when he's in his zone.
Carter also is one of the most reliable guys with the football. He hasn't allowed a fumble in his past two seasons. He should learn a great deal in the RB room, especially with Frank Gore mentoring him.
Round 5, Pick 146: Jamien Sherwood, LB, Auburn
He has great special teams value, and at a college level was already tackling like a pro. He has a huge wingspan which will for sure help him when covering slot receivers, or when he rushed the line of scrimmage.
Sherwood needs to work on his awareness when it comes to clarity. Sometimes he finds himself confused or tricked if a receiver runs a different route than he was anticipating. Multiple technical details must also be cleaned up.
Round 5, Pick 154: Michael Carter II, CB, Duke
Yes, They did indeed draft another Michael Carter. However, this guy plays on the other side of the ball. Carter has experience at both safety and corner, so he is very versatile and can be where Saleh needs him to be.
Carter is very undersized. Weighing in at 184 and 5-foot-8, there will be an issue for an NFL receiver to overpower him. That's why I believe he'll find his place at nickel corner.
Round 5, Pick 175: Jason Pinnock, CB, Pitt
The Jet's got another corner. Pinnock has great athleticism as he played wide receiver in high school. He's incredibly physical on the football field, and he has a special ability to contort his body in the air. That most likely also helped him in receiver days.
Pinnock is going to be a project. He will lose control of his hips and panics if a play goes south. His ball instincts are average. I assume he will have a fighting chance to make the roster but will need to improve a lot before that.
Round 6, Pick 186: Hamsah Nasirildeen, LB, Florida State
Nasirildeen, like Sherwood, was safety but the Jet's drafted him to linebacker.
In both 2018 and 2019, he led Floriday State in tackles, but due to an ACL tear in 2020, he dropped on many boards. However, Nasirildeen did come back for the final two games of the season, which shows his commitment, and ability to overcome adversity.
I believe this pick will be a steal. If it weren't for that ACL tear, Nasirildeen would not have been there for the Jets at pick 186.
Round 6, Pick 200: Brandin Echols, CB, Kentucky
Echols is definitely a major project. He shows elite athleticism and can be very disruptive to receivers running routes. He has a nice burst when trying to close in on receivers, as well as a great length in his arms.
I caution Jets fans from getting too excited because Echols's build is very limited, judging by NFL standards. His ball production dropped in the last year as well. He is not the man to go up against the DK Metcalf's of the league, because he'd absolutely get crushed.
Round 6, Pick 207: Jonathan Marshall, DT, Arkansas
Marshall has been praised for his high character, and he was a team captain in the last year. Marshall can usually generate pretty good pocket pressure. He was a pretty good basketball player in high school, so he is very athletic and versatile.
Marshall was only a starter last season, so there is one red flag. He also has no go-to move to go against o-lineman. There's refinement work that must be done, and some creativity sprinkled on with that. Plus, despite his ability to get pressure, he very rarely gets to the QB, as he had just 1.5 sacks last season.
Overall, I think Saleh and Douglas did a really nice job with this. I commend them for picking their strengths last. The beneficial reason is that Saleh has more experience developing defensive players, so if he puts the more prepared men on the side of the ball he's less comfortable with (offense), it easier to focus on the development of his players on defense.