New York Jets: Top Three Needs in the 2021 NFL Draft
It is almost the NFL draft and I can not think of a fan base that is more excited for it than the New York Jets. Oftentimes the draft means new beginnings and after going 2-14 they are in desperate need of one. In the draft the Jets have picks 2 and 23 in the first round which means they should be able to snag some talent in at least two of these areas of need. With each need there will be one player that they should take.
Need #1: Quarterback
As many of us say at the beginning of the year “new year new me”. Though after many of us say that we re-find our love for junk food and that promise just goes out the window, the same is not true for a new coaching regime in the National Football League. In the offseason the New York Jets made a splash and hired former San Francisco 49ers Head Coach Robert Saleh as their new signal caller. He is looking to instill something that the Jets have not had for years, a winning culture. Part of establishing that culture is to begin with new pieces, the biggest being quarterback. After trading Sam Darnold it is clear what their intentions are with the second overall pick. What quarterback is it they are looking at is the question? It is quite clear by their actions. According to ESPN’s Rich Cimini, the Jets were represented at Zach Wilson‘s pro day by their GM Joe Douglas, their Head Coach Robert Saleh, and their Offensive Coordinator Mike LaFleur. Take that report and combine it with the tweet from The Athletic‘s Dane Brugler that recieved a text from an unnamed NFL scout that said “Draft starts at 3. Wilson going 2.” Then it seems the Jets may just take a swing on the young hotshot from BYU. Check out some of his tape below.
Need #2: Offensive Line
Something important to look at when you either, keep Darnold or draft Wilson is to actually protect them. Last season outside of Mekhi Becton, the Jets offensive line struggled mightly. PFF ranks the New York Jets offensive line at number 28 after averaging 0.7 rushing yards before contact per attempt. On top of that they also allowed pressure in 2.5 seconds or less on almost 30 percent of their drop backs (second highest in the NFL). With their second first round pick, they have to be looking at offensive line. No need to try and draft a glitchy wide receiver if whoever is in the pocket at QB can’t find them. In this case the one that they could get at 23 is Dillon Radunz. He plays for North Dakota State which is a school that is probably going to be ignored. Scouts say he displays terrific awareness, fires into blocks, shows explosiveness, has a great motor and does a great job of body positioning. Below is a further breakdown of this prospect that seems to be firing up draft boards the closer we get to the draft.
Need #3: Cornerback
The last glaring need for the New York Jets is corner. In a division that includes the high powered Buffalo Bills offense and players like Stefon Diggs, DeVante Parker, and Nelson Agholor. The Jets will be facing top wide receivers both in and out of their division almost the entire season. Last year the Jets were torched and had to rely on rookies Bryce Hall and Lamar Jackson for most of their pass stopping. This did not end well what so ever. So who should the Jets grab at 23 as far as corners? Northwestern’s Greg Newsome II. This is a player that is a perfect fit for Saleh’s zone heavy defensive scheme. In 2020, he allowed 31.6% completion rate and just 7.8 yards per catch according to NFL.com. He takes smart angles to the reception and also is a great tackler. Check out some of his tape below.
It’s important to note that when a team goes 2-14 there are clearly many more needs than just three. These are just the three biggest, if the Jets address these needs then they could see an incremental increase in their win total next year.
What Do You Think The Jets Should Do? Leave a comment below…
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