2021 Jets Mock Draft 1.0: Rounds 1-4
Updated: Dec 15, 2020
It's December 2020 and the Jets have been out of playoff contention since early November. This experience is all too familiar for Jets fans as the focus now shifts to next season and ways to rebuild the roster. Healthy NFL franchises can turn a roster around from bottom of the barrel to playoff contender in 2-3 off-seasons. Jets fans need to remember a decade-long rebuild is not the expectation of a good organization. We are hoping Joe Douglas can prove this to Jets fans in the next few off-seasons and take this team from perpetual losing, to a respectable franchise by 2022.
All this being said, fans like us are the de-facto "GMs" at this point in the year and mock drafts are aplenty. We hope you enjoy our first installation of the 2021 Jets Mock Draft. In this mock, we cover rounds 1-4 and were able to find some high-upside needs with all the early picks Douglas was able to accumulate this year through various trades. Enjoy.
Round 1, Pick 1
QB - Trevor Lawrence, Clemson
Do we really need to explain this selection? The Jets were just blown out of the stadium by the Seahawks 40-3 and Sam Darnold looked like he was just trying to finish the game as quickly as possible so he could dream about playing for another franchise. Any hope Jets fans had in Darnold is long gone. He hasn't eclipsed 200 yards in 7 out of 9 starts this season. In today's NFL, that's unacceptable. When he was drafted, Darnold had some obvious flaws, but many hoped he'd be able to overcome them after a few years in the league. That hasn't been the case. If anything, he's become worse in all his weaknesses from college, and no longer excels in the things that created excitement about his abilities. It's a true shame, but it's time Sam got a fresh start.
Trevor Lawrence is about as "can't miss" as it gets at the quarterback position. He possesses ideal size (6'6), arm strength, pinpoint accuracy, and elite field vision. On top of these pocket passer traits, Lawrence is also an excellent runner who knows how to make defenders miss and also has the burst to run for big chunk plays. There hasn't been a player since Peyton Manning who garnered the praise Lawrence receives. The Jets would be foolish to get cute with this selection or trade back for picks. A franchise can only go as far as its signal caller. With Lawrence, the Jets get the best one in 20 years. Don't overthink this.
Round 1, Pick 25 (From Seattle)
RB - Travis Etienne, Clemson
Can you say Alvin Kamara 2.0? Many mock drafts have the Jets taking a corner or interior OL with this pick. While these are needs, playmakers are a bigger need and Travis Etienne has all the potential to become a perennial Pro Bowl running back in the NFL. Not only that, but he has spent the last two seasons taking handoffs and catching passes out of the backfield from Trevor Lawrence. Chemistry is huge in the NFL, especially for a rookie. Helping your new signal caller with a dynamic, explosive chess piece like Etienne in his rookie season would provide the comfort Lawrence needs to maximize his early years in the league right away.
Before you present the argument that taking a running back early isn't a smart move, I urge you to consider the impact of players like Josh Jacobs (24th overall), Nick Chubb (35th overall), and Zeke (4th overall) who have a significant impact on the outcome of games on a week to week basis. When making the Etienne pick, Najee Harris was still on the board. I considered Harris here as well, but the familiarity Etienne has with Lawrence made this the clear selection.
Round 2, Pick 33
CB - Shaun Wade, Ohio State
Okay, fine. The Jets do need help in the secondary. If the team expects Bryce Hall and Bless Austin to hold down the fort for years to come, they have another thing coming. So with the first pick of Round 2, we selected Shaun Wade, cornerback for Ohio State. Wade has ideal size (6'1) and weight (194 lbs) to line up head-to-head with an opponent's WR1. His acceleration and speed are exceptional. He plays physical and loves to work in press-man coverage, something the Jets haven't had in a corner since Darrelle Revis. Wade is also a great tackler, which has become rare among corners these days. Wade will be a starting corner on Day 1 and has the tools to excel early in his career in the NFL.
Round 3, Pick 65
EDGE - Quincy Roche, Miami
Time to generate some pass rush. In 2020, Quinnen Williams has blossomed on the interior of the DL. He continually beats double teams and creates pressure for opposing QBs. The Jets are pretty set at DL, but need a true pass rusher who can take the pressure off Quinnen and allow him to double his sack total. Enter Quincy Roche, another player whose name starts with a Q (just a coincidence, we promise). Roche is explosive off the first step and his footwork throws off opposing O-linemen on a regular basis. His hand technique is violent. At 235 lbs, he is undersized for an every-down pass rusher, but he plays bigger than he weighs. Before transferring to Miami this season, he generated 13 sacks and 19 tackles for loss in 2019 at Temple. He also recorded 68 pressures that season, which was good for 2nd in the nation. Roche would be a great compliment to Quinnen for years to come and would finally give the Jets a respectable pass rush.
Round 3, Pick 88
OT - Teven Jenkins, Oklahoma State
Joe Douglas loves to bring in guys who are flat out nasty in the trenches (i.e. Mekhi Becton). So with this pick, it was time to address the OL with another mauler at tackle. Teven Jenkins is another big boy at 6'6, 320 lbs. Two words to describe him are strength and power. Jenkins is great at the second level and makes easy work of linebackers, clearing the way for his running backs to run for big gains. He has great hands and anchors himself well against opposing pass rushers. Jenkins needs to work on staying low, but this is something that good coaching can fix. Putting Jenkins opposite Becton would be a homerun and would lead to many steak dinners on Trevor Lawrence's dime.
Round 4, Pick 96
WR - Amari Rodgers, Clemson
I said the Jets needs playmakers, so how about another high-upside one in Clemson WR, Amari Rodgers. Talk about making Trevor Lawrence comfortable. He now has his favorite running back and a receiver who already has Lawrence's timing down to make a smooth transition to the NFL. Not only that, but Rodgers possesses the ability to high-point the football and not give the defender a chance to knock it loose. For a slot receiver, this is impressive. His hands are like glue, he plays with strength, and can burn over-confident corners.
With Denzel Mims manning the "large-and-in-charge" WR body type, the 5'10 Rodgers is able to compliment the play style of Mims with quickness and exceptional play in the slot. Jamison Crowder has manned this position well for the Jets, but adding a dynamic piece like Rodgers couldn't hurt. He possesses higher upside than Crowder and can learn under Crowder for a season before taking over the position full time. With some improvements in route running, Rodgers can become an excellent starting receiver in the league. Rodgers is also a great returner, something the Jets have been lacking for some time now. If the Jets can add someone like Allen Robinson in free agency, the WR room could look very good in 2021 and beyond with Robinson, Mims, Crowder, and now Rodgers.
From just these six picks in the first four rounds, the Jets have found their franchise quarterback, an Alvin Kamara clone, starting corner, edge rusher, starting tackle, and a wide receiver with high upside who played with your new signal caller in college. Mind you, there's still three more rounds to continue to add depth and talent with high upside defensive backs, wideouts, and offensive linemen. We hope Joe Douglas accidentally stumbles upon this article, but even if he doesn't, we believe he will make the right decisions in the spring.
Jets 2021 Starting Offense Post Mock Draft 1.0
QB - Trevor Lawrence
RB - Travis Etienne
WR1 - Allen Robinson (pending free agency)
WR2 - Denzel Mims
Slot - Jamison Crowder/Amari Rodgers
TE - Chris Herndon
OT - Mekhi Becton
OT - Teven Jenkins
OG - Greg Van Roten
OG - Brandon Sherff/Joe Thuney (pending free agency)
C - Connor McGovern