2021 NFL Draft Grades
New York Jets
1 (2) - Zach Wilson QB BYU - A-
1 (14) - Alijah Vera-Tucker OG USC - A
2 (2) - Elijah Moore WR Ole Miss - A+
4 (2) - Michael Carter RB UNC - A+
5 (2) - Jamien Sherwood S Louisville - D
5 (10) - Michael Carter Jr CB Duke - D
5 (31) - Jason Pinnock CB Pitt - C+
6 (2) - Hasmah Nasirildeen S Florida State - A
6 (16) - Brandin Echols CB Kentucky - B
6 (23) - Jonathan Marshall DT Arkansas - B
- I am not the highest on Zach Wilson, but I have been wrong before like I was with Justin Herbert and Josh Allen. So, I will never fault a team for going after a quarterback with some conviction. The Jets were on Wilson all the way back since February and never waivered. They have to love what they see from him with his athletic talent and terrific arm strength. He has a lot of the same traits like Patrick Mahomes albeit a tad smaller. However, I do see him having the most bust potential out of the top 5 quarterbacks from this class. He has a very high ceiling, but he has the lowest floor as well. Now they are making sure he has more help than Sam Darnold did by pairing last year’s great left tackle Mekhi Becton with Alijah Vera-Tucker. I know a lot of people are going to hate on them for moving up for a guard, but I will not. We have seen special guards like Zach Martin, Quenton Nelson, and Marshall Yanda all be key cogs for their respective offensive lines. I think Vera-Tucker is a talent of the similar vein who could be a worthy selection here.
-They followed up their terrific Day 1 with a very strong Day 2 despite only having one pick after moving up for Vera-Tucker. Many thought Elijah Moore could have easily gone in the first round. He drops due to being a tad bit of a slot receiver only type of talent, but he is an excellent option there. His speed, twitchiness, and toughness makes him an excellent option over the middle of the defense. I would not be shocked if he precludes them letting go of Jamison Crowder who continues to be disappointing health wise. Meanwhile, I think they may have finally found their long term back in Michael Carter who is some amazing value at the start of the 4th round. To me he and former teammate Javonte Williams were neck and neck on my boards. Sure Williams has a little more well rounded talent as a pass catcher, but Carter is the shiftier back in the open field with a little more speed. I think he should certainly be a great back for Wilson to lean on as he gets his feet wet during his rookie season.
- The rest of the draft the Jets poured most of their resources into fixing their woeful secondary. All the guys like Sherwood, Carter Jr, Pinnock, Nasirildeen, and Echols will have plenty of opportunities to prove their worth. There really is not much talent in front of any of them to prevent them from seeing the field quickly. Outside of Marcus Maye the rest of the secondary is wide open for competition. Now I like Nasirildeen the most out of all those guys. He was injured in 2019 and missed all of 2020 so he was unable to help his stock out much. When healthy he plays a little like another former Seminole, Derwin James. Sherwood is a tweener who might fit in as a linebacker in Robert Saleh’s scheme where he likes smaller linebackers. Meanwhile, Carter Jr is an okay talent, but Echols possesses the higher athletic upside. Jonathan Marshall Jr was a fine pick as well let in the draft with his sneaky upside.
- All told despite my reservations about Zach Wilson I still think this draft was a pretty solid one by Joe Douglas. I just hope the New York media and the Jets fanbase in particular do not expect a miracle turn around this season. It’s going to be a slow rebuild with how bereft of talent they were when Douglas arrived with the organization. If Wilson can provide even a Baker Mayfield type hope with a solid rookie season here the organization and fanbase should be ecstatic with where things are headed.