The New York Jets had a very successful 2021 NFL draft.
With the second pick in the draft the Jets selected quarterback Zach Wilson. Wilson will be the franchise quarterback for the Jets for years to come. They were also able to build around him in the rest of the draft. Looking at the roster after the draft, it seems they are set up for the future.
There will likely be a growing period for this young Jets team, but they could emerge as a top team in the near future. With first year head coach Robert Saleh and young talent the rebuild is in full affect. He has seen what it is like to go from a rebuild to a Super Bowl appearance. Saleh was the defensive coordinator for the San Francisco 49ers since 2017 and has done a fantastic job with defenses. His coaching should transform this Jets defense into an elite unit.
Jets 1st round
Quarterback Zach Wilson: A
The Jets got a potential star with the pick of Wilson. He has great accuracy on the move and has enough mobility to keep the defense honest. Wilson is also great at extending the play with his mobility and awareness. He had a tendency to play hero ball at BYU but the Jets should be able to dial that back. Wilson may need some time to develop but he has all the intangibles and talent to be a great quarterback. He should also have an easier time developing as the Jets built around him during the draft.
Offensive Lineman Alijah Vera-Tucker: A
For the second straight year the Jets took an offensive lineman in the first round of the draft. They traded up with the Minnesota Vikings to make this pick and it is well worth it. Vera-Tucker is a guard who projects to be a great player in the NFL. He is one of if not the best guard in the draft which will help ease the pressure off of Wilson. The offensive line is starting to improve with Vera-Tucker now being paired with tackle Mekhi Becton. New York now has two offensive line spots filled for the future of the franchise.
Jets 2nd round
Wide receiver Elijah Moore: A-
New York immediately followed picking a franchise quarterback with giving him a weapon. Moore has the potential to be a number one receiver even in year one for Wilson. His ability has improved as a route runner every season in college and is great at leveraging opponents on routes. He possesses a high awareness and has many tools to make him a day one impact player. While he may not be Ja’Marr Chase, Jaylen Waddle, or Devonta Smith Moore will still be a great receiver for the Jets.
Jets 4th round
Running back Michael Carter: B
After trading away their third round picks to get Vera-Tucker the Jets waited till the 4th. They ended up selecting a running back in Michael Carter in a position they desperately needed to fill. Although he is not one of the top running backs in the class Carter has the potential to be a solid player in the league. It was clear throughout the draft that they wanted to make Wilson’s job as easy as possible. They drafted a lineman, receiver, and running back in all the picks after him. Carter has the agility and footwork to make plays and will be an instant impact player in this Jets offense.
Jets 5th round
Linebacker Jamien Sherwood: C+
A safety in college who will play linebacker for the Jets is a bit of a project. Sherwood is a well sized athlete who will be able to play with toughness at linebacker. The transition could take some time for him as he will be learning a whole new position in the 4-3 scheme. He definitely has the versatility to make the change but it may take a few years to see him start for this New York team.
Defensive back Michael Carter II: B-
Yes, the Jets selected two players named Michael Carter in the draft but they are completely different players. Carter II is a defensive back who could a safety or a nickelback corner at the next level. He ran a 4.32 second 40 yard dash so his speed should make it an easy transition to the league for him.
Cornerback Jason Pinnock: C-
New York reached on Pinnock in the 5th. After not addressing corner on day one or two, the Jets reached for one in the 5th. Pinnock was projected to go in the 7th round or go undrafted. He has some speed and good size but the Jets will need to spend a lot of time developing him to become a good player.
Jets 6th round
Linebacker Hamsah Nasirildeen: B
Another safety taken to convert to linebacker. Nasirildeen has some upside as he was rated as a round three talent before tearing his ACL. It will be a tough journey to transition to linebacker but he has all the tools to do it.
Cornerback Brandin Echols: C+
Yet another defensive back on day 3 of the draft. He had a fantastic pro day but is a real raw talent. He will be another project player for the Jets.
Defensive Tackle Jonathon Marshall: C
Another raw talent player for New York. It seems like the Jets like to select great athletes with potential. Marshall struggled to produce in college but his physical tools are undeniable. If the Jets can develop him he could make a great impact on the team.
Overall it was a solid draft for the Jets and they have a bright future ahead.