Grading every Jets pick in 2021 NFL Draft

More On:

new york jets

Jets odd draft duo have already forged bond: ‘Cool dude’

Locking up star long-term is Jets ‘priority’ with NFL Draft over

Jets’ last pick to help Zach Wilson was a ‘no-brainer’

Jets’ focus on Zach Wilson help leaves daunting task for new coach

The Jets obviously grew tired of hearing about the NFL’s worst offense.

New coaching staff. New scheme. New quarterback. And plenty of new weapons.

The Jets entered the 2021 NFL Draft holding 10 picks, made a few trades and came away with 10 players. The first four all play on the side of the ball where the Jets ranked No. 32 last season. Here are The Post’s pick-by-pick grades for the Jets’ draft class:

Round 1, No. 2 overall: Zach Wilson (QB, BYU)

Wilson emerged as the NFL’s consensus No. 2-ranked quarterback, pulling away from Justin Fields, Trey Lance and Mac Jones. He doesn’t hide that he likes to take chances most quarterbacks won’t, so he will have to walk the tightrope between highlight and turnover. He can throw receivers open — or he did against a so-so college schedule.

Grade: A

Round 1, No. 14 overall: Alijah Vera-Tucker (OG, USC)

Vera-Tucker was the clear-cut top guard in the class, and there was no way he was slipping to No. 23. So, the Jets traded up without giving up a first- or second-round pick. Great value compared to the Bears’ haul to move up from No. 20 to No. 11. The dream is simple: Vera-Tucker and Mekhi Becton as the new Nick Mangold and D’Brickashaw Ferguson.

Grade: A

Round 2, No. 34 overall: Elijah Moore (WR, Mississippi)

It would have been easy to trade back here and recoup some picks, as a handful of teams were trying to move up. Or to pick cornerback Asante Samuel Jr. But the Jets vowed to make Wilson’s life easier. First with protection. Then with playmakers. Moore was second in the nation in receptions (86) and yards (1,193) in just eight games last season.

Grade: A-

Round 4, No. 107 overall: Michael Carter (RB, North Carolina)

Carter was ranked No. 51 on The Post’s top 100. That’s tremendous value, after the Jets traded their way out of the sweet spot for first-rounders Najee Harris and Travis Etienne. Carter led the ACC in rushing last season, averaged 6.6 yards per carry in his career and returned kicks. Possible Week 1 starter.

Grade: A

Round 5, No. 146 overall: Jamien Sherwood (LB/S, Auburn)

Sherwood made just 12 career starts as a college safety. He had just one interception and zero forced fumbles in college. But the Jets saw some potential as a developmental weakside linebacker.

Grade: C

Round 5, No. 154 overall: Michael Carter II (CB, Duke)

If there’s a knock on the Jets’ class, it’s that they waited way too long to pick a cornerback given Bless Austin, Bryce Hall and Corey Ballentine are atop the depth chart. Hey, that’s the price of trading away two third-rounders. Carter is a three-year starter who still felt like a reach, especially because he played mostly in the slot.

Grade: C-

Round 5, No. 175 overall: Jason Pinnock (CB, Pittsburgh)

Pinnock had three interceptions in 10 games (one-game suspension) in 2020, after allowing six touchdowns of 25 yards or more in 2019, according to NFL.com. He looks the part of a NFL cornerback, with speed, length and build.

Grade: C

Round 6, No. 186 overall: Hamsah Nasirildeen (LB/S, Florida State)

This is a steal, though probably not to the degree Nasirildeen thought when he declared himself a “first-rounder.” ‘Tweeners tend to fall — look at top-20 prospect Jeremiah Owusu-Karamoah sliding all the way to No. 52 — and it’s unclear if Nasirildeen has a true position. Played two games last season after returning from an ACL injury.

Grade: A-

Round 6, No. 200 overall: Brandin Echols (DB, Kentucky)

Converted wide receiver who played spent two years at wide receiver before transferring to Kentucky. Aced his pro day with both straight-line speed and agility. A flier on elite athleticism.

Grade: C

Round 6, No. 207 overall: Jonathan Marshall (DT, Arkansas)

He had the top athleticism score (99) among all defensive tackles in the class, according to NextGenStats. The 6-foot-3, 310-pounder ran the 40-yard dash in 4.81 seconds, vertical jumped 32 inches and put up 36 reps on the bench press. Just 11.5 tackles for loss (1.5 sacks) in 34 games, however.

Grade: B

Overall draft class grade: A

Share this article:

Source: Read Full Article