2021 NFL Draft Grade: New York Jets
Round 1 Pick 2: QB Zach Wilson
Round 1 Pick 13: OL Alijah Vera-Tucker
Round 2 Pick 34: WR Elijah Moore
Round 4 Pick 107: RB Michael Carter
Round 5 Pick 146: S Jamien Sherwood
Round 5 Pick 154: S Michael Carter II
Round 5 Pick 175: CB Jason Pinnock
Round 6 Pick 186: S Hamsah Nasirildeen
Round 6 Pick 200: CB Brandon Echols
Round 6 Pick 207: DT Jonathan Marshall
Not only did the Jets presumably find their quarterback of the future by taking Zach Wilson, but New York also traded up to lucky No.13 to draft arguably the most versatile o-lineman in the class. Going into this process, I was opposed to the Jets trading Sam Darnold and taking a quarterback. I assumed any quarterback going into this organization would have the same struggles as Darnold: no o-line, no defense, no consistent receivers.
After this draft though, I feel differently. The fact that New York traded up to get an o-lineman that can play virtually any position is something they never did for Darnold. Alijah Vera-Tucker has great potential at either tackle or guard position, and he offers reliable pass blocking. Then in the second round, the Jets went and got a very talented receiver in Elijah Moore. They were also very busy in free agency, so Moore is most likely set to be a slot guy. This is great for him and his 4.32 40-yard dash.
New York also wanted to confuse every NFL fan out there by drafting not one, but two Michael Carters. The running back Michael Carter was part of a two-headed monster at North Carolina that ran all over the ACC in 2020. Carter is an elusive back that can also bring some power to his game. Not only that, but his ability as a receiver makes him a steal for Day Three. Safety Michael Carter II (fitting that he was also the second Michael Carter taken) was a ballhawk at Duke, and he should be a nice depth piece to the secondary.
The big pick of the third day for New York though was safety Hamsah Nasirildeen. He suffered a torn ACL late in the 2019 season which kept him sidelined for all but two games in 2020. When on the field, he brings an excellent blend of size and athleticism to the safety position. He could have better ball skills at this point, but that will surely develop as he gets experience. He could be a starter one day in the NFL.
I have been a big Alijah Vera-Tucker fan since this draft process began, so I think that is a solid pick. However with Christian Darrisaw still on the board, I probably would have taken him instead. Elijah Moore and Michael Carter should have immediate roles in this offense, though. The Jets are a young, exciting team moving into 2021.