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2021 NFL Draft: New York Jets 7-round mock (Vol. 1)

Amari Rodgers and Trevor Lawrence
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Targeting premium positions early on from both sides of the ball, Sam Crnic reveals his first 7-round mock draft for the 2021 New York Jets.

As the winless New York Jets continue to implode within the locker room and on the field, fans are left looking forward to the offseason to escape a disastrous 0-11 start.

After sending Jamal Adams to the Seahawks for a variety of draft picks before the season began, the focus at 1 Jets Drive was already shifted towards the 2021 offseason. Whether that be because of the perceived lack of talent heading into the 2020 season or the current COVID-19 climate, the Jets are building towards the future, not the present.

Looking towards the 2021 NFL Draft, Joe Douglas has nine picks to work with – six within the first 100 picks (the final of those six will not land in the top-100 once compensatory picks are awarded). In a potential Sam Darnold trade, Douglas could add another top-100 pick.

Regardless of the number of picks the Jets have on April 29, the team has an abundance of positions to fill on both offense and defense.

Not including compensatory picks or trades, I will be exploring one of the many routes the Jets may take in the draft. All-22 film from both the 2020 and 2019 seasons will be utilized to give a glimpse of each prospect’s skill-set. This mock uses the Jets’ current projected draft position as of Dec. 3, 2020.

Let’s dive in.

Round 1, Pick 1: Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence

The most talented quarterback in years and the best prospect in this draft, Trevor Lawrence at No. 1 overall has become the consensus around the league.

  • Hometown: Cartersville, Georgia
  • High School: Cartersville High School (GA)
  • Position: QB
  • School: Clemson
  • Height: 6-foot-6
  • Weight: 220-pounds

Despite the pre-season confidence in a year-3 Sam Darnold leap, nothing came to fruition. As a result, the Jets must attract a new head coach with the best QB prospect since Andrew Luck. At the same time, a new rookie contract for the QB position would give Joe Douglas ample flexibility to not only build around Lawrence but also the team as a whole.

Looking at Lawrence’s first game of the 2020 season on film, we see the same brilliance highlighted in his 2019 film review. Not only does he squeeze balls in locations other QBs cannot, but Trevor also does it with anticipation as well.

In this clip, Lawrence puts the ball in a perfect spot; over the flat defender’s wingspan, yet right in his wide receiver’s catch radius.

On the top of the screen, the targeted wide receiver runs an out to the right sideline, taking advantage of the cornerback’s inside leverage. Right before the play snaps, the CB cushions off the line of scrimmage (LOS), gaining Lawrence’s attention to throw the pass. Showcasing rhythm and desired timing with WR, Trevor launches the pass as soon as the WR breaks outside. With these two actions happening simultaneously, the flat defender still has his back to the ball, while the CB’s hips are pointed inside.

If this pass is thrown any later, the CB has the chance to flip his hips and close down on the ball. Since the ball is thrown with ideal timing, the CB doesn’t hit the WR until his feet are already down, ensuring the catch. Lawrence does a great job at locating the advantageous WR leverage while fitting the ball between a flat defender gaining depth and an incoming CB.

In an even more impressive display of ball placement, Lawrence throws a low ball between the curl/flat and middle hook defender.

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