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New York Jets analytics-based 7-round 2021 mock draft (Vol. 4)

Creed Humphrey, Teven Jenkins
Jet X Graphic, Getty Images

Here is what a New York Jets seven-round mock draft could look like if it were based primarily on analytics.

This is the fourth and final analytics-based New York Jets mock draft I will be concocting. These mocks are a bit different from anything else out there. I will rely on advanced statistics to make each selection for the Jets across all seven rounds, consistently going with the best player available according to their production from an analytics perspective (yes, team needs will still be taken into account).

This mock draft is conducted using the Jet X Offseason Tool. No trades are made.

Keep in mind that these picks are not necessarily my personal preferences and are based entirely on statistics, so don’t knock me too harshly! The main purpose of this mock is to identify some of the most analytically impressive prospects who could be available at various points of the draft.

Round 1, Pick 2

In an interview with BYUSN, Zach Wilson’s personal quarterback coach – former BYU star and Miami Dolphins draft pick John Beck – all but confirmed that Wilson will be the Jets’ pick at No. 2 overall tomorrow night.

The Wilson-to-Corey Davis connection has tremendous potential. Both players thrive at an elite level in the intermediate part of the field. In 2020, Davis ranked fourth among wide receivers with 35.2 receiving yards per game in the intermediate range (catches made 10-19 yards downfield), trailing only Julio Jones, Stefon Diggs, and Calvin Ridley. Wilson ranked fourth among FBS quarterbacks with 64 intermediate-range completions that resulted in a first down, while placing sixth with 1,132 passing yards in that range.

Round 1, Pick 23

  • The pick: OT Teven Jenkins (Oklahoma St.)
  • Volume 1 selection: LB Zaven Collins (Tulsa)
  • Volume 2 selection: EDGE Azeez Ojulari (Georgia)
  • Volume 3 selection: IOL Alijah Vera-Tucker (USC)
  • Key names off the board: EDGE Jaelan Phillips (#14, Vikings), IOL Alijah Vera-Tucker (#16, Cardinals), EDGE Kwity Paye (#18, Dolphins), LB Jamin Davis (#19, Washington), CB Greg Newsome (#22, Titans)

In this mock, the Jets’ dream scenario comes true as they are able to stay put and grab and a first-round quality offensive lineman with the 23rd overall pick.

Teven Jenkins is a great fit for the Jets offense. He has experience in a wide-zone running scheme and possesses an athletic profile that matches what the Jets will likely be looking for. The Cowboys ran a zone-blocking concept on 71.3% of Jenkins’ career run blocking plays. At his pro day, Jenkins destroyed the vertical jump (32.5 inches, 91st percentile among OL all-time) and the broad jump (106 inches, 72nd percentile), two drills that wide-zone offensive linemen typically excel in.

Playing right tackle in 2020, Jenkins was a dominant run blocker as his 93.6 run blocking grade at Pro Football Focus ranked third-best among qualified FBS tackles. He was awesome in pass protection as well, allowing pressure on 2.01% of his protection snaps, a rate that ranked at the 95th percentile among qualified FBS tackles.

One disclaimer that can be attached to Jenkins’ excellent pressure rate is the fact that he rarely faced true challenges. An offensive line-friendly scheme made his job in pass protection easier. Jenkins faced a “true pass set” (which excludes quick releases, screens, bootlegs, etc) on only 19.4% of his protection snaps, ranking at the 12th percentile among FBS tackles. This is no damning indictment, though – Mekhi Becton had a similarly low true pass set rate of 23.2% in his final season at Louisville, but he ended up looking as NFL-ready in pass protection as you could ask a rookie to be.

Jenkins established himself as an NFL prospect while playing right tackle, but he played four of the five offensive line positions in college, lining up at right tackle on 1,982 career snaps, at left tackle on 482 snaps, at right guard on 146 snaps, and at left guard on 37 snaps.

All of Jenkins’ snaps at guard came in his 2017 redshirt freshman season. It may be a small sample from a long time ago, but he showed some promise on the inside. Jenkins allowed one pressure over 109 protection snaps at guard (0.9%).

With George Fant in place at right tackle, it would be interesting to see where the Jets would put Jenkins if they selected him, but the fact that he offers positional versatility only adds to his appeal.

Round 2, Pick 2 (#34 overall)

  • The pick: IOL Creed Humphrey (Oklahoma)
  • Volume 1 selection: RB Javonte Williams (North Carolina)
  • Volume 2 selection: CB Eric Stokes (Georgia)
  • Volume 3 selection: CB Asante Samuel Jr. (Florida St.)
  • Key names off the board: RB Najee Harris (#24, Steelers), EDGE Azeez Ojulari (#27, Ravens), EDGE Joe Tryon (#28, Saints), LB Zaven Collins (#29, Packers) CB Caleb Farley (#30, Bills)

Like Jenkins, Creed Humphrey is a wonderful fit for the Jets’ offense from a physical standpoint. His 6-foot-4, 302-pound frame is in the right ballpark while his outstanding performances in the vertical jump (33 inches, 93rd percentile), broad jump (112 inches, 92nd percentile), and 20-yard shuttle (4.49 seconds, 91st percentile) confirm that he has the agility, quickness, and explosion to thrive in a wide-zone scheme.

Humphrey does not come from a zone-based offense, running a zone concept on only 44.7% of his run blocking snaps in 2020, but past history of Shanahan offenses tells us that this is no issue. Over the time that Mike LaFleur spent with Kyle Shanahan in Atlanta and San Francisco from 2015-20, the Falcons and 49ers clearly placed a far bigger emphasis on whether their linemen had the physical makeup to play in their scheme than if they had experience in said scheme. Both teams were more than willing to add players who came from a different style of offense so long as they had the desired traits.

Giving up seven pressures over 401 protection snaps, Humphrey allowed a pressure rate of 1.75% in 2020, ranking at the 81st percentile among qualified centers. His 84.7 run blocking grade placed at the 96th percentile.

As with Jenkins, it would be interesting to see how the Jets would handle Humphrey if they selected him – or if they would even select him at all. Current starting center Connor McGovern has experience at guard, but the Jets showed no interest in centers on the free agent market, suggesting that they might not be placing any consideration into moving McGovern over. Humphrey played every one of his college snaps at center and also played center in high school, so the guard experience isn’t there. Do the Jets (and other NFL teams) see him as a pure center or do they believe he can transition to guard?

Nevertheless, Humphrey is too talented and too strong of a fit for the Jets to pass up on him if he is available here. Figure out where he will line up later – this is a good problem to have.

Round 3, Pick 2 (#66 overall)

  • The pick: TE Pat Freiermuth (Penn St.)
  • Volume 1 selection: IOL Creed Humphrey (Oklahoma)
  • Volume 2 selection: TE Brevin Jordan (Miami)
  • Volume 3 selection: EDGE Carlos Basham (Wake Forest)
  • Key names off the board: LB Jabril Cox (#46, Patriots), CB Asante Samuel Jr. (#47, Chargers), EDGE Carlos Basham (#48, Raiders), CB Elijah Molden (#52, Bears), EDGE Ronnie Perkins (#54, Colts), IOL Wyatt Davis (#57, Rams), WR Amari Rodgers (#58, Chiefs), EDGE Joseph Ossai (#61, Bills),

The Jets badly need some CB, LB, and EDGE help after double-dipping on the offensive line, but the board didn’t give us any viable options at those positions here at No. 66. At positions of need, a trio of tight ends were the best players available. Brevin Jordan and Tommy Tremble were considered, but ultimately, we go with Pat Freiermuth, who offers the most complete package of the bunch.

Jordan offers intriguing receiving upside while Tremble is an outstanding blocker, but both players are somewhat one-dimensional. Freiermuth has shown intrigue in both phases.

It was only four games, but Freiermuth averaged 77.5 yards per game in 2020, third among FBS tight ends. He was a monster on contested catches, snatching eight of them over 12 targets (66.7% contested-catch rate). His average of 2.0 contested catches per game led all tight ends.

Freiermuth doesn’t compromise blocking ability in exchange for his receiving talent. His 74.8 run blocking grade at PFF in 2020 ranked at the 89th percentile among qualified FBS tight ends.

Round 3, Pick 22 (#86 overall)

  • The pick: CB Paulson Adebo (Stanford)
  • Volume 1 selection: EDGE Jordan Smith (UAB)
  • Volume 2 selection: RB Kenneth Gainwell (Memphis)
  • Volume 3 selection: IOL Trey Smith (Tennessee)
  • Key names off the board: S Divine Deablo (#84, Eagles), LB Pete Werner (#79, Raiders), CB Tyson Campbell (#71, Broncos)

Paulson Adebo opted out of his redshirt junior season and has only two years of play on tape (1,476 snaps over 22 games), but he showed plenty to love over that span.

Throughout his two-year career, Adebo allowed five touchdowns, eight interceptions, 6.6 yards per target, and a 63.8 passer rating over 129 throws in his direction. With eight picks and 27 passes defended, he racked up a whopping 35 plays on the ball, which makes up 27.1% of the passes thrown his way. That’s nearly triple the 2020 NFL average for cornerbacks (10.8%).

Missed tackles are a problem for Adebo as he whiffed on 25 of them, but his on-ball playmaking ability is tremendous.

Adebo projects to an outside cornerback role, playing the slot on just 1.7% of his career snaps at Stanford.

Round 4, Pick 2 (#107 overall)

After grabbing some outside cornerback help with Adebo, the Jets get help on the inside with New York native Trill Williams.

Williams covered out of the slot on 74.4% of his coverage snaps in 2020. On slot coverage snaps over the course of his three-year career with the Orange, Williams was targeted 59 times and allowed 35 catches for 357 yards (6.1 per target), one touchdown, and three interceptions (61.2 passer rating).

Round 5, Pick 2 (#146 overall)

At six feet and 233 pounds with great athleticism, Monty Rice has the frame and athletic profile to compete for the Jets’ starting WILL linebacker spot. He ran a 4.58 in the forty (92nd percentile among LB all-time), posted a 121-inch mark in the broad jump (87th percentile), and ran the 20-yard split in 2.67 seconds (84th percentile).

Rice was a solid cover linebacker at Georgia. He gave up only one touchdown over 612 coverage snaps and 80 targets in his career, and yielded just 6.8 yards per target on throws in his direction. In 2020, his career-high 70.4 coverage grade at PFF ranked at the 83rd percentile among qualified FBS linebackers.

In addition, Rice is a sound tackler. He missed only three tackles while making 49 in 2020, giving him a miss rate of 5.8% that placed at the position’s 93rd percentile.

Round 5, Pick 10 (#154 overall)

After missing the 2019 season with an ACL injury, Rashad Weaver (broken down here) came back in 2020 and tied for second among qualified FBS edge rushers with 5.3 pressures per game. With a 6-foot-4, 259-pound frame and lining up with his hand in the dirt as the outside defensive end on 94.2% of his snaps in 2020, he is a natural scheme fit as a 4-3 edge defender.

Round 6, Pick 2 (#186 overall)

Jaelon Darden offers shiftiness and open-field playmaking ability that the Jets currently lack at the wide receiver position. The 5-foot-7, 174-pound dynamo led all wide receivers in the country with 23 forced missed tackles after the catch in 2020 (many of them showcased here). He also offers some punt return upside with 35 career returns for an 8.9-yard average and one touchdown.

Round 6, Pick 42 (#226 overall)

Evan McPherson’s career field goal percentage of 85.0% stands as the best in SEC history and the 14th-best in Division-I football history. He missed just one of his 151 career extra point attempts.

McPherson is also NFL-ready on kickoffs. His career kickoff hangtime average of 4.0 seconds is above the 2020 NFL average of 3.98. The average starting field position generated by McPherson’s kickoffs was the opponent’s 24.2-yard line, also better than the 2020 NFL average, which was the 25.8-yard line.

Here it is: Our final analytics-based New York Jets draft class.

  • R1, #2 overall: QB Zach Wilson (BYU)
  • R1, #23 overall: OT Teven Jenkins (Oklahoma St.)
  • R2, #34 overall: IOL Creed Humphrey (Oklahoma)
  • R3, #66 overall: TE Pat Freiermuth (Penn St.)
  • R3, #86 overall: CB Paulson Adebo (Stanford)
  • R4, #107 overall: CB Trill Williams (Syracuse)
  • R5, #146 overall: LB Monty Rice (Georgia)
  • R5, #154 overall: EDGE Rashad Weaver (Pittsburgh)
  • R6, #186 overall: WR Jaelon Darden (North Texas)
  • R6, #226 overall: K Evan McPherson (Florida)

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3 years ago

I’d love this draft. I have a concern with Adebo, as I’m usually not a fan of CB’s who can’t tackle. I’m OK with missing a RB with the way the board fell, but probably would have preferred dropping Edge (though less stridently than others apparently).

3 years ago

Best Jets mock I’ve seen. Yes, yes, and again yes. I don’t know as much about the 4th and beyond round guys and I too would have liked a running back instead of another CB, but two stud IOL and the 2nd best TE? yes, send this to Joe Douglas?

3 years ago

This was indeed a dream Jets’ draft until you took Trill Williams and then followed that up two picks later with Rashad Weaver. Wilson, Jenkins, Humphrey and Freiermuth would truly set up Wilson and the Jets offense for success, but you left out RB, which is also key. The Jets have to come out of this draft with another RB. DE is NOT a need. For the life of me I don’t understand why you guys in the media who do these mocks persist in taking a DE. The Jets need to find out what they have in Huff and Zuniga, and they could have a great pass rush already without adding another DE. JD spent more in FA on the DL than any other area of the team. Enough is enough!

Do you young guys in the media not understand anything about roster building? The D was already way ahead of the offense before this offseason, and is still way ahead, and perhaps even further ahead. This team needs to be better balanced. It also takes an offense longer to develop its timing and gel than it does a defense. Now at the beginning of LaFleur’s time as OC is the time to put as many pieces of the offense in place as they can, so that they can design the offense around the players they have, become competitive sooner, and give Wilson the best chance to develop and succeed.

If the Jets need another DE, next year is the time to take one. In the 2022 draft there will be 2-3 blue chip DEs and others who will be MUCH better than Weaver or any DE in this draft, and the Jets have two 1st round picks and two 2nd round picks. It would be very difficult to NOT come away from next year’s draft with a great DE prospect. Why waste a pick this year taking a lesser DE prospect? That makes zero sense when we have other needs. There already won’t be enough snaps to go around at DE, adding another player now would only make it worse. The Jets need to find out who is going to be able to help them, weed out those who can’t, and THEN add another DE.

Instead of Trill Williams, imo the pick should either have been Khalil Herbert, Chuba Hubbard, or a WLB. If you went with the WLB in the 4th round, then another late option for RB is Javian Hawkins.

I’d love it if the first 4 picks went exactly as you have them, but I hope that JD will not even consider taking a DE in this draft and will focus on offense, LB and CB. IMO no more than 3 picks should be used on D.

3 years ago
Reply to  ncjetsfan

Hey, NCJetsfan! I’m even less pleased by this latest draft than you are. I’m fine with Wilson and Jenkins. That’s as good as we can hope for in R1. But imo it’s all downhill from there, with the exception of CB Abedo and Darden. I won’t regurgitate some of the points you and I exchanged a few days ago, and will try to keep this short and only focus on a couple things.

First of all, I’m curious what board/sim Nania is using, because some of the players he’s picking are more than likely long gone by the time he’s picking them. The same was true re his previous draft.

I’m not sure we’ll double-up on IOL so high in the draft, especially for a C since JD seems to like McGovern, and there are other guys — Meinerz, Green and Dalman — who could be later quality options. The fact that we didn’t pursue a C in FAcy may not be very telling. The only upgrade to McGovern to hit the market was Linsley, and he expressed as little interest in us as we did him. I read this as JD being happy to roll with McGovern another year, and maybe grab a possible alternative later this draft.

I’m also not a fan of the Freiermuth pick at #66. TE is not a priority for me in this draft, and if we do get one, the best one for our scheme is Tommy Tremble, who we could pick up at 86 or, with a little luck, 107. I also like Nania picking a K at 226, but I’d much prefer Borregales if he was still there.

I think we’ve discussed DE before. Unlike you, I do see us taking a DE this draft — and every draft. I don’t think Weaver will make it to R5, and might not be my first choice even if he did. I know you feel we’re set at DL, but there’s never enough talent on the edges. Yes, we have the mix of Curry-JFM-Huff-Phillips, Zuniga, to sort out, but there’s plenty time for that in camp and preseason, and I’d rather have one too many edges than one too few. I think Saleh would agree. If you take a DE in the later rounds and he beats out some of the guys on our roster, it’s not a wasted pick. If you have a plethora of quality edges, then you can always trade one for a pick or a player. No harm, no foul.

I think that Saleh, like JD, is an inside-out, trench warfare guy. Both build from the two lines out, and you can never have too much talent in the trenches. That’s where I expect their focus will be in laying the foundation for this team.

I don’t know about you, but I’m about done with mock drafts. “Can’t Wait!” for the real thing tomorrow.