Jabril Cox
(Photo by Andrew Wevers/Collegiate Images/Getty Images)

Each of these prospects still available on Day 3 can patch a key weakness for the New York Jets while also fitting their scheme.

Linebacker

Needs: Athleticism, coverage ability, WILL linebacker potential

Jabril Cox, LSU

Cox is seen by many as the best player left on the board. He was widely pegged to go in the third round, even creeping up into the second on many boards as the draft neared. The 6-foot-3, 232-pound LSU product allowed two touchdowns and eight interceptions on throws in his direction over the course of his four collegiate seasons, the first three of which were spent at North Dakota State. He carried his dominance over to the SEC with no touchdowns allowed and three picks in 2020.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported this morning that Cox’s fall likely has to do with a shoulder surgery that he has yet to fully heal from. Rapoport described the repair as “the kind that is very hard to fix.”

Justin Hilliard, Ohio St.

Hilliard is undersized at six feet and 229 pounds, and he had a highly disappointing pro day that was littered with below-average numbers, but he has a track record of good coverage in the Big Ten. Playing a limited role throughout his career as he logged just 494 defensive snaps over four seasons, Hilliard did his job in coverage when called upon, allowing no touchdowns, two interceptions, and a 69.5 passer rating.

Tony Fields, West Virginia

At six feet and 222 pounds, Fields posted a strong 4.64 time in the forty-yard dash. He covered decently in 2020 with a 64.6 Pro Football Focus coverage grade that ranked at the 67th percentile among qualified FBS linebackers. Fields didn’t spend much time at non-linebacker positions in college, but his frame gives him the potential to do so in the NFL.

Garret Wallow, TCU

The 6-foot-1, 220-pounder tested well in most agility and explosion drills while running a 4.65 in the forty. He had a great career of coverage at TCU, allowing only one touchdown pass over 1,043 snaps in coverage. Wallow also allowed only 6.1 yards per target, a strong number.

Running back

Needs: Explosive run potential, elusiveness, passing game ability

Michael Carter, North Carolina

Likely to go off the board early in the fourth round, Carter took part in an even timeshare at North Carolina with Javonte Williams, who was taken by the Broncos with the 35th overall pick.

Carter was incredibly efficient and elusive for the Tar Heels. He averaged 7.9 yards per rush attempt in 2020, tops among running backs with at least 100 carries. Carter’s average of 4.5 yards after contact per rush attempt ranked at the position’s 95th percentile. To boot, he has excellent passing game potential. Carter caught 25 passes for 267 yards and two touchdowns in 2020. His average of 1.93 yards per route run ranked at the position’s 95th percentile.

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Kenneth Gainwell, Memphis

Gainwell can compete with Travis Etienne for the title of the class’ best back in the passing game.

A 2020 opt-out, Gainwell caught 51 passes for 610 yards in 2019, the second-most receiving yards by a running back over the past four years behind only Saquon Barkley’s 632 yards in 2018. He’s also an excellent pass blocker, allowing zero pressures over 75 protection snaps in his career.

Rhamondre Stevenson, Oklahoma

Stevenson was highly efficient over only six games in a breakout senior season. As a rusher, he was super elusive, breaking 36 tackles over 101 carries for an average of 0.358 per carry that ranked at the 98th percentile in the nation.

In the passing game, Stevenson caught for 211 yards over just 91 routes run, giving him an average of 2.32 yards per route run that ranked at the position’s 98th percentile. That mark slightly edged out Travis Etienne (2.26) and was a touch behind Kenneth Gainwell (2.39). Bringing it all together, Stevenson’s 80.9 pass blocking grade ranked at the position’s 92nd percentile.

Tight end

Needs: Pass-catching upside

Brevin Jordan, Miami (FL)

Jordan is a great playmaker with the ball in his hands, making him an exciting potential fit for the Jets offense when you think about what George Kittle was able to do after the catch under Mike LaFleur in San Francisco. In 2020, Jordan led all tight ends in the country with 353 yards after the catch, 93 more than second-ranked Kyle Pitts. He broke nine tackles after the catch, tied for fourth at the position.

Kenny Yeboah, Mississippi

As a fifth-year senior, Yeboah snatched 27 passes for 524 yards and six touchdowns over only seven games in 2020.

Outside cornerback

Needs: Proven productivity in zone coverage

Tre Brown, Oklahoma

While Brown stands at only 5-foot-10 and 188 pounds, he thrived as an outside corner in zone coverage at Oklahoma. He played zone on 59.9% of his coverage snaps in 2020 and allowed a 21.0 passer rating on those plays.

Shemar Jean-Charles, Appalachian St.

Jean-Charles led the country with 16 passes defended in 2020, with 11 of those coming in zone coverage, where he played 69.0% of his coverage snaps and allowed a 42.2 passer rating. He stands at 5-foot-10 and 184 pounds, but his impressive 19 reps in the bench press (86th percentile among CB) and his 76-inch wingspan (55th percentile) give him the potential to stay outside.

Thomas Graham, Oregon

Playing in a zone scheme, Graham had been putting together a standout career before opting out of the 2020 campaign. He collected 40 total passes defended over his first three seasons, giving him the best career total in the FBS of any active player entering the 2020 season. He ranked at the 95th percentile among qualified cornerbacks with an 82.9 PFF coverage grade in 2019.

Slot cornerback

Needs: Proven productivity in zone coverage

Trill Williams, Syracuse

Williams is a slot maestro despite standing at 6-foot-2 and 198 pounds, allowing a 61.2 passer rating out of the slot in his career and playing 74.4% of his 2020 coverage snaps in the slot. He ran a 4.42, impressive for his size.

Shakur Brown, Michigan St.

Brown played mostly outside for the Spartans and succeeded as he allowed only one touchdown and five interceptions in his direction in 2020. He played 65.0% of his snaps in zone coverage this past season.

However, at 5-foot-9 and 185 pounds with minimal length (71.1-inch wingspan, 2nd percentile) and speed (4.64 forty, 7th percentile), he is probably best suited for the slot in the NFL. Luckily, Brown has shown great potential in the slot as he allowed 4.5 yards per target, no touchdowns, two interceptions, and a 32.7 passer rating over 74 coverage snaps in the slot this past season.

Interior Offensive line

Needs: Athleticism and frame to fit a wide-zone scheme

Drake Jackson, Kentucky

The Kentucky center is extremely small but has tremendous athleticism and a great track record of production in the SEC.

Jimmy Morrissey, Pittsburgh

At 6-foot-3 and 303 pounds with great explosiveness and agility numbers, the Pittsburgh center is perfectly built for the Jets’ offense from a physical standpoint.

Brenden Jaimes, Nebraska

Jaimes played right tackle at Nebraska, but like Morrissey, his physical attributes make him an ideal guard in a wide-zone blocking scheme.

Trey Smith, Tennessee

Smith might not be the most ideal fit for the Jets but he is probably the best overall offensive line prospect left on the board. While he is big at 321 pounds, he did test well in all of the drills that wide-zone offensive linemen typically excel in, and he has zone experience as 63.1% of his career run blocking snaps for the Volunteers came on a zone concept.

Edge rusher

Needs: 4-3 defensive end fit

Rashad Weaver, Pittsburgh

Weaver tied for second among FBS edge rushers and first among Power 5 edge rushers with 5.3 pressures per game in 2020. He has the size at 6-foot-4 and 259 pounds, and he has the experience as he played outside defensive end on 94% of his snaps in 2020.

Adetokunbo Ogundeji, Notre Dame

The 6-foot-4, 256-pounder played 83% of his snaps at outside defensive end in 2020 and racked up 37 pressures over 304 pass-rush snaps. He has ridiculous length with an 84-inch wingspan (94th percentile among EDGE).

Tarron Jackson, Coastal Carolina

At 6-foot-2 and 260 pounds, Jackson primarily lined up at outside defensive end (63% of his snaps in 2020) but he has the versatility to stand up. He was unstoppable this past season, averaging 4.9 pressures per game.

Kicker

Needs: Someone who can kick the ball through the uprights

Evan McPherson, Florida

McPherson’s career field goal percentage of 85.0% is the best in SEC history.

Jose Borregales, Miami (FL)

Borregales transferred from Florida International to Miami for his final collegiate season and broke out as he made 90.9% of his field goals and all 37 of his extra points.

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