A multi-sport star in high school, Echols, the newest New York Jet, partook in two seasons in Lexington after starring on the JUCO level.
The New York Jets continue to attack their defensive issues on Saturday, drafting Kentucky cornerback Brandin Echols with the 200th pick of the 2021 NFL Draft. It’s the team’s penultimate scheduled pick for draft weekend.
Echols was a multi-sport star in Mississippi, also partaking in basketball and long-jump endeavors. He moved on to junior college endeavors at Northwest Mississippi Community College, where he left receiving behind and became a defender.
By his sophomore season, Echols was a JUCO All-American, which drew the attention of the resurgent Kentucky program. Echols would tally 108 tackles and 11 pass breakups during his time in Lexington and later made an impression at his pro day with a 4.35 time in the 40-yard dash and a 42.5-inch vertical.
The Jets’ fourth consecutive pick in the secondary, Echols should be an inspiring story to rookies and veterans alike. His slim build has been labeled a concern in coverage but his speed and athleticism drew teams to him.
“He’s a linear cover man with tight hips who is best-suited to side-shuffle coverages that allow him to stay on top of the route and drive forward on route turns to maintain his fluidity,” Lance Zierlein of NFL.com wrote. “Echols has some holes in his coverage but he’s an aggressive ball-challenger with elite athletic traits who should be a Day 3 selection.”
Echols joins Jamien Sherwood, Michael Carter II, and Hamsah Nasirildeen as the Jets’ Saturday defensive selections.
The Jets’ final scheduled pick on Saturday is the 207th overall choice.
Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags