New York Jets load up on physical traits and versatility in 7-round mock draft
I’ve recently said that mock drafts are largely very pointless, but that doesn’t mean they’re not enjoyable. It’s a fun exercise to hypothesize the draft strategy of your favorite team, although without a free agency class to give context, it’s largely a dart throw in the dark.
Regardless, it is a good opportunity to get some names down who may be available in the slots allotted to the New York Jets.
If you feel I haven’t addressed one positional group in particular, you can take it that they just didn’t land in the right spot in the simulator and that the group was addressed in free agency instead. It’s a perfect get-out-of-jail card for an exercise such as this.
I’ve decided to not partake in any trades for the sake of this mock draft. It clouds the water and nobody ever agrees on the value of the pick, so it’s just easier to stick rather than twist when putting these together.
So without any more waffle from me, let’s get straight into it.
First Round, Pick 4 – Kayvon Thibodeaux, Edge, Oregon
2021 Stats: 7 sacks, 12 TFL, 49 tackles, 2 FF, 48 total pressures
It’s almost become fashionable to question Kayvon within draft circles recently. The classic “does he play with enough fire” surfaced recently which smells a touch fishy to me. That alone has sunk his draft stock from a guaranteed top-2 to going as low as the early teens.
I still think that Kayvon will be gone by the time the Jets are on the clock, but if he’s still there, then the Jets can’t overthink this one. You run that selection to the podium and you don’t look back. He is designed for this Wide-9 system the Jets operate; explosion, bend, closing speed, he has it all. He’s also no slouch against the run as well.
This is a dream scenario for me. Joe Blewett did a fantastic piece on Kayvon that everyone needs to check out.
First Round, Pick 10 – Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas
2021 Stats: 65 receptions, 1,100 yards, 16.9 Y/Rec, 11 TD, 607 YAC, 5.8% drop rate, 43.8% contested catch success
I go back and forwards with this pick constantly. I want a wide receiver but I can never decide which one to select. Do you go with the speed of Jameson Williams? The contested catch ability of Drake London or the route-running of Garrett Wilson? I switch between all four receivers constantly, but today I’ve settled on Treylon Burks.
Burks has more YAC than any of the other receivers while also possessing the lowest drop rate of them too. He has the versatility to play out wide, in the slot, and get touches out of the backfield, and his thick lower body makes him difficult to tackle.
London is the other guy I seriously considered here, with his elite catch radius and ability to make players miss in space (he led all the receivers listed here in missed tackles forced in 2021), but he also has the highest drop rate too. Burks has a good frame for pro football and he knows how to use it to protect the ball.
Second Round, Pick 35 – Trey McBride, TE, Colorado State
2021 Stats: 91 receptions, 1,125 yards, 1 TD, 456 YAC, 3.2% drop rate, 53.1% contested catch success
The Jets’ tight end room was a bit of a disaster in 2021. Addressing that will be a key priority this off-season.
When looking for a TE to fit the Jets’ system you’re looking for a reliable pair of hands, some YAC, and the ability to be productive in the run game.
Of all the tight ends in the FBS with at least 40 targets in 2021, Trey McBride trailed just future star, Brock Bowers, in terms of yards after the catch from the tight end position. McBride is also a decent run blocker and while his TD number (1) is noticeable, I spoke with someone at Colorado State and they put his lack of TD’s solely on the shoulders of the coaching staff, who were fired this off-season.
Second Round, Pick 38 – Jalen Pitre, S, Baylor
2021 Stats: 75 tackles, 18.5 TFL, 3.5 sacks, 2 INT, 3 FF, 7 PD, 0 TD allowed, 60.3 completion rate allowed
Jalen Pitre is quickly becoming one of my favorite prospects in the draft.
If the Jets value versatility then they will absolutely love the Baylor man who they coached at the Senior Bowl. Pitre can and did line up all over the formation for the Bears last season. The majority of his time was spent in the slot in coverage and using his instincts on blitzes, but he looked comfortable at every position he was asked to play.
Pitre has the power to deliver big hits and the flexibility to play sticky coverage in man and zone. The Jets utilize their safeties in a variety of ways, and Pitre is the perfect prospect.
Third Round, Pick 69 – Chad Muma, LB, Wyoming
2021 Stats: 142 tackles, 8 TFL, 1.5 sacks, 3 INT, 8.1% missed tackle rate, 159 YAC allowed
You won’t see a mock draft from me that doesn’t include Chad Muma. The Wyoming prospect is a better version of Logan Wilson, who the Bengals took in the third round of the 2020 draft. He roams the box as the captain on the defense for the Cowboys, and his instincts allow him to find the football; his 142 tackles led the FBS for a linebacker.
Muma’s coverage ability is what attracts me for the Jets, a team that has struggled to cover from the linebacker position for as long as I can remember. He allowed just one touchdown on 72 targets over four years at Wyoming and the depth he gets on his drops in zone coverage closes throwing lanes quickly. I think his future is as an MLB at the NFL level but can play WILL to start his career.
Fourth Round, Pick 109, Coby Bryant, CB, Cincinnati
2021 Stats: 44 tackles, 1.5 TFL, 2 INT, 11 PD, 2 FF, 44% completion rate allowed, 168 YAC allowed, 3 TD allowed
I don’t know why Coby Bryant continues to be mocked in the fourth round. Every simulator has him going around here and personally, I think the 2021 Jim Thorpe award winner is a second-round talent. But if he goes here then I hope the Jets are the team to jump all over him.
Bryant has good scheme versatility to play both zone and man. His instincts with the ball in the air are consistently good and while he doesn’t have the length that his teammate Sauce Garnder has, he has more than enough stickiness in coverage to make receivers uncomfortable.
Bryant also worked hard on his tackling between the 2020 and 2021 seasons and managed to reduce his missed tackle percentage from 17.1% to 6.4%.
Fourth Round, Pick 115, Cole Strange, IOL, Chattanooga
2021 Stats: 1 sack allowed, 5 pressures allowed, 99% pass-blocking efficiency, 86.4 run-blocking PFF grade
I recently wrote about Cole Strange and how I feel he’s the perfect prospect for the Jets to develop. You may think this is too late to address the offensive line but I’m going to guess the Jets address that RG spot in free agency.
Cole is the perfect candidate to sit and learn for a year to eventually take over either the RG spot (if the free agent signing is a short-term fix) or the center position. Strange worked with the Jets coaching staff at the center position during Senior Bowl week and he held his own against some interior defensive linemen slated to be drafted in the top 40-50 picks.
Strange allowed one sack and 13 pressures over 582 pass-blocking snaps in four years.
Fifth Round, Pick 145, Tyler Allgeier, RB, BYU
2021 Stats: 275 attempts, 1,611 yards, 23 TD’s, 4 fumbles, 1,143 yards after contact, 76 missed tackles forced, 28 receptions, 199 yards
Heading back to Provo, Utah for another offensive weapon, Tyler Allgeier makes so much sense for the Jets.
We know the Jets want to run their backfield by committee with Michael Carter leading that rotation. We also know that BYU ran a lot of similar plays schematically to the Jets (Zach Wilson has spoken about this).
Allgeier is a hard-nosed RB who will soften up defenses so guys like Carter can exploit it. He is a freight train that delivers hits on linebackers that linebackers would be proud of. He’s not that elusive and while he can catch the ball out of the backfield that won’t be his bread and butter.
RBs aren’t as valued as they once were but this selection would make a lot of sense for the Jets.
Fifth Round, Pick 162, Michael Clemons, Edge, Texas A&M
2021 Stats: 32 tackles, 11 TFL, 7 sacks, 46 total pressures, 20% missed tackle rate, 65.5 PFF run-defense grade
I really wanted to take a kicker here, but for some just seeing a kicker will invalidate any draft, so Cameron Dicker the Kicker from Texas (go Longhorns!) will need to be a UDFA signing.
Michael Clemons is an interesting prospect because he really broke out in 2021 – those 46 total pressures were more than his previous three seasons combined. He’s got good length and a nice get-off that has offensive lineman scrambling.
Clemons has run from both 2 and 3 point stances, but he gets more explosion with his hand in the dirt. I really like his chop and rip move that he utilized throughout 2021 and I think he could be a situational pass-rusher right out of the gate.
- Round 1, Pick 4: Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE, Oregon
- Round 1, Pick 10: Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas
- Round 2, Pick 35: Trey McBride, TE, Colorado St.
- Round 2, Pick 38: Jalen Pitre, S, Baylor
- Round 3, Pick 69: Chad Muma, LB, Wyoming
- Round 4, Pick 109: Coby Bryant, CB, Cincinnati
- Round 4, Pick 115: Cole Strange, IOL, Chattanooga
- Round 4, Pick 145: Tyler Allgeier, RB, BYU
- Round 5, Pick 162: Michael Clemons, EDGE, Texas A&M