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NY Jets select rising offensive tackle in latest NFL.com mock draft

Darnell Wright, NY Jets, Tennessee, NFL, Mock Draft
Darnell Wright, NFL Draft, New York Jets, Getty Images

NFL.com’s latest mock draft has the New York Jets selecting a new right tackle

The consensus for the New York Jets at pick No. 13 continues to be offensive tackle.

Which player, though? That’s all over the place.

Projections of the many tackles available and the placement of the other top players in the draft vary widely and seem to change daily. Last year, Travon Walker emerged as the likely No. 1 overall pick in the weeks just before the draft. This season, things could be murky right up until the Panthers make their selection.

For much of the predraft season, there seemed to be a Big Three tackle class. Pete Skoronski, Paris Johnson Jr., and Broderick Jones were widely seen as the top tackles in the draft.

Recently, though, the hierarchy seems to have shifted a bit: rather than Broderick Jones, it’s a different tackle going third—and that’s who Charles Davis of NFL.com has the Jets selecting in his latest mock draft: University of Tennessee right tackle Darnell Wright.

Here is Davis’ reasoning:

With GM Joe Douglas selecting the hulking right tackle out of Tennessee, versatile star Alijah Vera-Tucker’s able to permanently move back inside. This roster, which came so close to producing a playoff bid in 2022, just keeps getting better.

Prospect profile

Wright has vaulted up draft boards in recent weeks after being mocked consistently in the mid-to-late first round or even early second round. On NFL Mock Draft Database’s consensus big board, he is ranked as the 22nd-best prospect.

The biggest knock on the 6-foot-5, 333-pound tackle is that he profiles as a right tackle at the next level. Teams often seek to draft left tackles in the first round due to the perceived heightened importance of the blind-side protector.

Wright did play left tackle in 2021 but performed much better on the right side in 2022. NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein projects him as a right tackle due to athletic shortcomings and spotty technique.

It is interesting that Zierlein points to a lack in athleticism despite Wright’s impressive 9.68 Relative Athletic Score, which was the second-best among tackle prospects. This may be because Wright skipped the bench press and three-cone drills and appears more limited on film than in the Underwear Olympics.

The Wright move?

The big question is whether Wright is a fit for the Jets, both in terms of position and scheme.

The team definitely needs a tackle and could use a stalwart on either side of the line. None of Duane Brown, Mekhi Becton, or Max Mitchell inspire confidence as a reliable every-down starter. Right or left, the Jets should simply take the best tackle available.

There is some concern about Wright in a zone-blocking scheme. He doesn’t have the best range as a run-blocker, and the Jets seek that. However, the tape of Wright stymieing Will Anderson and B.J. Ojulari will tempt a team that must protect its future aging quarterback.

It seems that selecting Wright at No. 13 might be somewhat of an overdraft. However, if Skoronski and Johnson Jr. are off the board, it’s debatable whether Wright or Jones is more worthwhile. If the Jets like Wright’s potential as an immediate pass protector better than Jones’ long-term upside as an elite left tackle, they could pull the trigger on Wright with their first-round pick.

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Jonathan Richter
1 year ago

I’d trade down to acquire more picks and take Anton Harrison.

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