The Jets had a strong first round by snagging two excellent prospects. And now they have an opportunity to draft a first round talent that fell into the second round with their No. 34 overall pick.
Gang Green secured their quarterback of the future in BYU’s Zach Wilson with the No.2 overall pick.
Then became aggressive by trading their No. 23, No. 66 and No. 86 overall picks to the Vikings for their No. 14 and No. 143 overall picks and drafted USC offensive tackle Alijah Vera-Tucker. The Jets saw him as a top-10 player on their board.
“We felt we had a unique opportunity to get a top-10 player in our minds, as our board was stacked to go up and get a guy like Alijah Vera-Tucker,” GM Joe Douglas said.
It’s a calculated risk, but as Jeezy once said, scared money don’t make no money.
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The Jets are trending in the right direction as they continue their rebuild.
Getting protection for Wilson in Vera-Tucker is a smart way to enhance his development. When Gang Green drafted Sam Darnold in 2018, they didn’t even draft an offensive lineman in that class.
Focusing on the No. 34 pick, the Jets have options. They could double up on the offensive line, go defense or get a weapon for Wilson. Here are four possibilities they could go with.
It’s surprising that Jenkins made it out the first round, but if the Jets select him the offensive line is vastly improved. There will be growing pains because of inexperience but this will set Gang Green up for the future. They love versatility in offensive linemen and the 6-6, 317-pound mauler could play guard or tackle.
An offensive line featuring Mehki Becton, Jenkins, and Vera-Tucker is a group that would transform the trenches for Gang Green.
Humphrey is the best center in the draft and some folks in the Jets’ building like Humphrey. He would be an upgrade and fix the Jets’ issues at center. The Jets will be running a wide zone scheme and he excels at zone-blocking because he has good footwork and is agile in space. A potential lineup of Becton, Vera-Tucker and Humphrey is tantalizing.
The Jets still have holes at cornerback. But Samuel Jr. wins in man-to-man coverage which is the number one trait that head coach Robert Saleh says he looks for. He excels in man coverage because of his technique that includes instincts, smooth hips, and good feet. Even though he’s undersized at 5-10 and 180 pounds, he is an athletic corner with outstanding ball skills.
With the Steelers selecting Najee Harris and the Jaguars picking Travis Etienne in the first round, a couple of the top end running back talents are off the board.
But Williams would bring explosiveness and physicality to the Jets run game. He’s a downhill and instinctive runner, who has good vision and runs strong through contact. In addition to his physical running style, he has elite quickness.
Williams would make life easier for Wilson and would fit into the Jets offensive scheme.