The New York Jets opted for the quality over the quantity approach on day two of the 2021 NFL Draft.
After trading up for USC guard Alijah Vera-Tucker on the first night, the Jets were only left with the No. 34 pick on the second day of the draft.
Many analysts speculated that the green and white would trade back to recoup the picks they lost. Instead, Jets general manager Joe Douglas couldn’t pass up Ole Miss wide receiver Elijah Moore and stuck to his guns.
That decision meant the Jets were done on day two after a short 10-minute appearance at the start of the night on Friday.
It’s been a long time since the last selection for the green and white. Their last pick was at No. 34, their next pick is at No. 107. That’s a 73 pick gap. The great news is, good things come to those who wait.
With six selections on day three of the 2021 NFL Draft, the Jets are once again in a prime position to add some serious talent to this roster. They have two picks in the fourth, fifth, and sixth rounds respectively.
Top five best values for the New York Jets on day three of the NFL Draft
5. Michael Carter, running back, North Carolina
Michael Carter is undersized at 5-foot-8, 201 pounds but he packs a lot of punch. During his college days he was part of a running back by committee and with the Jets, at the next level, he’d get the same opportunity.
This would be an ideal scheme fit for the Jets zone running they’ll be employing with Mike LaFleur. He’d be a nice change of pace for what the team currently has in the backfield.
4. Shaun Wade, cornerback, Ohio State
Shaun Wade was labeled a slot cornerback early in his career. He wanted to shed that in 2020 and prove he’s a complete corner that can play anywhere. He failed to accomplish that task last season.
At 6-foot-1, 196 pounds he has the physical ability to play at the next level. A sure tackler that could enter the rotation for the Jets at corner. They need to keep adding talent, so far this offseason, they haven’t added a body yet.
3. Kenneth Gainwell, running back, Memphis
The New York Jets flirted with running backs in the leadup to the 2021 NFL Draft, but ultimately either passed on them or they got selected before they had the chance. It looks like on day three they’ll have their pick of the litter.
A super athlete that can catch passes out of the backfield. At this point in the draft, there aren’t any three-down backs, but Gainwell could provide some juice to New York’s backfield. The current group is extremely underwhelming.
2. Trey Smith, guard, Tennessee
The Jets have already made a huge statement in the first round when they traded up for USC guard Alijah Vera-Tucker, but the work isn’t over yet. The green and white still have several question marks at center and right guard.
Trey Smith has some medical questions, which could explain why he’s still available here on day three of the NFL Draft. At this point in the class, the risk is worth the reward. Smith fits exactly what Joe Douglas looks for upfront: violent, nasty, and explosive at 6-foot-6, 321 pounds.
1. Jabril Cox, linebacker, LSU
A super intriguing player out of LSU. The 6-foot-3, 232-pound beast is the modern-day NFL linebacker. An athletic freak whose best ability is in coverage (something that should make Jets fans very excited).
Bleacher Report NFL Draft Analyst Connor Rogers had this to say via the Badlands Draft Guide:
“After swinging and missing on Keanu Neal in free agency, they can now pivot to Jabril Cox. The Jets roster doesn’t have a linebacker like him on the roster.”