New York Jets overhaul offense and defense in final 7-round mock draft

The New York Jets are looking for a fresh start not just at quarterback but throughout the roster in the 2021 NFL Draft as head coach Robert Saleh arrives.

It’s a clean slate for the New York Jets. A new year brings along a new coaching staff, headlined by former 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh taking over as head coach. And with the new sideline leaders likely comes a new quarterback by way of the 2021 NFL Draft.

Because of the quarterback-centric nature of this year’s draft, all eyes are obviously on the Jets with the No. 2 overall pick. However, New York has nine other picks to jumpstart a substantial rebuild for Gang Green, including an extra first-round pick from the Seahawks from the Jamal Adams trade.

We take a look at the haul the New York Jets could bring in with the final 7-round mock draft for 2021.

New York Jets 2021 mock draft: Final Edition

Round 1, Pick 2: Zach Wilson, QB, BYU

After the trade that sent Sam Darnold to Carolina, we can basically sharpie Zach Wilson in at No. 2. You can make the argument that Wilson has the rawest arm talent in this draft class. He has a rocket attached at the shoulder, he is underrated as a runner, and he can extend the play and make something out of nothing.

When it comes to improvability, the Mormon Missile is second to none in this class. The Jets need to get him help, though. Weapons and protection are the difference between this pick being a home run or Sam Darnold 2.0.

Round 1, Pick 23: Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson

The Jets spent most of 2020 handing the ball to Frank Gore, who I’m almost certain was in the league before Zach Wilson could walk. While they also have La’Mical Perine, he is a rotation back at most.

Travis Etienne could be what Le”veon Bell should have been in New York. He is an explosive runner with the ability to break open any play. He’ll also give you a receiving threat out of the backfield. The Jets could use another receiver but this class is loaded at the position; it’s not a very strong running back class after the top. Get Etienne, and the Jets have their QB-RB combo going forward.

Round 2, Pick 34: Dillon Radunz, OT, North Dakota State

The Jets found a gem in Mekhi Becton in 2020, now they’ll get another talented tackle to put on the other side. Dillon Radunz was one of the main factors in the NDSU Bison averaging 300 rushing yards per game in 2019. Adding him to complement Becton on either side of the line would give the Jets offensive line a sense of stability that they haven’t had in almost a decade. That’s paramount, as well, for Wilson’s proper development.

Round 3, Pick 66: Tyson Campbell, CB, Georgia

The Jets cornerbacks are among the worst in the NFL. As bad as their offense is, they need help in the secondary, as well. Tyson Campbell is a good man-to-man cornerback that would be an immediate starter as a third-round pick.

Guys like Bless Austin and Corey Ballentine are young corners that can be solid rotational pieces, but Campbell could be an immediate impact player on the outside. This would also give the Jets a little more depth at the position, as well. Don’t be surprised if they also sign one of the remaining free-agent cornerbacks as well.

Round 3, Pick 86: Hamsah Nasirildeen, S, Florida State

Hamsah Nasirildeen is one of the most intriguing prospects in this class. He has such a nose for the ball near the line of scrimmage and is phenomenal when lined up in the box. He is hit and miss in deep coverage but, when he’s on, he is electric.

At the very least, Nasirildeen can be used in sub-packages as a box safety. He is at his best in short coverage and stuffing the run. His coverage skills will improve with time but, for the time being, allow him to experience growing pains while also putting him in situations in which he thrives.

Round 4, Pick 107: Cameron McGrone, LB, Michigan

As good a player as C.J. Mosley is, the Jets may be asking if signing him was a mistake. He played in just two games in 2019 and opted out of the 2020 season. New York really has no depth at the MIKE linebacker spot.

Cameron McGrone became a starter for Michigan as a redshirt freshman and made an impact immediately, racking up 65 tackles in 11 games in 2019. While he only played in five games in 2020, it is clear that he is built for the role of quarterbacking a defense. At the very least, they get a player they can add to the rotation behind Mosely. At most, they have an anchor of their defense.

Round 5, Pick 146: Austin Watkins, WR, UAB

The Jets have added a few receivers to their roster this offseason already. Corey Davis will be a starter alongside Denzel Mims, and Keelan Cole will be a solid depth piece and a return ace. Austin Watkins is someone who can be a difference-maker in the Jets offense. He is great in 50-50 situations and very good with the ball in his hands. If he is used in a solid number of snaps, he will give the Jets home-run plays throughout the season.

Round 5, Pick 154: Michal Menet, IOL, Penn State

More help up front is never a bad idea, especially when it comes to the Jets’ putrid offensive line. Michal Menet would more than likely be a starter on the offensive line, whether it be at center or one of the two guard positions. He is a disciplined blocker, very sound in protection and could help open run lanes. Getting Radunz and following it up with adding Menet would be a very good offensive line haul for the Jets.

Round 6, Pick 186: Benjamin St-Juste, CB, Minnesota

Benjamin St-Juste is a versatile guy that can be used in a variety of ways. He can be utilized in the slot and as the nickel and he can play outside in man or zone; there isn’t much he can’t do. He had a standout week in Mobile during Senior Bowl practices and nearly had a pick-six that he dropped during the game itself. The Jets need a guy like Benjamin St-Juste on their defense. If he’s there, I can’t see them passing on him.

Round 7, Pick 226: Noah Gray, TE, Duke

Noah Gray is a versatile guy that can line up in multiple spots. He can have his hand in the dirt as both a tight end and fullback and Duke also lined him up in the slot. He’s a good route-runner with solid hands and would be a great complement to Chris Herndon. Quite frankly, it wouldn’t surprise me if he were to gain the starting tight end job before the season ends.