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2021 NFL mock draft: New York Jets select Zach Wilson

The Jets make the expected pick with the second overall selection.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 30 BYU at San Diego State Photo by Alan Smith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The New York Jets are on the clock in our 2021 Pride of Detroit Community Mock Draft. There is a certain expectation with this pick—as there was with the No. 1 overall pick— especially since reports suggested they had no intention of budging from the second overall selection in this draft.

But then again, this is the Jets. Expect the unexpected.

Before we get into the Jets’ selection, here’s a reminder of where we’re at in the draft:

POD Community Mock Draft picks so far:

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
  2. New York Jets: On the clock...

This year, commenter ButCanHePlayDT is the Jets acting general manager in our community mock, and with the second overall selection in the 2021 POD Community Mock, the New York Jets have selected Zach Wilson, quarterback from BYU.

Here’s ButCanHePlayDT with his reasoning:

“The Jets’ pick at 2 should be Penei Sewell.

The pick will be Zach Wilson.

But it should be Penei Sewell.

New head coach Robert Saleh spurred a Motown-friendly bakery for the Big Apple and is inheriting a lousy Jets team that has been in the bottom 10 in sacks allowed for three of the past four seasons. Things up front got so dicey in 2020 that Sam Darnold was the eighth-most sacked QB in the league, despite only playing 12 games.

A smart organization would take a heralded tackle prospect that didn’t allow a sack in 926 pass attempts in 2019, pair him with the gargantuan Mekhi Beckton, and have Thanos bookend the offensive line for years to come.

The Jets have never been confused for a smart organization.

Enter Zach Wilson, QB, BYU.

By now, you’ve seen Wilson’s Pro Day throw that was downright Staffordian and has the entire league buzzing.

That kind of raw talent finally shone through during Wilson’s breakout 2020 junior year, when he completed an unreal 74% of his passes. In addition to a howitzer of a right arm, the 21-year-old has elite pocket presence and is a great scrambler. Notably, Wilson completed 73% of his passes out of the play-action, with 20 touchdowns and zero interceptions, making him a great fit for the West Coast Offense that OC Mike LaFleur is bringing with him from San Francisco.

But.

And you knew with the organization that drafted Mark Sanchez, there was going to be a ‘but.’

For all of Wilson’s raw potential, there are also concerns. After 2019, where his TD/INT ratio was 11/9, it took a camp battle with Gunner Romney before he secured the starter’s job. Wilson then proceeded to go scorched earth on a collective Island of Misfit Conference USA and Sun Belt schools before losing to juggernaut Coastal Carolina. And then there’s Wilson’s frame—at 209 pounds., he’s nearly 20 pounds lighter than Justin Fields and Trey Lance (and 10 pounds lighter than Trevor Lawrence).

Which brings us back to the whole “because of an awful line, the Jets QBs’ capas are getting detated from their heads” issue.

It makes all the sense in the world that the green half of New York is salivating for selecting Zach Wilson at two. Just look at the Jets QBs since 2002:

  • Chad Pennington
  • Kellen Clemens
  • Brett Favre in Crocs
  • 2 good seasons of Mark Sanchez
  • 2 bad seasons of Mark Sanchez
  • Geno Smith
  • Fitzmagic
  • Sam Darnold

Unfortunately, until Joe Douglas and Robert Saleh address the Jets’ trenches, the career of Zach Wilson may struggle to end up more like Steve Young and less like Ty Detmer.”

Erik Schlitt’s thoughts:

I agree, Wilson will be the selection.

I also agree with multiple points made by ButCanHePlayDT, including the fact that the Jets can’t leave this draft without an upgrade at offensive tackle. Fortunately, this class is loaded at the position, and they’ll still have a chance to land a starter at right tackle on Day 2.

The pick of Wilson over Sewell is all about positional value. If both Wilson and Sewell have similar draft grades, it’s smart business to take the quarterback. The drop-off from Wilson to a quarterback who will be available at pick No. 34 is larger than the drop-off from Sewell to the tackle group expected to be there.

ButCanHePlayDT did right by the Jets here.

Poll

What grade do you give this pick?

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  • 45%
    A
    (257 votes)
  • 30%
    B
    (168 votes)
  • 12%
    C
    (68 votes)
  • 5%
    D
    (29 votes)
  • 6%
    F
    (38 votes)
560 votes total Vote Now