The Jets’ draft weekend was all gas, no brakes. That’s also what head coach Robert Saleh told some of his draft picks after they were selected.
The narrative surrounding the Jets weekend was that the team had a great draft and rightfully so. Gang Green needs patience with this draft class because it could produce some cornerstone franchise players.
In a deep quarterback class the Jets options were Wilson, Justin Fields, Trey Lance or Mac Jones.
The Jets went with Wilson. There isn’t much he can’t do, and he fits the mold of today’s NFL quarterback. He has a strong arm along with good accuracy. His best trait is when he goes off-script.
Wilson in Jets offensive coordinator Mike LeFleur’s west coast offense should be a seamless fit. The scheme will feature quick game passing concepts that will require smart decision making, which he thrives in. It also includes plays that require athleticism like play action boot plays — when the quarterback will fake the ball to the running back and roll to the opposite direction.
“When you look at Zach, a lot of the principles that he played in college, you can see it,” Saleh said. “They ran a lot of our system. So, you can see him making all those throws. You can see the deep bench routes to the sideline, you can see the over the middle throws, you can see the boots, the play action pass game, you can see all of it.”
What the Jets must continue to do is build around Wilson from an offensive perspective, which they did with their following picks.
The Jets traded their No. 23, No. 66 and No. 86 overall picks to the Vikings for their No. 14 and No. 143 overall picks and added a great prospect in Vera-Tucker.
He’s had the second-highest career pass-blocking grade in the draft class at 91.6, according to Pro Football Focus. His athleticism should be a strength for the wide zone scheme that the offense will run.
The left side of the offensive line features Mehki Becton and Vera-Tucker will protect Wilson’s blindside.
One thing about Moore is he gets open. His shiftiness, lightning quickness and ability to get in and out of his breaks is why his route running is top tier.
Moore is also a menace once he gets the ball in his hands. He can become the version of Deebo Samuel in the Jets offense based on his yards after the catch ability. Once he gets the ball in his hands, he can cause havoc.
See for yourself.
Getting Wilson a weapon like Moore is a smart move by the Jets.
The club has revamped their receiving core and now have Corey Davis, Denzel Mims, Jamison Crowder, Keenan Cole and Moore.
The Jets first three picks fit offensively and so did this one. Carter is a dynamic running back that ran in a similar run scheme in college.
“Michael’s got tremendous vision, He’s got tremendous speed and burst,” Saleh said. “He’s got the ability to make people miss. He’s good on third down, coming out of the backfield in the pass game and he’s pretty stout in protection.”
Carter will boost their run game, which averaged 105 yards per game in 2020, 22nd in the NFL.
Sherwood played safety last year, but the Jets will play him at linebacker. He has a physical game which will help him translate to linebacker. He excelled against the run and was used to taking on bigger opponents because he’s more of a box safety. Only issue is he lacks long speed. He ran a 4.75 at his Pro Day but wasn’t disappointed by that.
“It says a lot, but it doesn’t say everything,” Sherwood said. “My motto is, ‘how do you stop speed? You hit it.’ You can run a 4.1, but once you run into a wall, it comes to an end.”
Saleh believes Sherwood should be able to make the transition.
“In our scheme, with the chaos that we create upfront. Our guys are more running hit, they’re more lateral players,” Saleh said. “These young men when you look at Sherwood, when you look at Hamsah they’re down safeties which is basically a linebacker.”
In 2020, Carter II had 41 tackles with three tackles for loss with two interceptions. At Duke one of his strongest traits was his versatility.
“I played safety corner, nickel, all that stuff at Duke and I feel like whenever was asked of me with the Jets, I’m willing to play all those spots as well,” Carter II said. “And move around and be willing to learn. Whatever is asked me and I’m willing and ready to do that.”
Carter II should give a boost to the Jets cornerback room that struggled last year.
Last season Pinnock had three interceptions and five pass deflections — and he showed his solid technique and good ball skills doing it. Pinnock said he lived in a man to man coverage in college.
“That’s all I do, go watch my film. Four years straight, since I was a 17-year-old freshman, I was in people’s chest,” Pinnock said. “Man to man, that’s our defense, that’s what our (defensive coordinator) lives on and we love it.”
(Side note: Pinnock’s brother poured champagne mid interview. Beautiful moment.)
Nasirildeen fell in the draft because he tore ACL two games into the 2020 season. That didn’t deter the Jets and at 6-4, 220 pounds Gang Green will play him at linebacker.
Nasirildeen believes they got a first round talent.
New York Giants Look back at the past first round NFL draft picks of the New York Jets and Giants
He’s an elite athletic talent. He ran a 4.35 in the 40-yard dash and had a 42.5-inch vertical jump at his pro day.
The cornerback room features Corey Ballentine, Justin Hardee, Lamar Jackson, Javelin Guidry, Kyron Brown, Bryce Hall, Bless Austin, Echols, Pinnock and Carter II.
It’s not an improved group on paper but Saleh loves the competition that will come out of this group.
“I just love the competition that we brought in,” Saleh said. “They all bring a different style to them and they’re gonna get every single opportunity to compete and make an impact on this football team. So anytime you bring in competition, I’m going to feel good about it.”
Marshall is an athletic one-gap defensive tackle. He might be able to translate into the Jets 4-3 defense.