The Jets started Day 3 of the NFL draft with a running back, their fourth offensive player picked in a row dating back to the first round.
From that point on, all the way through New York's final pick, general manager Joe Douglas and head coach Robert Saleh went with six consecutive defenders.
In the fifth round, it was three defensive backs for the Jets. Auburn safety Jamien Sherwood (who was listed at linebacker by New York), Duke defensive back Michael Carter II and Pittsburgh cornerback Jason Pinnock.
Douglas, Saleh and the Jets built upon that group even further in the sixth.
New York started at pick No. 186 with another versatile defensive back, Hamsah Nasirildeen of Florida State. Similar to Sherwood, Gang Green listed the prospect as a linebacker.
Over 35 games at FSU, Nasirildeen accumulated 233 tackles. Nearly half of that number (101) came in the defensive back's third year, a season in which Nasirildeen had two interceptions, three forced fumbles and three passes defended.
From there, the Jets snagged another cornerback at No. 200, taking Kentucky's Brandin Echols. The corner played in 24 collegiate games, racking up 108 tackles, 12 passes defended and one interception in that span.
He's the third corner for the Jets in this class, a group that will join the likes of Bryce Hall, Bless Austin, Javelin Guidry, Carter and more.
Finally, New York transitioned from the secondary to the defensive line. Wrapping up a 10-man class, the Jets drafted Arkansas defensive tackle Jonathan Marshall with the No. 207 pick.
Marshall played in 34 games over four years at Arkansas but he saved his best single-season performance for last. In 2020, Marshall set new career highs with one sack, 35 tackles (6.5 for loss) and one forced fumble.
The Jets did a lot to bolster their defensive line in free agency, but Marshall can learn from a player like Quinnen Williams.
Douglas clearly had a plan heading into this draft. He had his eye on a handful of offensive contributors through the first two rounds, trading up in the first to get a top guard to help protect his new rookie quarterback. Once New York got through the fourth round, it was all defense, all the time, seeking out value on the board with an emphasis on versatile players that can be used in different ways and fit well in Saleh's scheme.
- New York Jets Pick Pittsburgh CB Jason Pinnock in Fifth Round of 2021 NFL Draft
- New York Jets Select Duke Defensive Back Michael Carter II With No. 154 Pick in 2021 NFL Draft
- New York Jets Select Auburn Safety Jamien Sherwood in Fifth Round of 2021 NFL Draft