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Jets Select Four Defenders, Top Tight End in New Three-Round Mock Draft

From defensive backs Ahmad Gardner and Kyle Hamilton in the first round to tight end Isaiah Likely in the second, the Jets address several weaknesses in this three-round mock draft.

During the 2021 NFL draft, the Jets used four of their first five selections on offensive players, adding a quarterback, guard, wideout and running back. 

What if general manager Joe Douglas and the Jets did the exact opposite in this year's draft, picking four defenders within their first five selections?

In this new three-round mock draft from Cam Mellor over at Pro Football Network, New York comes away with four talented defenders in the first three rounds, addressing one position of need on offense along the way.

Let's check out Mellor's picks (with some of his analysis on New York's first-rounders) before we dive into this hypothetical haul any further...

4) New York Jets: Ahmad Gardner, CB, Cincinnati

There was a point in time last summer that Ahmad Gardner told me “being CB1 is going to be easy.” Boy, oh boy, did he ever make it look easy this year. Gardner locked down an entire side of the field for Cincinnati in 2021, forcing errant throws away from his coverage and setting up his teammate Coby Bryant to win the Jim Thorpe Award.

Gardner then took his game to the next level by locking down Alabama WR Jameson Williams in the College Football Playoff semifinals. In three seasons, Gardner did not allow a single passing touchdown into his coverage. He’s a lockdown cornerback who proved time and time again he’s up to any challenge.

7) New York Jets (from Seattle): Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame

After not being selected in the first six picks, all Kyle Hamilton could do was sit by the bar and put out the vibe. Well, the Jets are picking up that vibe as they stop his slide here.

Hamilton has the best range in the class and presents a valuable opportunity for Robert Saleh to build around a young secondary full of talent. The Notre Dame product moves his massive frame around very well and is no stranger to closing off an entire half of the field.

READ: Jets Face Serious Risk With These Top Prospects in First Round of 2022 NFL Draft

35) New York Jets: Kingsley Enagbare, EDGE, South Carolina

38) New York Jets: Isaiah Likely, TE, Coastal Carolina

69) New York Jets: Channing Tindall, LB, Georgia

What do you think of those five picks? 

Before the beginning of the fourth round, New York would already have added two studs to their secondary along with a top tight end, a tremendous pass rusher and a high-upside linebacker.  

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Gardner showed what he can do at cornerback in the College Football Playoff semifinals. He could fit alongside Bryce Hall in green and white, giving New York a formidable pairing of lockdown corners in an inexperienced secondary. 

Plus, his nickname is 'Sauce.' Who wouldn't want that on their team?

Same goes for Hamilton, who would help the Jets move on from safety Marcus Maye if he departs this offseason. For a team that has the 29th-ranked pass defense in the NFL, those two first-rounders would provide an immediate impact, taking that aspect of New York's defense to new heights in 2022 and beyond.

Meanwhile, since the Jets wouldn't be picking an edge rusher in the first round in this scenario, they snag Enagbare early in the second. Enagbare has accumulated 120 tackles, 24 tackles for loss and 15 sacks over four years at South Carolina.

Picking a tight end is a must in this draft for the Jets as well. Likely had a career year for Coastal Carolina in 2021 with 59 receptions, 912 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns. If New York picks a tight end this early in the draft, they better make sure he's the right one, though. In Mike LaFleur's offense, Zach Wilson would benefit quite a bit from a rising star at tight end and New York needs to avoid another Chris Herndon situation.

Finally, the Jets add another defender with plenty of experience at a top-rated program. Tindall had the best season of his four-year career at Georgia this season, racking up 59 tackles, six tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks over 14 games. 

If you're curious, Mellor has Tindall's teammate and fellow linebacker Nakobe Dean heading to Philadelphia with the 19th overall pick in the first round. 

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