Check any NFL mock draft this offseason and your eyes will immediately gravitate to the No. 2 overall pick.
Will the Jets take a quarterback? Does New York address another position and take the best player available? Perhaps another team trades up to add a franchise quarterback?
Those are all valuable questions to ask at this point of the offseason. What the Jets will do with that pick is one of the most interesting storylines of the entire NFL offseason.
Rather than focusing solely on the second overall selection, however, let's take a step back and examine the first three rounds of this spring's draft.
Zack Patraw from Sports Illustrated's NFL Draft Bible put together a three-round mock on Monday, breaking down each of the draft's first 96 picks. Then, once I had a chance to see who the Jets were taking with their first five picks in those three rounds, I provided some analysis.
While I encourage you to go check out the rest of Patraw's mock, here are the five players he predicted that New York will take (with some of his comments through the end of the first round), along with some words from yours truly for each selection:
No. 2: QB Zach Wilson, BYU
Patraw: There is a lot of talk about who the next quarterback off of the board will be. There is a case for Justin Fields or Trey Lance but in this scenario, the Jets select Zach Wilson, who has shown flashes of being a complete quarterback with strong developmental traits. The Jets will enjoy starting over with the BYU product.
Goodman: I think this is the right move for the Jets. Trade Darnold for some picks, restart the clock with a rookie quarterback under a new coaching staff and get to work. Sure, it would’ve been nice to get Trevor Lawrence, but in the right offense, it sure seems like Zach Wilson could be the real deal as well.
No. 23: EDGE Gregory Rousseau, Miami
Patraw: Some think that Rousseau belongs in the first round, while others don’t. This is a case where the Jets need to find a defensive end, whether it’s one they can develop or one that is pro-ready. In this case, they reach in the first round to grab someone they can hopefully develop into the pass-rusher some think he already is.
Goodman: Really like this pick. The Jets could definitely benefit from an edge rusher here and if Rousseau is available at No. 23, New York should pounce. If the Miami product can transition into Saleh’s defense quickly, him and Quinnen Williams could be a dangerous combination up front.
No. 34: WR Terrace Marshall Jr., LSU
Goodman: Marshall took full advantage of a chance to shine in an offense without Justin Jefferson and Ja’Marr Chase this past season. Between Marshall, Denzel Mims, Jamison Crowder and whoever else the Jets sign in free agency, Zach Wilson will have plenty of talented targets to throw to.
No. 66: RB Kenneth Gainwell, Memphis
Goodman: Gainwell’s versatility out of the backfield would surely be a great asset for new offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur. As New York moves forward without the ageless wonder Frank Gore, Gainwell has the potential to be a great fit. Besides, the jury is still out on La’Mical Perine after his rookie season.
No. 87: LB Jabril Cox, LSU
Goodman: As Robert Saleh installs his defense with Gang Green, a player like Cox can be molded into a productive contributor that plays hard every snap. His skills in coverage should translate at the next level as well (Cox had three interceptions in 10 games at LSU this season).
MORE JETS MOCK DRAFT CONTENT:
- Jets Land Zach Wilson, Edge Rusher in First Round of NFL.com Mock Draft
- Jets Trade Sam Darnold, Add New Quarterback and Bolster Offensive Line in Mock Draft
- Jets Trade Out of Second Pick With Panthers, Take Star Wideout in Mock Draft