2021 SI Team Publisher Mock Draft: Jets Secure QB, Address Offensive Line in First Round

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There are mock drafts to be found all over the place these days, but many are done as a collaboration among those who cover the teams on a full-time basis.

Each NFL Sports Illustrated Team Publisher took part in this mock draft, making selections with no trades allowed. All 32 picks from the first round are listed below, with the Jets' pair of first-rounders bolded (along with some analysis included).

New York goes into this draft needing to replace Sam Darnold and get help up front (after failing to address the offensive line in free agency). Coming away with these two players would be a win be general manager Joe Douglas and head coach Robert Saleh.

1. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS: QB Trevor Lawrence, Clemson

2. NEW YORK JETS: QB Zach Wilson, BYU

Biggest needs: QB, OL, CB, Edge

After the Jets traded Sam Darnold to the Carolina Panthers, it became pretty clear what New York was going to do with the No. 2 pick. A two-win team has plenty of needs, more than the positions listed above, but when you have a chance to start anew at the game's most important position with a talented prospect like Zach Wilson, you don't hesitate. Joe Douglas isn't revealing which QB his team is going to take just yet, but all signs point toward the BYU stud replacing Darnold under center in New York. You can use a sharpie for this one.

3. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS: QB Mac Jones, Alabama

4. ATLANTA FALCONS: TE Kyle Pitts, Florida

5. CINCINNATI BENGALS: T Penei Sewell, Oregon

6. MIAMI DOLPHINS: WR Ja’Marr Chase, LSU

7. DETROIT LIONS: LB Micah Parsons, Penn State

8. CAROLINA PANTHERS: T Rashawn Slater, Northwestern

9. DENVER BRONCOS: CB Jaycee Horn, South Carolina

10. DALLAS COWBOYS: CB Patrick Surtain, Alabama

11. NEW YORK GIANTS: WR Jaylen Waddle, Alabama

12. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES: Edge Kwity Paye, Michigan

13. LOS ANGELES CHARGERS: WR DeVonta Smith, Alabama

14. MINNESOTA VIKINGS: QB Justin Fields, Ohio State

15. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS: QB Trey Lance, North Dakota State

16. ARIZONA CARDINALS: CB Greg Newsome II, Northwestern

17. LAS VEGAS RAIDERS: T Christian Darrisaw, Virginia Tech

18. MIAMI DOLPHINS: LB Zaven Collins, Tulsa

19. WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM: LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Notre Dame

20. CHICAGO BEARS: CB Caleb Farley, Virginia Tech

21. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS: Teven Jenkins, T, Oklahoma State

22. TENNESSEE TITANSAzeez Ojulari, OLB, Georgia

23. NEW YORK JETS: T Alijah Vera-Tucker, USC

Biggest needs: OL, CB, Edge, RB

Now that New York has its new franchise quarterback, the next order of business is to surround him with weapons and to protect him. If a top corner or edge rusher slipped to number 23, Joe Douglas and Robert Saleh would surely consider a defensive pick here, but having a high-upside lineman available here makes it an easy decision. The Jets didn't address their offensive line in free agency. Now, they'll have Alijah Vera-Tucker alongside Mekhi Becton up front for years to come.

24. PITTSBURGH STEELERS: RB Najee Harris, Alabama

25. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS: S Trevon Moehrig, TCU

26. CLEVELAND BROWNS: Ifeatu Melifonwu, CB Syracuse

27. BALTIMORE RAVENS: WR Terrace Marshall, LSU

28. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS: CB Asante Samuel Jr., Florida State

29. GREEN BAY PACKERS: DT Christian Barmore, Alabama

30. BUFFALO BILLS: RB Travis Etienne, Clemson

31. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS: WR Rashod Bateman, Minnesota

32. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS: DL Levi Onwuzurike, Washington

What do you think about this first-round haul for the Jets? 

All signs point toward Wilson going to Gang Green second overall, but seeing a lineman like Vera-Tucker available at No. 23 would be hard to resist. 

Alternatively, if they slip on draft night, maybe Douglas will target one of the top cornerbacks (like Greg Newsome II) or an edge rusher (like Azeez Ojulari). As mentioned within the mock, since the Jets didn't address their offensive line in free agency, taking someone like Vera-Tucker late in the first should be a priority (if not early in the second with the No. 34 pick).

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