As Jets general manager Joe Douglas prepares for his third draft in charge of the Jets, his first two drafts have gone their separate ways.
The 2021 rookie class showed very promising this year, and it looks like Douglas has found some basic pieces for the Jets. Quarterback Zach Wilson’s progress will ultimately define how this draft is viewed, but the early returns have been positive.
The draft class in 2020 has not done so well. The Jets received very little production from Douglas’ first draft class, which consisted of nine players. The Jets preach patience, but there are reasons to worry about this class.
“I would say about the entire draft class that we are in year 2 of their professional careers and I would say at this checkpoint in their run, probably not where it should be as a group,” Douglas said. “But at the moment, no one is giving up on these players. Look, each player is evolving differently, at different speeds. I’m sure if you ask some of these guys, they would say they’m disappointed. over their season, but in the end no one gives up on the players [Robert Salleh] certainly does not give up on those guys. We fully expect them to return in the offseason, ready to roll and ready to improve. ”
Here’s a closer look at how each election performed in 2021 and what their prospects for 2022 are:
Round 1: OT Mekhi Becton (No. 11 overall)
Becton played just 48 snaps in the season opener against the Panthers before getting a staggered right patella. The injury required surgery, and the Jets said they expected Becton back in four to six weeks. He did not play another down. There were issues with Becton in training camp where the coaches were unhappy with him. Becton has struggled with weight issues as a professional, and the Jets clearly hope he matures and learns to become a professional this offseason. Becton showed All-Pro potential as a rookie, but he must learn to control his weight and stay on the field if he is ever to realize that potential.
“I think for him to attack this offseason and get back in the best possible shape he can be in,” Douglas said. “I expect great things from him next year. We all want Mekhi back.”
Round 2: WR Denzel Mims (59)
Mims would like to forget his second season with the Jets. A round of food poisoning in the spring cost him time in OTAs, and the coaches and Wilson never seemed to trust him. Mims played in 11 games and caught just eight passes on 133 yards. He had no catches in the last four games. He also committed plenty of mental errors from penalties to running out of the back of the end zone on a potential touchdown. Mims has yet to score in his NFL career. This one feels like it’s heading for a divorce. The Jets are likely to shop Mims around the NFL draft, but it’s hard to see them getting much of a return for him.
Round 3: S Ashtyn Davis (68)
Davis missed the first three games of the season when he recovered from a foot injury in 2020. He ended up playing in 13 games, starting 10. Davis had two interceptions and three passes defended. Davis showed poor instincts and tackling skills. It’s hard to see the Jets expecting him to start in 2022. This was one of the choices they got from the Giants in Leonard Williams’ trade.
Round 3: DE Jabari Zuniga (79)
Zuniga spent most of the season on the training team. He played in three games and got his first career fired. This one looks like a big miss.
Round 4: RB La’Mical Perine (120)
Perine seems to be the victim of a change of coach. He fit better in Adam Gase’s attack, but never found a role in Mike LaFleurs. He played only four games and had only eight carriers. It was telling that even when the Jets had injuries on the position, the coaching staff approached others.
Round 4: QB James Morgan (125)
This was a wasted choice. Morgan was cut in training camp and returned shortly after the team had COVID issues as a quarterback, but he has yet to play a moment in the NFL.
Round 4: OL Cameron Clark (129)
Clark sustained a neck injury that ended the season in training camp that could end up being career-ending.
Round 5: CB Bryce Hall (158)
The best choice in this class, Hall started 17 games and was one of the Jets’ most consistent players. He proved he can be an NFL starting cornerback. A theft for Douglas in the fifth round.
Round 6: P Braden Mann (191)
Man has been inconsistent. A left knee injury cost him seven games this season. He finished the year averaging 45.7 yards on his punts.