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Jets Draft Day Scenario | Which Positions Will New York Target in the Middle Rounds?’s Chad Reuter Projects Minnesota Safety Tyler Nubin to the Jets in Rd. 3

Minnesota defensive back Tyler Nubin (27) in action during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Illinois, Saturday, Nov. 4, 2023, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr)

The NFL Draft is one of the most exciting and unpredictable times of the pro football calendar. Leading up to April 25-27 in Detroit, will analyze the possibility of different players projections landing withto the Jets. HereFor this particular piece, we will focus on the Jets' mid-round picks – Rounds 2-4 (at present, the Jets do not have a selection in Round 2). To read about projections for the Jets' No. 10 selection click here.

This mock draft, created by draft analyst Chad Reuter, has GM Joe Douglas selecting Minnesota S Tyler Nubin, Virginia WR Malik Washington and Missouri LB Ty'Ron Hopper.

Table inside Article
Pick No. Selection
No. 72 (Rd. 3) S Tyler Nubin (Minnesota)
No. 111 (Rd. 4) WR Malik Washington (Virginia)
No. 135 (Rd. 4) LB Ty’Ron Hopper (Missouri)

Why It Makes Sense
This offseason, GM Joe Douglas and the Jets re-signed S Chuck Clark, who missed all of last season with a torn ACL he sustained last offseason; and S Ashtyn Davis, who led the Jets with 6 takeaways (3 interceptions, 3 fumble recoveries) last year. With S Tony Adams back, as well, for his third season, the Jets have a veteran-laden safety room that is ideally positioned to add a younger player that could be developed. That is where Tyler Nubin comes in.

Nubin (6-2, 205) played in 55 games (43 starts) in five seasons for Minnesota and recorded 13 interceptions, 24 pass defenses and 207 tackles. With good size and a lot of experience with the Golden Gophers, Nubin is ready to play, but would benefit from a great opportunity to sit back and learn from the Jets' veterans.

"Nubin has conservative tendencies in coverage, but he is a four-down player with a coveted skill set," said Dane Brugler of The Athletic. "Because of his split-field range, playmaking instincts and toughness versus the run, he is ideally suited for a quarters-based, Cover-2 scheme in the NFL and will be a core special teamer."

At wideout, the Jets added Mike Williams (6-4, 218) in free agency to team with Garrett Wilson and Allen Lazard (6-5, 227). With two bigger-bodied X receivers already on the roster, the Jets are in a position to add a smaller slot receiver who can complement Williams and Lazard, and back up Wilson. Malik Washington (5-8, 194) fits the bill.

Washington played four seasons for Northwestern before transferring to Virginia in 2023. And in his final year, Washington had 110 receptions for 1,426 yards and 9 touchdowns – all career highs.

"Washington has extraordinary quickness, gets in and out of his routes quickly and gets up to top speed in a hurry to immediately put cornerbacks in conflict," Brugler said.

Chad Reuter's other projected fourth-round pick by the Jets, LB Ty'Ron Hopper, makes sense because of the Jets' recent ability to develop linebackers. Hopper (6-1, 228) is a rangy backer who moves well for his size, but lacks some football IQ according to Brugler. Sound familiar?

In 2021, the Jets signed LB Quincy Williams, a third-round selection (No. 98) in 2019, off waivers. When he arrived in New York, Williams was an explosive young backer who struggled with some of the similar things Hopper has dealt with.

After two seasons of playing alongside captain C.J. Mosley, Williams earned a first team All-Pro nod in 2023. Hopper has the intangibles to develop behind Mosley and Williams into another productive backer for the Green & White.

Other Players Taken in Rd.s 3 & 4
Tyler Nubin, in Chad Reuter's mock draft, was the third safety off the board behind Washington State's Jaden Hicks (No. 41) and Georgia's Javon Bullard (No. 57). With Hicks and Bullard both projected to be second-round selections, where the Jets do not currently hold a pick, the Green & White could consider Georgia S Tykee Smith or Miami's Kamren Kinchens, who Reuter sees going at No. 79 and No. 94, respectively.

Smith (5-10, 205) registered 4 interceptions and 52 tackles in his fifth and final collegiate season. He spent his first two seasons with West Virginia before finishing his collegiate career with the Bulldogs. Kinchens (5-11, 202) played in 34 games (27 starts) for the Hurricanes and had 26 pass defenses and 11 picks.

Malik Washington was one of four wideouts picked in the fourth round of Reuter's mock. Alabama's Jermaine Burton (No. 101) and Washington's Ja'Lynn Polk (No. 109) were taken before Washington, and USC's Brendan Rice (No. 116) after.

Burton (6-2, 196) played four years for the Crimson Tide and is intriguing because of his big-play ability and limited mistakes despite a sizable workload. Burton had 23 touchdowns in 50 games (39 starts) during his career and registered 15 TD grabs over the last two seasons (26 games, 24 starts) but totaled just 4 drops in four years – including none last season.

"He has NFL-level athleticism and ball skills, which make him worth the gamble on draft weekend," Dane Brugler said. "He will be a better pro than college player."

Finally, Ty'Ron Hopper could be one of three linebackers taken in the fourth round, in addition to Washington's Edefuan Ulofoshio (No. 115) and Penn State's Curtis Jacobs (No. 123).

Jacobs (6-1, 241) started all 25 games he was available for in the last two seasons for the Nittany Lions and recorded 101 tackles and 16.5 tackles for loss. According to Brugler, Jacobs is a more NFL-ready LB than Hopper but has less upside. It is believed that Jacobs will immediately be a key -contributor on special teams.

See's Daniel Jeremiah's top 50 prospects in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Bottom Line
According to many mock drafts, in the first round the Jets will be targeting a top-tier offensive player – tackle, wide receiver or tight end in the middle rounds, however, Chad Reuter expects GM Joe Douglas & Co. to be on the lookout for more complementary players with higher upsides who will bolster already established position groups. These players will also have an opportunity to develop while playing behind veterans like LB C.J. Mosley, S Chuck Clark and WR Garrett Wilson.

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