The Jets have made their last pick of the 2021 Draft today, barring any late trades involving 2022 picks, with their selection of defensive tackle Jonathan Marshall of Arkansas.
This 207th overall pick came from Kansas City, along with the Chiefs' No. 175 choice (with which the Jets selected Pitt CB Jason Pinnock) in exchange for their choices in Rounds 5 (No. 162) and 6 (No. 226).
After GM Joe Douglas and his draft team picked four consecutive offensive players to start this year's draft, they turned those tables somewhat by then grabbing six straight defenders in Rounds 5-6 to conclude their drafting this year.
Marshall (6-3, 310), related to the late DE Cedrick Hardman, a first-round pick of the 49ers in 1970 and a two-time Pro Bowler, is a versatile athlete. He starred in football and basketball at Shepherd HS in Texas and committed to both TCU and Oklahoma State before he settled on Arkansas. His first three Razorbacks seasons, he was a reserve D-linemen, then last year emerged as a 10-game starter and captain at the zero-technique nose position in Arkansas' 3-4, setting career highs with 35 tackles, 6.5 TFLs and one sack.
"I played zero for the best of the team," he told Jets reporters, "but I feel like my transition to the Jets, I'll be able to get more explosion off the ball and play blocks differently from what I did in college."
He followed his senior campaign up with a strong pro day to help set him up for Day 3 draft status. He crunched out 36 reps on the bench press, and his 40 time was as fast as 4.77 on many stopwatches. He tweaked a hamstring on his second 40 and so didn't run in the shuttles or three-cone drill.
"I feel like my pro day helped me tremendously, honestly," Marshall said. "I feel like everybody thought I was slower than what I actually was."
Draft analyst Tony Pauline noted that "during position drills, he looked explosive, balanced and moved well around the field. He was out of position at nose tackle last season, but scouts feel he'll flourish at defensive tackle in a four-man line."
Marshall, asked if he thought the Jets were getting a sixth-round steal because he's moving to a 4-3 defense that more fits his skillset, replied, "Yessir, I consider it a steal because I'm going to come in and work my hardest to prove myself right. I'm coming in with a full head of steam."
Marshall is the seventh Arkansas player drafted by the Jets all-time. The only Razorback draftee to play for the Jets was DE Ron Faurot (Round 1, No. 15, 1984), although both DT Brison Manor (Round 15, No. 380, 1975) and T Nate Garner (Round 7, No. 211, 2008) had multiyear NFL careers.