After selecting BYU QB Zach Wilson No. 2 overall and USC OL Alijah Vera-Tucker No. 14 overall in Round 1 of the 2021 NFL Draft, the Jets are slated to have one pick in Day 2 (No. 34 overall), in Cleveland on Friday.
"I think Joe Douglas is in a really good spot," NFL Network Analyst Charles Davis said. "Whatever conviction he has whether it's offense or defense, he can get his person at 34 or he can listen to other people, accumulate a few more picks and bridge the gap between 34 and 107 that way. He's got options."
Below are six players who will likely hear their names called on Friday night and could be a potential option for the Jets at No. 34.
LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Notre Dame (6-1, 221)
Owusu-Koramoah won the Butkus Award in 2020 and was named ACC Defensive Player of the Year. He had 62 tackles, 11 TFLs, 1.5 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, 4 pass defenses and 1 interception. He has good speed, and lined up at LB and as a nickel defender for the Fighting Irish.
"Think about Robert Saleh and how creative he is on defense and you take a guy with that size, that speed and move him around to different spots," Davis said. "Drop him in coverage, rush him off the edge, swing him back and just play pure linebacker."
WR Elijah Moore, Ole Miss (5-9, 178)
Moore led the FBS in catches (10.8) and receiving yards (149.1) per game in 2020 and set a school record with 86 receptions. He also had 1,193 yards receiving and 8 receiving TDs, and ran a 4.35 40-yard dash at his pro day.
"Lane Kiffin knew who his best player was and he did not let up," Dane Brugler of The Athetic said. "A lot of it was underneath stuff, but there were times where he worked down the field. He can track the football, has outstanding hands. He creates before and after the catch. With Elijah Moore, you have a home run waiting to happen."
RB Javonte Williams, UNC (5-9, 212)
Williams is a physical back and led the FBS with 47 broken tackles and 72 first-down carries in 2020. He had 157 carries, 1,140 yards and 19 TDs, earning second-team All-ACC honors. He also set the school record for points (132) and total TDs (22).
"He runs with a low pad level and accelerates through contact," NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah wrote. "Williams has the burst to get the edge on outside runs and he's elusive once he gets into the open field. … He has reliable hands, although you will see some double catches. He is aware in pass protection and can squat and absorb blitzers. Overall, Williams is a complete player and could emerge as the best running back in the 2021 class.
Edge Azeez Ojulari, Georgia (6-2, 249)
Ojulari may not have prototypical size, but he has an 82.5-inch wingspan and 34.5-inch arms. He led the SEC with 18.5 TFLs, 14 sacks and 5 forced fumbles in 2020.
"He split time between playing with his hand on the ground and standing up on the edge for the Bulldogs," Jeremiah wrote. "He takes short/quick steps and has a variety of pass-rush moves. ... He isn't an elite bender at the top of his rush due to some ankle tightness. His effort is excellent. He can stack and set the edge consistently versus the run."
CB Asante Samuel Jr., Florida State (5-10, 180)
Samuel, whose father played 11 years in the NFL, had more pass defenses (33) then games played in college (32). He opted out of the 2020 season after eight games and led the team with 3 INTs. He has 96 tackles, 3 TFLs, 1 FF, 33 PDs and 4 INTs in three seasons.
"Like his father, Asante Samuel might be overlooked a little bit because of his smallish frame, but he's a top-tier athlete and has great feet," Brugler said. "Just like his dad, outstanding reaction quickness. His ball awareness is outstanding, he can drive and make plays on the ball. You could argue he's in the conversation as the best zone corner in this draft."