Round 1, 11th overall pick
We have come full circle from our first postseason mock draft compilation. For the past two issues of our compilation mocks, Louisville offensive tackle Mekhi Becton was the favorite to become the New York Jets first-round pick.
With Gang Green’s offensive line free agent signings and Robby Anderson’s departure, wide receiver Jerry Jeudy is the front runner once again. The former Alabama Crimson Tide star was the choice on 10 of the 26 mocks. That was as many as all OT’s combined. Becton for his part was chosen once (by Jordan Reid of Draft Network).
We’ve profiled Jeudy several times before in the months since the college football season ended. He is a tremendous route runner (one of the best in several seasons) who is also strong, fast, athletic and can change direction faster than a fly avoiding a swatter. In short, Jeudy is a quarterback’s best friend.
In two seasons as a starter at Bama, covering 28 games, Jeudy caught 145 passes for 2,478 yards and 24 touchdowns. Pretty darn outstanding for a guy who’s had both Henry Ruggs III and Devonta Smith on his team at the same time. Some mocks even have the speed demon Ruggs going ahead of Jeudy.
As a matter of fact, Ruggs was fifth this time around with two selections. That was one behind former Oklahoma star receiver CeeDee Lamb (3). Pardon the pun, but “the tide has turned,” 57.6 percent of the mock drafts used had the New York Jets selecting a wide receiver to replace Anderson.
For those drafters who went tackle, aside from Becton, Alabama’s Jedrick Wills had five selections and Andrew Thomas from Georgia had four. Edge rusher K’Lavon Chaisson is the other player selected.
First-round note: The Jets could be the first team to take a receiver. They will have their pick of who will be quarterback Sam Darnold’s new toy.