Jets could hit ‘home run’ at No. 23 with Alijah Vera-Tucker: NFL Draft expert

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NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah believes the Jets have plenty of options next week with their second first-round pick, No. 23 overall, but one makes more sense than the others.

“For me, if you’re trying to put yourself into that situation, this whole draft would be about Zach Wilson for me, at least early on,” Jeremiah said on Wednesday. “We’re going to devote as many resources as we can to give him the opportunity that Sam [Darnold] didn’t have, which is to have some good people in front of him and to have a lot of options of where to go with the football.”

Jeremiah pointed to three positions as areas the Jets could address at No. 23 – offensive line, cornerback and edge rusher.

“You’ve got the corners you can look at. You might be at a kind of in between spot there, so that could be a trade back a little bit,” Jeremiah said. “You’ve got the edge rushers, which I think that’s a pretty good spot for an edge rusher if you’re interested in one. I think between 15 and 25, I think via teams moving around I think that’s when you’re going to see a bunch of these edge rushers go. They’re going to be right in the mix of these edge rushers whether that’s a guy like [Azeez] Ojulari, Greg Rousseau, see what happens with [Jaelan] Phillips. Those would be opportunities there.”

NFL Draft 2021 Jets Alijah Vera-Tucker
Alijah Vera-Tucker
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If the Jets go with an offensive lineman, there is one that stands out if he makes it to 23.

“You look at pick 23, offensive line wise if someone [Alijah] Vera-Tucker were to get there, that’s the home run of all home-run picks,” he said. “[Christian] Derrisaw is somebody that’s interesting.”

Cornerback may not directly help Wilson, their presumptive No. 2 pick, but there is no doubt is a major need for the Jets. Jeremiah pointed to one cornerback expected to be available at 23 who fits Robert Saleh’s defense best.

“I think you could say Greg Newsome makes some sense there at 23 out of Northwestern,” he said. “He’s somebody that’s long and rangy and can really play the football, which is going to fit pretty much any scheme but obviously that’s what Saleh’s accustomed to having those bigger guys. He would make sense there.”

Jets GM Joe Douglas has options.

“They have a bunch of different ways they can go. It’s a good news/bad news,” Jeremiah said. “The bad news is you have a bunch of needs. The good news is you have a bunch of picks. They’re going to be able to go in different directions depending on how it falls.”