The New York Jets hope they finally got their franchise quarterback in Zach Wilson with the No. 2 overall pick back in April. In order to give the BYU product the best chance to succeed, they now need the protection that will keep him upright.
That’s why it was no surprise to see general manager Joe Douglas trade up from No. 23 to No. 14 in order to select USC offensive lineman Alijah Vera-Tucker. It was a smart decision, but many feared that it would put them out of the running for another coveted player.
Ole Miss wide receiver Elijah Moore is exactly the kind of long-term complementary piece the Jets wanted to pair with Wilson and their passing game. But they had him ranked No. 16 overall on their draft board and thought there was no way of getting him after using additional draft capital to move up for Vera-Tucker.
They were wrong.
Much like other recent Ole Miss pass-catchers such as AJ Brown and DK Metcalf, Moore went from being a projected first-round pick to being available on Day 2. When the dynamic receiver was still available at pick No. 34, the Jets couldn’t turn in the card fast enough.
They were thrilled.
— New York Jets (@nyjets) May 1, 2021
Moore gives the Jets’ offense a weapon who can play inside or out. He’s an explosive playmaker with the ability to handle volume and contact. At 5-foot-10, 178 pounds, the rookie pass-catcher may not have size, but he proves size isn’t everything.
In addition to Moore, Douglas and company also signed 26-year-old Corey Davis in free agency to pair with Denzel Mims at receiver. They also have 25-year-old Chris Herndon at tight end, and they’re hoping he can finally enjoy that breakout season people have been predicting.
Combine those options with an improved offensive line — Mekhi Becton, Vera-Tucker and the newly signed Morgan Moses — and a serviceable trio at running back with Tevin Coleman, La’Mical Perine and 2021 fourth-round pick Michael Carter, and it’s beginning to look like Wilson is set up for success in New York.
That 6-win total for the regular season over on FanDuel Sportsbook is interesting.
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Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.