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New York Jets Linebacker Targets in the 2021 NFL Draft

The New York Jets need to add one of their linebacker targets in this year's draft. By doing so they can create a roster for the long run.
Chazz Surratt

After finishing last season with a 2-14 record, the New York Jets and general manager Joe Douglas still have plenty of holes left to fill on the roster. The team already addressed some needs on the roster in signing receiver Corey Davis and defensive end Carl Lawson. But with less than a week until the NFL Draft, the Jets should aim to address their long-term need at linebacker.

The team already signed Jarrad Davis to bolster their linebacker unit in free agency. In 2020, Davis saw a decrease in playing time with the Detroit Lions, the team that drafted him in round one in 2017. He brings value to the team by adding depth to the position and some special team versatility.

Also, C.J. Mosley will be making his return this season for the Jets. After missing the majority of the 2019 season due to injury then opting out of the 2020 season, he will finally be joining the Jets defense once again. Mosley might not be the player he once was, leaving the Jets in need of a backup plan. 

Luckily, this year’s draft class has some excellent mid-round linebackers that the Jets should target to help fill their long-term need at the position.

New York Jets Linebacker Targets in the 2021 NFL Draft

Linebacker Jabril Cox – LSU

LSU’s Jabril Cox was an exciting linebacker to watch in college, and he makes for an even more exciting prospect for the next level. He can play in space, has phenomenal speed, and can even drop back in coverage. All these tools are exactly what NFL teams are looking for in linebackers today.

While playing, Cox doesn’t get caught at the line of scrimmage. He can read the play and react accordingly after the snap. It is beneficial when it comes to determining if it is a pass or a run. Rarely will he be out of position on the field.

Speed is another trait Cox obtains. In today’s NFL, speed has become a must-have for linebackers. They need to follow the running back in coverage or catch the ball carrier from behind to prevent a touchdown. The type of speed Cox has can help the Jets in pass coverage and prevent opposing offenses from having big plays.

Throughout Cox’s time in college, he recorded nine interceptions, as well as 26 pass deflections. Cox will make a play when the ball is coming his way. He has struggled in the run game at times, but he can develop into a three-down linebacker for the Jets.

In this year’s draft, most mocks have Cox in the third round. That works out well for New York, as they have two third-round picks. Maybe they use one to take Cox if he is available.

Linebacker Chazz Surratt – North Carolina

Meanwhile, Chazz Surratt has gained a lot of attention from draft analysts and for good reasons too. The six-foot-two 229 pound linebacker is a beast when he is on the field. He can fly around, has sound tackling technique, and is an instinctive player.

Swarming to the ball and taking good pursuit angles are two strengths for Surratt. These two things will help him succeed in the NFL. Pursuit of the football is oftentimes an overlooked trait in the modern game. With Surratt’s strong pursuit ability, he can help create turnovers and show off his impressive motor. 

Tackling is also a trait that deserves recognition. In the NFL there are so many broken tackles that drive coaches crazy week in and week out. When it comes to tackling, Surratt doesn’t leave his feet, wraps up the ball carrier, and brings him down. It helps to give defensive coaches peace of mind knowing that Surratt won’t let a ball carrier break free.

Instinct is another big part of Surratt’s game. He can play with anticipation and can blitz through gaps with ease. Surratt can also sniff out a play before the snap, and create chaos for opposing teams.

Without a doubt, Surratt can develop into a great linebacker in the NFL and help fill out the Jets roster. He is another prospect the Jets should be on the lookout for in the third round.

Linebacker Dylan Moses – Alabama

Dylan Moses has helped Alabama succeed on defense for three seasons. He has been considered one of the leaders of the team and is as tough of a player as any. Even though he missed the 2019 season with a knee injury, he can be an asset to any NFL team.

The linebacker is often considered the quarterback of the defense. That role is exactly what Moses found himself playing in at Alabama. He was the leader of the defense and displayed his incredible pre-snap recognition. He also was able to play on the fly and adjust the defense before the snap.

Again, Moses did suffer a serious knee injury in 2019, which he still is not fully recovered from. Due to the injury, he has lost some of his explosiveness and didn’t look like the same player in 2020. The good news is though that with proper training and a regular off-season, Moses may be able to fully recover. 

Moses is a day three target for the Jets. But, if he can fully recover from his injury, he would be a great long-term addition to the linebacker group.

Last Word on New York Jets Linebacker Targets in the 2021 NFL Draft

The New York Jets should add one of these linebacker targets in this year’s draft. By doing so it helps give the team some youth and depth at the position. This will really help the team make sure they will have success in the years to come.  

Main Photo: Embed from Getty Images


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