As part of The Post’s 2021 NFL Draft preview, we examine what the Jets might do at each position. Thursday: Cornerback.
If you make a list of the Jets’ needs after quarterback, this position is at the top of the list. The Jets have very little experience in the cornerback room and could use an infusion of talent.
They won’t be able to land experience in the draft, but they can get some top-end talent. At the moment, Bless Austin, Bryce Hall and Javelin Guidry are their top cornerbacks. Robert Saleh’s defense is not as reliant on cornerbacks as some man-based schemes, but he still needs some talent there.
It makes perfect sense for GM Joe Douglas to target a cornerback with the team’s second first-round pick. The top two corners — Alabama’s Patrick Surtain II and South Carolina’s Jaycee Horn — should be off the board by then, but there are a lot of good cornerbacks in this draft.
Virginia Tech’s Caleb Farley is the most interesting prospect. He opted out of the 2020 season and had back surgery in March, but he is immensely talented. Douglas will have to listen to his medical staff, but if it clears Farley he will be hard to pass up.
Greg Newsome from Northwestern is another possibility at 23. There are durability concerns after an injury-filled college career, but he was No. 1 in the Big Ten in passes defended (10) last year. He only allowed 10 completions last season.
If the Jets wait until Day 2 to address cornerback, Florida State’s Asante Samuel Jr. and Georgia’s Eric Stokes are possibilities.