2021 NFL Mock Draft: Jets pick up huge defensive piece in second round

Asante Samuel Jr., Jets, NFL Draft
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The New York Jets are going to look to add talent to both sides of the football in the upcoming 2021 NFL Draft. Most mock drafts have them targeting the cornerback position early in the draft, which is a major need. If that does end up being the case, they could end up finding a steal in the second round at No. 34 overall.

At this point in time, it seems clear that the Jets will be taking BYU quarterback Zach Wilson at No. 2 overall. They also hold the No. 23 overall pick in the first round. New York could go cornerback with their second first-round selection, but waiting could make a lot of sense as well.

In The Athletic’s latest mock draft, they have the Jets taking Florida State cornerback Asante Samuel Jr. at No. 34 overall. That would be a big-time addition to a secondary that desperately needs help.

Jets fans won’t forget the original Asante Samuel and his impact for the Patriots 15 years ago. So the idea of his son becoming a key starter for the Jets has to be appealing.

Samuel has been moving up and down draft boards throughout the pre-draft process. Many believe he could end up being a late first-round selection. But, if he drops to this pick, the Jets shouldn’t think twice about taking him.

During his three-year career with the Seminoles, Samuel put up big numbers and improved dramatically. He racked up 93 total tackles to go along with one forced fumble, four interceptions, and 29 defended passes. In the 2020 season alone, he recorded 30 tackles, one forced fumble, three interceptions, and six defended passes.

He isn’t the biggest or most physical cornerback in the NFL Draft, standing in at 5-foot-10 and 184 pounds. However, his father wasn’t a huge physical presence and he put together an impressive NFL career.

NFL.com has compared Asante Samuel Jr. to Mackensie Alexander. That isn’t the best comparison, but there is no question that he has the talent and potential to become something special.

Expect to see the Jets look to make a move in their secondary early in this draft. If this mock draft comes true, New York will be very happy with their early second-round selection.