Jets go offense early before making run on defense in draft

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New York Jets fan of the year Lynne Pondview reacts after the Jets selected Michael Carter II, cornerback for Duke, in the fifth round of the NFL football draft, Saturday, May 1, 2021, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

NEW YORK – The New York Jets' offense was downright offensive on most Sundays the past few seasons.

Pick by pick early in the NFL draft, Joe Douglas went to work on changing all that.

The Jets went with offense on their first four selections, kicking things off by taking their newest franchise quarterback in BYU's Zach Wilson at No. 2 overall.

Next came a trade up from No. 23 to No. 14 to pick USC guard Alijah Vera-Tucker. New York stayed put at No. 34 despite calls from teams looking to move up, and selected speedy and versatile Ole Miss wide receiver Elijah Moore. The Jets stayed on that side of the ball to start the fourth round, taking elusive North Carolina running back Michael Carter.

It marked the first time the Jets drafted offensive players with their first four picks since 1983, when they took quarterback Ken O’Brien, running back Johnny Hector, wide receiver JoJo Townsell and tight end Wes Howell.

“We take the quarterback and then Vera-Tucker is sitting there and Joe was aggressive in getting him, which was awesome,” coach Robert Saleh said. "We had no idea and no expectations to see Elijah Moore sitting there, and there he is, sitting there in the second round, so that was a no-brainer.

“We go through and just watched the third round unfold and we're just looking at Michael Carter fall and we're like, ‘Holy cow, he might get to us.’ So we went to bed (Saturday) night as excited as heck because Michael Carter's sitting there.”

Then, Douglas took defensive players with the team's final six picks.