NFL Draft Analysts Rave Over New York Jets ‘Mr. Irrelevant’

Jonathan Marshall

Getty Arkansas DL Jonathan Marshall #42 pushing up field to make a play.

When analysts speak about the NFL draft they usually are breaking down the top picks in the first round. But an abnormally large contingent of experts was discussing who the New York Jets crowned Mr. Irrelevant with their last pick of the 2021 NFL draft.

The final selection of the NFL draft receives the label of ‘Mr. Irrelevant‘ in a tradition that dates back 45 years to the 1976 NFL draft.

While technically the Jets have never had an official Mr. Irrelevant, their version of it created a lot of buzz this year. With the Jets’ final pick they selected Arkansas defensive tackle Jonathan Marshall with the No. 207 overall pick in the sixth round.

NFL Draft Gurus Love Marshall

NFL draft analyst Jon Ledyard raved about the value of a player like Marshall in the sixth round.

“I think Jonathan Marshall is great to get him in round six is just wow,” Ledyard said. “He’s got traits and if he doesn’t work out whatever but getting him is part of a sound process in my opinion.”

Ledyard wasn’t the only draft analyst who got excited by the pick. Bleacher Report NFL Draft analyst Connor Rogers got giddy when talking about him on the Badlands podcast:

Jonathan Marshall is a freak. I know nobody wants to hear anything about the interior defensive line anymore but this dude is a freak. He’s in a great spot for him here with the Jets. Marshall doesn’t have to play right away and he’s with a coach that’ll can coach up front-four players. There’s just not a lot of humans on planet Earth that are 6-foot-3, 310 pounds, can run a 4.88, and can bench press 36 reps (225 pounds).

The 1.67 10-yard split is Quinnen Williams type stuff. So I’m not saying he’s going to be a star but when I’m making my last pick of the draft give me the biggest and best athlete. There’s a dart throw that he can be Sheldon Rankins in two years. I get the dart throw there. I know he’s a defensive tackle but I like this pick more than the corners they took earlier.

The Jets are absolutely loaded on the defensive line, so 23-year-old Marshall is facing an uphill battle to make the roster. The good news is historically head coach Robert Saleh has utilized a very deep rotation in the trenches and likes to mix guys in and out of the lineup to keep them fresh.

Day three is a point in the NFL draft where the Jets are taking a flier betting on traits that they think can translate to the next level.

Marshall played four years at Arkansas but only started in one of those seasons. He’s a superb athlete who starred in both football and basketball growing up, Pro Football Network reported.

Jonathan Marshall

GettyRazorbacks DL Jonathan Marshall #42 in an October 2020 game against Texas A&M.

During his time in college, he predominantly played in a 3-4 as a nose tackle. He seemed out of place but showed enough flashes for the Jets to take a chance. When you watch the tape his initial first step and get off really stand out.

Marshall will be an ideal fit in the Jets’ new 4-3 scheme as a penetrator who can pin his ears back and get after the quarterback. Despite his modest numbers (1.5 career sacks), there’s a lot more potential underneath the surface that just has to be unlocked.

Marshall will also benefit from playing with several other talented players like Quinnen Williams and Carl Lawson. With all the focus on those guys, Marshall should get some one-on-one opportunities that he can take advantage of.

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