The 2021 season is still several months away, but New York Jets fans are already getting excited about what is to come.
Here’s another reason to get excited: Badlands.
What the heck is that? I’m glad you asked.
The Badlands feed is a subscription-based Jets podcast, live stream, article generator, and content provider. For the next month, they’ll be releasing a special four-part docuseries exclusively on Patreon for their $5 subscribers.
The first episode dropped on Friday, June 4 and it’s available right now. Here’s what you have to look forward to over the coming weeks:
Episode one (available right now): a full breakdown of the Jets’ pair of first-rounders in Zach Wilson out of BYU and Alijah Vera-Tucker out of USC with special guest Daniel Jeremiah of the NFL Network.
Episode two (Friday, June 11): breaking down all of Gang Green’s defensive players selected on day three of the 2021 NFL draft with special guest: long-time NFLer and former Jets stud Leger Douzable.
Episode three (Friday, June 18): analyzing the skill positions players taken in the draft by the green and white (wide receiver Elijah Moore out of Ole Miss and running back Michael Carter out of North Carolina).
Episode four (Friday, June 25): exclusive coach’s film cut-ups of the 2021 Jets draft class from Lead NFL Draft Analyst for Bleacher Report, Connor Rogers (this episode will be available in both audio podcast form and video form on Patreon).
What traits from Zach Wilson sealed the deal for Joe Douglas?
Lead NFL Draft Analyst for the NFL Network, Daniel Jeremiah, joined the Badlands crew to share some insight on the key building blocks of the future for the Jets.
Jeremiah and general manager Joe Douglas are linked at the hip from their time shared together in Baltimore. DJ was with the Ravens from 2003 through 2006. While Douglas spent the first 15 years of his career in Baltimore filling a variety of roles.
Who better is there to share intricate details on the draft process than the man who knows him best?
“Accuracy and decision making was at the very top,” DJ on what Zach Wilson traits sold Joe Douglas in the buildup to the 2021 NFL draft. “I’m looking at the quality of throws. The ball placement. He’s a guy that rarely turned the ball over. All of those things translate well to the next level. The playmaking ability was the cherry on top.”
Douglas just completed his second draft as the head honcho of the green and white, but how Wilson turns out will ultimately define his career.
If the former BYU quarterback is a star at the next level, Joe D will look like a genius. Although if he flames out, Douglas will be looking for another gig. The NFL is a cutthroat business.
What will Wilson be in the NFL? DJ was asked for a pro-player comparison during the Badlands interview and said he’s a better Baker Mayfield but below Aaron Rodgers. Not too shabby.
Alijah Vera-Tucker Can Be a ‘Pro Bowler as a Rookie’
If you really want to get hyped up before the season, simply listen to Jeremiah talk about former USC offensive lineman Alijah Vera-Tucker. You can hear a snippet of their chat above, but to listen to the full conversation you have to subscribe to Badlands on Patreon as a $5 subscriber (you can do so by clicking the link and following the prompts here).
“If you take Trevor Lawrence of Clemson and Kyle Pitts of Florida aside, I thought three players were the safest in the 2021 NFL draft. AVT was one of those guys. He has played both guard and tackle at a very high level. He is incredibly strong and powerful. Plus he’s an unbelievable guy in terms of the character and make-up. In a draft with so much uncertainty (COVID pandemic), you moved up for a player at a position of need. You got a safe player in a weird draft that has Pro Bowl ability right now. He could be a Pro Bowler as a rookie, that’s how much talent he has.”
Following the first round of the 2021 NFL draft, the Jets got a lot of heat from the analytics community for moving up from No. 23 to No. 14 for a guard (AVT). Apparently, according to the draft value chart, the Jets overpaid and gave up too much in the move up with the Minnesota Vikings.
In what DJ categorized as a weird draft with a lot of unknowns, the Jets walked away with a known commodity at a critical position of need. That seems like a win to me.
When asked for another pro player comparison, Jeremiah name-dropped some pretty impressive current NFL stars in Zach Martin of the Dallas Cowboys and Brandon Scherff of the Washington Football Team.
Both Scherff and Martin have combined for 10 Pro Bowl appearances and are considered among the best interior offensive linemen in the NFL. Not bad company to share.
If you pair the potential of AVT with the budding superstar already in-house (Mekhi Becton), the Jets have a chance to have two cornerstones on the offensive line. The last time Gang Green enjoyed that first-world problem (D’Brickashaw Ferguson and Nick Mangold) they basked in unprecedented team success. Coincidence? I think not.
So what are you waiting for? Sign up for the Badlands feed right now for only $5 a month and you’ll never miss an episode.
On top of the four-part docuseries that’ll be released every Friday through the rest of June, you’ll also get access to weekly ad-free content, monthly live Q&As, offseason live streams, and so much more! Plus weekly episodes drop every Wednesday on the feed discussing the latest news and nuggets on the Jets.