Jets Projected to Land ‘Splashy Throws’ Quarterback

Devin Leary, Kentucky

Getty Former Kentucky quarterback Devin Leary walking off of the field after a college football game.

A new young quarterback has emerged as a potential long-term option for the New York Jets in the 2024 NFL draft.

Dane Brugler of The Athletic released a full seven-round mock draft on Wednesday, April 17. With the No. 185 overall pick in the sixth round, he had Gang Green taking Kentucky quarterback Devin Leary.

NFL draft analyst Lance Zierlein described him as a guy who has made enough “splashy plays” on tape “to make him a dark-horse prospect worthy of a late Day 3 selection.”

Leary Could Stand to Benefit From Some Time on the Bench

In 2021, Leary looked like he might end up being one of the best quarterbacks in all of college football. He started his career at NC State and spent his first four seasons there.

That 2021 campaign ended up being the best of Leary’s career. He accumulated 3,433 passing yards, had a 35 touchdown-to-five interception ratio, and completed 65.7% of his passes.

However, according to Zierlein, the last two years of tape revealed an “inconsistent pocket passer with slightly below-average size.” Zierlein explained that sample size, “seemed to kill the legitimate buzz” that was created in 2021.

Leary measured in at 6-foot-1 and tipped the scales at 215 pounds in Indianapolis for the NFL Combine.

With the Jets, he wouldn’t be expected to step in and play right away. Gang Green has Aaron Rodgers and Tyrod Taylor ahead of him on the QB depth chart. Leary could learn from two grizzled veterans and slowly assimilate into the NFL game.

Brugler has Leary ranked as the No. 9 quarterback in the 2024 draft class. He graded him as a fifth to sixth-round prospect as an evaluator.

Leary, 24, was born in New Jersey, and being drafted by the Jets would be a coming home story.

“Leary can make all of the throws with ease and work from different platforms to create explosives (one of only four Power 5 passers with at least eight completions of 50-plus yards in 2023). However, not everything needs to be a fastball, and the more velocity he adds, the more he appears to sacrifice ball placement,” Brugler explained in “The Beast.”

Rest of the Jets Mock Draft Picks From Brugler

Beyond taking a quarterback on day three, Brugler made plenty of other interesting selections for the Jets in his mock draft scenario.

Brugler continued the Georgia tight end Brock Bowers to the Jets hype by selecting him with the No. 10 overall pick in the first round.

“If you focus only on the “TE” positional designation here, you might not love this pick. But if you pay attention to the dynamic impact Bowers can bring to an offense, this isn’t a hard sell,” Brugler explained. “The Napa, Calif., native is as much a tight end as he is a slot receiver who can also block inline or line up outside. The Jets are in a win-now mindset, and Bowers makes the offense better from day one.”

On day two, he jumped over to the defensive side of the ball with the selection of Tyler Nubin the safety out of Minnesota. With a pair of fourth-round picks, he mocked Virginia wide receiver Malik Washington and Baylor defensive lineman Gabe Hall to the green and white.

While in the seventh round, Brugler went with some intriguing dart throws. He mocked Holy Cross interior offensive lineman CJ Hanson to the Jets. Plus Mr. Irrelevant ended up being Washington running back Dillon Johnson.

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