Jets general manager Joe Douglas made sure Zach Wilson and new offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur have what they need to be successful.
Then he took care of Robert Saleh’s defense.
The Jets selected quick and productive North Carolina running back Michael Carter in the fourth round with the No. 107 pick. He was the fourth-straight offensive player the Jets took to open this year’s draft. The Jets hadn’t done that since 1983 when they drafted quarterback Ken O’Brien.
Douglas drafted Wilson second overall, USC guard Alijah Vera-Tucker with the 14th pick and Ole Miss receiver Elijah Moore 34th and then Carter. The final six selections on Saturday were defensive players.
Carter is only 5-8, but he’s an explosive back and is coming off an outstanding season. He finished with 1,511 scrimmage yards and 11 touchdowns despite sharing the backfield and touches with Javonte Williams, who the Broncos took in the second round.
The Florida native rushed for more than 1,000 yards his last two seasons at North Carolina, including 1,245 yards on 156 carries as a senior. He led the FBS, gaining 7.98 yards per carry.
Carter said he feels very comfortable playing in the wide-zone scheme that LaFleur will run.
"I think my change of direction and stop and start ability, it complements this system well," Carter said. "I’ve been running pretty much wide-zone since I was born. It something that really comes natural for me.
"We ran a lot of in college., Even in high school and in youth football I did. I’m very familiar with it. I’m just excited to get in the system."
Carter joins a running back room that also features Tevin Coleman, La’Mical Perine, Ty Johnson and Josh Adams.
On the defensive
Auburn safety Jamien Sherwood, a hybrid player who will play linebacker in Saleh’s defense, was the first defensive player the Jets took, No. 146 overall. They also drafted Duke cornerback Michael Carter II (No. 154) and Pittsburgh cornerback Jason Pinnock (No. 175) in the fifth round.
In the sixth, the Jets took another hybrid linebacker Florida State’s Hamsah Nasirildeen (No. 186), Kentucky cornerback Brandin Echols (No. 200) and Arkansas defensive tackle Jonathan Marshall (No. 207).
Douglas made two trades. He sent the No. 143 pick to the Raiders for 162 and 200, and then dealt 162 and 226 to Kansas City for 175 and 207.
What’s in a name
Michael Carter II played against Michael Carter in the ACC, and said "he got the best of me one time, I’m not going to lie." The two know each other and trained at the same facility before the draft. Michael Carter II called his namesake "an awesome dude."
Jets GM Joe Douglas said it's "still a priority" to get a long-term deal done with safety Marcus Maye. Douglas said he’s had "productive texts" with Maye’s agent and he hopes "to really dive into this now that the draft is over."
Pinnock is from Connecticut and said he’s been a Jets fan since they had Darelle Revis, who also went to Pitt. "It’s almost life like comes full circle," he said. "It’s surreal." Pinnock said he played with Revis' cousin Jordan Whitehead and spoke to Revis a few times. While Pinnock spoke to the media from a bowling alley in Windsor, CT., his brother poured champagne on his head.