Jets Trade to Top of Round 3 to Grab Western Kentucky WR Malachi ‘YAC King’ Corley

Jets Trade to Top of Round 3 to Grab Western Kentucky WR Malachi ‘YAC King’ Corley

The Jets, using some of the “flexibility” that general manager Joe Douglas said they acquired in their three-picks-for-two trade with Minnesota on Thursday night, made another trade to move from high in Round 3 to the top of the round tonight and spent their second selection of the 2024 NFL Draft on WR Malachi Corley of Western Kentucky.

Corley saw increasing action in his four seasons with the Hilltoppers. The 5-11, 215-pound senior moved all around the offense and set the school record with 259 career receptions for 2,943 yards and 29 touchdowns. He was a starter his last three seasons and was named first-team All-Conference USA in his final two seasons.

He wasn’t able to participate at the Combine due to injury, but a month later at his pro day, Corley wowed 31 of 32 NFL teams who sent representatives to observe him. He ran his 40s in the 4.45-4.47-second range and also put up a strong 4.26-second 3-cone drill.

Corley’s gameday résumé includes a big yards-after-catch dimension — he earned the nickname of “YAC King” as a Hilltopper — and a mentality that he’s not shy about taking or delivering hits. NFL analyst Lance Zierlein chose San Francisco’s Deebo Samuel as his NFL comparison for Corley.

And Corley was pleased to hear Steve Smith Jr., the Carolina WR legend, describe him as the steal of this draft.

“It’s amazing,” he told NFL Network’s Total Access before the draft. “Coming from small-town Kentucky high school football and then even playing small-town college football at Western Kentucky, it feels amazing to have players who are Hall of Famers that I’ve modeled my game after who have appreciation for my game. That’s something special.”

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