Photo Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
The New York Jets surprised critics in the 2013 season, finishing the year with an 8-8 record, just missing the playoffs. The front office has been trying to make multiple additions in the free agency period, which would put the Jets into the playoffs, adding wide receiver Eric Decker and tackle Breno Giacomini.
However, many positions need more reconstruction, and will likely be worked on through the 2014 NFL Draft. One of the questions entering the draft is whether or not a quarterback will be added.
Geno Smith’s rookie season was disappointing, accumulating 3,046 passing yards, 12 passing touchdowns, and six rushing touchdowns. He also turned the ball over 28 times, throwing 21 interceptions and fumbling seven times.
The NFL Draft is deep with quarterbacks. After Teddy Bridgewater, Johnny Manziel, Derek Carr, and Blake Bortles, all of which are likely to be drafted within the first ten picks of the draft, there is AJ McCarron, Jimmy Garoppolo, Zach Mettenberger, and Aaron Murray.
Both Murray and Mettenberger are rehabbing their torn ACLs, both of which came near the end of last season. The Jets could take one of them in the second or third round, resting them for the upcoming year and decide who to start in 2015 – their respective draft pick or Geno Smith.
By drafting Mettenberger, the Jets could focus on rehabbing the LSU quarterback back to full strength in the 2014 season. This would give Smith another chance to turn the Jets around and lead them into the playoffs – now that he’ll have a solid receiving core featuring Decker, possible draft picks, David Nelson, and Jeremy Kerley. If he struggles and turns the ball over often due to poor decision-making, the Jets have a reason to sit him and they’ll have Mettenberger ready to play.
While at LSU, Mettenberger threw for 3,082 yards and 22 touchdowns. He only threw eight turnovers before tearing his ACL against Arkansas. His strong-arm and great accuracy would help this Jet team in the future if drafted.