We are all familar with the work of Todd McShay. McShay, along with Mel Kiper Jr., have been watching the college kids and analyzing the NFL draft for many years now for ESPN. We know that the NFL draft is coming near when Kiper and McShay are getting on the ESPN airwaves.
Todd McShay has released his latest mock draft recently (Insider subscription required), his third for the off-season so far. In this edition, McShay has chosen a popular choice for the New York Jets. You know him by now, it’s Marcus Mariota. Here are McShay’s thoughts:
If this scenario plays out, it provides the Jets’ new regime a great opportunity to draft their guy at quarterback. As I wrote in the Bucs’ section, I see Mariota as being a notch below Winston, but I do believe he has the potential to become a good starter in this league, so long as the team that takes him has a plan to develop him. Jets offensive coordinator Chan Gailey is a good fit for Mariota in that regard, given his history with spread-formation offenses. He can incorporate some up-tempo and zone-read elements for Mariota early while also developing his ability to win from the pocket, which is what Mariota will need to succeed long term. If the Jets don’t take Mariota here, their other options include receiver Amari Cooper, cornerback Trae Waynes and pass-rusher Shane Ray.
I understand McShay’s thinking. In his scenario, two of the top pass rushers are off the board in the first five picks, as are Kevin White and Jameis Winston. Quarterback is certainly a position of need for the New York Jets, and Chan Gailey can work his offensive to showcase Mariota. McShay’s pick is not without some logic.
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Here’s the thing, and why I continue to shout at the rain AGAINST choosing Marcus Mariota. Typically, quarterbacks coming out of college are not ready to start immediately. With some exceptions, notably Andrew Luck of late, college quarterbacks need time to sit and learn. Marcus Mariota is not good enough to be one of those exceptions. He is going to need time to learn.
If you take a quarterback at number six that needs time, unless he is a can’t miss prospect, you are using a pick that would be better suited for an immediate impact player, such as Vic Beasley, Amari Cooper, or an offensive lineman.
Todd McShay’s logic is reasonable, I just believe the sixth pick would be better spent elsewhere.
What do you think?