The New York Jets are rebuilding the right way as they have a golden opportunity to finally address their quarterback situation once and for all in the 2018 NFL Draft. If they’re wise, they will stay far away from quarterback Baker Mayfield.
Whenever you ask a fan of the New York Jets what is the one position they want finally addressed this offseason, you’ll unanimously hear them scream as loud as they can that it’s quarterback. Realistically, the Jets have a lot of money to play with heading into free agency since if they make some necessary player cuts, they can have over $100 million to sign several free agents this offseason.
But what happens if a nightmarish situation occurs? What if some of the top quarterbacks that might potentially hit free agency go elsewhere and don’t end up signing with the Jets? At the end of the day, most free agents ideally want to head to a team that has a strong shot at making the NFL Playoffs and winning a Super Bowl championship. Unfortunately for the Jets, they have a very long way to go before they’re at such a place where they’re consistently competing and able to make the postseason which doesn’t make them all that attractive to potential free agent quarterbacks.
Combine that with an abysmal offensive line, a lack of offensive weapons outside of a few players, and well, reality might hit the Jets that they will more than likely need to use their No. 6 overall pick on a quarterback. It’s hard to predict if they’ll trade up or down since that will ultimately depend on what they do in free agency but for argument’s sake, let’s assume they’ll still need a quarterback heading into the 2018 NFL Draft.
While many fans are excited about this year’s quarterback-heavy draft class, the Jets would be wise to continue with the process of rebuilding the right way. They need to continue bringing in high-quality individuals that have tremendous upside to be superstars in the future. The Jets need to keep up drafting young players that will completely buy into everything the franchise is trying to create as far as their overall culture goes.
You know, a culture built on hard work, doing whatever it takes for the team to win football games, and above all else, always having that standard of being a professional on and off the field. Unfortunately for quarterback Baker Mayfield, he simply wouldn’t be a good fit for the Jets in the grand scheme of things.
Yes, I know. He’s a Heisman Trophy winner, has thrown for a plethora of touchdown passes and all his teammates will play their souls out for him. The biggest red flag beside being short at 6-1 and 220lbs. is his immaturity.
Emotion tends to get the best of him in the heat of the moment which is a recipe for disaster. Based on all the on-the-field issues of taunting and being arrogant throughout his collegiate career, Mayfield would be against the team culture the Jets are trying to establish. Yes, he’s extremely talented, can make big plays at any given moment but will all that be worth the headaches and distractions he could potentially bring?
Being competitive is one thing but teams from now until this year’s draft will have some heavy discussions on whether or not he’s worth taking such a huge risk on. Mayfield is easily a first-round talent but again, comes with that huge red flag of whether or not he will be a wasted pick if he continues his antics in the pros. It’s not hard to imagine him racking up useless penalties for unsportsmanlike conduct or even getting fined and/or suspended if he lets anger take over him because things aren’t going his way.
The Jets need a young franchise quarterback who is a leader and keeps his emotions in check during and after a football game. A leader that knows how to handle themselves in every aspect of being a professional athlete since so much is invested when it comes to being a first-round draft pick. Besides that, another glaring issue is the fact that he might not be a Week 1 starter once he’s drafted.
Mayfield put up some serious numbers at Oklahoma but keep in mind, they didn’t run a pro-style offense. The Jets have been down that path before with many quarterbacks who they drafted under the same situation and it never panned out. In his collegiate career, Mayfield totaled 14,607 passing yards, 1,026 completions, 131 touchdowns, and 30 interceptions in a spread offensive system.
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Again, these are incredible numbers for a quarterback that played in all four years of college (one at Texas Tech and the final three at Oklahoma) but would such huge statistics translate well in the pros?
It’s not always a guarantee as again, teams will have to extensively research if Mayfield is worth risking their first-round pick on since he will need to be trained on running such a complicated offense. If anything, Baker will more than likely be a developmental player in his rookie season who might need a year or two for everything to come together.
Mayfield is a good quarterback but not a great one. The Jets once again have a top-ten pick in an NFL Draft and must use it on the best possible player available. If it’s for the most important position on the team, the one that the right player can consistently bring success for the next decade or so, it must be for someone that will stick with the task at hand and not cause any distractions to take away from the team.
It’s best the Jets consider other options besides Mayfield since he could potentially end up being a disaster in the city that never sleeps. There’s a very strong chance Mayfield is going to get exposed at the pro level due to his small size, immaturity, and the steep learning curve involved in effectively run a pro-style offense.