Who should the New York Jets select with the No. 6 overall pick if they’re in need of a franchise quarterback? We sit with Christa Levitas of Locker Room Update to discuss the top five quarterbacks that make sense for the Jets.
The 2018 NFL Draft will be here faster than we know it as the New York Jets prepare to have a successful offseason. The best teams know that if they want to build a championship roster, it all starts and ends with the draft.
In the event the Jets miss out on the Kirk Cousins sweepstakes, they will undoubtedly use the No. 6 overall pick on a quarterback. Many draft analysts and personalities believe that this year’s draft class is the best when it comes to the most important position on the team.
Who should the Jets select at quarterback if they need the draft one in April? I wanted to break this down with one of my favorite writers of Locker Room Update, Christa Levitas, since she specializes in the NFL Draft and all the amazing prospects that are ready to play in the NFL.
In case you didn’t know, Levitas specializes in articles on the Jets and also interviews rookie prospects on a daily basis. Before we begin, please give a like to the Facebook page of Locker Room Update to stay in the loop of their excellent work and feel free to follow Christa on Twitter and Facebook.
5. In agreement with Josh Allen
LTJ: Hey Christa! Thanks so much for sitting down with me so we can break down the top five quarterbacks in this year’s draft that actually makes sense for our beloved Jets. Before we begin, let’s give everyone reading our top five lists of quarterbacks:
5. Josh Allen
4. Sam Darnold
1. Josh Rosen
5. Josh Allen
4. Lamar Jackson
3. Sam Darnold
2. Josh Rosen
1. Baker Mayfield
LTJ: I see we’re both in agreement about quarterback Josh Allen out of Wyoming. What are your initial thoughts on him?
CL: My pleasure Luis! Thank you for the opportunity! Love collaborating with you! For me, Josh Allen has everything you look for in a quarterback. He’s big, mobile, and has a big arm. He also has a lot of potential. He comes across as humble guy from the interviews I listened. For me, the biggest concern with Josh Allen is his lack of accuracy. He seems to struggle against tougher defenses in his schedule during his career at Wyoming such as Nebraska and Iowa. My biggest issue is his low completion percentage and accuracy is not an easy trait to fix in the next level. That’s not to say he can’t succeed, his accuracy is what made me put him as my #5 QB. I know there’s a lot of talk about how well he did in the Senior Bowl and during the combine. But I’m the type of girl who looks at tape.
LTJ: Completely agree with you since, to be honest, I’ve dubbed him Christian Hackenberg 2.0. A whole lot of hope but far from reality. Accuracy issues in college football don’t magically get fixed in the pros. He’s got a great arm but at the end of the day, if you can’t hit receiving options in stride or worse yet, overthrow/underthrow them, you won’t last long as a starter. If the Jets end up drafting him at No. 6, do you think fans would lose their minds across the globe?
CL: Exactly, I agree. I think he’s more talented than Hackenberg but I could see why people may make the Hackenberg comparisons. I can’t speak for how Jets Nation will feel but Allen is a very polarizing player, to say the least. I’ve talked to fans who either really love him or either really hate him. It’s really interesting.
Next: 4. Sam Darnold vs. Lamar Jackson
4. Sam Darnold vs. Lamar Jackson
LTJ: Now it’s the battle between USC’s Sam Darnold and one of the top hybrid quarterbacks of this year’s class in Lamar Jackson. What makes Darnold your No. 4 quarterback that would make sense for the Jets? Is he good enough to be a viable Week 1 starter for Gang Green?
CL: Sam Darnold in my mind fits the West Coast offense the best. He’s big, his mobility is underrated and he can make the throws. He can throw through tight windows and he’s a smart football player. I’m not quite sure if he will be a Week 1 starter but considering the Jets will run some kind of West Coast offense, I think Darnold would be comfortable and it would not surprise me if he started sooner or later if he was drafted here.
LTJ: My biggest problem with Darnold is his turnovers from his last year at USC. In his final year last season, he totaled 13 interceptions and nine lost fumbles. I know this is a bad memory for many, but he’s going to end up being another version of Mark Sanchez. A quarterback who will end up being overhyped and defined by turnovers throughout his pro career. That’s why for me, I’d rather the Jets take Lamar Jackson out of Louisville and have Darnold second to last on my list. Jackson looks to be the real deal being a hybrid threat and to be honest, having such a game-changing quarterback like that under center would push the envelope tremendously for the Jets offense. Jackson can do it all! I’m curious, why didn’t you have Jackson higher in your top 5 quarterbacks that would make sense for Gang Green?
CL: The reason why I didn’t have Jackson listed higher on my list is because although Jackson is a very intriguing quarterback for all the reasons you have mentioned. I just don’t see our offense as a fit for him, unfortunately. I think the Jets are looking for a different type of quarterback who can also be a big threat in the passing game. That’s not to say Lamar Jackson is not a good passer. If the Jets held on to John Morton, Jackson would have been higher on my list.
Next: 3. Baker Mayfield vs. Sam Darnold
3. Baker Mayfield vs. Sam Darnold
LTJ: Now it’s the battle between Baker Mayfield vs. Sam Darnold. Don’t get me wrong, I know Mayfield is a fierce competitor and has some incredible stats to his name. I just worry that if the Jets draft him, he’s going to cause more distractions than what it’s worth. That’s why I have him at No. 3 since I do respect his game and college achievements. Do you think Mayfield could be successful on the Jets as soon as next season if he starts?
CL: I understand your concern. I can imagine the Jets have the same questions in regards to his character concerns. I honestly believe that Mayfield can be successful on the Jets. Alabama and Oklahoma are two of my favorite college teams so I watched a lot of Mayfield. His teammates respond and rally around him. He’s a winner, the guy is a fierce competitor who loves football. He’s a guy who knows how to make plays with his feet and legs. He’s very good at throwing the football downfield and is an accurate passer. He may not be the type of quarterback the Jets usually draft but I think he would be a great fit for the Jets.
LTJ: I can’t argue with you there but to me, I just think he’s going to get penalties galore when he starts making unsportsmanlike gestures or comments on the gridiron. Another thing that concerns me is Mayfield’s height. At 6-0, isn’t that just a bit short when he’s going to go up against some premier defenders in the pros?
CL: Yeah, I can imagine general manager Mike Maccagnan would want someone a bit taller based on who he previously drafted. Bryce Petty is 6’3 and Hackenberg being 6’4. I personally don’t see Baker’s height as an issue. There have been successful QBs in the league who are around Bakers height such as Drew Brees and Russell Wilson being 5’11. I’m not comparing Baker to those two by any means by I don’t see his height being an issue in the next level.
Next: 2. Lamar Jackson vs. Josh Rosen
2. Lamar Jackson vs. Josh Rosen
LTJ: Honestly, I’d rather take Jackson over Mayfield any day of the week. I don’t know if the Jets will reach for Jackson with the No. 6 overall pick but if they had to choose between the two, I’d hope it’s him. You have Josh Rosen as your second top quarterback that the Jets should take. If these two quarterbacks are still on the board, why would you take Rosen over Jackson?
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CL: I believe Josh Rosen is the safest way to go in terms of QB. He’s a pure pocket passer, who has taken the most snaps under center and he also has a good arm. He throws an amazing deep ball. While Jackson is a very intriguing prospect, both are very different quarterbacks. I feel Rosen is a better fit over Jackson.
LTJ: I love Rosen, he’s my favorite quarterback in this year’s class, which is why I have him as my No. 1 option that can step right in and take care of business with the Jets as early as next season. Do you think Jackson’s style of play could make him more prone to injuries or is he tough enough to be the next Michael Vick?
CL: Honestly it’s really tough for me to say in the next level. I do see the similarities in style of play between him and Vick.
Next: 1. Josh Rosen vs. Baker Mayfield
1. Josh Rosen vs. Baker Mayfield
LTJ: Now it’s the moment of truth! The Jets are on the clock and by some miracle since anything can happen in the NFL Draft, both Josh Rosen and Baker Mayfield are available for the taking. You got Mayfield as your top quarterback and I have Rosen as mine. What makes Mayfield a better quarterback than Rosen in your opinion?
CL: Nothing against Rosen. Each has their strengths and weaknesses. I’m just a huge fan of Mayfield’s game. He knows how to make plays both with his feet and with his arm. He’s an accurate passer. I believe he’s more mobile compared to Josh Rosen. While Rosen may be the safest pick at QB, I like Baker Mayfield’s potential more.
LTJ: I’m a bit more old school and like quarterbacks with Rosen’s skill-set. All about football and execution, even in the heat of battle. I just worry that if the Jets do select Mayfield, the minute he plays the Patriots, he’s going to say or do something dumb and the Jets will be in the headlines for all the wrong reasons. Mayfield is just too risky of a pick for me as opposed to Rosen who has everything needed to succeed at the next level and without needing to worry about antics on or off the field. Out of all the quarterbacks we’ve mentioned, which do you believe has the biggest chance to be a bust? For me, it’s Darnold. You?
CL: For me, it’s tough to say. I think each and every one of them has their strengths and their flaws. I have to see which teams draft them and where they ultimately go before I make a decision.