The New York Jets must trade up to guarantee themselves one of the top four quarterbacks in the 2018 NFL Draft. Sitting peacefully at No. 6 is in no way assured.
The New York Jets last franchise quarterback, in the event that you want to call him that, was Mark Sanchez (2009-2012) whose nickname was “The Sanchise.” Sadly, he was better known for running into his own players’ backside more than being known for running the Jets offense. Since Sanchez, it certainly hasn’t been an easy road for team Gang Green over the past five years without a true number one quarterback at the helm.
While a team in their very own division, the New England Patriots, have had a franchise quarterback for over the past 18 years and have been dominating not just the AFC East but also the entire NFL. They have appeared in a total of eight Super Bowls, amassing a total of five championship titles. Those days we can now say are dwindling down to a close as Tom Brady enters his 19th professional football season in 2018 at the age of 41 with the Patriots.
The 2018 NFL Draft is setting up to be an action-packed festivity certain to be topped off by one or two blockbuster trades by teams needing to move up so they can grab what they plan to be seen as their franchise quarterback.
The Jets, who own the sixth pick in this year’s draft, can’t afford to be sitting at six, hoping and waiting that one of them falls into their lap. Just as they were set to do whatever it takes to get Kirk Cousins and unfortunately missed out, now must do whatever it takes to make sure they land one of this year’s top QB prospects. A quarterback class that is set to release a total of four highly touted signal callers that could very well go within the first five picks.
A team such as the Buffalo Bills, who traded away their starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor to the Cleveland Browns as soon as this year’s offseason kicked off, are in need of another quarterback besides A.J. McCarron. In addition, they just recently showed they are fully willing to move up by trading left tackle Cordy Glenn to the Cincinnati Bengals in order to move up nine spots from No. 21 to No 12.
They now are in position and amass more than enough ammunition to climb up into the top five spots as they own the 12th and 22nd selections in the first round. Two second-round picks (Nos. 53 and 56) and two third-round picks (Nos. 65 and 96). Which is more than enough to make a bona fide offer to move up to non-quarterback-needy team slots such as the New York Giants, who own pick No. 2 and pick No. 3 which is owned by the Indianapolis Colts.
A league source tells Yahoo Sports the Buffalo #Bills will explore trade scenarios to move into the top five picks in the #NFL draft (QB-needy #Jets hold 6th pick). Talks are expected to materialize after first week of free agency and intensify at the Orlando owner's meetings.
— Charles Robinson (@CharlesRobinson) March 13, 2018
Denver Broncos general manager John Elway, who has shown significant interest in this year’s quarterback crop, recently acquired Minnesota Vikings quarterback Case Keenum signing him to just a two-year contract. So we cannot totally rule them out as a team who could possibly trade up or to select a QB ahead of the Jets at No. 5.
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As it sits now, the Cleveland Browns hold this year’s No. 1 pick. Many mock drafts have had them taking Penn State running back Saquon Barkley.
The mocks are saying that in light of the team that sits behind them at No. 2, the Giants with QB Eli Manning are not in as much need at that position and would in all likelihood select Barkley with their No. 2 pick if the Browns passed.
Now, the Giants do have the option and they very well may choose to take a QB at No. 2 instead of trading away their pick, since again, anything can happen when a team is on the clock.
Sitting at the No. 3 spot in this year’s draft is the Colts who by all means are not in need of a QB with Andrew Luck still the face of the franchise. So this is without a doubt a team that would be more than willing to trade down for more picks to whichever team offers them the most. You can throw the draft value chart out the window in this particular draft as more than likely at least the Bills and obviously, the Jets, would certainly rather be sitting at No. 3 as opposed to sixth and twelfth. Meaning, they will both wind up surrendering more than what the draft value chart indicates as they would have to outbid one another.
Pick No. 4 is once again the Browns. After choosing Barkley at 1, Cleveland is for sure selecting a quarterback here, which will now be the third quarterback off the board. At No. 5 is the Broncos, don’t let the fact that they signed Keenum cloud your judgment as they’ll also be looking for a future franchise quarterback. Keenum could very well just be a bridge quarterback to develop someone Elway could draft here.
This is the reason the Jets must not conclude that they are guaranteed one of the top four quarterbacks in this year’s class. Without a doubt, they must do all they can to move up to the Colts spot at No. 3. Regardless if that means offering more than what the draft value chart says would be a reasonable deal as they will be in a virtual bidding war with Buffalo and the last thing they need is to see a franchise quarterback thrive for over a decade with a division rival.