The New York Jets made national headlines across the football world when they made a blockbuster trade to move up in the 2018 NFL Draft. Here are the top five reasons why trading up was the right thing to do.
When news broke out about the New York Jets trading up in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft, it was a dream come true. General manager Mike Maccagnan knew that since the Jets missed out on the Kirk Cousins sweepstakes, something big needed to happen.
You know, a move that will impact the most importation position on the team in a positive way. The Jets traded up from the No. 6 overall pick to No. 3 as Maccagnan gave up a lot to make the trade official with the Indianapolis Colts.
In the grand scheme of things, it was a move that needed to happen. For what seems like forever now, the Jets haven’t had a consistent or productive franchise quarterback under center. It’s time they made a huge gamble and hope that one of the top quarterbacks in this year’s draft class can be “the guy” for the next decade or so.
Here are the top five reasons why this blockbuster trade by the Jets was the right thing to do for the franchise.
5. Shows seriousness to finally get a quarterback
When Maccagnan was hired to be the next general manager of the Jets, he knew he had a long “to do” list to fix the roster and culture of this team. He had to correct all the previous issues of the leadership regime before him and that wasn’t an easy task.
So far, Maccagnan has done a very good job at getting rid of overpaid and unproductive veterans. He’s also wisely adding good players to the locker room that all believe and buy into the culture head coach Todd Bowles is trying to establish.
A culture based on working hard, doing whatever it takes to win football games, and working together as a team. Once a new franchise quarterback is in place, they will be the new face of the organization and to be honest, Maccagnan’s big trade showed seriousness in finally addressing this issue.
No matter who the Jets draft at No. 3, the expectations will be high that they will be the answer for years to come. It’s about time the Jets showed seriousness in doing whatever it took to grab one of the top four quarterbacks in this year’s draft.
Next: 4. A golden opportunity in quarterback-heavy class
4. A golden opportunity in quarterback-heavy class
The truth of the matter is, it’s not often that a draft class has a good core of young quarterbacks that look to be the real deal. No quarterback is perfect in this year’s draft but the top four sure do look promising, even if it might be all hype over reality.
Regardless, one can’t miss out on such a golden opportunity. The Jets need a new rookie quarterback that is capable of putting the franchise on his back and taking them to heights they haven’t seen in years.
Bryce Petty isn’t the answer. Neither is Christian Hackenberg. Maccagnan knew that he needed to do whatever it took to move up in order to get the quarterback he believes can be everything and then some under center.
To be able to select one of the top four quarterbacks was a big reason why Maccagnan made the big move that he did. Whether it’s Josh Rosen, Baker Mayfield, Josh Allen, or Sam Darnold, when the Jets are on the clock, they’ll have the chance to take the one player that can finally catapult this franchise to being a playoff contender again.
Next: 3. Drafting a quarterback that enters a great situation
3. Drafting a quarterback that enters a great situation
Despite missing out on Cousins, Maccagnan effectively went to Plan B. He re-signed veteran quarterback Josh McCown and took a chance on free agent quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. Both are back in 2018 on one-year deals to have options at quarterback for next season.
Once the Jets draft a rookie quarterback, they’ll be entering a great situation. McCown has earned so much praise over the years for being a great mentor and a leader both on and off the field. Bridgewater has also been a great locker room presence as he’s all about the team first and helping those achieve success.
Drafting a rookie quarterback now means they can at least develop for a year or so. It’s hard to envision them starting at some point next season but one never knows in the NFL. For right now, however, it looks like McCown will be starting, Bridgewater will be his backup, and a new rookie quarterback will be third on the depth chart.
Who knows what will happen with Petty and Hackenberg but at the end of the day, Jets fans knew over the past few years that they’re not the answer and probably won’t be on the roster for much longer. Either way, whoever the Jets draft will undoubtedly be entering a great situation to learn, hone their craft and get ready in every aspect of their position until their number is finally called.
Next: 2. Speeding up the rebuilding process
2. Speeding up the rebuilding process
The Jets are currently rebuilding to hopefully have a better future. It’s all about youth, key veterans that can mold those around them, and making sure everyone understands what the end goal is. There are still lots of areas that still need to be addressed but guess what helps speed up the rebuilding process?
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A good quarterback with the upside to be great. Take a look at the San Francisco 49ers, Philadelphia Eagles, and Los Angeles Rams, respectively, for an example. Whether they traded for a good quarterback or drafted one to develop for the future, it pays off beyond words once everything falls into place.
The Jets haven’t had any luck whatsoever in finding a young, steady, and consistent quarterback. There is no guarantee, of course, that any rookie quarterback they draft can be as good as Jimmy Garoppolo, Carson Wentz, or Jared Goff, but again, it’s all about the upside and potential.
Surely, whether it’s Rosen, Mayfield, Allen, or Darnold, they’ll probably be better than anything the Jets have had in the last five years. Selecting a future franchise quarterback and being able to build a great supporting cast around him will speed up the rebuilding process tremendously.
Next: 1. It needed to be done
1. It needed to be done
As fans of the Jets, aren’t we all frustrated, annoyed, and furious that we can’t name a recent young quarterback wearing our uniform that won 10+ games? Coming off back-to-back 5-11 seasons can do a lot to be filled with rage that neither Petty or Hackenberg worked out as everyone had hoped they would.
But in life, it’s okay. Everyone makes mistakes, hence why pencils have erasers on them. Maccagnan, as much as he’ll probably never admit that both Petty and Hackenberg were mistakes, knows that this move needed to be done to have a young quarterback in place to make a serious run in the future.
Even if next season the Jets once again end up with a losing record, at least there is hope that a young quarterback is waiting in the wings for their time to come. Patience is thin when it comes to New Yorkers and at least now, making the move from No. 6 to No. 3 brings excitement to Jets fans and even more so once it’s revealed who they end up drafting.
This is a great time to not only be a Jets fan but could be a part of franchise history. If by some miracle, Maccagnan gets it right and draft a quarterback that will win a lot of football games, it will be a dream come true. If this quarterback is indeed a game-changing dynamic player everyone envisions him to be and he shocks the football world by putting the Jets on the map, Maccagnan will be proclaimed as the greatest general manager in team history.
Next: Top 5 reasons Jets re-signing Josh McCown makes sense
This move to trade up in the first round needed to be done since there is a very good chance this could finally be what the Jets have been waiting so many years for. A young franchise quarterback that is worth bragging about because the Jets are able to play winning, competitive football.