Draft

Drafting a quarterback is the only option for the Jets

paulharris
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 18: Josh Rosen #3 of the UCLA Bruins and Sam Darnold #14 of the USC Trojans meet on the field after a 28-23 Trojan win at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on November 18, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 18: Josh Rosen #3 of the UCLA Bruins and Sam Darnold #14 of the USC Trojans meet on the field after a 28-23 Trojan win at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on November 18, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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The New York Jets have not taken a quarterback in the first round since 2009. This year, the streak will end and hopefully, began a new and successful era under center in due time.

Dating back to 1999, the New York Jets have drafted a whopping 11 quarterbacks overall. Including only two in the first round (Chad Pennington and Mark Sanchez.) Sure you can mock Pennington and Sanchez all you want, but at the end of the day, they both had very successful runs with the Jets. Sanchez even appeared in back to back AFC title games in 2009 and 2010 but was never able to bring the Jets to the promise land.

The Jets have evidently had little to no success drafting quarterbacks in recent years. Their current roster includes two homegrown quarterbacks drafted in the past three years, Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg. Both of them are expected to be released before the season begins.

Petty was a fourth-round pick and appeared in a handful of games during his career, often being referred to as a solid backup. Spending a fourth-round pick on Petty is forgivable. But spending a much more valuable second-round pick on Hackenberg, the quarterback who was considered one of the most “raw” prospects to ever come out of the draft, and to still not have given him one single snap in two years full of depression at the quarterback position, is unprecedented.

Nobody knows what general manager Mike Maccagnan was thinking with this draft pick, but Jets fans need to forget that it ever happened. They also need to hope and pray that the same scenario doesn’t occur with the next quarterback drafted to the Big Apple.

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Believe it or not, the Jets struck gold in 2018. No matter what quarterback they presumably take, they are walking out of this year’s draft with a franchise quarterback. There are literally a handful of quarterbacks who are expected to go in the first round. These quarterbacks are Josh Rosen, Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold, Lamar Jackson, and Josh Allen.

Those five players all have franchise quarterback written all over them. The Jets have pick No. 3 in this year’s draft. My math tells me the Jets will walk away with at least the third best quarterback in the draft, assuming quarterbacks are taken No. 1 and No. 2, respectively. Now, of course, we have no idea how the draft will shake out as years go on. But the fact that the Jets put themselves in this position by trading from the sixth spot to the third spot in order to take one of the better quarterbacks of the bunch instead of waiting to scrap the bottom of the barrel is a big deal.

This year’s draft class is loaded from top to bottom. It would not shock me if the Jets pulled the most Jets move ever and decided to not draft a quarterback because they were enticed with the idea of Saquon Barkley being the next revolutionary running back. Or even Bradley Chubb being the final piece of Todd Bowles‘ dream defense. With that being said, these players would all come in and make immediate impacts, but make no mistake about it, they have to take a quarterback.

The Jets have not made the playoffs since 2010, with quarterback being their biggest position of need every year since then. The time has come. No more dancing around the idea of drafting a franchise quarterback in the later rounds, you have secured the No. 3 overall pick in the draft out of 256, and it can not go to waste.

This is quite possibly the best quarterback draft class for the next decade to come, there is no other option. The Jets spent three total second round picks, and this year’s first-round pick to trade up to the third selection. Who is the quarterback that was worth exhaling all of these assets for? Will they play immediately? Will they be kept in a chamber their entire career because they “aren’t ready?” The questions are endless, but the most important one will be answered April 26th.

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