The New York Jets are on the verge of acquiring a franchise quarterback, provided they don’t sabotage themselves.
The 2018 NFL Draft is only weeks away, and with comes a sense of nervous excitement for every New York Jets fan. Following the franchise’s momentous trade to move up to the third overall pick, it’s clear that the Jets will be selecting a quarterback.
It will be the first time the team took a quarterback in the first round since the Jets selected Mark Sanchez in 2009. Jets fans are hopeful that the results will be better this time. In order for this latest spin on the quarterback carousel to be a success, the Jets will need a combination of luck and smarts on draft day. Let’s break it down.
The Cleveland Browns hold the first overall pick in the draft. Like the Jets, they are in perpetual need of quarterback help. Logic dictates that Cleveland will take USC quarterback Sam Darnold. Although the two other Big 3 quarterbacks- UCLA’s Josh Rosen and Wyoming’s Josh Allen– could be in play as wild cards.
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The New York Giants pick second. What the Giants do with their pick will likely make or break the Jets’ entire draft. In an ideal world for Jets fans, the Giants will select a non-quarterback with their pick. Penn State’s star running back Saquon Barkley would be the most likely choice.
If the Giants select a quarterback or trade their pick to another team that selects a quarterback, the Jets would find themselves with limited options.
But for the purposes of this particular bout of speculation, let’s assume the best realistic scenario for the Jets on draft day.
Let’s assume that Rosen is still on the board.
Although he is not the perfect prospect (injury concerns), Rosen is widely hailed as the best pure passer and the most NFL-prepared of all quarterback prospects in the draft. If he is still available when the Jets are on the clock, drafting Rosen should be a no-brainer.
Unfortunately for Jets fans, their team has a long history of blowing easy decisions.
Jets are going to draft Mayfield.
— Dan Hanzus (@DanHanzus) April 5, 2018
Robert has spent a lot of time with Mayfield chronicling his predraft experience. He believes Baker will wind up with Jets. So do I. https://t.co/GxhiIBLKIS
— Brian Costello (@BrianCoz) April 11, 2018
Multiple reports are suggesting the Jets will forego pursuing Darnold, Rosen, and Allen altogether, and will instead chase after Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield.
Mayfield was an exciting and dynamic star in college, but there are serious question marks in regards to his ability to succeed in the NFL. For starters, at 6’1, Mayfield is small for an NFL quarterback. While his supporters will be quick to point out the NFL success of other diminutive passers (i.e. Drew Brees, Russell Wilson), they represent the exception, not the rule. Mayfield’s lack of experience in a pro-style offense (he ran a spread offense in college) is also concerning.
To be clear, none of this confirms that Rosen is a certain star in the NFL, or that Mayfield will surely be a bust. But a rational analysis of the various risks and benefits associated with both quarterbacks makes it abundantly clear that Rosen is the smarter and safer choice. For the sake of their perpetually tortured fanbase, hopefully, the Jets organization comes to the same conclusion on draft day.