The Jet Press
Draft

Second guessing Baker Mayfield to the Jets speculations

By Bob Lederer
PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 01: Baker Mayfield #6 of the Oklahoma Sooners throws a pass in the 2018 College Football Playoff Semifinal Game against the Georgia Bulldogs at the Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual at the Rose Bowl on January 1, 2018 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 01: Baker Mayfield #6 of the Oklahoma Sooners throws a pass in the 2018 College Football Playoff Semifinal Game against the Georgia Bulldogs at the Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual at the Rose Bowl on January 1, 2018 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
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All these “sources” are creeping up on the internet suggesting the New York Jets are 100 percent ready to make Baker Mayfield their next franchise quarterback. Make sure to second guess any speculations since they are likely smokescreens.

So, less than one week away from the 2018 NFL Draft, like it or not, the media is leading us all like the mice in the Pied Piper fable to the conclusion that Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield is the guy. The one that GM Mike Maccagnan and the New York Jets prefer.

Have your doubts?

Scour Google for whom the Jets are expected to select with the third pick of Round 1 on Thursday, April 26. Virtually no one is saying that Mayfield is not the best option, in fact we’re seeing a procession of draft analysts telling us that Mayfield is the top-rated, NFL-ready choice.

If it was the first pick in the draft, I could understand the parade, but at No. 3 in the first round, it raises two questions. First, is there more than one source for this “Mayfield is the guy” insight, or is everyone in the pro football world getting on the same horse and running as hard as they can based on one reporter’s scoop?

Such universal certainty gives everyone in Jets world the platform from which to build even more speculation about how and why Mayfield has to be the guy. It is beginning to seem like a runaway train. Experts galore are extolling Mayfield’s superiority over the rest of the quarterback field.

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This comes in spite of the 2017 college season’s obsession with three other quarterbacks and the fact that the Jets have visited each of the four possible quarterbacks (Mayfield, Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen and Josh Allen) at their pro days and have had them at Florham Park for a private visit.

Second, even though part of my brain is buying into Mayfield’s name being announced on behalf of the Jets in this year’s draft, another part of me is asking why would anyone in Jets’ management ever volunteer such information to anyone outside the organization? How do the Jets gain from making any part of their thought process public? The answer is that they don’t because the alternative is a psychologist’s dream.

Let’s assume that a member of the Jets’ hierarchy did not inadvertently spill the beans about what Gang Green wants to do – in other words, that there was a deliberate head fake and misdirection on the Jets’ part. That explanation must start with the premise that the Jets can’t trade up to No. 1 or No. 2 spot in this year’s draft.

The Jets would need to have little internal doubt that the Buffalo Bills, desperate for a franchise QB of their own, will indeed round up their considerable draft chips to seal a deal for the second pick in the draft owned by the New York Giants. Buy that and you need to trust that Jets are trying to manipulate the Bills’ pick – perhaps pushing Buffalo to take Mayfield so the Jets can grab someone else that they prefer and fear that Buffalo might have more highly rated than Mayfield.

Time is ticking to know for sure – unless the first two picks don’t go as planned.

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