The New York Jets have one of the biggest decisions in franchise history to make with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. Hopefully, it’ll be used on quarterback Josh Rosen out of UCLA.
The moment New York Jets fans have waited all season (or multiple seasons) for is almost upon us. On Thursday night, the world will know who the potential star general manager Mike Maccagnan has hitched his wagon to.
Nobody needs to tell Maccagnan that the pressure is on. If he is unsuccessful in obtaining a franchise quarterback he likely is out of a job and the Jets would be set back even further. This has further repercussions than it did when the offseason first began because jumping from No. 6 to No. 3, the Jets traded away three potential future starters as that amount of second round picks were sent to Indianapolis in exchange.
As the Jets traded up to No. 3 overall, one could infer they like at least three of the quarterbacks available or they would have made an effort to move up to No. 1 with Cleveland or No. 2 with the New York Giants. With the Jets drafting in the top three, we have to assume they have to have an affinity for three of Baker Mayfield, Josh Allen, Sam Darnold, and Josh Rosen. For Maccagnan’s front office career, the pick when the Jets come on the clock should be Josh Rosen.
Let’s start with this. Each and every one of these prospects is flawed in their own way. As it pertains to Rosen, Dan Kadar from SB Nation writes the following about Rosen:
“Will sometimes force difficult throws instead of taking the easier short stuff or simply throwing the ball away.”
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Additionally, Steve Palazzolo writing on Pro Football Focus says that Rosen can be way too aggressive which can hurt him and could deem him as more turnover prone than most.
While Rosen playing with high aggression is a cause for concern, it is nothing that cannot be worked on. One way to alleviate this is to give Rosen time to do what he needs by giving him an offensive line that will give him time to stay in the pocket and release.
Regardless of whether the quarterback next season is the Jets are going to certainly have to do their part in getting an offensive line that can keep him upright. That way he is not trying to force the kind of throws that can get him in trouble.
In an installment of SI.com’s Monday Morning Quarterback, Peter King delves into some of the negative off the field criticism pertaining to Rosen:
“1. Football isn’t that important to him, because he’s a rich kid whose mom is the great-great-granddaughter of the founder of Penn’s prestigious Wharton School of Business, and whose dad is a renowned spinal surgeon, and who once put a hot tub in his college bedroom. Rich kids can’t have the same drive as lower-middle-class kids.
2. He’s a crappy leader, he questions authority, and his teammates roll their eyes at him.
3. He’s too smart for his own good. He’s anti-Trump (once wearing a hat to a Trump golf course with “F— Trump” on it), into politics and cares a lot about the planet. Quarterbacks need to be myopic. Football only.”
If all of these are going to turn off multiple teams on Rosen, then that is going to be their loss. The fact that he comes from a well-off family or he is too smart can drag him down during this evaluation process is absurd. Rosen is entitled to question things and ask “why” and he is also entitled to have his views on the President. So is Tom Brady, who had/has a certain hat in his locker, and nobody is questioning his ability to handle playing football at the professional level.
Citing Palazzolo’s PFF article, Rosen earned the highest marks in the draft class on passes 10-19 yards this past season at 116.3 yards. Palazzolo says this is important to note in regards to Rosen’s throwing range:
“An important place to have success, as most of the best NFL quarterbacks are excellent in this range, and Rosen has all of the tools to carry that forward to the next level. He can throw with anticipation over the middle of the field, zip to hit tight windows, touch to avoid linebackers and has a good feel for working the back-shoulder game on the outside.”
While everyone has their preference there is no doubt that Rosen is the most pro ready QB in this class. Other prospects have questions about how raw and/or inaccurate they are, and Rosen does not have those concerns.
Of Rosen, Kadar’s best comments are a great way to understand everything Rosen brings to the table if he were selected by the Jets:
“Among the top quarterbacks in this draft, Rosen is best field general of the group. He attacks the middle of the field better than other quarterbacks in this class and is a natural reading defenses. That gets even more apparent with his quick, effortless release. He throws from a balanced platform and knows how to subtly work the pocket to avoid rushers. More importantly, he doesn’t drop his eyes when pressure surrounds him, and continues to read the play. From a head-to-toe mechanics standpoint, Rosen is nearly perfect. His arm strength is good enough to make more difficult outside throws and work the ball through defenders.”
The Jets are making fantastic strides in this rebuild, but the work is not done by any stretch. If they draft the most pro-ready quarterback in the class, they have to use the cap space (which should be in an abundance in 2019) and draft capital to build around Rosen and allow him an opportunity to succeed. Let’s be honest, more than a handful of Jets quarterbacks have not been afforded that rope by their respective previous regimes.