As the New York Jets are still in contract negotiations with rookie quarterback Sam Darnold, it’s all about the 2018 NFL Draft that never was.
Of all the news surrounding New York this offseason, the New York Jets have generated league-wide interest with their current situation at quarterback. With rookie Sam Darnold still absent in training camp, as a result of contract negotiations, it’s important to note exactly what the team gave up to draft the USC product.
Undoubtedly in the market for a quarterback, Gang Green went all-in on the opportunity after making a pricey trade with the Indianapolis Colts. Already holding the No. 6 pick, the Jets moved that selection, two second-rounders in 2018 (No. 37 and No. 49 overall) and another second-round pick in 2019 to move up three spots at No. 3. While New York feels they had a steal with Darnold, let’s dive into the draft that could have been.
To be fair, the Jets have a long list of missing on their second-round selections. Besides Marcus Maye (2017) and David Harris (2007), the likes of Christian Hackenberg, Devin Smith, Jace Amaro, and Geno Smith headline the group – not exactly ideal.
More from The Jet Press
- NY Jets: Why the team should target cornerback Shaquill Griffin
- NY Jets reportedly non-tendering linebacker Harvey Langi
- NY Jets: Why the team should not cut Jamison Crowder
- NY Jets should try to sign Kenny Golladay in free agency
- NY Jets: Jonnu Smith would be a smart free-agent target
Let’s play the other side of the coin. Without seeing these prospects play a single snap, who was available at New York’s original selections of No. 6, 37, and 49?
The first round of 2018 will be known as the year of the quarterbacks. With five coming off the board, teams jumped at the opportunity to draft a shot-caller. With Baker Mayfield and, likely, Darnold off the board by No. 6, New York would have had their pick of Josh Allen, Josh Rosen, or Lamar Jackson. Would any of these players suit the team just as well? Only time will tell.
Known as the “value-round” year in-and-out, the second round generally contains players that just slipped outside the first 32 picks. With many holes to fill, on both sides of the football, could New York have drafted two players to immediately impact their football team?
To address the offense, New York could have bolstered their offensive-line or added playmakers to surround whoever starts at quarterback. With Auburn guard Braden Smith being Indy’s pick, the same could have been said for the Jets. Many first-round talents saw their names come off the board after that as well – Courtland Sutton, Mike Gesicki, Kerryon Johnson, Christian Kirk, and Derrius Guice to name a few.
Well, what if they went defense? Boston College edge-rusher Harold Landry would have likely found a home with the Jets, with New York struggling to get to the quarterback in 2017. Other top prospects headlined a loaded second round – Josh Jackson, Donte Jackson, Duke Dawson, and Breeland Speaks.
At the end of the day, hindsight is 20/20. The team had no way of knowing who would be available at any of their picks, no matter the round. In this case, they got exactly what they traded for.
Want your voice heard? Join the The Jet Press team!
Drafting for the future requires patience and a staff capable of grooming talent. With Josh McCown and Teddy Bridgewater under contract, Darnold will have ample time to develop into the playmaker the team believes him to be. As far as the staff, we have yet to see a young quarterback excel in this offense. Is the California-kid capable of changing the culture?