NY Jets: Instant grade and analysis for the James Morgan NFL Draft pick

NY Jets (Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images)
NY Jets (Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images) /

The NY Jets made the very surprising decision to select FIU quarterback James Morgan with their second fourth-round pick of the 2020 NFL Draft.

The NY Jets clearly aren’t out to follow conventional wisdom in the 2020 NFL Draft — and their selection of FIU quarterback James Morgan is evidence of that.

With so many needs on the roster, the expectation was that the Jets would use Round 4 of the draft to address some of their most glaring holes. Instead, the opted to use one of their fourth-round picks on a backup quarterback.

Now, just the fact that the Jets selected a quarterback in this draft shouldn’t be surprising. And that fact that it’s Morgan — someone the Jets did plenty of pre-draft work on — is even less surprising.

But it’s the fact that they did it so early that has many scratching their heads.

Morgan originally committed to Bowling Green before transferring to FIU in his junior season. He put himself on the map with an impressive 2018 season that earned him C-USA Newcomer of the Year honors.

His 2019 season was another impressive one and that firmly put him on the radar of NFL scouts who were searching for a late-round developmental target. But for that reason, it’s a little confusing that the Jets took him when they did.

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Morgan has a live arm and no shortage of talent in that regard, but his decision-making and ball placement remain very concerning at this point. He grew up idolizing Brett Favre and that shows in his game where he oftentimes will try and make something out of a play when there’s nothing to be had.

He’s stubborn to a fault and despite his incredible arm talent that will often get the best of him.

Still, he’s an intelligent passer who works through his reads quite impressively for a player his age and he has good command of his offense. Those are likely the traits that were most intriguing to Joe Douglas and the Jets.

Regardless, you have to question the logic of going with a developmental backup quarterback option in the fourth round with so many other needs to address.

For starters, there’s no guarantee that Morgan is NFL-ready enough to wrestle away the backup job from David Fales. And if that’s the case, what was the point of this pick?

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This isn’t a selection you make when you’re trying to build a competent roster around your young quarterback. And for that reason, the initial grade must be docked significantly.

Final Grade: D+