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The NY Jets could target these three quarterbacks in the 2021 NFL Draft.
While fans and media have already begun clamoring around the idea of Trevor Lawrence trading in his orange and purple for green and white, the NY Jets will virtually have to finish the season 0-16 as the Jacksonville Jaguars are set to face opponents over .500 in six of their final seven games.
With no likely win in the Jaguars’ remaining seven matchups and them owning the strength of schedule tiebreaker thus far, the reality of looking into selecting a potential franchise quarterback not named Trevor Lawrence is alive and well in the back of many Jets fans heads.
So let’s say the Jets can scrape together another somewhat competitive performance leading to a win against an opponent like the Los Angeles Chargers or the New England Patriots, who exactly could the Jets look to hand the keys over to in terms of being a potential franchise quarterback?
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1. The NY Jets could target Justin Fields
Justin Fields is the obvious choice if Jacksonville finishes with the number one pick and Lawrence isn’t on the board.
After sitting behind Jake Fromm at the University of Georgia and transferring to Ohio State, Fields has put up monster numbers and is leading the Buckeyes to a 3-0 start in 2020 and led the squad to a College Football Playoff appearance in 20619.
The Buckeye signal caller possesses a Cam Newton-like frame at the quarterback position and athleticism that we have seen from young quarterbacks like Kyler Murray and Tua Tagovailoa that has proved to create opportunities during broken plays.
Outside of Trevor Lawrence, Fields is the quarterback prospect I have the most confidence in stepping in on day one and taking over the reigns as the signal-caller for the Jets.
Barring any unforeseen injury or health concerns, Fields will be the consensus QB2 on most teams’ draft boards. If he is the man that lands in New York, while not Lawrence, Jets fans should breathe a sigh of relief and look forward to the future.
Next: 2. Zach Wilson
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2. The NY Jets could target Zach Wilson
The hype is real.
Zach Wilson will most likely finish as the player whose draft stock benefited most to a 2020 college football season playing out.
Wilson has drawn comparisons to a Patrick Mahomes-type play style on social media, garnering interest across the country and immediately putting him in the ranks of the top quarterback prospects in the 2021 draft class.
Wilson’s leadership and confidence has been on full display during the 2020 campaign with the Cougars, and his performance on the field has catapulted BYU into the conversation to be considered for the College Football Playoff.
In eight games, Wilson has thrown for 2,500 yards and 22 touchdowns while only turning the ball over twice.
You can argue the fact that his competition isn’t up to the level of what you would want from a top tier quarterback prospect, but Wilson’s natural arm talent and athleticism will jump out on film and make scouts sit up in their chair.
Next: 3. Trey Lance
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3. The NY Jets could target Trey Lance
Widely considered the third-best quarterback prospect in this year’s class, Trey Lance could be an option for the Jets in a trade back scenario if they were to win a game or two and impact the position of their draft spot.
If that were to happen, the Jets could be in a prime position to select the redshirt sophomore from North Dakota State.
Due to a COVID-19 effected 2020 season, Lance would appear and play in just one game, referred to as his “Showcase Game” against Central Arkansas.
Lance didn’t exactly showcase his best abilities, finishing the contest completing just 15-of-30 attempts for 149 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception in a 39-28 win.
My gut tells me that ahead of the draft, there will be many questions surrounding the number of pass attempts, the competition he played against, and ultimately if he is truly ready to make an impact at the next level.
Lance was undoubtedly a star during his time with the Bison, but due to his lack of experience, the versatile signal-caller could provide more risk to the Jets solution rather than progress.