The NY Jets should consider these three options assuming they land the No. 2 pick.
The tank is no longer on. The NY Jets were in prime position to secure the first pick. Instead, they won back to back games.
Last week they pulled out a gutsy performance and upset the Los Angeles Rams 23-20. This past Sunday, they defeated the surging Cleveland Browns 23-16.
The Jets no longer have the first pick in the 2021 NFL Draft and fans are clearly upset. It is a shame to potentially miss out on Trevor Lawrence.
Jets fans prematurely fell in love with Lawrence. Lawrence has been regarded as a generational talent and he could single-handedly turn around a franchise.
Following the Jets’ Week 16 victory and the Jacksonville Jaguars’ subsequent loss to the Chicago Bears, the organization officially punched their ticket to the second overall pick.
As such, the Jets need to start weighing their options. This is still a really solid quarterback class. All hope is not lost.
The Jets still have an opportunity to draft their franchise quarterback. They have many different options and routes they can go with the second pick.
Joe Douglas and the new head coach will have their hands full. The Jets will have a completely revamped roster next season and might have a new starting quarterback under center come next fall.
Next: 1. Draft Zach Wilson
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1. The NY Jets could draft BYU QB Zach Wilson
Zach Wilson has taken the nation by storm this season. The 6-foot-3 quarterback has a rocket for an arm and is super athletic. He is very poised in the pocket and is able to extend plays with his legs while keeping his eyes downfield.
Wilson is very accurate and has the ability to make unorthodox throws. He has a knack for putting the football only where his receiver can get it. Perhaps most importantly, Wilson has taken a significant jump from his sophomore year to his junior year.
As a sophomore, Wilson completed 63 percent of his passes and only threw 11 touchdowns. This season Wilson has completed 73 percent of his passes and has thrown for more than 3,200 yards with 30 touchdowns.
As a result, he has quickly climbed draft boards.
Wilson has been compared to Patrick Mahomes because of his playmaking and ability to make any throw at any level of the field.
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Durability could be a factor for some evaluating Wilson. Wilson had surgery on his throwing shoulder and hand in the past. He also has a slight frame and will need to add weight at the next level.
Wilson still has the traits needed to take the next step as an NFL quarterback. Joe Douglas should seriously consider taking him with the second pick.
Next: 2. Draft Justin Fields
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2. The NY Jets could draft Ohio State QB Justin Fields
Justin Fields is another intriguing option with the second pick. Fields is a great playmaker and can make plays off-script. He has the arm strength and accuracy to make throws outside the numbers and over the middle of the field.
Fields can make throws rolling either right or left with ease. He has the athleticism to extend plays and create others with his legs. Fields is at his best when he’s in rhythm.
He can throw the ball with great anticipation and accuracy on throws down the field. Fields has the quickness to make a defender miss in the open field and won’t hesitate to run when he sees a lane open up.
Fields does need to work on going through his progressions. He tends to lock onto his first read which leads to bad interceptions and unnecessary sacks. But this is something that can be corrected in the pros.
Fields reminds me a little bit of Dak Prescott. Prescott is a mobile quarterback who can extend plays with his legs but looks to make plays downfield with his arm first.
Fields and Prescott also have similar body types. Fields is 6-foot-3, 227 pounds while Prescott is 6-foot-2, 229 pounds.
The Ohio State QB has all the tools to be a successful franchise quarterback at the next level.
Next: 3. Stick with Sam Darnold
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3. The NY Jets could stick with Sam Darnold
Darnold hasn’t played well this season either. He has only thrown for eight touchdowns while completing under 60 percent of his passes. He has also missed a stretch of games for the third straight season.
There are some doubts about him being a true franchise quarterback — and those doubts are certainly fair.
With that being said, people around the league still believe in Darnold. Most don’t think he was given a fair chance to succeed and with a new head coach coming in, that new coach may like Darnold more than any other quarterback in this class.
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The Jets still have a boatload of cap space and five picks in the top-100 of the draft. With these resources, the Jets have an option to build around Darnold with a completely new coaching staff.
This is a risky move because Darnold hasn’t made it clear that he is the franchise quarterback that everyone wanted him to be. Darnold is still only 23-years-old and has room to grow. He will be going into the fourth year of his rookie deal.
This would clearly be a make or break year for Darnold with the Jets. The knock on Darnold is that he has been very inconsistent throughout his career. Who knows what can happen when he is around a new coaching staff with an improved roster.
The Jets could opt to use the second overall pick to either trade down and recoup more assets or stay put and select a player like Oregon offensive tackle Penei Sewell.
Either way, sticking with Darnold remains a plausible possibility.