The NY Jets have an abundance of different routes they could take this offseason. With a boatload of cap space and more draft capital than pretty much every other team, they’ll certainly have their options open.
That’s doubly true given the uncertainty surrounding the quarterback position. Sam Darnold‘s disastrous 2020 season has led to a widespread belief that the Jets could opt to move on from the former USC star this offseason.
And if that’s the case, there’s a very good chance they use their No. 2 overall pick to find his replacement.
There’s also been speculation that the team could look to trade down from their first of two first-round selections and acquire additional draft capital. In that scenario, they would almost surely roll with Darnold for another year.
Both options remain on the table, but a recent report seems to suggest the Jets are leaning in one direction.
The NY Jets are more likely to stay put at No. 2 overall than trade down
Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer wrote about the Jets’ offseason plans on Monday and he indicated that the Jets are “more likely than not” to stay put at No. 2 overall.
He did insist that no decision has been made just yet and that teams will be calling the Jets not only about Darnold, but about the possibility of a trade up. Breer listed both the Jets and Miami Dolphins (third overall) as teams that could look to trade down.
But he made sure to note that the Jets are more likely to hold on to their pick, as opposed to trade it.
“Teams will emerge from the Wentz situation with a quarterback. Others are quietly looking for an upgrade over who they already have, or for an heir to put behind an aging starter. I think because of all that, teams will look at 2 and 3 as potential places to get those things, and with four guys that I believe are seen as worthy of going in the Top 10, whoever gets there will have options.”
Breer is right in that he suggests up to four quarterbacks could be selected in the top-10 in a notably QB-rich draft class. Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, Justin Fields, and Trey Lance are all seen as near-universal top-10 prospects.
Alabama’s Mac Jones isn’t too far behind either and could sneak into the top-20. All of that means that this is likely the most stacked quarterback class since 2018 — the year Darnold and four other quarterbacks were taken in the first round.
That No. 2 overall pick holds a lot of value, and the Jets are well aware of that. It’s why they could use it to select Darnold’s replacement — provided they are as high on the quarterbacks as the rest of the league seems to be.
Trading down remains an option, especially if the Jets do stick with Darnold. But at this very moment, it seems the Jets are leaning toward using that pick on a player.
And while that could mean someone like Penei Sewell is on the table, it’s much more likely that means Darnold’s days in New York are numbered.