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NY Jets: Making the case to trade down in the 2021 NFL Draft

NY Jets Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
NY Jets Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
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The NY Jets need a quarterback but they don’t need to draft one with the second overall pick to alter their franchise.

The No. 2 overall selection has yet to be determined, but there’s already controversy surrounding the pick. After Trevor Lawrence is selected first overall, many mock drafts are flip-flopping between the Jets drafting Justin Fields or Zach Wilson.

Both prospects had a great college career and have a ton of upside, but it’s unclear which one will become the better professional right now.

The second overall pick isn’t a sure thing

Although you’d think that a better draft position would secure the superior player, it’s not always true. In fact, it seems to be more common than not that the best quarterback selected isn’t the first one off the board.

For example, look at these six quarterbacks below.

  • Justin Herbert: 2020 NFL Draft, sixth overall (third QB taken)
  • Josh Allen: 2018 NFL Draft, seventh overall (third QB taken)
  • Lamar Jackson: 2018 NFL Draft, 32nd overall (fifth QB taken)
  • Patrick Mahomes: 2017 NFL Draft, 10th overall (second QB taken)
  • Deshaun Watson: 2017 NFL Draft, 12th overall (third QB taken)
  • Dak Prescott: 2016 NFL Draft, 135th overall (eighth QB taken)

If you redrafted the NFL Drafts above, all of those quarterbacks would’ve been selected with a better position, but in the moment, it felt right. Mock drafts, unfortunately, can’t predict the future and more times than not, a better player is available with a later pick.

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Why the NY Jets should trade the pick

This is not the first time the Jets have looked to select a quarterback with a high draft pick. In 2009, they took Mark Sanchez fifth overall (second QB), and then in 2018, they selected Sam Darnold third overall (second QB).

Hopefully the team can learn from those mistakes and understand there’s value in trading the pick.

As history has shown, you don’t necessarily need a top pick to get a great quarterback. If the Jets value Zach Wilson over Justin Fields, it may be beneficial to trade down with the Atlanta Falcons, who hold the No. 4 position.

Fields is from Georgia and the Falcons seem very high on him to become the successor to Matt Ryan. Both teams would be able to draft the player they want, however, the Jets would then be able to acquire an additional asset by doing so.

Even if it’s just a fourth-rounder to switch spots, a player that late can still be a difference-maker for your roster.

If the Jets aren’t interested in either prospect and want to change their franchise completely, then the team should trade the second overall pick for an established quarterback. The obvious answer is Deshaun Watson, but it could also be Dak Prescott, who’s yet to re-sign in 2021.

In order to win in the NFL, you need a star quarterback. As it currently sits, the Jets don’t have one.

Therefore, in order to better their franchise, it would make sense to trade down in the 2021 NFL Draft to acquire better assets and still draft a great young exciting quarterback or to change the landscape of the franchise and acquire an established pro.

4 players who could be traded this off-season. Next

Either way, the clock is ticking on the 2021 NFL Draft and it’ll be incredibly exciting to see what unfolds.

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