3 QB options if the NY Jets somehow don't trade for Aaron Rodgers
By Ryan Shafer
2. The NY Jets could draft a replacement
Again, it's hard to see how this would possibly go, and I think in this scenario, the Jets would need to know Rodgers was not coming sooner rather than later.
There are reports that the teams have stopped talking over the last few weeks and that the Jets and Packers are farther off than what is currently being reported. The Packers have not moved off wanting an unconditional first-round pick, and they also expect another high-level draft pick.
The Jets have refused to include a first-round pick so far and don't seem inclined to anytime soon. Let's say draft night rolls around, the Packers demand pick 13, and the Jets refuse and draft a top-tier offensive lineman.
The Packers, realizing they just blew their chance this year, refuse to talk to the Jets and call the whole thing off. Round 2 starts and with picks 42 and 43, fearful of not adding any talent to the quarterback room, the Jets look at what players are draft worthy at those picks.
Assuming that the big names are already long gone by picks 42 or 43, who could be available for the Jets? Hendon Hooker, Tanner McKee, Max Duggan, and Jake Haener are all on the board.
The name most linked to the Jets has been Hooker, with some fans and reporters suggesting the Jets could draft Hooker as the heir apparent to Rodgers. In this hypothetical, Rodgers isn't even here.
Taking an unproven mid-round quarterback and immediately making them the starter of a potential playoff team is a lot of pressure on a young player.
Someone like Hooker, the unquestioned best of this group, would not even be ready to play by the start of the season while recovering from an ACL tear. How could this possibly work?
In this scenario, I think the Jets would actually trade Zach Wilson for as much draft capital as they could get back. Even if it ends up just being a fifth or sixth-rounder, they would use it to add as much talent around a new rookie quarterback as possible. A trade for DeAndre Hopkins would become much more likely and possible as well with the added cap space.
Hooker would sit until healthy and then take over the job. He would add to the young core of Garrett Wilson, Breece Hall, Alijah Vera-Tucker, this year's first-round choice, Sauce Gardner, and Quinnen Williams.
Although Hooker or another drafted quarterback is not Aaron Rodgers, that is a pretty exciting core to build around for the next five years while also competing for a playoff position this year.