The New York Jets have done everything they possibly can to put themselves in a position to select a franchise quarterback during the first round of Thursday night’s 2018 NFL Draft. Now all they can do is hope.
Swapping picks with the Indianapolis Colts to move from No. 6 up to No. 3, the Jets ensured that they will have their choice of a top-level quarterback prospect that can be groomed under Josh McCown and Teddy Bridgewater for at least a season.
For anyone that knows anything about the Jets as an organization though, something is bound to go wrong. This is as close to a snakebitten franchise that one will find in the NFL as Gang Green has been mired in mediocrity for the better part of the last 50 years.
While they are all but guaranteed an impressive young quarterback with a high ceiling, there is a chance the Jets might get their man even though it looked as though it was guaranteed last week.
Out of the four quarterbacks placed in the top tier of the 2018 draft class, Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield was considered by many the fourth-best behind Wyoming’s Josh Allen, USC’s Sam Darnold and UCLA’s Josh Rosen. Yet Mayfield looks to have become the Jets’ top priority over the past month.
It’s understandable as to why he would be considered to take over in New York. He was by far the most productive quarterback of the big four last year, winning the Heisman Trophy after throwing for over 4,600 yards with a 70.5-percent completion rating, 43 touchdowns and just six interceptions. The big question though is how that will translate to the NFL considering Mayfield, who stands at 6-foot-1 and doesn’t have the largest hands, isn’t built like Allen or Darnold or Rosen.
Suddenly though, the Jets might not even have the chance to take Mayfield as there is a building notion that the Browns could take him at No. 1.
With the Giants slated to take Penn State running back Saquon Barkley at No. 2, that would still leave the Jets three quality options to choose from.
Allen, who could very well be taken by the Browns first, didn’t have that productive of a season last year, throwing for just 1,812 yards in 11 games. But at 6-foot-5 and with a live arm that can throw a football 70 yards through the air, pro scouts are salivating at the chance to mold the Wyoming product into a star.
Darnold has been a name floating around the Jets since the start of the 2017 season as fans implored the franchise to tank for the USC passer. There have been concerns about his turnover tendencies, but this is a quarterback with a live arm who plays with the kind of confidence needed to thrive in New York.
For Rosen, who might sink past the top 10 on Thursday night, the Jets have the chance of picking up an extremely intelligent passer whose mechanics are impeccable. A true student of the game, he is an accurate passer who will maintain his composure in the pocket.