Someone recently asked me, “How many quarterbacks are the Jets going to draft?” I paused and suddenly the answer popped into my head. “As many as it takes to find THE quarterback,” I responded.
You see, when a team does find a franchise quarterback, everyone suddenly develops a selective loss of memory. They forget that it took 40 years for the New England Patriots to luck into Tom Brady in the sixth round of the 2000 draft. Or that it took the New Orleans Saints nearly 40 seasons to sign Drew Brees to a free agent contract after the San Diego Chargers tossed him out with the trash. Hell, the Detroit Lions are about to “celebrate” 60 years without a championship this coming February and still may not have the answer to their quarterback woes on their roster. The point is, until you find him, you don’t have one. And, if you don’t have one, you have to keep plugging away until you find one, or get fired trying. How about the recent case of Dak Prescott being drafted by the Dallas Cowboys? He was chosen with an extra pick they happened to have at the bottom of the fourth round. Word is he dropped in the draft because of a DUI arrest which he was eventually acquitted for. So basically they were fortunate and took a chance after bypassing him for the better part of four rounds.
The bad news for Jets fans is the answer to their prayers may not be on their roster or, for that matter, in the NFL right now. There’s no way of knowing what they have for sure until Bryce Petty and/or Christian Hackenberg see meaningful NFL action. It’s also hard for us to tell because all regular season practices are closed to the media and any other prying eyes (see Spygate). To add to the misery, for what it’s worth, ESPN’s draft experts claim this upcoming draft is bereft of any franchise signal callers. But we can’t be sure of that because they didn’t see Dak Prescott coming on like he did either.
Oh, and let’s not forget they remain in what amounts to draft purgatory. Consistently drafting in the the middle of the first round because they’re not bad enough to pick in the top five, missing out on the blue chip draftees, quarterbacks or otherwise. And incapable of reaching the postseason due, in part, to their inept quarterback play. So they’re relegated to rolling the dice in later rounds, where they haven’t had the best success, drafting the likes of Glenn Foley, Browning Nagle, and Geno Smith. And when the pick fails to materialize into an NFL quarterback, the entire process is repeated. For the last 47 years.
And so Jets fans wait for Broadway Joe’s successor, along with every other franchise quarterback-hungry fan base. He could emerge next season or he may be in grade school, for all we know. All I know is GM Mike Maccagnan has got to keep on keeping on until the next Jets franchise quarterback is revealed. Whether he sees him coming or not.