We are literally days away from the NFL Draft and Jets fans such as myself are curious about what GM Mike Maccagnan and his scouts are about to do in regard to rebuilding this team. We begin with round one, pick #6.
The names I have seen most associated with the Jets on the offensive side of the ball are quarterbacks Mitchell Trubisky (UNC), Deshaun Watson (Clemson), and Patrick Mahomes II (Texas Tech), tight end O.J. Howard (Alabama) and running back Leonard Fournette (LSU). Any of these players would be a welcome addition to this team which has virtually no offensive talent on the roster. That might be due to the fact that they haven’t drafted one in the first round since 2009! Just maybe.
Granted, the quarterbacks have a degree of risk associated with them. Don’t they always? And the general consensus among draftniks is that this draft is not very strong if you’re looking for a signal caller. Next year’s draft is considered much stronger. And there is a theory circulating among Jets fans that Maccagnan should hold off on selecting a quarterback this year, tank the season, thereby setting the team up for a high draft pick in next year’s draft in order to choose a franchise quarterback. My question to them is “why?”
Why would you wait for yet another year to go by in order to get a franchise quarterback? Unless the scouting department believes that none of these players coming out now can be the answer, why wait? None of the kids that’ll be coming out next year are sure things either. I’ve seen future Hall of Fame quarterbacks selected in so-called weak drafts. That’s why good scouting is the most underrated aspect of team building.
Defensively, the prospects most associated with the Green and White are safeties Malik Hooker (Ohio State) and Jamal Adams (LSU), cornerback Marshon Lattimore (Ohio State), and edge rusher Myles Garrett (Texas A&M), if a miracle happens and he falls to them. I’m afraid that having a strong defense seems to preclude, at least in this front office’s way of thinking, the need to get a franchise quarterback. The thinking being that a “game manager” is all that’s necessary to be successful when you have a strong defense. I’m not buying it. I can’t name but one or two “game managers” who took their teams to the promised land. And their teams had historically elite defenses. Not one of these defensive players have the ability to make the Jets defense elite by himself.
I’m rooting for one of the quarterbacks to step to the fore and be the answer for the Jets. Trubisky sounds too much like Mark Sanchez to me (aka lack of experience). Watson certainly has the pedigree. He’s won in college, but the interceptions are a concern. And Mahomes is going to need a lot of time. He has a cannon for an arm, but he’s raw.
I do not believe the answer is on the roster now. But, if they believe he is, get O.J. Howard. A complete tight end can be a young quarterback’s best friend. Especially one with the skill set Howard would bring to the table. Fournette would also help as well, but I can’t see him falling to #6.
Lattimore can help by theoretically shutting down opposing teams’ best receivers. But his hamstrings are an issue. Health shouldn’t be an issue when a team picks this high. Hooker has been hurt throughout the draft process, so I’m not big on selecting him as well. Adams sounds like he could be a future Pro Bowler at safety. I’m a big fan of his.
Anyway, in nine days we’ll find out for sure. So strap on your seat belts Jets fans. Hopefully this’ll be the beginning of a new, more successful era.