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New York Jets Draft Watch: Primed to Add a Franchise Quarterback
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16 Apr 2018 01:57 PM EST

-by Daniel Mogollon, Staff Writer; Image: UCLA Bruins quarterback Josh Rosen. (Image Source: Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

Here’s a breakdown of the New York Jets need at quarterback:

Depth Chart: (1) Josh McCown (2018 Re-Signed); (2) Teddy Bridgewater (2018 Free Agent); (3) Bryce Petty (2015 4th Round Pick); (4) Christian Hackenberg (2016 2nd Round Pick)

Offseason Addition: Teddy Bridgewater (UFA/Vikings); Subtractions: None

Veteran quarterback Josh McCown had a better season than anyone expected in 2017, as he put up career highs in yards (2,926), touchdowns (18), and completion percentage (67.3) in his 15th NFL campaign. It was good enough to earn the 38-year old another run in New York as an insurance policy and mentor. He’s not the future and neither are Christian Hackenberg (no pass attempts in two seasons) or Bryce Petty (49.1 percent on 112 attempts in 2017). The signing of Teddy Bridgewater is an interesting piece in that he’s young (25) and still might have some upside if he can get back to 100 percent. It’s unclear how he might fit this season or moving forward. The Jets signed the former first round pick before they were able to trade up to No. 3 overall in the 2018 NFL Draft.

If you’re thinking, way to bury the lead, you’d be correct. In the biggest move of the Mike Maccagnan era, the general manager gave up three second-round picks in order to move up three spots from No. 6 to No. 3 overall. With no assurance of which quarterbacks will be on the board when New York is on the clock, some believe the Jets may have given up too much. However, they did ensure themselves at the very least a choice between two of the top four quarterbacks in this class. Bottom line, if they get the right guy, the trade will be viewed as a steal. This pick is a potential franchise changer.

Reported Pre-Draft Visits: Josh Allen (Wyoming), Sam Darnold (USC), Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma), Josh Rosen (UCLA)

Known Workouts: Josh Allen (Wyoming), Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma), Josh Rosen (UCLA)

Pro Days of Interest: Josh Allen (Wyoming), Sam Darnold (USC), Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma), Josh Rosen (UCLA)

All-Star Game Connections: Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma)

Combine Connections: Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma)

Most-Likely First-Round Target: Josh Rosen (UCLA)

Crystal Ball: There is one lock regarding the New York Jets upcoming draft: they will select a quarterback with the third overall pick.

With the 3rd pick… There are four potential quarterbacks who the Jets could select in the first round: Wyoming’s Josh Allen, USC’s Sam Darnold, Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield, and UCLA’s Josh Rosen. That’s the known. There are two unknowns. How the Jets rank the quartet and which of the four will be available when it’s New York’s turn to pick. At least one quarterback will be off the board, as the Cleveland Browns are considered a lock to select a signal caller with the No. 1 overall choice. The wild card is the New York Giants, owners of the second pick. The G-Men could draft a quarterback, take a non-quarterback, or trade the pick.

Of the aforementioned quartet of passing prospects, Darnold is the most likely to be off the board. Most believe the Browns will take the USC product with the first pick and he isn’t expected to get past the Giants if Cleveland throws us a curveball at the top of the draft. On the flip side, it would be most surprising if Mayfield wasn’t available at No. 3. The Jets are believed to love his production and swagger, however have concerns about his lack of size. Many believe Allen has the highest ceiling of the group. He’s big, athletic, and has a cannon arm, however is raw with serious concerns regarding his accuracy. That leaves us with Rosen, who I would be surprised to see get past the Jets is he’s available. He doesn’t have the arm Allen does, but is the most polished passer in this class and a safe pick who could really flourish in the bright lights of New York.

On Day 2(No. 72) … Down to just one pick on Day 2 the Jets will not select a quarterback in the third round.  

On Day 3 (No.’s 107, 157, 179, 235) … With four quarterbacks already on the roster heading into the draft, the club is also unlikely to draft a passer on Day 3. They could be so down on the duo of Hackenberg and Petty that picking a quarterback in the sixth or seventh round wouldn’t be shocking, although not expected.

Daniel Mogollon is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America. He is also a voter for the Thorpe and the Rotary Lombardi Award, as well as the Latino Sports MVP Awards. You can reach him via email: danmogollon@gmail.com.

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