The New York Jets moved up one spot in the 4th round to select Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty. Here are initial thoughts on the pick…
1. Petty was rumored to be sky rocketing up team’s draft boards in the past week, with talk circulating of him potentially even sneaking into the first round. Similar to Ryan Nassib a few years ago, this turned out to be a smokescreen/overstated. He was always a borderline 4th round prospect so it is difficult to complain about the value here. The Jets only gave up a 7th rounder to move up, while they still have two other 7th rounders and a newly acquired 5th round pick so pick quantity is not a major issue.
2. The translation from Baylor’s offense to the NFL is going to be a difficult one and a substantially more challenging one than the more discussed transition for Marcus Mariota from Oregon’s offense. Petty is going to struggle reading NFL defenses and working away from his first read. He is also going to be 24 by the time his rookie season starts and had back issues throughout last year. It is fair to wonder if his ceiling will ever be higher than a competent backup.
3. The positives on Petty are that he has a big arm, prototypical size and very good intangibles. In this year’s weak quarterback class, it is fair to argue that he was the third best prospect behind Winston or Mariota. Chan Gailey’s spread system should help ease the transition and he will have the ability to learn behind a veteran who is well schooled in it, with Ryan Fitzpatrick now on the roster.
4. Petty is a developmental prospect and badly needs a year or two of seasoning before being considered for serious playing time, which is difficult to come by in today’s NFL, particularly in New York. The first turnover by Geno Smith or FItzpatrick is going to lead to an onslaught of calls to get Petty on the field (#FreePetty is coming) but hopefully the Jets are patient enough to let him develop.
5. Personally, I don’t love the prospect but the fact that he was taken on day three, where he belonged instead of day two or day one makes it hard to complain much. The Jets don’t have a proven quarterback and it is not surprising a new regime wants a hand selected player developing in their system. It is fair wonder if he was truly the best player available on the board though with TJ Clemmings, Tre Jackson and Jay Ajayi still out there.