There are only 30 days left until the NFL draft. What should you as a New York Jets fan be prepared for?
Sam Darnold will likely be the #1 pick – While the idea of Josh Allen being taken first overall is being floated around (and how awesome would that be?), it remains likely Darnold will go first, especially after Jimmy Haslam sat and watched the Pro Day with Darnold’s parents.
Flaws! -No matter who the New York Jets get, the quarterback will get some type of criticism from the media. While all these quarterbacks have flaws, I anticipate we will hear much more of the negatives until the season begins. Not that this isn’t warranted, the Jets have been awful at drafting quarterbacks. Darnold had turnovers, Rosen has the injury and character concerns. Baker has the height and character concerns and Josh Allen isn’t accurate and had an easy schedule that he still struggled against. Just prepare yourself for those narratives to be beaten over your head.
If Rosen is taken #2 hold your breath – There is a back and forth I’ve been doing in my mind while trying to conveniently ignore reports that the Jets are only interested in Darnold, Rosen and Allen. Personally I think they like Baker Mayfield (they brought him in for a private workout and went to his Pro Day) I don’t think he is out. I hope that if it’s between Baker and Josh Allen they go with the Heisman Trophy winner. Most will point to the fact that Allen is more of a quarterback that Maccagnan has drifted towards in the past (tall, big arm, not good).
However he also has proven to go for players from bigger programs, especially with his top picks. Out of his past 3 drafts he hasn’t drafted a player from a ‘small school’ earlier than the 5th round. My #GlassHalfFull mind is showing me that Maccagnan is maturing in his fourth year and learning from past mistakes by doing things like trading up for his quarterback instead of taking the best player available and also not overpaying for average players on the last year of their contracts because their fan or locker room favorites (i.e.; Wilkerson/Fitzpatrick) so let’s hope if its between Allen and Mayfield, he leaves with Baker.
Manage Expectations -The team is much improved but don’t let the excitement of signing big name free agents get your hopes up. This is still a very young team with needs at QB, RB, TE, LT, and most of their front 7 other than Leonard Williams. While I anticipate a better team than last year I would be pleasantly surprised if this team goes over .500 next season. However Maccagnan has finally done things properly this offseason. He’s signing players under 30 years old with opt outs, he acknowledges he hasn’t hit with his prior quarterback picks and is trying again while also smartly identifying the talent of his own players.
Photo Credit: NFL.com