It’s the biggest week in at least a decade for the New York Jets franchise.
The Cleveland Browns and New York Giants will get the first chance to set the tables of the draft, but Gang Green will have a top quarterback prospect available when they are on the clock no matter what.
Who will they pick? What makes the most sense? Can we really buy into any April rumors?
Let’s break down the most realistic scenarios.
Can Darnold really slide?
The short answer: yes, there is a chance the Browns take Josh Allen instead of Sam Darnold first overall.
While it is extremely unlikely, the Jets have to be prepared for a scenario where the projected number one selection falls into their lap at three.
Now, what would they do? It’s quite simple: Mike Maccagnan would use less than a minute to hand in the selection.
comes right back on 3rd down with an extremely gutsy throw, but incredible placement for 6 pic.twitter.com/Itf68oP6Sf
— Connor Rogers (@ConnorJRogers) April 17, 2018
As one NFL evaluator of a non-quarterback needy team put it to me – ‘he has the highest floor, the only place I could see him having a chance of failing is Cleveland and even that’s a stretch.’
Rosen vs. Baker
This is the most likely hand the Jets are dealt with. Sam Darnold will go first overall to the Browns. The Giants will either take Saquon Barkley or trade the pick to a team coming up to take Josh Allen.
In this scenario, the Jets have a vital decision to make. If you’ve been awake for the last two weeks, nearly every media outlet and national analyst is calling Baker Mayfield to the Jets.
As for me? I’m not so sure that’s the lock it’s made out to be. While the Jets have shown significant interest in the Heisman Trophy winner, they’ve done the same for Josh Rosen, Darnold and Allen.
I think they are self aware enough to realize Allen is too big of a project and risk to select, leaving the other three as the frontrunners.
When you look at Rosen, it’s almost been understated how well he fits with Jeremy Bates. Each are intense personalities with limitless football IQ’s. Rosen’s ability to slice and dice secondaries from the pocket is far and away the best in this class, even though his supporting cast in college was extremely underwhelming.
This isn’t to take away from Baker’s intelligence or on-field ability, it’s just that Rosen is simply better. Fans have become enamored with Mayfield’s personality, leadership and charisma, which he all deserves credit for – but this decision is not as cut and dried as it’s made out to be all month long.
A lot of the noise that Mayfield will be the pick could very well be an assumption coming from his camp. While they may be spot on, feeling the love from the Jets organization throughout interviews, workouts and visits, we’ve seen this situation across the NFL end up differently millions of times.
If I was a betting man forced to choose I’m betting on the pick to be Rosen. At the end of the day, top tier talent prevails.
Sleeper of the week: Jordan Wilkins, RB, Ole Miss
After missing the 2016 season due to being academically ineligible (for pretty absurd reasons not entirely on him!), Wilkins made the most of his final college campaign.
He rushed for over 1,000 yards and flashed as a receiver with over 25 catches. At 6’1″, 217 pounds he displays above average athleticism, most notably his acceleration which makes him an ideal fit for an outside zone attack.
Not a lot of buzz on Ole Miss RB Jordan Wilkins yet – but he shined after getting back on field with bigger workload this year. Invited to combine, which can be huge for his stock: pic.twitter.com/Z8eJyydgWB
— Connor Rogers (@ConnorJRogers) January 10, 2018
The Jets will most likely look to avoid spending picks at positions they have depth at. Wilkins is a projected 6th rounder-UDFA, putting him at play for Gang Green as a scheme fit.
With not a lot of wear and tear from college, he could very well be a surprise contributor that’s flown under-the-radar.
Photo Credit: NFL.com