It has been exactly one month since the New York Jets traded three second round picks to move from #6 to #3 in the 2018 NFL Draft. As it stands today, the conventional wisdom appears to be the team will select Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield with the third overall pick, yet this is a new development. Let’s track coverage of the Jets intentions over the past month and see what expectations should be when April 26th FINALLY rolls around.
Shortly after the Jets trade was made, the names most associated with them were Josh Allen and Josh Rosen. Here is Rich Cimini, the team’s longest tenured beat writer on the day of the move.
I believe the Jets’ top three are Sam Darnold, Josh Allen and Josh Rosen, in no particular order. That’s based on conversations with personnel people around the league. The early sense is that the Jets don’t rate Baker Mayfield in that upper-echelon category.
Guessing based on today
4. Trade back/Ward/Chubb
— Benjamin Allbright (@AllbrightNFL) March 17, 2018
I think it’s Josh Allen or Josh Rosen
— Benjamin Allbright (@AllbrightNFL) March 18, 2018
Nobody has covered Baker Mayfield more closely than Robert Klemko of MMQB throughout this draft process. Prior to the trade, this is how he ranked Mayfield’s most likely landing spots:
Baker Mayfield’s likely landing spots becoming more clear post-combine.
My short list:
In addition to private visit to Cleveland, Baker is now scheduled to see the Jets.
— Robert Klemko (@RobertKlemko) March 3, 2018
It is worth noting, he had Miami higher than the Jets despite them picking 5 spots behind them. Eric Galko’s first mock draft after the trade did have the Jets selecting Mayfield, while Bucky Brooks first post trade mock paired the Jets with Rosen.
I ran this poll 10 days after the trade on Jets fans preference for the pick, which had Rosen come out on top by 18 percentage points.
Who do you want the #Jets to take with the 3rd pick in the NFL Draft?
— Joe Caporoso (@JCaporoso) March 28, 2018
Moving away from the speculation and to things that actually occurred, the Jets attended Rosen’s Pro Day on March 15th, one day after attending Mayfield’s Pro Day on March 14th, shortly before they pulled the trigger on the trade. They also attended Sam Darold’s Pro Day on March 21st and Allen’s Pro Day on March 24th. All of this is logical due diligence. Similarly, the Jets held private workouts for Rosen, Mayfield and Allen. They’ve had Rosen and Mayfield at Florham Park for visits already with ones upcoming for both Allen and Darnold.
Despite this consistency across the board with the top four quarterbacks, the Jets hosting Mayfield for a two day visit on April 9th, seemed to pivot the amount of speculation around their interest in him. The reason for this could because of Adam Schefter tweeting this (even though it is fair to assume Johnson also met with Rosen and will meet with Allen/Darnold):
Jets’ CEO and chairman Christopher Johnson expected to meet with Baker Mayfield. https://t.co/PmZUcg0rIx
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 9, 2018
Shortly after his visit wrapped, Klemko and Allbright tweeted this:
I’m putting my money on Mayfield to the Jets for some reasons I can get into after the draft. https://t.co/MAfg09vfH1
— Robert Klemko (@RobertKlemko) April 11, 2018
If I’m guessing today…
1. Browns – Still Darnold
2. Giants – Chubb
3. Jets – Mayfield
4. Trade up by Buff or AZ for QB
5. Broncos – Nelson
— Benjamin Allbright (@AllbrightNFL) April 11, 2018
From there, Cimini’s latest pick has pivoted to Mayfield, Brooks has pivoted to Darnold, Miller has stayed with Allen, and Galko has stayed with Mayfield. The latest from Albert Breer has the Jets with Darnold, while King is leaning towards Mayfield.
Elsewhere around the Jets beat, Manish Mehta is going with Mayfield and elsewhere in national coverage, Dane Brugler has the Jets taking Rosen. This recent round up published by the Jets site has five different mocks with four different players being selected across them.
I ran a similar poll to the one linked above and the numbers have flipped, with Jets fans now preferring Mayfield by 19 percentage points:
10 days until the #NFLDraft – Who do you want with the 3rd pick?
— Joe Caporoso (@JCaporoso) April 16, 2018
At a high level, it appears there was a slight surge of Mayfield to the Jets chatter after his visit to Florham Park (not uncommon after a player visit, as his management likely left with a positive impression) but there is still a high variance on who is being rumored to the Jets. Courtesy of Klemko’s confidence in Mayfield to the Jets, it appears at least his side feels the Jets won’t pass on him with that being corroborated by Allbright (whether that comes from the Jets or Mayfield’s side is unknown). Adam Schefter tweeting about Christopher Johnson and Mayfield likely has also had an impact on perception. Yet, it is worth noting the Jets haven’t done anything out of the ordinary in the pre-draft process that they have not done with the other top three quarterbacks, as it pertains to Mayfield.
Mayfield was always a strong possibility for the Jets at both number six and now at number three. It is hard to say he is an ironclad favorite, particularly with it still being so much up in the air who will go first and second overall. Jets fans may be being a bit naive by completely writing off the possibility of Josh Allen being the pick (unfortunately) and may be writing off Rosen or even Darnold too early.
The good news for the Jets is that it is hard to go wrong with three of their four options.
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