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Will the New York Jets draft a quarterback this April, if so who will it be?
Joe Caporoso – I don’t want to default my answer to saying it depends how the board breaks but I do think if Jared Goff or Paxton Lynch are available at #20, the Jets would pull the trigger. It is hard to read at this point who they prefer in the second tier of quarterbacks and where they value them but if the Jets do select a quarterback, it is likely to be in the first three rounds. They took their late round flier in 2015 with Bryce Petty, who they still have long term hopes for. It doesn’t make sense to keep compiling late round picks, with how rarely they hit at quarterback.
The quarterback carousel has not fully shook out yet and it is impossible to know how the Browns and 49ers will draft due to the new decision makers both teams have in place but the Jets getting a shot at one of the draft’s top three QBs is far from a long shot.
Dalbin Osorio – I’m gonna be a tad more confident than my man David here and I will say yes, the Jets will draft a quarterback and very early. I think that if either of the Big 3 is on the board at 20 (and, spoiler alert, at least one will be) then the Jets pull the trigger. I think Maccagnan and Bowles know exactly what they have with Gandalf The Gray and realize that no regime fully makes their mark until they find THEIR QB. I think the Jets end up with their guy this year, because that guy is not Bryce Petty.
Now, to the second part of Joe’s question: who? I think the guy is Jared Goff out of California. I think that the RG3 signing by Cleveland takes them out of the market for a QB in round one, and I think San Francisco will end up holding on to Kaepernick past April 1st which guarantees his salary for 2016. After those two teams, the next spot that could see a QB taken is 15 with the Rams but Les Snead and Jeff Fisher in their infinite wisdom have hitched their hollywood wagons to Case Keenum. There is a very good chance that 2 of the big 3 are available when the Jets pick 20. If Goff is available, he is the guy and he will most likely start from day one since he is the only one ready to. If Lynch or Wentz are available, I think they are still the pick with Geno Smith starting week one.David Aitken – My gut feeling on this question right now is a confident yes. I won’t go as far as to guarantee it, but I think it’s a major priority for this regime to get a quarterback within the first few rounds to have ready to compete for a starting position within the next season or two. We see how the Jets brass view Ryan Fitzpatrick right now, they aren’t willingly handing Geno Smith the keys at this point, and they’re certainly not going to plan as if Bryce Petty is ready to be an NFL starter.The Jets know they can manufacture a competent passing attack with a replacement level signal caller, but getting a strong long-term option is a key piece of turning the Jets into a consistent contender.
The Jets have been doing a lot of pre-draft homework on the top crop of players. Tony Pauline reported the Jets interviewed both Jared Goff and Carson Wentz at the combine, Connor Hughes mentioned QB coach Kevin Patullo attended Connor Cook’s pro day, and Hughes also noted that Mike Maccagnan personally attended Penn State’s pro day with Christian Hackenberg on display. Additionally, the prospect visit list at walterfootball.com says the Jets met with Paxton Lynch at the combine as well. Wentz and Goff with their top ten projections seem like long shots, so I would keep an eye on the other three names. I think there’s a good chance we see Lynch available in round one, and if he is available I would be surprised if the Jets did not take him.
Kevin Zielaznicki – In the 2016 NFL Draft, the New York Jets will be faced with many difficult decisions. Deciding what to do about the quarterback position will be one of them. With the on going contract dispute with Ryan Fitzpatrick, the current QB depth chart has Geno Smith as the Jets starting QB and Bryce Petty as his backup. Although I do think Geno has probably improved after this past year, this is certainly not an ideal place to be. That being said, even if the Jets and Fitz come to an agreement, the Jets could and should still consider drafting a quarterback in the first two rounds. Even though it is unlikely we see Jared Goff, Carson Wentz, or Paxton Lynch available at #20, there has been much stranger things happen in the NFL Draft.
My prediction: the Jets will not select a quarterback in the 2016 NFL Draft. The consensus top 3 QB’s will be gone by the time they are picking and they will continue to draft best player available. It’s also hard to see the Jets picking another late round QB similar to Bryce Petty.John Hargaden – I know that anything is possible but I am not exactly “giddy” about this QB class. I know that as of right now the Jets have a weakness at QB and that will be decided by the future of Ryan Fitzpatrick. As I look at this QB Class, Carson Wentz and Jared Goff will most likely be gone by the time the Jets pick at 20. Paxton Lynch could be there at 20 but it would not shock me if a team traded either up or back into the first round before the Jets to take him. Lynch is not a day 1 starter, coming from a pass happy do what you want offense at Memphis, he will need to sit for 1-2 years and learn the offense and how the NFL is different from college ball.
There are two QBs that intrigue me later on in the draft that could be available. I am looking at Vernon Adams from Oregon and Cardale Jones from Ohio State. Jones could have been a late 1st round draft pick last year but since he stayed for his senior season, it did hurt his draft stock. I do like what Jones does bring to the table being a pocket passer and the ability to run with it if needed. Adams, a transfer to Oregon last year from East Washington, had some bright spots and could be a intriguing option. If both Jones and Adams are available in the 4th round, I would take a look.
Alex Kaczynski – It has been known that Maccagnan and Bowles have been scouting quarterbacks heavily in the offseason, so it would not be a complete shock if they ended up taking one with the 20th overall pick. Regardless of what happens with Fitzpatrick, there will be a quarterback selected at some point. You would have to believe that a first round pick would only be used if all of the Jets other options have been exhausted with Fitz. Jared Goff or Paxton Lynch would have to be available or it would be highly doubtful a quarterback would be drafted that high, there would be too much talent on the board. If the Fitz deal does happen, Jacoby Brissett could be the pick in 4th or 5th round. He is a tall QB, with good mobility and can play in a pro style offense. Brissett is not perfect, his throw height and pressure awareness has to get better but can be fixed with coaching.
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