- John Hazelet
Inside and Outside the Lines: QB Edition
The term “Franchise Quarterback” and New York Jets just don’t seem to go together. We have been teased before, Mark Sanchez and his early success had even the biggest skeptics thinking that the Jets may have found the face of the franchise… or “The Sanchize”. We have been teased by Chad Pennington, who was probably the closest the Jets have come to having a true leader under center but injuries and Brett Favre brought that to an end.
I think we can all agree that the franchise QB the Jets covet is not on the current roster. Lets take a look…
Geno Smith: The last game of the 2013 and 2014 seasons have been the two best games of his career. Both games were played in Miami against the Dolphins. While every Jets fan loves to beat the Dolphins, Geno has failed to show the same consistency against the rest of the NFL.
Ryan Fitzpatrick: Picking up Fitzpatrick for a conditional 2016 pick looks like a great move for the Jets. He will bring a veteran presence to the Jets and provide a true QB competition. Unlike the old Jets regime that preached competition at every position but basically anointed
Geno the starter last season, the new regime seems poised to let the play on the field do the talking. This bodes well for Fitzpatrick, the journeyman knows the Chan Gailey system well from when they worked together in Buffalo. The Harvard grad has a big arm, a big brain and a big opportunity to earn another chance in the league as a starting QB.
Matt Simms: The son of former Giant Phil Simms, has been a developmental QB for the last few years. He has a strong arm but accuracy seems to be his issue. I don’t see Matt making a push to be a starter but I do think he could be a solid NFL #2.
Position Grade: D This is the position of the unknown for the Jets. Can Geno play at the level he did in the season finally? Will Fitzpatrick have similar success with Chan Gailey as he did in Buffalo? I think the answer to both questions is no.. I think both Geno and Fitzpatrick can be serviceable but they are hold the fort guys till the Jets finally find the second coming of Joe Namath.
Draft: We know the two big names and we know that Winston is all but locked into the first pick. Mariota is the wild card, there is a decent chance he could be there when the Jets pick. I just cant see the Jets taking a QB with the 6th pick. I think its more likely they grab one of the second tier guys like Brett Hundley, Garrett Grayson, or Bryce Petty in rounds 2-3. All three should be decent developmental QB’s but none would have an immediate impact.
The Eagles QB position may take the prize as most talked about position on any team in football this offseason. Fueled by the blockbuster trade that brought in Sam Bradford and shipped out Nick Foles, Chip Kelly has the entire league guessing what he is doing at all positions, not just QB.
Sam Bradford: The question all Eagle fans want to know is how Sam Bradford will fit into the Chip Kelly offense. I think he is a good fit. Bradford is an accurate passer with a strong arm. He is a classic pocket passer and keeps his eyes downfield. The biggest question with Bradford is if he can stay healthy. He has been plagued with injuries his entire career. If he can, I think he and the Eagles are a very good fit.
Mark Sanchez: Sanchez filled in nicely for the first few weeks when Nick Foles went down last year. Unfortunately, Mark went back to his inconsistent ways towards the end of the season and the Eagles missed the playoffs. The fact that the Eagles made it a priority to bring Sanchez back for 2015 would leave me to believe that Chip Kelly thinks he sees value with Sanchez as a number 2 QB. He will be a good fill in short term if Bradford goes down.
Matt Barkley: The fact that the Eagles kicked the tires on Tim Tebow this offseason tells you all that you need to know about where Barkley stands on this roster. It would be a surprise to me if Barkley is on the roster come training camp.
GJ Kinne: Kinne spent last year as a practice squad player. Making the Eagles roster for 2015 is a long shot.
Position Grade: C+ Both their starter and backup QB are veterans who have played in the league with mixed success. If Bradford can stay healthy, this C+ can easily become a B+/A-.
Draft: We all know who Chip Kelly thinks the best QB in the draft is. The question is, do we think he makes a major move up in the draft to get Marcus Mariota. I think it is possible but not likely. The Eagles would have to give up a kings ransom to make this kind of move. I think its much more likely that they take one of the second or third tier players and let them sit and learn behind Bradford and Sanchez.