Josh Allen, Sam Darnold, Baker Mayfield, Josh Rosen, Lamar Jackson, and Mason Rudolph. What the 2018 QB draft class lacked in surefire number one overall type talent it made up for in depth. The first four Qbs were talked about as top ten picks, each with flaws but the potential to step in as a franchise QB. The problem for the Jets then is that the list of QB needy teams is even longer. Minnesota, NY, Cleveland, Buffalo, Miami, Denver, and Arizona are all competitors and due to a 2017 season that saw more wins than expected the Jets sat uncomfortably at #6. Where they would have to agonize through 5 selections that could easily have seen their hopes dashed.
The draft could have likely played out as follows: #1 Darnold, #2 Rosen, #3 trade for Mayfield, #4 Barkley, #5 Allen, and the Jets stuck at #6 getting a guard and looking at another 9-7 season with a Veteran QB. There were already talks of Miami and Buffalo searching for a way to jump in front of the Jets and the Bills even sent their left tackle Cordy Glenn to Cincinnati in an attempt to move closer to the Colts #3 spot. Mike Maccagnan knew he had to act or lose out so he moved decisively. Using the Jets 2 second round picks and another from 2019 to move up to the Colts #3 and secure that the Jets, at worst, would be picking from 2 of the big 4 Qbs. The Colts were most likely the trade partner most teams were talking with and by acting quickly the Jets punished any teams too slow to act, likely blocking 2 division rivals from getting the QB they desired. Now any team looking to move up will have to give a King’s ransom hoping the Giants will listen or discussing swapping with Cleveland, knowing that they might be left with whichever QB was left over. They would have no control over who that would be and that’s a scary prospect for GMs that are making career deciding picks.
The Jets now move on to deciding who they take with that selection. The top 2 QBs have been Sam Darnold and Josh Rosen and with the rumors that Rosen does not want to be drafted by Cleveland, it’s seemed likely that Sam Darnold will go first overall to the Browns. The Giants have hinted all off-season that ownership wants them to build around Eli which might leave the Jets with 3 QBs to choose from. The Jets having been burned by a big strong but inaccurate QB in Christian Hackenburg, might be scared off by Josh Allen. Leaving them deciding between UCLA’s Josh Rosen and Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield. Both have been lauded for their playmaking ability but have had the conservative NFL front office community questioning their brash personalities. Rosen is known for his mechanics and accuracy while Mayfield is the clutch playmaker who put up otherworldly numbers. It is likely that only one of them ends up being a franchise QB. Mike Maccagnan will have to decide which one that is knowing his job will count on it.