If you didn’t know, the New York Jets traded up in the 2018 NFL Draft. New York was originally slated at number 6 overall but made a trade with the Indianapolis Colts to acquire the number 3 pick. The Jets gave up that 6th pick along with three second rounders to move up those three spots.
First off, let’s just say this was a great move by the Colts. Move back three spots, get three extra second rounders. Indy may still be able to grab the guy they were going to take with that third pick at six too.
As for the Jets, they quickly become one of the draft’s most interesting teams. Everyone is assuming they moved up to grab a quarterback, but are you really sure?
The Jets quarterback core is not the best at first glance. Old man Josh McCown, Teddy Bridgewater, Bryce Petty, and Christian Hackenberg. New York knows what they are going to get out of the vets McCown and Petty but what about Hackenberg and Bridgewater?
Well, I am already labeling Hackenberg a bust just like many other people across the league. The Jets have a had a quarterback issue for a decent amount of time and Hackenberg hasn’t sniffed the field as a former second round pick. It speaks volumes that head coach Todd Bowles entrusted Bryce Petty with a few starts instead of Hackenberg who was drafted as their potential “future starter”.
As for Bridgewater, who knows what you will get. Coming off a serious knee injury, and with Case Keenum playing so well, Bridgewater never got the chance to play last year after playing solid in his first two years for the Minnesota Vikings. Could the Jets see Bridgewater as their future? Who knows, but the guy is still only 25.
It is still more likely than not that Jets traded up to snatch a quarterback but, what if the Cleveland Browns and / or the New York Giants grab the top two quarterbacks on Gang Green’s draft board? Is New York going to just draft the next quarterback on their board? Probably.
It is still possible that New York gets the quarterback they want to fall to them, but it all depends on Cleveland and New York’s picks. That’s why the trade is kind of stupid if they were looking to pick the signal-caller of the future.
There is, and was, no guarantee they get the guy they want at three, so does that mean they were never planning on grabbing a quarterback?
Todd Bowles is a defensive minded head coach and after giving up the two pillars of their defensive line, Sheldon Richardson and Muhammad Wilkerson, New York could pick defensive end Bradley Chubb out of N.C. State.
The Jets did rank 28th in the NFL last year in sacks with only 28 quarterback takedowns, making a pass rush a priority. Chubb would help fill that need.
The defensive end recorded 10 sacks in each of his last two seasons at school while tallying 44 tackles for loss. Bowles may be salivating watching the tape of Chubb, who has even been compared to the great Julius Peppers by CBS Sports Senior NFL writer Pete Prisco.
If New York has other plans for the defense and would rather improve the offense, they could scoop up the consensus top running back from Penn State Saquon Barkley.
The Jets did sign running backs Thomas Rawls and Isaiah Crowell to deals this offseason but they know that Barkley’s ceiling surpasses theirs significantly. A talent like Barkley can run between and outside of the tackles, can catch out of the backfield, and return kicks. For a team as bad as the Jets, they could use some explosiveness on O other than wide receiver Robbie Anderson (who threatened to “nut in the eye” of a police officer’s wife this offseason).
I doubt New York goes with Barkley, but it’s still a possibility to think about. As I said, the most likely thing to happen is that New York drafts a quarterback. But if the guy they wanted (i.e. Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen) gets taken by the Browns or Giants, why would they take a quarterback that they don’t have faith in with guys like Chubb on the board? Because they are the Jets.
-Jarrod Ribaudo (@Jribs53)