Next week, the temptation for Mike Maccaganan and Todd Bowles will be heavy, but the New York Jets must stay away from Oregon’s Marcus Mariota.
In a little under a week, New York Jets general manager Mike Maccaganan will start feeling the pressure.
It will be the 2015 NFL Draft, and for Maccagnan, his first as the boss of Gang Green. What an important draft it’ll be for this franchise.
It is widely realized the Jets do not currently possess a franchise quarterback. While one can make an argument for Geno Smith, he his nowhere near conversation of “possible franchise guy.”
So, how will Maccagnan react to the temptation that is possibly drafting Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota?
Picking in the No. 6 slot has incredible advantages this season. The slot is guaranteed to produce a supposed impact player from day one. Amari Cooper, Shane Ray, Bud Dupree and Vic Beasley are some names being bandied about for Todd Bowles squad at that position.
Wide receiver, edge rusher, offensive lineman – they are all positions of need for the Jets. However, quarterback is the ultimate position of need for this team, and any team in the NFL who currently doesn’t posses one.
The position is the ultimate difference maker in this “sling the rock” style of play we are privy to. Most would then ask aloud: why wouldn’t the Jets jump all over a potential cornerstone quarterback like Mariota?
Well, there are an abundance of answers.
First of all, the damage that hits an NFL organization when a Top 10 quarterback is a bust is not just immense, it is devastating.
Not only does the ultra critical salary cap take a big hit for the next several years, due to the big money that kid is garnering from such a high selection, he also lowers the level of play across the board offensively.
Other talented players suddenly see a halt in their development because their quarterback isn’t doing his job.
Additionally, when a team doesn’t yet have a franchise quarterback to call their own, every minute of the day is spent on trying to acquire one. It’s just that important. So, when a quarterback bust is masquerading as the guy, during the time the powers that be need to be finding the real guy, years are wasted.
Missing on a Top 10 quarterback sets a franchise back two or three seasons.Dec 28, 2014; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (7) drops back to pass against the Miami Dolphins during the first half at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
What is comes down to in these situations is belief. To make a selection like this, the entire organization must truly believe in this player. If there are any doubts, then it’s best to find another course of action.
Up to this point, we have been led to believe that Maccagnan isn’t fully enamored with Mariota. Although we see smokescreens annually around this time, this one seems to be the truth.
At the end of the day it’s quite possible (or probable) the Jets won’t have to worry about this temptation at all. Mariota could go to the Tennessee Titans at No. 2 or to another team prior to No. 6. The Titans, Washington Redskins, Jacksonville Jaguars and Oakland Raiders all seem to have their franchise quarterbacks in place already, which makes the Mariota-Jets situation so real.
However, the likelihood of a team trading up before No. 6 still remains possible; and this is where Maccagnan can truly capitalize, compounding the reason the Jets should stay away from Mariota.
Despite his words to the contrary, most still believe Chip Kelly will attempt to make a move up the draft for Mariota. Even NFL Network’s Jason La Canfora has recently reported that despite the understanding of how expensive a move like this would be, Kelly would still go forward.
He coached [Marcus] Mariota. He loves Mariota. He’s willing to do whatever he thinks is best for his organization, conventional wisdom and consequences be damned. He simply doesn’t care. He’s capable of pretty much anything and his peers don’t believe for a minute he’ll watch someone else draft Mariota without a fight. No one will explore more options than Kelly, and if he pulls something huge off, few would be surprised. It would be more surprising if he just uses his picks as presently subscribed.
One of the more recent rumors that has started to pick up steam involved Johnny Manziel and the Cleveland Browns. It would involve the Browns two first-round picks, Manziel, Sam Bradford and the Philadelphia Eagles No. 20 overall selection.
It is widely believed this move would be Kelly’s precursor to getting to that No. 2 spot for Mariota.
On Thursday, Browns general manager Ray Farmer denied he ever tried trading Manziel to Philadelphia, via NFL.com.
If Mariota does last to No. 6, enter the Jets. Kelly and the Eagles could be that cherry on top that puts the Jets in the driver’s seat. If Mariota falls, and Kelly already executed his “setup-move,” then the Jets could trade down to the middle of the first-round and pick up a king’s ransom.
All of the ingredients are there for Maccagnan to capitalize.
It’s the perfect storm.
All indications lead us to believe the Jets aren’t in love with Mariota; the Titans, Jags, Raiders and Redskins all have their quarterbacks in place; and Chip Kelly is hot to do whatever it takes to move up.
Furthermore, what’s wrong with waiting a season to find your quarterback? Or, what’s wrong with finding a possible diamond in the rough?
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are more than likely going to select Jameis Winston No. 1 overall next Thursday. Suddenly, Mike Glennon will then become expendable. Glennon is a perfect example of a guy who clearly displays talent without time to showcase it.
Who’s to say Glennon can’t be had for a mid-round pick?
This 2015 NFL Draft is shaping up to be one of the more exciting situations in this league’s history. For Maccagnan and the Jets, it is turning out to be one with many possibilities. Possibilities that could lead to a big haul.
Stay away from Mariota and pursue these other “soon to be” intriguing possibilities.
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