Manish Mehta at the New York Daily News answers your questions:
“Did they trade three second-rounders to move up three slots to take a pipsqueak QB from a spread offense? They should be sued for gross negligence if that is the case. — @BigOliveri
“The Jets quarterback decision is absolutely fascinating. My understanding is that it’s a fluid and complicated situation. Shortly after Gang Green traded with the Colts to jump up to the No. 3 spot a couple weeks ago, I touched base with folks on One Jets Drive to get a better handle on the motivation behind the deal.
“The people in the organization that I spoke to loved Baker Mayfield’s fire, competitiveness and leadership, but thought he was a tick below Sam Darnold, Josh Allen and Josh Rosen at that time. However, they cautioned that there was still an important part of the evaluation process that included Pro Days — and more importantly — the impending private workouts and visits to Florham Park.
“Make no mistake: The Jets are currently divided on which quarterback to take at No. 3. Oh, sure. The team will invariably try to sell us that (INSERT DRAFTED QB HERE) was the top choice all along, but I’ve heard enough varying opinions about these four quarterbacks from inside the organization to know better.”
“If you would have told me on April 4, 2016, that the Jets would have drafted Christian Hackenberg in the second round, I would have called you coo-coo for Cocoa Puffs since just about nobody other than the GM wanted to take the Penn State quarterback that high.”
First, Mehta is one of my favorite NFL writers outside of Chicago. I subscribe to the Daily News in the Apple News app on my iPad more or less just to read his articles. He’s pretty funny and often spot on.
I, too, thought general manager Mike Maccagnan’s selection of Hackenberg in the second round of the 2016 NFL draft was “coo-coo for Cocoa Puffs”. Although I usually settle for the more mundane “insane”. Hackenberg was a fourth round flier if I ever saw one and to set him up as the potential franchise quarterback there was pretty nuts and I did say so at the time.
The specter of the Hackenberg selection has to be still with you if you are a Jets fan for a couple reasons.
First, Hackenberg was selected for his physical characteristics – big, tall player with an arm to match but not the production. So stiff that he was strictly a pocket quarterback with little mobility. If you are guessing which player in the draft matches that profile, its probably Allen. He’s more athletic than Hackenberg but he’s got a big arm, worked from the pocket in a pro-style offense but lacked production and accuracy. If you are a “he’s got all the physical characteristics and we can coach him up” guy, as Maccagnan appears to be, then he’s the guy to keep an eye on there. Rosen would be a close second as he appears to be the quarterback who projects to be the best pocket quarterback.
Second, and this is the biggie, if a guy who selected Hackenberg is still there to select your franchise quarterback this year, you have to be quaking in your boots. You’d better hope that past history doesn’t predict future results because that was not a decision that inspires confidence.
Most people I know around the league actually pity Bears fans. I pity Jets fans.*
*OK, and Browns fans. But that’s it.