The latest super-sized edition of the Jets Mailbag reveals the warts in this quarterback draft class, the perennial Pro Bowler that Baker Mayfield resembles right now and the real “untouchables” on Gang Green’s roster.
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@RyanLink723 What’s the bigger concern in your eyes… Allen’s poor accuracy, Rosen’s immobility and injury history, Darnold’s fumble issues or Baker’s maturity? They all scare me especially with Rosen.
There is a lot of promise among this group, but no perfect player. Allen’s accuracy doesn’t necessarily scare teams, but there are fair concerns about his ability to process information quick enough at this stage of his development. Look, we all know that the guy has a bazooka for an arm, but I can’t say this enough: You don’t need to have the strongest arm. You just need to have a strong enough arm to make the requisite throws at this level.
Rosen’s durability absolutely is a reasonable critique. There are teams that believe his two concussions this past season shouldn’t be marginalized. Sprinkle in the fact that he missed a chunk of his sophomore year with a shoulder injury that required surgery and you have evidence of how brutal this game can be for an immobile pocket passer.
As strange as this sounds, I believe teams aren’t overly concerned with Darnold’s interceptions. The fumbling issues that date back to high school, however, have annoyed some NFL personnel folks that I’ve touched base with in the past year. That being said, Darnold has instincts to elude pressure that can’t be taught. He’s got this wholesome likability factor that matters to teams, too.
Maybe I’m in the minority, but I’m not overly concerned with Mayfield’s perceived maturity issues. Frankly, I love the guy’s feistiness. Teammates also love the guy. He’s an emotional leader, who reminds me a lot of seven-time Pro Bowler Philip Rivers. They share an on-field swagger/cockiness that can be easily misunderstood. Remember that scene years ago when Rivers was giving it to Jay Cutler? Some people hated it. I actually thought it was kind of cool. Mayfield exudes that same vibe. That attitude is contagious in a locker room.
My biggest concerns for Mayfield revolve around his ability to thrive at the next level given his relatively short stature (6-foot, 5/8), small hands (9.25 inches), spread-system background and lack of much exposure to playing in inclement weather (with those smallish mitts). That’s not to say that Mayfield can’t succeed at this level, but these inherent challenges must be factored into the equation.
Again, there is no perfect quarterback in this draft class.
@TRauch21 Which players on the roster which you could consider “untouchable” in a trade attempt for Khalil Mack?
This might be one of my favorite questions in the history of the Mailbag (est. 2015). First and foremost, there are only three players on the Jets roster that the powers that be would struggle parting with: Jamal Adams, Marcus Maye and Leonard Williams.
Gang Green is in love with Adams, but would they part with him in exchange for arguably the best defensive player in the NFL? On the surface, it’s a no-brainer, right? Who wouldn’t want Mack, who became the first player in league history to earn first-team All-Pro honors at two different positions (outside linebacker and defensive end) two years ago? The guy is a terror in every imaginable way.
But let’s dig deeper. Mack, who turned 27 in February, is more than 4 1/2 years older than Adams, who will turn 23 in October. The Raiders’ superstar, who was a no-show for the start of Oakland’s voluntary workouts this week, is looking for a new contract in excess of $20 million per season. The Jets, meanwhile, are scheduled to pay Adams a total of $7.4 million over the next THREE SEASONS. He’s financially friendly labor for the foreseeable future.
Edge pass rushers, of course, are much more valued than safeties. The Jets, in case you’ve been a cave dweller for the past decade or so, could use an edge passing rushing threat. But I’m fairly sure that Mike Maccagnan would not part with Adams (plus the additional players/draft picks that obviously would need to be included) to trade for Mack.
Trading Williams, however, is a more intriguing scenario for purposes of this conversation. He’s basically untouchable, but it’s fun to consider a way that the Jets could land Mack.
Let’s get something clear: The Jets brass loves Williams. I reported earlier in the week that the Jets plan on picking up the defensive lineman’s fifth-year option before the May 3 deadline. Regardless, the fact that the Jets would be upgrading along the defensive line makes this an interesting hypothetical. Would they part with the No. 6 overall pick in the 2015 draft in exchange for the No. 5 overall pick in the 2014 draft? (The Jets would have to give up more than just Williams, but you get the point).
The Jets aren’t going to be forking over big-time dollars for a quarterback for the foreseeable future (assuming their incoming rookie pans out). They’re projected to have more than $100 million in salary cap space next year. Would they be willing to open the vault for Mack, a three-time Pro Bowler, who’s had double-digit sacks in each of the past three seasons?
Maye, another cornerstone piece, is basically playing for free ($3.2 million over the next three years). Talk about cheap labor. He’s got a world of potential, but I’m fairly certain that the Jets wouldn’t have a problem dealing him in a deal for Mack.
In the end, of course, the Raiders will pay Mack. Jon Gruden is no dummy.
TWO-MINUTE DRILL (Five Quick Hitters)
@HeySheckie How much do Jets and Giants management talk in person around their shared facilities? There was a lot of buzz that the Jets didn’t call the Giants before trading up to 1.03. Is it possible that they know what the G-Men intend to do at 1.02 because they speak regularly?
Well, the Jets practice in Florham Park, while the Giants practice in East Rutherford. There’s no actual cross-over except during the third preseason game at MetLife Stadium. Even if there were, the Giants would never divulge any draft secrets.
@runmmf Bigger draft bust: Christian Hackenberg or Vernon Gholston?
Gholston, who was the No. 6 overall pick in 2008, finished his three-year career with zero sacks, zero pass deflections and zero forced fumbles. Hard for a second-round pick to ever top that.
@CoachPatMurray It seems every week there is news about the divide between Belichick and players… especially Brady and Gronk. Is there any chance you could see Belichick walking away this year or next season with McDaniels being the successor?
The Hoodie isn’t walking away this year, but I don’t think anyone would be surprised if McDaniels is in charge in 2019. I’d be shocked, however, if Belichick leaves if TB12 is still playing at a high level. I’m sure Jets fans are keeping their fingers crossed.
@michaelcummo Do you think the Jets would ever re-design the uniforms or logo? The color rush unis, while a little much, were a cool change of pace and the retro ones are golden. New era of Jets football = New look?
I’m fascinated by the number of fans that want a new uniform design. I actually really like the current digs. Color-rush uniforms are unfair to the eyes. Absolutely brutal. I have a better idea to bring in a new era of Jets football. Find a franchise quarterback. Dress him up anyway you want.
@RealJackLevitt How much of this Mayfield hype is smoke?
Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.
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