Thanks to the blockbuster deal between the Los Angeles Rams and the Tennessee Titans, the New York Jets QB plans could be altered.
By Matt Barbato
A historic trade was made between the Tennessee Titans and the Los Angeles Rams on Thursday that could leave plenty of aftershocks and ramifications for the rest of the league, including the New York Jets.
Before delving into how this affects Gang Green, allow me to recap the trade in detail and explain why this trade could affect New York’s draft plans.
The Titans traded away the No. 1 overall pick, plus their 2016 fourth and sixth-round picks to Los Angeles for the No. 15, No. 43 and No. 45 picks in the 2016 NFL Draft, in addition to a first and a third-round pick in 2017.
It’s almost a certainty the Rams made this move and mortgaged their future to draft a franchise quarterback. Whether it’s Cal’s Jared Goff or North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz, you can count on one of them being taken first overall and heading to L.A.
This trade could result in both of the top quarterbacks being taken with the first two picks. The Cleveland Browns have been widely rumored to be interested in both quarterbacks and could take whoever’s left after Los Angeles makes its choice.
If the Browns take the other quarterback available, the perceived value of the next best prospect, Memphis QB Paxton Lynch, could increase. Scarcity creates desperation, especially at the quarterback position.
The scouting report on Lynch is that he’s immensely talented, but lacks seasoning and could afford a year on the bench to learn the intricacies of an NFL offense. The 49ers and Eagles both need upgrades at quarterback, but might not be willing to take Lynch in the top 10 like they would either Goff or Wentz.
That’s where things get interesting: With St. Louis moving up, no other team in front of the Jets needs a starting quarterback in 2016. Sure, teams like the Giants, Bears, Saints and Bills could make a long-term move by taking the quarterback of the future. But each team has glaring needs elsewhere and more than competent quarterbacks.
That’s where things get interesting: With St. Louis moving up, no other team in front of the Jets needs a starting quarterback in 2016.
But there is a team behind the Jets who could make a move. One team to keep an eye on would be the Denver Broncos. They could be the most desperate team scouring the quarterback market after the Colin Kaepernick trade fell through and probably aren’t very confident in entrusting Mark Sanchez as the starting QB to begin the Super Bowl defense.
The Jets appear remotely interested in Lynch. They had five representatives, including GM Mike Maccagnan, on hand at Lynch’s pro day. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reported the Jets will host Lynch for a pre-draft visit on Friday.
The Jets are doing more than their due diligence while evaluating Lynch. The question is whether Maccagnan would opt to take a talented, but raw quarterback with the 20th pick over addressing a need such as outside linebacker or the offensive line.
The Ryan Fitzpatrick negotiations will certainly play a role come draft day. If Fitzpatrick returns, the need for Lynch is substantially decreased. If he isn’t, the Jets may take a chance.
There are a couple of other quarterbacks worth considering in the later rounds if the Jets pass on Lynch, namely Connor Cook and Christian Hackenberg. The Jets wouldn’t be devoid of options, especially if Denver takes Lynch with the 31st pick or trades up for him.
As is tradition, the draft can go a number of different ways. This latest trade between the Rams and Titans just threw another monkey wrench into the equation, especially if the Jets don’t re-sign Fitzpatrick come the end of April.