In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on Thursday night of Apr. 27, 2017, New York Jets GM Mike Maccagnan needs to take a “Rocky” approach.
The New York Jets have made mistakes in the first round of the NFL Draft in the past. In fact, they have completely butchered entire drafts.
It’s easy to re-hash the past and reminisce in the mockery the Gang Green brass have made of the yearly event since their inception, but tonight, that could all change.
Mike Maccagnan has the opportunity to start building his resume as a premier talent evaluator. Something owner Woody Johnson envisioned when he hired Maccagnan just three offseasons ago.
The owner has preached patience during moments with the media in the past few months. It is likely, however, that the selections pan out during their first season with the Jets won’t have an immediate effect on Maccagnan’s job status.
That doesn’t mean there isn’t pressure on Maccagnan and his team of scouts. The Jets decided on a rebuild, parting ways with aging stars and mainstays of the roster.
Three scenarios that need to happen to transform Mike’s night into magic:
Landing LSU Safety Jamal Adams
For the New York Jets, Jamal Adams is the ultimate prize. Not only is his talents on the field remarkable, but his locker room presence as an emotional leader could lead a defense without an identity.
The Philadelphia Eagles were fortunate to have a similar player in Brian Dawkins lead their defense for more than a decade. If Adams is half the player that Dawkins was, the Jets can considered the 2017 NFL Draft a success.
It would be a shock for Adams to fall to six, as most mock drafts have him slated to be selected in the second to fourth position. But if anyone knows that mocks don’t always tell the tale, its Maccagnan, who had Leonard Williams fall in his lap during the 2015 NFL Draft.
A Trade with the Cleveland Browns
Mike Maccagnan would love to add to his selection total this weekend. One way to do so, make a deal with the Browns. The Browns have two first round picks and two second round picks, if the Jets could secure the twelfth pick and one of the second round picks, Maccagnan would be in business.
The draft is being coined as a defensive gold rush, because of the parity between guys outside of the top ten. With so much talent being equal, the Jets have a great opportunity to fill needs, such as secondary and wide receiver in the first two rounds.
Gang Green also has two third round picks at their disposal. It’s not inconceivable that Maccagnan trades back to twelve, takes the additional second round pick, and packages that to get back into the first round.
Whoever is Selected at Six, Becomes a Star
It’s vague, it leaves a lot to be imagined, but it’s the only hope Jets fans have. There are ten blue chip prospects on the board to begin the draft.
What do we know about prospects? Nothing is certain. Whether it is the names most associated with the Jets, Jamal Adams, Marcus Lattimore, Malik Hooker or O.J. Howard, New York needs them to be a star. Maccagnan needs them to be a star.
The steps of the Art Museum in Philadelphia once famously played the backdrop to an underdog story in Rocky. Tonight, another underdog will need to be as fearless and brave as the “Italian Stallion,” if he hopes to turnaround one of the laughing stocks of the NFL.