2 possible alternatives for New York Jets in Todd McShay's mock draft
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NFL Draft Insider Todd McShay released his first version of his NFL Mock Draft. Are the New York Jets going defense again in round one?

For all you New York Jets fans who are shifting your focus to the 2018 NFL Draft with your eighth loss on the season on Sunday, feast your eyes on this!

ESPN’s NFL Draft Insider Todd McShay released version one of his infamous mock drafts:

Who does he have the Jets taking in the first round?

Arden Key, DE, LSU*

“The Jets are another QB-needy team, but in this mock, the top three QBs are all already off the board. This is a spot where Baker Mayfield could be considered (or Allen if he’s still available). The pass rush needs help, though, and Key is the most talented natural edge rusher in the draft. He left LSU this summer for personal reasons and has been banged up this season (only 4.0 sacks), so his draft stock could slip a bit, but the talent is there.”

While I wouldn’t be totally upset with this pick, it would be slightly disappointing, especially without context on what the Jets did at the quarterback position. To be honest, the Jets haven’t had a pass rusher that opponents fear since John Abraham.

If McShay is right, this would be the 10th straight first-round pick spent on a defensive player.

Who was the last first-round pick to be an offensive player?

Give up?

Mark Sanchez, (QB, USC) back in the 2009 NFL Draft, which should be a tease here for who the next first-round pick should be for the Jets.

McShay hinted at it in his quote; the Jets are a QB-needy team. If they don’t take a quarterback in the first round, that would indicate to me that they handled the position in free agency.

Which, looking into it, wouldn’t be the worst option in the world, all things considered. The 2018 free agent class is projected to be one of the deepest in history at the quarterback position. Consider some of the names who could be hitting the market:

And that’s just to name a few. If the Jets opted to go in this direction, this would also suggest that this team is pushing those chips to the center of the table to chase the postseason and get closer to the championship conversation.

However, the Jets may want to draft “their own guy” and finally commit to developing a young passer. The Jets have some extra ammunition thanks to that Sheldon Richardson trade before the season (2018 second-rounder).

The Jets are likely going to end up with a top-10 pick in the draft and that means they’ll be firmly in the conversation for one of the top passers. As McShay noted, likely Sam Darnold and Josh Rosen will go one and two in the draft, so outside of a massive trade-up, the Jets won’t be in those sweepstakes.

Which puts the Jets in the Josh Allen (no freaking thank you) or Baker Mayfield (yes, please) conversation. Lets quickly evaluate both:

Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming

  • Height, weight, speed guy
  • McShay notes that “Allen has an elite arm and is a physical freak in terms of his skill set.”
  • But he struggled this season with poor competition. Very Christian Hackenberg-like evaluation in terms of strengths and weaknesses.

Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma

  • Opposite of Allen in terms of what you look for: short for a quarterback (listed at 6-foot-1) and possible maturity issues.
  • “Perhaps no prospect has improved his stock more in 2017 than Mayfield, who was my ninth-ranked QB coming into the season, with a midround grade. The Heisman winner is an exceptional leader and could play himself into the first round with a good showing in the College Football Playoff”, wrote McShay.
  • Mayfield’s stats jump off the page at you and his story is incredible as the first walk on to ever win the Heisman. But I’ve heard people make the comparison to Johnny Manziel which has to make you pause and think who you’re potentially bringing in as the face of your franchise.

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