Baker Mayfield
(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

The New York Jets final record will determine what position they have in the 2018 NFL draft which means that alone may determine who the face of the franchise will be in 2018 and beyond. 

The New York Jets finish the 2017 season on Sunday with a road contest against the AFC East champion and defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots.

One question that is on everyone’s mind revolves around positioning for the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft

Here is the current draft position heading into Week 17:

  1. Browns: 0-15
  2. Giants: 2-13
  3. Colts: 3-12
  4. Browns: 4-11 (from Texans)
  5. Buccaneers: 4-11
  6. Broncos: 5-10
  7. Jets: 5-10
  8. 49ers: 5-10
  9. Bears: 5-10
  10. Bengals: 6-9

Looking at the current draft order, the Jets find themselves in the number seven position. Remember, the Jets losses to the Buccaneers and Broncos mean nothing in determining draft order. Overall ties are broken by strength of schedule, which is a calculation of the combined record of all of a team’s opponents in that year, with divisional opponents counting twice.

Looking at the possible scenarios for Week 17, it is impossible for the Jets to pass Houston since their strength of schedule is currently 10 games over .500 and the Texans are just four games over .500.

That means the Jets can automatically finish no higher than fifth. Assuming a Jets loss to the Patriots, they would need the Broncos and Buccaneers to both win. That is the only way the Jets can reach the fifth overall spot in the 2018 NFL Draft.

If the Broncos and Jets finish tied, Denver would receive the tiebreaker because they have a worse strength of schedule (Denver’s SOS is currently eight games under .500). If Denver loses to Kansas City, that would push the Jets out of the top five.

The Jets will also finish outside of the top five if the Buccaneers lose. However, if Jets and Buccaneers finished tied, the Jets will hold the tiebreaker because Tampa’s SOS is currently 18 games over .500.

If the Jets win, they would most likely push themselves out of the top 10. I am basing that on the fact that the Bears (at Minnesota), the 49ers (at Rams) and Bengals (at Ravens) all play games against current playoff teams on the road which those teams need to win to help secure better playoff positioning.

Most likely, the Jets will stay right where they are, which would probably not secure them one of the three quarterbacks they are hoping to draft.

Assuming the Browns, Giants and Broncos draft the top three quarterbacks on the draft board (Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen and Baker Mayfield), that would leave the Jets with quarterbacks most experts are predicting would go outside the first round. After the Christian Hackenberg mistake in 2015, it is hard to imagine the Jets drafting another quarterback that is not a cannot miss first round talent.

If the Jets do not draft a quarterback in the first round, they could still hope to draft one later. Depending on how the first two rounds go, they might still find Lamar Jackson, Luke Falk or Mason Rudolph on the board in the third or fourth round.

The success the Jets had with their 2017 NFL draft gives fans hope that Mike Maccagnan and Todd Bowles will make the right decisions in the 2018 draft.

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