The New York Jets are rumored to be one of the teams looking to draft a quarterback with their first-round draft pick. However, what happens if the Jets miss out on the top quarterback prospects?
A top priority for the New York Jets this offseason will be to address the quarterback position. As they have relied on short-term options over the past few seasons, the franchise will look to finally find their long-term solution.
The 2018 NFL Draft is full of talented quarterbacks. From Wyoming’s Josh Allen and USC’s Sam Darnold to Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield and UCLA’s Josh Rosen, this draft features a handful of talented signal-callers who have the ability to make a huge impact at the next level.
As rumors and mock drafts surface, the Jets are believed to be one of the teams that are looking to draft a quarterback. The Jets are currently slated to have the sixth overall pick and should be in contention to select one of the top available quarterbacks.
However, it’s nearly impossible to predict the NFL Draft. Unless they trade up, there’s a possibility that the Jets could miss out on getting one of the top quarterback prospects.
If the Jets fail to land a quarterback in the first round, they will have to fill another need with the sixth pick. Let’s take a look at some possible non-quarterback first-round options for the Jets.
Saquon Barkley, Running Back, Penn State
You could definitely make a case that Saquon Barkley is the best overall player in this year’s draft class.
After a stellar three-year career at Penn State, it was almost a guarantee that Barkley would forgo his senior season to enter the NFL Draft. Barkley has the ability and skillset to make an immediate impact at the NFL level.
There’s a very good possibility that Barkley will be at least a top-five overall pick. However, if the talented running back happens to fall to the Jets, he’d be very hard to pass up.
Quenton Nelson, Guard, Notre Dame
The Jets offensive line has seen its share of struggles over the past few seasons. It’s likely that Gang Green will look to address this issue this offseason, and could draft Quenton Nelson to help start the rebuilding process.
Nelson was valued as a possible first-round pick after his junior season but decided to stay at Notre Dame for his senior campaign. The decision worked out in his favor, as he had an extra year to improve his overall game and value.
Heading into the 2018 NFL Draft, the Holmdel, New Jersey native is regarded as the top offensive guard prospect available. Nelson has the size, strength and ability to be an instant starter on the Jets offensive line.
Bradley Chubb, Defensive End, NC State
Leonard Williams was considered the top defensive prospect available in the 2015 NFL Draft. The talented defensive end fell to the Jets, who took him with the sixth overall pick.
Could history repeat itself in this upcoming draft?
A lot of draft talk has surrounded the offensive players (particularly the quarterbacks) but there are still some very good defensive players in this class. Among the best defensive prospects available is Bradley Chubb out of NC State.
Chubb is coming off an outstanding senior season, as he recorded 73 tackles (25 for loss) along with 10 sacks and three forced fumbles. The senior defensive end has given opposing offensives nightmares and will look to continue that trend in the pros.
As Muhammad Wilkerson’s tenure with the Jets is likely over, Gang Green could use another pass rusher to go alongside Williams. With a defensive-minded head coach in Todd Bowles, the Jets would find ways to utilize Chubb’s strengths to get the most out of the talented edge rusher.
Courtland Sutton, Wide Receiver, Southern Methodist
Wide receiver might not be at the top of the Jets “priority list,” but they may be interested in adding an offensive playmaker into the mix.
Courtland Sutton is a big, physical receiver who has the potential to be a playmaker in the NFL. Over his last two collegiate seasons, Sutton has hauled in 144 passes for 2,331 yards and 22 touchdowns.
The Jets have a few receivers that are scheduled to return next season, specifically Robby Anderson, Quincy Enunwa and Jermaine Kearse, but none of the receivers on the roster have the skillset and size that Sutton possesses. Sutton would add another dimension to the Jets offense.
It may be a long shot, but the Jets should take a look at Sutton. He has the potential to be a very good wide receiver in the NFL for a very long time.
That said, a quarterback should (and probably will be) the Jets’ top priority in this year’s draft. However, in the event that the Jets miss out on those top signal callers, the organization should be prepared to find the player who can best help fill one of the team’s other needs.