The New York Jets have plenty of options ahead of them when it comes to who will man the quarterback position next season, but they should focus on the one player no one is talking about.
There is a very good chance that the New York Jets will acquire a quarterback in free agency this offseason. Kirk Cousins, Case Keenum, Sam Bradford and Teddy Bridgewater are among those available.
While Cousins may be a long-term fix for the winner of the sweepstakes, the others could be a stopgap to a quarterback in development or one chosen in this year’s NFL Draft.
Many believe that the Minnesota Vikings have the inside track on acquiring Cousins. A stacked defense, reliable receivers and a budding star in Dalvin Cook will certainly be appealing to Cousins in his decision.
While there is plenty of uncertainty of what the Jets can offer yet, they will address many holes this offseason with an abundance of cap space. It’s a big question mark at this point and won’t be known before Cousins is signed.
General manager Mike Maccagnan will have contingency plans if he is unable to secure Cousins. Both Keenum or Bridgwater will cost considerably less but may be able to hold down the fort until a drafted quarterback is ready or Christian Hackenberg miraculously becomes an NFL starter.
If the Jets find themselves looking from the outside in on the big four quarterback prospects, avoiding the position with the sixth pick isn’t out of the question. While it would be ideal to select Baker Mayfield, Josh Allen, Josh Rosen or Sam Darnold to sit for a year or two, the Jets having the sixth pick in the draft rather than a top five pick may prevent this.
Enter Oklahoma State quarterback, Mason Rudolph. Rudolph has fallen a bit off the radar since the end of the College Football season.
Some of that may be due to the fact he played with great wide receiving talent and in a spread offense. Regardless Rudolph’s season stats are hard to ignore.
He ranked top five in the nation in yards, touchdowns and passing efficiency according to sports-reference.com. As a three-year starter at Oklahoma State, he’s only improved.
Where other quarterback’s durability is questioned, Rudolph has only missed one start. He’s big, strong and accurate through the air. In a league where passing is taking center stage, Rudolph is the model for the future of the quarterback position.
Maccagnan has a great opportunity to build the team, with a player like Rudolph in mind. By using the cap space he has to bring in a veteran quarterback, build the offensive line and fill holes on the defense, Maccagnan can get aggressive during the NFL Draft.
Trading a few places back to select Rudolph and add more assets may not be what the Jets faithful want. For the long run, it may be what this fanbase needs.
Out of all of the top quarterback prospects, Rudolph feels like the most underrated. Like Ben Roethlisberger during the famous draft of 2004, he may turn out to be the best.
If the New York Jets miss out on Cousins, a plan to get Rudolph in the green and white should be a contingency plan.