Baker Mayfield
Robby Sabo, ESNY Graphic, Getty Images

Mike Maccagnan and the New York Jets will have already failed with flying colors if Rodger Goodell calls out the name of Baker Mayfield in the three hole.

Six days from now, it’ll be officially on.

Roger Goodell will lazily stroll to the podium with an unmerciful raining of boos pouring down from the Dallas crowd to call out the very first pick of the 2018 NFL Draft, via the Cleveland Browns. He’ll next call out a name for the New York Giants or whichever team gives up the farm for a potential franchise game-changing quarterback.

What comes next is when the real lightning-rod anticipation begins—the New York Jets selection at No. 3.

For years, Radio City Music Hall was the only home of the NFL Draft. The annual event always housed fans of all 32 fanbases, but those who wore green and white always stuck out from the crowd. Fans knew it, the league knew it, and even the broadcast by way of both NFL Network and ESPN knew it. Positive or negative, the reaction coming from that New York Jets contingent would be priceless.

Twenty-eighteen provides the makings of a mutiny, and for great reason.

Should the Jets select Baker Mayfield at No. 3, they will have already failed and unfortunately, it has very little to do with the Big 12 gunslinger himself. It boils down to pure football personnel logic.

This is isn’t a normal situation.

First came the “Suck for Sam” campaign that plagued the franchise the very moment Daniel Jeremiah of NFL Network uttered the organization employed the worst personnel in the league at the 2017 draft. Cutting the likes of over-the-hill veterans like Darrelle Revis, David Harris and Eric Decker furthered the narrative. While the intelligent football heads understood most of the football media was sorely mistaken, the vibes of tanking marched on.

Finishing 5-11 awarded the organization with the No. 6 selection and in a QB-heavy class featuring four potential franchise arms, one was guaranteed to fall to six. The Browns own one and four, guaranteeing that one of the two picks would be non-QB. The Indianapolis Colts were up at No. 3, again, providing the top 10 with a second non-QB pick (thanks to Andrew Luck‘s contract and overall situation).

At six, the Jets were guaranteed one of these four: Sam Darnold, Josh Allen, Josh Rosen or Baker Mayfield.

Of course, Mike Maccagnan pulled off a major move. To move up three spots (from six to three), he relented both of the Jets second-round picks along with another in 2019.

New York Jets
Robby Sabo, ESNY Graphic, Getty Images

How could anybody justify the selection of Baker Mayfield at No. 3 when such assets were dished out? He’d be a Jet at six.

Recent rumors have the Jets and Mayfield tied at the hip, even in the three hole. The word is literally everywhere, the latest coming from Tony Pauline of Draft Analyst who called Mayfield to the Jets a “done deal.”

What “done deal” means is anybody’s guess. I mean, come on, now. This is the NFL freaking Draft. Nothing’s a done deal no matter how much you wish it. But when it comes to certain thinking on the part of the Jets front office, a few notables surface.

  • The Jets favor two of the four quarterbacks: Sam Darnold and Baker Mayfield.
  • The Jets are in-love with Baker Mayfield, a terribly-kept secret that’s leaked.
  • The Jets were so afraid of not having one of the two fall to them at six that they gave up the farm to move a mere three spots.

Of course, this can all be a smokescreen. Releasing certain information to certain outlets with the Mayfield hype could only be a game within the bigger game en route to a franchise-changing decision.

The real question is this, “Do we really believe the Jets are that cunning?”

As soon as the regular season ended, it was clear Maccagnan and the Jets were in on the eventual $30 million man, Kirk Cousins. Never did that sentiment waver and held true up until the point Cousins, thankfully, actually signed with the Minnesota Vikings. Why would the Mayfield noise be any different and could you actually come up with an example of a successful smokescreen created and leaked by Maccagnan?

Let’s forget about the authenticity of rumors for now. What’s important is actual value come next Thursday night. If Roger Goodell spouts out the name of Baker Mayfield in the three spot, it would mean at least one of the four quarterbacks are still in the pool, most likely two in Josh Allen and Josh Rosen, two guys most place well above Mayfield in terms of rankings.

And that’s where the real rub comes in. Due to the fact the majority of the league has Mayfield ranked as the clear-cut fourth out of four in the pool, there was no reason to relent such value if the Baker love affair is real. Mayfield could easily be a Jet with two prime spots awaiting them in the second round, hopefully, to help such a horrid offensive line.

To make up the assets lost, this kid will have to turn out to be Joe Montana. Seriously.

Remember, this isn’t a normal No. 3 pick. This is a No. 3 pick in which three second-round selections were sacrificed. To select a kid at three who could have easily been there at six is not only ridiculous, it appropriately brings back that feeling of “same old Jets.”

Don’t be confused. I love the idea of going out and “getting that guy your heart desires.” When you love a guy, you should get that guy. But in this instance, there’s much more than one guy. There are four.

Should the New York Jets take Baker Mayfield next Thursday night, failing in terms of personnel value is just the beginning of a long, rough road. If true, it’s the “same old Jets” and same-old Mike Maccagnan who’ll add to his unforgettable QB blusters.

Bryce Petty. Christian Hackenberg. Baker Mayfield (plus three second-round picks).

9 COMMENTS

  1. And if Darnold falls to 3, they’ll take him, and be called geniuses…get a grip with this article, it’s nonsensical and also filled with alternative facts such as “the majority of the league has Mayfield ranked as the clear-cut fourth out of four”. What is this statement based on? From what most people have seen, Allen is actually thought of as the 4th because of historical performance, but with the potential to be a stud. Some have said the Browns love him, but most have said he’s a huge risk. If the former is true and CLE takes him, and Darnold is still there at 3, how much draft capital do you think the Colts would’ve expected on draft day if they hadn’t traded #3 away to the Jets? It could have been a bidding war.

    • … if they take Darnold? This angle is all about “if they take Mayfield after trading 3 second rounders.”

      If they take Darnold or Rosen, it falls completely outside of these words.

      The angle here isn’t “Jets are wrong for moving up to 3.”

      It’s “Jets will be wrong if they chose Mayfield after moving up to 3.”

      • If Darnold is available at 3, do you think they’ll take anyone BUT him? If they take Mayfield at 3 it’s because Darnold was taken already. So your “angle” is irrational, especially bc you can’t say with any certainty that ANY of the 4 QBs would have been left at 6. NYG/IND do not currently need a QB & CLE has 2 picks. 3 out of the top 4 picks are worth top dollar to QB-needy teams. Josh Allen is technically the worst rated, Rosen isn’t a great fit in a mobile West Coast system, therefore, a move up to 3 nearly guarantees you get one of the two who fit well. NYJ didn’t move up FOR Mayfield, they moved up to get someone who fits their system.

        • If we are to believe all the talk that’s happening now then yes I would expect the Jets to take Baker Mayfield instead of Sam Darnold. Or we can do is pray that all the talk is just one elaborate smokescreen.

  2. Your assumption that Mayfield was guaranteed to be there are 6 is fundamentally flawed. Let me show you all the ways that it is. First of all you assume that the Browns will take a QB at 1. While it may be somewhat unlikely in our minds the possibility absolutely exists they go with Barkley at 1 and take their QB at 4 so they can guarantee themselves Barkley and one of Darnold, Allen, Rosen, or Mayfield. Picking the QB 1st puts that plan in serious jeopardy. You also assume that there are no trades into the top 5 by a team who needs a QB. I would say it is more likely then not that Buffalo makes a move into the top 5 somewhere for a QB. If the Bills were to somehow move to 2, 4, or 5 your entire argument is out the window. You also assume that the Giants will not take a QB. I happen to agree with you there but what if they do? What if we were still at six and the Bills make a trade with the Colts instead of us and now they are three instead of us. And lets assume for this scenario that the Giants are picking a QB. On draft day you would have the Browns, Giants, Bills taking QB’s with the first 3 picks. Then what happens if the Browns decide to trade out of the 4th pick to a QB needy team. Let’s say the Cardinals. Or worse the Pats. Now that’s 4 QB’s gone. OR lets say the Browns stay put at 4 in this scenario and pick a non QB and then the Broncos wind up taking the last of the Big 4 just before the Jets pick at 6. The point is there are too many potential scenarios where the Jets could see themselves outside looking in to have stayed at 6. To assume that Mayfield would be there at 6 is to delude yourself. While it is certainly possible that he would have been there is no way to be certain of this. The front office obviously have conviction on at least three of them so they got themselves in position to guarantee themselves at least one. I commend them for that. But if they gave away three 2nd rounders for Baker Mayfield I will be one angry Jet fan. All this talk better be a really elaborate smoke screen. Giving away all those picks better result in either Sam Darnold or Josh Rosen.

    • Agreed, it is flawed. When it comes to the draft, every logical narrative is flawed in some way. However, even if the Jints traded down, the Browns and Colts account for two non-QB slots.

      Just feel this was such a special, abnormal QB class in which relenting 3 second rounders to snag a guy that could have easy been there at 6 will be devastating.

      • I totally agree with you there. If we don’t come away with Sam Darnold or Josh Rosen after trading those three second rounders we failed. I realize lots of fans are clamoring for Baker Mayfield but I just don’t think he’s the answer. Plus there’s way too much risk involved with making that pick. Mike McCagnan’s job is on the line with this pick. Will he really take the riskiest player possible being that is the case? I seriously hope not.

  3. Dont agree at all. Not guaranteed he would be there at all. Especially with Buffalo primed to move up further Also we gave up 2md rounders. Sorry but we haven’t been stellar getting stars in the 2nd round anyways.

    • I agree with this. I was not really in favor of the trade..but that does not matter. Cleveland and Denver could easily have traded their picks and then Jets get….? a dlineman….If they have 3 QB’s that they really like then this was the way to go. There was never any guarantee at six. Now having said that i don’t want to see the jets draft a qb for about another 8 years or so.