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.
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).