Sam Darnold, New York Jets
(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

The New York Jets thankfully traded up early to the No. 3 pick and because of that got the best player in the NFL Draft in Sam Darnold.

Finally, the New York Jets and I have something in common. We like looking for deals, but we don’t like sacrificing quality, a first-world problem you could say.

The New York Jets paid a small price by trading up a month ahead of the NFL Draft to ensure their position to get one of the top quarterbacks with the No. 3 pick. It just so happened that they were able to snag USC’s Sam Darnold.

Now I’m not going to pretend that the Jets knew that Darnold would be on the board, because they didn’t. It was a calculated risk.

Here’s the definition of calculated risk, courtesy of the Merriam-Webster Dictionary:


“A hazard or chance of failure whose degree of probability has been reckoned or estimated before some undertaking is entered upon.”

In other words, it’s taking a gamble while still having a trump card in your back pocket if things go wrong.

New York Jets

Math says that, at worst, the Jets would’ve gotten the third-best quarterback in the NFL Draft, but logic said otherwise. The Jets have a team of guys that study other teams’ mannerisms and make educated guesses on their draft board.

One of the worst-kept secrets in the draft was that the New York Giants were madly in love with Saquon Barkley and didn’t want to lose him. That suggested to the Jets that they would now have their pick of the second-best quarterback in this draft.

The only unknown left was who the hell the Cleveland Browns were going to take?

We knew that it would be a quarterback, but which one? This was a pick your poison kind of year, one in which everyone seemingly had different opinions on all of the top guys. Fortunately for the Jets, the Browns’ choice was Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield.

So, long story short: Because the Jets traded up a month early, what many considered at the time to be a crazy move wound up being a stroke of genius.

Now the Jets have the franchise quarterback of their dreams and all they had to give up were three future second-round draft choices. A steep price to pay, but consider this.

The Buffalo Bills waited until draft day to make their trade up and they had to give up two second-round picks. Right there, it goes to show how the price for these picks goes up the closer you get to draft day.

So if you would’ve told me that you could have Josh Allen for two second round picks and a first-round pick or Sam Darnold for just one more second round pick, I would’ve said “Where do I sign off on this?”

I believe the saying goes, “a rich man’s tastes on a poor man’s budget.” The Jets maximized their position, got a little lucky, and now have a quarterback for the next 10-to-15 years,

I’d say that calculated risk worked out just as the Jets drew it up. Or at least, something like that.

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