John Elway Dave Gettleman Jon Gruden
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The No. 3 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft is on the market yet the question remains, “Who would trade up with the New York Jets?”

Michael Nania

It’s no secret that Mike Maccagnan and the New York Jets are in pursuit of an opportunity to trade down in the first round of the upcoming draft. It makes a lot of sense for New York.

The team’s roster still has quite a few holes and they don’t have enough draft ammunition to fill them all. A trade reeling in a treasure chest of selections would be a beautiful acquisition for the Jets to recoup what was lost in the Sam Darnold trade.

With all that said, it takes two to tango.

Who wants to dance with the New York Jets?

OAKLAND RAIDERS

After appearing to break out in the 2016 season, Derek Carr has plateaued a bit over the past two seasons. His performance level has been average at best, perhaps more accurately described as below average.

While another season with Carr at the helm is palpable, the Raiders could absolutely be seeking an aggressive move at a new franchise face.

Oakland is in possession of the fourth overall pick. A trade up with the Jets would mean an advancement of only one selection. In order for this to make sense for the Raiders, the trade market for the third pick would have to catch fire between multiple teams. Oakland would need to be in a position where they’d be pressured into winning a bidding war to beat out another team for their quarterback.

In 2017, the Bears traded up one spot with the 49ers to select quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, jumping from the third slot to the second. San Francisco received a healthy package in return. They acquired Chicago’s third and fourth round selections in 2017 in addition to third round selection in 2018.

New York Jets

If the quarterback class gains a lot of momentum over the next few weeks, interest in the Jets’ selection could proliferate. A swap with Oakland could become plausible, and the Jets could net a package similar to the one San Francisco received.

The one-spot trade down is the ultimate coup. The team moving down isn’t missing out on a prospect they were interested in, and still gets to select from their favorite options on the board. They collect assets and lose nothing.

It seems like a pipe dream, but a trade down with Oakland could find its way on to the table.

NEW YORK GIANTS

Everyone in the tri-state area knows that the Jets and Giants do not trade with each other. They haven’t done it before, and I doubt they are itching to do it in the future.

Regardless, circumstances might force the in-stadium rivals to suck it up and work things out for the sake for their own futures. The Giants desperately need a viable successor to Eli Manning. The Jets need more draft picks to plug up their roster.

Each team has what the other covets. The Jets can give the Giants a guaranteed shot at one of the three best quarterbacks on their board. The Giants own 12 picks in this year’s draft, tied for the most in the league.

The Giants also grabbed the seventeenth overall pick from the Browns in the Odell Beckham trade, giving them another enticing piece to use in a move-up.

A swap between the Jets and Giants makes a lot of sense. Will they set their differences aside and discuss a move?

WASHINGTON REDSKINS

Washington’s first year of the post-Kirk Cousins era was ultimately a disaster.

The Redskins traded for Alex Smith and paid him to be their franchise quarterback. He had them at 6-4 and atop the NFC East after 10 games—until his season ended with a terrifying leg injury. Smith now seems doubtful to be able to play in 2020. Whether or not he’ll ever play in the NFL again is also up in the air.

Disaster ensued following Smith’s injury. The Redskins rotated between Colt McCoy, Mark Sanchez, and Josh Johnson, going 1-5 under the leadership of that trio. Over their final six games of the season, the Redskins posted the worst passer rating (62.6) of any team in the league.

Eli Manning Alex Smith
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The Redskins did add Case Keenum this offseason, but they still need a long-term answer.

Washington owns the fifteenth pick of the first round. If the Jets slid down from three all the way down to the mid-first, they would likely be bringing in a strong package. That trade could net the Jets a second and third round pick in this year’s draft in addition to a future selection.

OTHER POSSIBILITIES

Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins are tanking. Period. With Ryan Tannehill out and Ryan Fitzpatrick in, Miami’s search for their next franchise quarterback has begun.

The question is – will Miami strike this year, or wait for next year’s class? The Dolphins, who own the thirteenth pick in this year’s draft, are in the position to have a much higher selection in next year’s first round. The 2019 quarterback group is generally viewed as weak, but the 2020 crop could be highlighted by Tua Tagovailoa and Trevor Lawrence.

Even if the Dolphins did want to climb the ladder, would the Jets really want to give a division rival the opportunity to select their franchise quarterback?

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay is in a similar boat to Oakland. With Jameis Winston, they already have a homegrown young quarterback who they previously spent a high draft pick on. Winston has proved to be a solid starter in the NFL but has not been able to elevate into the upper echelons of the league.

The Bucs could definitely make a quarterback move, but whether or not they actually will is still up in the air.

Denver Broncos

The Broncos made a move for Joe Flacco, but one would assume that the team isn’t planning to roll with him beyond 2019. Denver still needs their next young passer—an asset John Elway has notoriously struggled to find.

However, with Flacco aboard, the Broncos have time. They can allow a young quarterback to sit behind Flacco for a year, or hold off their quarterback move until next year.

With the security afforded by Flacco, the Broncos (who own the tenth overall pick) might not feel the need to be overly aggressive for a signal-caller in the 2019 Draft.

There is no shortage of potential partners for the New York Jets, but will they find the one who offers the package they want?

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