By now, you'll have heard that the Jets gave up three second round picks in order to move up from the sixth spot to the third spot in the first round of next month's NFL draft.
Most people are assuming this is so the Jets can ensure themselves one of the top quarterback prospects who will then be developed into the quarterback of the future. The Jets already signed Teddy Bridgewater and re-signed Josh McCown in free agency, but both are only under contract for this season.
Let's take in some of the reactions online:
Thats a terrific job for the #Jets to ensure they get a QB— Jason_OTC (@Jason_OTC) March 17, 2018
OK, so Jason likes the trade - assuming they've secured themselves that quarterback as expected. Let's check in on the Jets' play-by-play guy:
Additional perspective on Jets trade— Bob Wischusen (@espnbob) March 17, 2018
They’re now in line to turn 2 2nd rd picks and Sheldon Richardson (who they were never resigning anyway) into Jermaine Kearse AND a potential franchise QB..
I’ll say it again...if you don’t like what they’ve done you’re out of your mind
That's...aggressive. Let's see if we can find some people who are "out of their mind".
So the Jets spent 25 million in 2018 cap space and gave up picks 37, 49 and a 2019 second to jump 3 spots and end up with Bridgewater, McCown and the 3rd best rookie QB in a polarizing hit-or-miss QB draft? I just want to make sure I have this straight.— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) March 17, 2018
Yeah...no, you don't. The Jets didn't use up $25 million of 2018 cap space. Reportedly $10 million of the money in Bridgewater's contract is incentive-based. Given how he barely played last year, that means that even if he manages to earn any of the incentives, they won't count against the 2018 cap. Who else can we find that wants to mock the Jets?
The #Jets now have Bridgewater, the #3 pick (another QB), no one for them to throw to and no other high round picks to use on weapons. Interesting ...— Mike Tanier 📎 (@MikeTanier) March 17, 2018
Yeah...this is what you were saying last year and the wide receivers played well. And that was despite the fact that arguably the most talented one of them missed the entire season. Many people who actually watched the Jets last year felt that using assets on pass-catchers would have been overkill. Still, Tanier wasn't the only one with a negative view of the trade:
Jets gave up way too much — unless the QB they take is a 12-year starter who is a six-time Pro Bowler. We won’t know that for some time.— Pete Prisco (@PriscoCBS) March 17, 2018
Even if the Jets made a good move, it'll be a long time before we can evaluate how good the move was, so that means it's a bad move! Come on, that's crazy talk. Who will be the voice of reason here?
One other note, the trade chart does not factor when a team is competing with other teams for a QB., QB trades don't have a chart. Position and talent determine the value of the chart.— Michael Lombardi (@mlombardiNFL) March 17, 2018
Wait a minute. Was Mike hacked or something? The point on value is a smart one though. And the Jets may have saved themselves from having to pay even more:
Imagine how much a trade-up would have cost on draft day? Being critical is fun until you expose yourself as an idiot— Drew (@DrewfromJersey) March 17, 2018
Heh. I remember that guy. Let's close on this, which probably sums up our thoughts on it closer than any of the others:
No team can consistently beat the draft, but having more picks is better than fewer picks. 2nd round picks are very valuable. Giving up three of them is an enormous haul.— Football Perspective (@fbgchase) March 17, 2018
To do that you have to be confident you are smarter than everyone else or that the 3rd pick is a superstar.
Having attended the pro days for Baker Mayfield and Josh Rosen over the past couple of days, Mike Maccagnan has presumably satisfied himself that there's a good chance of this. We'll find out in the fullness of time if he was right.
Some other thoughts:
Could it be that the top non-quarterbacks in the draft were influential in this decision? Ordinarily, the Jets - sitting at six - might be happy to take one of the top non-quarterbacks if the quarterbacks they like didn't fall to them. However, even if five quarterbacks went with the first five picks, what are you left with? A running back and a guard (two positions many experts believe should never be selected that high, no matter how good they are) - a couple of safeties (which the team doesn't need) and an edge rusher and a couple of cornerbacks that not everyone is sold on as worthy of a top six selection.
One key factor to this deal for the Jets - it ensures that the Bills and Dolphins can't both trade ahead of them and, probably, neither will. Prior to this deal, Miami and Buffalo at four and five taking two of the top quarterbacks out was looking likely.
On the assumption that the Jets targeted three because they have a couple of quarterbacks they like, but not necessarily a strong preference for one in particular, would trading back from four to five be a possibility if the draft falls right? If two of their preferences are still on the board at that point maybe they could recoup one of the second rounders and also block the Bills and Dolphins from being able to move up to five.
What are your thoughts on the trade?
Elaborate on your vote in the comments section.
BONUS LINK: Jason LaCanfora with some in-depth analysis (including a suggestion that maybe the Jets will flip Josh McCown for a pick now).