New York Jets owner Woody Johnson put a quick end to any and all speculation regarding the futures of Head Coach Rex Ryan and General Manager John Idzik following their season ending victory in Miami by announcing their firings. This of course means that most Jets fans will soon be turning their attention to the NFL draft.
The Jets’ dismal 4-12 season currently places them at number six overall, a pick that should be good enough to garner an elite player, but a now unsettled front office leads to even more question marks about the direction that the Jets may go. That will remain the case until a new General Manger and Head Coach are put in place.
Quarterback is still the number one need of this franchise. Despite a strong performance in week 17 to close out the season, don’t expect the any new regime to view Geno Smith as the answer. While he will likely be back and given the opportunity to compete, Smith has been so wildly inconsistent and often careless with the football that he should only be kept around for three reasons, none of those being his on field production.
- At 24, he’s young enough to turn things around, no matter how unlikely it may be.
- He’s still playing on his rookie contract as a second round pick which makes his cap hit a negligible $1.5 million for a team projected to have over $40 million in cap space.
- Lack of better options. This year’s free-agent QB class doesn’t have much talent. Several players available wouldn’t offer much of an upgrade over Smith at this point. Brian Hoyer may be the best of a weak bunch and he wasn’t able to hold off rookie Johnny Manziel in Cleveland in a contract year.
If the Jets New GM, whoever it may be, likes either Marcus Mariota or Jameis Winston enough that they believe they can be franchise quarterbacks, then that sixth pick could be packaged to grab one of the two, as neither seem like they will be available when the Jets are on the clock.
Here is how the first 10 picks break down:
1. Tampa Bay (2-14)
2. Tennessee (2-14)
3. Jacksonville (3-13)
4. Oakland (3-13)
5. Washington (4-12)
6. N.Y. Jets (4-12)
7. Chicago (5-11)
8. Atlanta (6-10)
9. N.Y. Giants (6-10)
10. St. Louis (6-10)