While Jets fans keep an eye on their current head coaching search and try to envision the offseason blueprint, GM Mike Maccagnan could make a move right now that could bode well for his future and that of the Jets.
With the third overall pick in the draft and over $100 million in salary cap space, Maccagnan needs a strong offseason to surround franchise quarterback Sam Darnold with enough pieces to make the Jets playoff contenders sooner rather than later. With that being the case, Maccagnan should swallow his pride, pick up the phone, and place a call to the often troubled, but undeniably credible talent evaluator Scot McCloughan.
After being relieved of his duties as GM of the Washington Redskins, McCloughan was brought on board by the Cleveland Browns as consultant. The result? The Browns look to have hit a home run with several of last year’s picks, headlined by quarterback Baker Mayfeild, cornerback Denzel Ward (both first round picks), running back Bradley Chubb (2nd round) and wide receiver Antonio Calloway (4th round). Already a stellar draft.
With too many cooks in the kitchen, the Browns opted not to retain McCloughan despite a steady history of hitting home runs both late and early in the draft in every spot he’s worked in.
After bombing in his first draft, Maccagnan’s picks look to be improving. He has just Leonard Williams to show from that first class, but since then has added a potential franchise quarterback in Sam Darnold along with All Pro safety Jamal Adams. Behind that pair, the Jets have tight end Chris Herndon, right tackle Brandon Shell, outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins. Then there are a couple of question marks who have played well in safety Marcus Maye and linebacker Darron Lee. There are several other young players who have impressed at times but saw limited reps under Todd Bowles.
Is it entirely out of the question that the likes of Jordan Leggett, Eli McGuire, Derrick Jones, Trenton Cannon and cornerback Parry Nickerson won’t develop in to quality players? We’ll have to wait to find out.
While we’re waiting, Maccagnan should be doing the exact opposite and act now. Go out and get McCloughan who, aside from his aforementioned work with the Browns, has had stops with the Seattle Seahawks, San Francisco 49ers as the VP of player personnel and general manager while wearing the GM hat with the Seattle Seahawks.
In that time, he was directly responsible or involved in drafting Alex Smith, Frank Gore, Vernon Davis, Delaine Walker, Michael Crabtree, Russell Okung,Earl Thomas, Golden Tate, Kam Chancellor,Richard Sherman, Russell Wilson, Patrick Willis, Brandon Scherff, Jamison Crowder and Dashon Goldson along with several mid to low-level contributors.
The fact that McCloughan is still available is due to his battles with alcohol, and it’s the only reason he’s not a general manger today. If McCloughan is willing and able to step in and take on an advisory role for Gang Green, the Jets should send a private jet to his home and get him in to Florham Park as the Jets continue building their draft board and get to work at putting pieces in place to help Sam Darnold elevate his game to the next level.