They might not have No.1, but they still are in line for a quality selection.
A 23-20 victory against the Los Angeles Rams puts the team at 1-13 and knocks them out of the No. 1 position in the upcoming NFL Draft. We all know this, the memes have been made and jokes have been tweeted, but the time has come to face reality: What do the Jets do now?
While Jaguars fans rejoice knowing they’ve taken the edge in the Trevor Lawrence tanking job, Jets fans are taking it hard. But all is not lost for the Jets, even though it seems like somehow this unforgivably bad season somehow just got a little bit worse.
Not having the No. 1 pick in a draft with what could be a transcendent franchise quarterback is obviously not a good thing. New York does not have a Trevor Lawrence-size problem, it has many problems of all shapes and sizes that no single player is good enough to fix on his own.
It’s okay for Jets fans to be upset that the tanking for Trevor has resulted in nothing more than the No. 2 pick, but there’s an argument to be made that the silver lining is almost as sweet as what New York lost out on.
What happens now for the Jets?
Attention turns now to the No.2 selection and what should gang green do.
The answer isn’t going to be an easy sell for a fanbase that held the No. 1 pick for the first 14 weeks of the season. But New York’s best option in the draft is to willingly move further away from the No. 1 pick by trading down and amassing as much draft value as it can.
That’s right, trade down. With the No. 1 pick now a pipe dream, the Jets should pivot towards gaining as much draft capital as possible to fix the numerous issues that plague the roster.
Justin Fields is a flashy player, but he’s nowhere near the same stratosphere as Lawrence. The reasoning the Ohio State product likely was considered the No. 2 selection with Jacksonville is the offensive upside in Duval County.
Offensive upside is a foreign concept to the Jets at the moment. If Lawrence isn’t singularly good enough to fix the Jets, neither is Fields. Plus, the assets the Jets could get by trading with a quarterback-needy team that suddenly has a shot at a top prospect is way too good to pass up.
Trading down wouldn’t mean missing out on landing a quarterback of the future. BYU’s Zach Wilson, who highly-touted for his deep ball attack, thrives under pressure and excels at throwing on the run. But he’s not a bonafide top-five selection, meaning the Jets could trade out of the No. 2 spot and still grab their guy likely somewhere in the 6-10 range.
Grab more first-round picks and build around Wilson’s potential? Not the worst compensation for a team with more problems than traffic on the New Jersey turnpike.
The franchise could try to fix Darnold, or they could start fresh with a new signal-caller. More than that, it’s about garnering as many picks to fix the offense this season for whoever lines up under center.
The quarterback of the future still could be in 2021’s draft —just trade back and get more bang for your buck instead of betting it all at No.2.