New QB Draft Options Emerge as Potential Answer for Jets

Drake Maye, North Carolina

Getty North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye warming up ahead of a college football game.

If the 2024 NFL draft started today, the New York Jets would hold the No. 6 overall pick in the first round, per Tankathon.

However, the team has a clear path to potentially select even higher come April considering the team’s poor record (4-8). The Jets have lost five games in a row and are only favored in one more game for the rest of the season, according to ESPN’s FPI Analytics.

If the losing continues, Gang Green has an outside chance of landing the No. 2 overall pick in this draft.

Jets analyst Connor Rogers said if that happens, the decision should be clear for the green and white.

“If the Jets pick with a top-2 pick in this draft they better damn well take a quarterback. I don’t care what Aaron Rodgers thinks or who the GM is or whoever it may be,” Rogers explained on “The Badlands Podcast.”

The Top 2 QB Prizes Available in the 2024 NFL Draft

Rich Cimini of ESPN described Zach Wilson as a “lame-duck quarterback” in a column posted on Thursday, December 7.

“Wilson likely will be playing elsewhere in 2024,” Cimini stated.

If Cimini’s projections are accurate, that would leave the Jets with only one quarterback under contract for the 2024 season, Aaron Rodgers.

The Jets are expected to take a quarterback at some point during the upcoming draft, but the conversation hasn’t necessarily started in the first round because of the team’s commitment to Rodgers.

However, an opportunity at a young franchise quarterback may be too good of an opportunity to pass up.

Mel Kiper Jr of ESPN has quarterback Caleb Williams of USC as the No. 1 ranked player on his big board.

“Williams is a fabulous playmaker, and there are “wow” throws all over his tape, even going back to his freshman season at Oklahoma. He’s incredible [at] escaping the pocket and making off-platform throws, excelling when plays break down,” Kiper explained. “His improvisational skills are off the charts — it’s incredible how he can make the first defender miss and create first downs out of thin air.”

The other passer who is highly thought of in this class is Drake Maye out of North Carolina.

Kiper said, “He looks the part of a big-time NFL signal-caller. He can make every throw with ease. He’s accurate on the move and can pick up first downs with his legs.”

Jets-Patriots Rematch Could Have Historic Implications

Both quarterback prospects are projected to be selected inside the top three picks of April’s draft.

The Carolina Panthers are 1-11 and hold the top pick currently. However, it belongs to the Chicago Bears because of the blockbuster trade from 2022.

After that Panthers pick, there are two 3-win teams and five 4-win teams. All of those teams are competing for a top-eight pick and have a path to a top-two selection.

In Week 18 the Jets will finish the season in New England against the Patriots. While that game won’t have any playoff implications, it could have major draft implications.

New England currently holds the No. 2 overall pick, but they are only in front of the Jets by a single win. The Patriots have beaten Gang Green on 15 straight occasions which is the longest active such streak against any single opponent.

“If the Jets stay on the path that they’re on where they literally can’t score points. Them & New England could legitimately be facing off the final week of the NFL season & the loser of that game gets one of the top-2 quarterbacks of this draft,” Rodgers said.

The top tiebreaker for teams in the draft is strength of schedule. Gang Green has the SOS advantage over every team in front of them in the first round outside of the Bears.

If the Jets beat the Patriots they could end an embarrassing losing streak. Although it could deliver a young franchise QB to New England for the next decade.

On the other hand, Gang Green could absorb another loss to the Patriots, but get a new QB in the process. This on the surface meaningless late-season game could be something we talk about forever. No pressure.

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