Bowles & Maccagnan: Pre-Draft Thoughts

Posted Apr 10, 2015

HC & GM Go to the Airwaves, Discuss Offseason Happenings at One Jets Drive

Close to 3,500 Jets Season Ticket Holders participated in the Green & White’s pre-draft conference call on Thursday. Jets GM Mike Maccagnan and head coach Todd Bowles took a quick break from free agency & draft preparation in order to speak to a reinvigorated fanbase.  Here are some of the highlights…

Sitting Pretty at Six: After taking advantage of financial flexibility in free agency, Maccagnan likes where his team is currently positioned in the first round.

“Sitting at (No.) 6 is a very good spot to be in. It does allow us the potential to move up in the draft because we’re not very far from the first pick. We do think there will be good players available at 6,” he said. “And then the other thing at 6, you’re probably going to have somebody slide through there to that pick where other teams may want to come up and potentially trade up for that pick.”

30,000 Feet: Bowles, a successful NFL defensive assistant for 15 years, is focused on the defense, offense and special teams units. When asked about his excitement about a defense that will feature a revamped secondary, the AP’s 2014 Assistant Coach of the Year quickly transitioned to the big picture.

“We have some really good players up front.  I think Mike has signed a lot of great players in the secondary too,” he said. “I’m excited about the whole team because I’m not just a defensive coach anymore.”

Tie Goes to Need: By now, you’ve heard of the Jets’ philosophy of taking the best player available. But Maccagnan acknowledged today there are tiebreaker scenarios.

“You do factor in need at times when say for example you have a lot of players rated in the same area like in terms of grade and value. Sometimes you can use need as sort of your tiebreaker if you want to go in a certain direction,” he said. “But ideally we’re going to stack our board from how we see them from best to worst.  When our picks come available, (we’ll) make the determination in principle who is the best player available is at that point of time and ideally take them.”

Talent at RB: Most draft pundits have rave reviews for this running back class and Bowles concurs.

“It’s a deep running back class this year,” he said. “There are a lot of good runners coming out and there are a lot of three-down backs in the draft.”

Mo Matters: While the Jets have shifted their focus towards the draft, Maccagnan says they’ll address DE Muhammad Wilkerson’s contract after the NFL’s annual selection process.

“The agent and Muhammad have their perspective and we’re going to have our point and at the end of the day - hopefully a middle ground that we’re both comfortable with,” he said. “Muhammad is a very good player. We would obviously like to keep him a Jet, but again that’s a whole other process that we have to go through and I don’t want to really get too deep into that at this point of time because that’s something that will work itself out in the near future.”

Wise Investments: As promised, the Jets were very active in free agency. But Maccagnan stressed the flurry of moves were made with both the short and long-terms in mind.

“The way we structure a lot of those contracts is in a way to not handcuff us going forward,” he said. “We kind of structured those to kind of give us the ability – in a year or two or even three down the road -when the cap is projected to go up."

QB Four: The Jets are going be careful with veteran signal caller Ryan Fitzpatrick as the former Texan works his way back from a broken leg he suffered last December. While the club will have Geno Smith and Matt Simms handle the bulk of the work this spring with Fitzy on the mend, Bowles says don’t be surprised if another QB is added to the mix.

“We want competition at every position,” he said. “Ryan is going to compete as well as Geno is going to compete.  We hope to add somebody else to help compete with that along with (Matt) Simms.  We are going to try to play the best player available.”

On the Line: Very interesting insight from Maccagnan on the draft and his thoughts of building an offensive line.

“I think historically when you look at teams that are successful, one of the things that they do in the draft is they find value in offensive linemen prospects that they can kind of groom and develop. They don’t have to always be high picks,” he said. “A lot of teams are very successful building good offensive lines through the draft through picks from the third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh round and sometimes even college free agents.”


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