General manager Mike Maccagnan and head coach Todd Bowles assumed the position at the head table in the media interview room after the Jets concluded a selection- and trade-heavy final day of the 2017 draft. It's still early in the offseason process but here are five takeaways from their postdraft newser on several hot topics as the team proceeds toward the OTA phase of the offseason, next week's rookie minicamp and the June full-squad minicamp.
The QB Picture
Maccagnan has championed Ron Wolf's theory of drafting a quarterback every year, but this year, for the first time since 2012, the Jets did not select a QB.
"I think going forward," said Maccagnan, "we have a veteran quarterback and two young quarterbacks and we'll go from there."
Bowles was not about to name an early depth chart at that most important of NFL jobs as he had done in other years. "That'll determine itself during OTAs and this spring, how we line up in the summer."
It indeed looks like an old-fashioned QB competition among vet Jake McCown and young guns Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg. Bowles said all three will get opportunities to run the first offense this spring. As for the condition of Petty's non-throwing shoulder for the spring, he said, "I'm hopeful, but I'm not sure."
At first it might've seemed a force to add WRs ArDarius Stewart and Chad Hansen to the Jets' mostly young wideout room. Then last night Maccagnan revealed that third-year WR Devin Smith tore an ACL at the start of the workout program and will miss the 2017 season. But even that, the GM said, didn't dictate their picks in Rounds 3 and 4.
"I don't think it had that much of a bearing," he said of Smith's tough-luck injury. "When we were deciding which players to take, we obviously felt good about some receivers. I feel we have a good group of young receivers, plus Eric [Decker], then we went into it and said, let's make this more competitive. We felt this was a good year for receivers. in terms of depth and value."
Regarding Decker, Maccagnan reminded that the GM and HC aren't among the observers allowed to guide the players during Phase 1 of the workout program. "But all the feedback from the trainers has been positive in terms of his rehabilitation process."
Some fans just have to know what's up with DT Sheldon Richardson, who for the second draft has been a subject of some trade whispers, and S Calvin Pryor, who will be in the DBs room with two top-of-the-draft safeties in Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye. But Mac counseled that both players are under contract and a part of the Jets roster going forward.
"There's a whole offseason ahead of us. We'll see how it unfolds," the GM said. "Just like every other player going forward, we'll see how things work out. That's where we are right now."
All of the trading, most of it down, tried the patience of some fans, but Maccagnan's goal was to add players through the draft and he did that, increasing the Jets' original seven picks into as many as 10 before settling at nine with an extra fifth-rounder next year courtesy of the Cowboys.
"You roll the dice a little bit when you move back," he said, "but it was a situation where there were some players we felt we could get. The way our board worked out, it really fell very similar to how the draft fell."
The GM counted it up — the Jets executed four "tradedowns" and one "tradeout" with the Cowboys, with the four tradedowns, as we noted, setting the franchise record for most in a single draft. And for a while, the sixth round had four picks in it, which if all were spent, would've been only the fifth time in Jets history that they had made four picks in any one round.
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The Story So Far
Maccagnan was asked what had been accomplished once the Jets had expended their final pick. He didn't offer any blinding new insight, just the tried and true NFL view of how to build, rebuild, refresh or refurbish a franchise that has a number of holes to fill.
"The goal every draft you go into is to add as many good prospects as you can add," the GM said. "Hopefully they'll be the foundation for what we're trying to build here and they'll have a lot of success to here to help us get to where we want to go. At the end of the day, we felt good about the players we added."