General manager Mike Maccagnan held his annual pre-draft news conference with Jets beat reporters at the Atlantic Health Training Center this afternoon. As usual "Mac" didn't tip his hand too much about what the Green & White will do Thursday night with their sixth overall pick or on any other draft-related topic.
But he provided some insight into the year-long process for him and his draft team, who at the moment hold seven picks to spend either on players or in trade from Thursday through Saturday in this year's draft. Below are seven quotes from this year's newser. (For more quotes specifically on Maccagnan's responses to quarterback questions, see Ethan Greenberg's sidebar.)
On if Maccagnan senses there's legitimate interest for some team to make him an offer for the Jets' sixth pick..."I'm not going to comment on any individual teams we may have spoken with, but there are always inquiries. Some teams just do their due diligence, just out of curiosity, some teams are more active. There's always a bit of gamesmanship in it. I think teams are always playing poker a little bit, showing that they're either too interested or not interested enough. ... From our standpoint, we feel pretty good at 6 right now. We've done a lot of work on this draft and we'll see how this thing plays out the next few days."
On if there is more pressure this year to draft players who can "start from day one" rather than those who might need time to become starters..."You don't want to say something that some other team may perceive, 'Hey, this is what they're going to do, they're going to take ready-made players.' When you analyze players, you try to do two things. You're projecting the potential of what the player can be, but you're also analyzing the risk of what may cause him to fail. So in a perfect world you'd like every player to come in, play right away, be a great player, and fulfill that potential. Sometimes that potential takes a little while to get out of him, sometimes it comes out quick. But we don't feel any different pressure."
On if he still believes in best available player or if this year any pick might become best available player for the Jets or more of a need pick..."I do go into it as a bit of idealist. If you do it the other way, then you're sort of trying to rationalize something. Whether or not we need something doesn't mean a player's going to be successful or not. That's when I think some people start making mistakes. If you stick to the player's ability, what he does on tape, his instincts, areas he can improve upon, his intangibles, and then you start factoring something in that's totally over here, you can skew your process and potentially make a mistake."
On if Maccagnan has taken Oklahoma RB Joe Mixon off the Jets' board..."I don't want to say this guy is on our board or off our board, more from a competitive standpoint. ... In that particular player's instance, I'm not going to necessarily weigh in on him but ... we weigh those [character questions] very heavily."
NFL.com Lists Its Top 50 Overall Draft Prospects for 2017
On if owner Woody Johnson would be involved in making a decision on drafting a player with character issues..."Every time there's a player that has intangible concerns, I'm absolutely going to make sure Woody and ownership understand. ... The approach always is we're going to do our due diligence if we feel a player is worth a potential investment, but if there are obvious issues off the field, we're going to definitely make sure management understands that. If they feel OK with it, we'll proceed, and if they don't, we won't."
On after talking in the past few weeks about "being open for business" by trading down and acquiring more picks, if he has a "magic number" of picks he'd like to enter the draft with..."If I could get 20 picks somehow in the draft, they may all be sixth- and seventh-rounders, but maybe I'll see how that works out. ... I'm joking. ... A sweet number? As many as I can get that makes sense to acquire them. ... I joked around with another GM the other day who has a lot of draft picks. I said I have pick envy. In a complimentary way."