EA: Yes. When the NFL League Year commences on March 9, the Jets are scheduled to have only two quarterbacks on their roster. Bryce Petty, who got his feet wet in his second professional season, is coming off surgery on his non-throwing shoulder. Christian Hackenberg had a redshirt rookie season and head coach Todd Bowles has said the Penn State product has to make some progress and jumps. In any case, the Jets will need a quarterback or two from a sheer volume standpoint before training camp commences.
While both Bowles and general manager Mike Maccagnan will speak to the media in Indianapolis, the Jets aren't likely to reveal their plan of attack to the rest of the football world. The options include signing a free agent, trading for a player on an existing roster and/or drafting a quarterback. Those aren't necessarily mutually exclusive options as quarterback is a position where you can't have enough talent.
The free agent class could include Kirk Cousins (Washington Redskins), Mike Glennon (Tampa Bay Buccaneers), Matt Barkley (Chicago Bears), Brian Hoyer (Chicago Bears), Case Keenum (Los Angeles Rams), Shaun Hill (Minnesota Vikings) and Matt McGloin (Oakland Raiders). Washington may elect to place the franchise tag on Cousins for a second consecutive season and the Buffalo Bills have to decide if they will pick up the contract option on Tyrod Taylor's contract. If the Bills elect not to pay that $31 million guarantee, Taylor will also become a free agent. Both Ryan Fitzpatrick and Geno Smith, who started 27 and 30 games with the Jets respectively, have expiring contracts.
Best Images of the 2017 Restricted and Unrestricted Free Agents
Then following free agency, the NFL will hold its Draft April 27-29. At this point, there doesn't seem to be a clear-cut top signal caller prospect. Some pundits like Clemson's big-game standout Deshaun Watson and others are high on one-year North Carolina starter Mitch Trubisky. Respected NFL media draft analyst Mike Mayock has Notre Dame's DeShone Kizer atop his QB positional rankings and Texas Tech's Patrick Mahomes seems to be receiving a lot of buzz of late.
Gems can be found well beyond the first round. Mississippi State's Dak Prescott went in Round 4 to the Cowboys last April and took home the NFL's Offensive Rookie of the Year honors. Russell Wilson was a third-round pick in 2012 and Tom Brady was a sixth-rounder in 2000. Four-time Pro Bowler Tony Romo went undrafted in 2003 after playing collegiately at Eastern Illinois. Washington product Warren Moon dominated the CFL before becoming a nine-time Pro Bowler in the NFL. Recent Hall of Fame inductee Kurt Warner was bagging groceries for $5.50 an hour before the Northern Iowa product became a star in the Arena League. Then with his shot for glory, Warner became a four-time Pro Bowler and two-time first-team All-Pro in addition to grabbing Super Bowl XXXIV MVP honors.
Todd Bowles has a new offensive coordinator and new quarterback coach in John Morton and Jeremy Bates. Like every other NFL team, the Jets have assessed a self-scout of their roster and also continue to prepare for the market's open. Their plan at the position will be put into action in the weeks and months ahead.
EA: Major props on the El Beardo moniker. Hopefully nobody has that trademarked. With their last eight first-round picks, the Jets have selected defensive players. Since 2001, the Jets have taken five offensive players in Round 1: WR Santana Moss (2001), LT D'Brickashaw Ferguson & C Nick Mangold (2006), TE Dustin Keller (2008) and QB Mark Sanchez (2009). I do think Mike Maccagnan has done an excellent job with his first two first-rounders to date as DL Leonard Williams (No. 6, 2015) was just voted Team MVP and played in the Pro Bowl while ILB Darron Lee (No. 20, 2016) became a three-down player and flashed big-time potential. There is a high likelihood that the first round in April will be dominated by defensive players, starting with Texas A&M pass rusher Myles Garrett. I think Maccagnan will keep his options open, trying to fill holes in free agency and then landing an impact player — regardless the side of the ball — if he stays at No. 6.