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Jets Draft Day Scenario | Might They Take a QB? And When?

Tulane's Michael Pratt, Tennessee's Joe Milton, FSU's Jordan Travis Could Interest Green & White on Day 3

FILE - Florida State quarterback Jordan Travis (13) looks for a receiver as Miami linebacker K.J. Cloyd (23) closes during the first half of an NCAA college football game Nov. 11, 2023, in Tallahassee, Fla. Travis has been selected by The Associated Press as the offensive player of the year for the Atlantic Coast Conference. (AP Photo/Colin Hackley, File)

The NFL Draft is one of the most exciting and unpredictable times of the football calendar. Leading up to April 25-27 in Detroit, will analyze different projections to the Jets at No. 10 overall.

Today's mock draft, posted Tuesday by Jacob Camenker of The Sporting News is a little different mock than previous draft position previews. We couldn't find any draft analyst on a major platform who thought, with Aaron Rodgers preparing to get his Jets career started after a year's delay, Tyrod Taylor signed to back ARod up, and Zach Wilson still on the roster, the Jets would go with a QB of the future at No. 10. But this Sporting News mock draft was quarterbacks only. Here is where TSN saw the top 10 QBs going:

Table inside Article
Round Overall Team Quarterback
1 1 Chicago Bears Caleb Williams (USC)
1 2 Washington Commanders Jayden Daniels (LSU)
1 3 New England Patriots Drake Maye (North Carolina)
1 11 Minnesota Vikings J.J. McCarthy (Michigan)
1 12 Denver Broncos Michael Penix (Washington)
2 44 Las Vegas Raiders Bo Nix (Oregon)
3 70 New York Giants Spencer Rattler (S. Carolina)
4 109 Atlanta Falcons Joe Milton III (Tennessee)
4 125 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Michael Pratt (Tulane)
6 185 New York Jets Jordan Travis (Florida State)

Why It Makes Sense
If the Jets were to wait until Round 6 to pull the trigger on a QB, Jordan Travis could be that signal-caller. Travis was enjoying a rare but exciting sixth college season and fifth at FSU last year with 20 TD passes to two interceptions and 63.9% accuracy and the Seminoles at 11-0 record with a No. 5 national ranking.

So why the sixth round? In Game 11 against North Alabama, Travis fractured and dislocated his left ankle to end his season and effectively the 'Noles' season as well — after going 13-0 to win the ACC title, they were crushed by Georgia, 63-3 in the Orange Bowl.

Travis is undersized (6-1, 200) but is a good leader and a strong passer and winner with that 64% accuracy and 21-3 starting record from 2022-23 combined. If he clears all the medical hurdles, he could have a great opportunity to learn the pro game from Rodgers and Taylor.

Other QBs Likely to Be Taken in Round 1
A feeding frenzy is in the works as teams jockey for position to grab their favorite QBs in this draft. And as often is the case, the nitpicking has begun. Caleb Williams of Southern Cal looked early on and still looks to be Chicago's top overall pick with his strong arm, elusivness, leadership and a Patrick Mahomes-like ability to create off-schedule plays. But lately some are asking if Williams holds the ball in the pocket too long, or freelances too much.

Tim Hasselbeck, ESPN analyst and former NFL QB himself, has tweeted out that Drake Maye, not Williams, "is the best quarterback in this class." Maye (6-4, 223) was the 2022 ACC Player of the Year and is the only FBS player with 7,000 pass yards and 1,000 rush yards over the past two seasons combined and he lands at Washington's No. 2 pick or New England's No. 3 slot in many mocks.

Many other analysts want to fit LSU's Jayden Daniels in between Williams and Maye and have him going to the Commanders at No. 2. Daniels has got fine size (6-4, 210), he's the only player to lead FBS in yards/pass attempt (11.7) and yards/rush (8.4) in the same season since 1996, and he raked in the postseason awards, tops among them the Heisman.

Also in the first half of the first round are J.J. McCarthy of Michigan and Michael Penix Jr. of Washington, both of whom could be of interest to the Jets in the sense that GM Joe Douglas might find a team that is hot to move up to 10 for either and willing to send back a lower first-rounder and a second-rounder, which the Jets at the moment do not possess.

See's Daniel Jeremiah's top 50 prospects in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Alternative Options on Days 2-3
With the Jets currently selecting at 10, 72, 111 and 134 before their sixth-round choice, they could always take a QB higher if the right value matches up with their draft position.

The TSN QBs draft sees South Carolina's menacingly named Spencer Rattler (6-1, 200) going to the Giants in Round 3 after his solid senior redshirt season for the Gamecocks (68.9% accuracy, 19 TDPs to 8 INTs). He didn't show great mobility but did have a nose for the end zone with 15 rush TDs those last two seasons and 28 rush TDs in four years.

Pro Football Focus in November liked Michael Pratt to the Jets in Round 3. But depending on the midround machinations of 32 teams, the rock-steady Tulane signal-caller could pop up on the Jets' board at No. 111 early on Day Three, as Walter Football has projected in its latest mock draft. The 6-2½, 217-pounder was a four-year Green Wave starter who improved each season and combined in 2022-23 for 64.4% accuracy, 49 TDs and 10 INTs.

Joe Milton III (6-5, 235) has the size and is older than most with three seasons at Tennessee following his three seasons at Michigan. He finally became a full-time starter as a Vols senior last year with 64.7% accuracy, 20 TD passes and five INTs and also ran for seven scores.

Bottom Line
The Jets obviously don't have to draft a QB next week. They could go the available, affordable veteran route as they did last year. They could in theory stay with Wilson on the depth chart (though that seems pricey). But if they haven't tabbed a quarterback by Saturday, April 27, it wouldn't surprise if they went with Travis, Pratt, Milton or Notre Dame's Sam Hartman in Rounds 4-6.

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