It has been close to a month since the last time Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan spoke publicly about the 2019 NFL Draft. Equipped with the No. 3 overall selection for the second consecutive April, Maccagnan will enter the weekend with his quarterback already in place this time around and is most likely to choose from a top defender or a trade-down option.
“We feel very good that we’re going to have a very good player to pick from at 3. That’s going to play itself out,” Maccagnan told us at the NFL’s Owner Meetings in March. “Like anything else though, we’re obviously open to the idea of potentially moving back. It would have to be a trade or an opportunity that we felt good about. If we end up being at 3, we’re going to draft a very good player there most likely on the defensive side of the ball… But we still have a lot of work to do on these guys, so it’s not all set in stone yet.”
It could be set in stone Thursday by 9:00 p.m. Maccagnan, who will head into the weekend minus a second-round pick that was used as part of the package in order to obtain the No. 3 pick in 2018 from Indianapolis and ultimately land Sam Darnold, is scheduled to meet with the media Tuesday at One Jets Drive for his annual predraft news conference.
The Jets would like to add more draft capital because this is a class that might not have much separation from late Round 1 all the way until the third round.
“I think there's so little difference between player 20 and who a player is going to be in the 60s or the 50s,” said NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah.
See NFL.com's Top 50 Prospects for the 2019 NFL Draft
But would a trade-back cost the Green & White a chance at an elite talent? And would a potential package be attractive enough for the Jets to get out of their spot? It takes two to tango, so there are a number of variables at play.
For months, most pundits believed the Jets would end up picking one of three defensive talents — edges Nick Bosa (Ohio State) and Josh Allen (Kentucky) and DT Quinnen Williams — if they kept the pick. But Jeremiah recently mocked Houston DT Ed Oliver to New York’s AFC representative.
"Gregg Williams coached Aaron Donald during his time as Rams DC and could easily find a way to utilize Oliver in the Big Apple," he wrote.
And then as draft week commenced, Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer also opted to mock Oliver to the Green & White in his Monday Morning Quarterback column.
“Remember, DC Gregg Williams coached Aaron Donald with the Rams and surely he’d love a guy like Oliver,” Breer said.
If chalk holds, the Cardinals will take Oklahoma QB Kyler Murray with the top pick and the San Francisco 49ers will follow with Bosa. But it’s speculation season and there won’t be many answers until the draft unfolds this weekend. If the Cards skip Murray, then the Jets could become a target spot for teams to get a quarterback.