*This is the ninth and final in a series of features on the 2017 NFL Draft. Today's position: Quarterback. The Jets' roster synopsis is followed by five players considered top candidates at the signal caller spot:
*The Jets are going to have an open competition at quarterback this spring that will carry over into training camp. With the NFL Draft just a couple of days away, that competition is set to involve at least three signal callers.
But that list could change to four if the Jets select a QB on Thursday or Friday evenings. The Green & White have drafted just five QBs in the first round who have played with the club.
The Jets signed veteran Josh McCown in free agency and they like the intangibles he will bring to a QB room that includes Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg. All three passers will have a chance to start in Week 1 including Hackenberg, a second-round pick in 2016 who did not see the field as a rookie.
"He's got to be excited because he's got a chance to compete for the starting job right now, which is what he wanted to do in the first place," said head coach Todd Bowles. "There won't be any redshirting this year. He'll have a chance to go out, prove himself and play."
Five Top Quarterbacks in the Draft
MITCHELL TRUBISKY, NORTH CAROLINAJust a one-year starter, the sample size is small for Trubisky. But the tape is very good. Trubisky completed 68.2% of his passes last season while setting school records for passing yards (3,748), total offense (4,056) and touchdown passes (30). He can make all the throws and he also is a mobile athlete who can buy additional time and scoot down the field. Some pundits see Trubisky as a top-five pick, but he certainly could be on the board when the Jets select No. 6 overall. The Browns own a pair of first-rounders (No. 1 and No. 12) and they could use one on the Mentor, OH native.
DESHAUN WATSON, CLEMSONNo quarterback did more on the collegiate level than Watson. He led Clemson to a national title while passing for 4,593 yards and 41 touchdowns and he added nine scores on the ground. But the 6'2", 221-pound Watson was also intercepted 17 times and he will have to limit the turnovers on Sundays. Still, Watson is clutch player who loves the big moment and he wants the ball in his hands with the game on the line. Just like Trubisky, it will be interesting to see how Watson adapts to running a pro offense and making full-field reads. How many teams will pass on Watson early, a player Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney compared to Michael Jordan by saying he is brilliant between the ears and special in the heart?
PATRICK MAHOMES, TEXAS TECHAfter receiving a lot of buzz the past few weeks, could Mahomes be selected in the top half of Round 1? As a junior, the 6'2", 225-pound Mahomes threw for 5,052 yards with 41 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He possesses excellent arm strength and can let it fly from any angle. The son of former major-league pitcher Pat Mahomes, the Texas Tech product will have to make the major transition from the "Air Raid" offense to a structured attack of an NFL unit. Mahomes has freakish athletic ability and he beat you with his feet as well, totaling 22 TDs on the ground the past two seasons.
DESHONE KIZER, NOTRE DAMEA two-year starter at Notre Dame, Kizer decided to skip his final two seasons of eligibility and enter the Draft. While his completion percentage was 58.7% last season, Kizer threw for 2,925 yards along with 26 passing touchdowns.
"From my perspective, Kizer still has the biggest ceiling of any quarterback in this draft," said NFL Network's Mike Mayock. "He's the prototypical NFL franchise quarterback. But he's not ready to play. He's a year or two away from stepping on an NFL field."
The 6'4", 233-pound Kizer may have struggled with consistency in South Bend, but he has big-time arm talent and he learned some more advanced concepts under Brian Kelly. Kizer had at least one interception in 15 of his 23 starts.
*JOSHUA DOBBS, TENNESSEE *Talk about options. Dobbs was an aerospace engineering major at Tennessee and his 3,781 yards of total offense last season were eight shy of Peyton Manning's single-season Volunteer record. Speaking of Manning, it is now expected that Dobbs will become the first Tennessee quarterback to get taken in the first round since the Colts grabbed Manning with the No. 1 overall selection in 1998. A dual threat, Dobbs set school marks for career rushing yards by a quarterback (2,160) and career rush touchdowns by a quarterback (32). Dobbs, whose stock is on the rise, was 3-0 as starter in bowl games and he became only the fourth QB in SEC history to have 50 career passing touchdowns and 25 career rushing touchdowns.