The New York Jets are doing their homework on the top quarterbacks in the draft, fueling the annual "Will they or won't they?" hysteria as the big day draws near.
The latest development: Former Cal quarterback Jared Goff is scheduled to visit the Jets this week, according to the NFL Network. The Jets have already met with Penn State's Christian Hackenberg, and they will be welcoming Memphis' Paxton Lynch later in the week.
Goff is interesting because he's widely regarded as the No. 2 quarterback prospect in the draft, behind North Dakota State's Carson Wentz. Little-known fact: The Jets sent two scouts to the Cal campus last August to watch Goff in a preseason practice.
Most mock drafts have Goff being picked anywhere from second (Cleveland Browns) to seventh (San Francisco 49ers). There appears to be little chance he will tumble all the way to the Jets at 20. But you never know. In 2005, another Cal passer (some guy named Aaron Rodgers) stunningly slipped all the way to 24th. He, too, was projected as a top-5 pick.
Chances are, the Jets are performing due diligence, but I do believe they'd consider a trade-up scenario if they felt it would secure a franchise-type quarterback. With Ryan Fitzpatrick still unsigned and with Bryce Petty still in the "project" phase of his development, there's a definite need for short- and long-term answers. The erratic Geno Smith has only one year left on his contract.
This is where Muhammad Wilkerson enters the discussion.
The Jets are open to trading Wilkerson, especially if it allows them to draft a quarterback. Let's consider a scenario: If Goff slips to 11th (Chicago Bears), would the Jets try to jump up nine spots by dangling Wilkerson? The Bears have the need and the cap room for Wilkerson, who is currently eating up $15.7 million in cap space on the franchise tag, but the two sides would have to agree to a long-term contract to make it happen. It also would take more than the 11th pick to satisfy the Jets. How 'bout the Bears' first-rounder in 2017, along with the 11th pick this year, for the 20th pick and Wilkerson?
General manager Mike Maccagnan has only six picks, and he'd like to come out of this draft with at least six players. If one of those players is the first- or second-best quarterback ... well, it sounds like something he'd consider.
And then we can explore the issue of Goff's small hands.