Our New York Jets question of the week comes from a loyal reader who proposes a way to secure that ever-elusive franchise quarterback:
— Rich (SouthernJet) (@SouthernJetNC) April 14, 2017
@RichCimini: To paraphrase Bill Raftery, that would take a lot of onions. Only a coach and/or general manager with air-tight job security -- someone like Bill Belichick -- could afford to make a trade like that. You're basically saying, "I don't need help this year, so I'll stockpile for the future." GM Mike Maccagnan and coach Todd Bowles don't have that luxury, especially not Bowles, whose seat probably is a few degrees warmer than that of Maccagnan.
I understand your premise, Rich. You're alluding to what is being touted as a blockbuster class of quarterbacks in 2018 -- USC's Sam Darnold, UCLA's Josh Rosen, Wyoming's Josh Allen, et al. There are a few others too. If the Jets had two first-round picks in that draft, they'd have the bargaining power to deal up to the very top. Not to be a Danny Downer or anything, but let's be honest: They might not need that second first-round pick to get into prime position. They could play their way into that spot on their own.
Hence, the "Suck for Sam" movement among some fans.
Do you think Bowles wants to take a dive for Darnold? No way.
Coming off a 5-11 season, Bowles has to win now -- or at least show Jets ownership the team is heading in the right direction under his leadership. I think he'd flip out if they traded the sixth pick for a future No. 1. Think about it: In the first two drafts under Maccagnan, Bowles has received little or no help from two of the Jets' four highest-drafted players -- wide receiver Devin Smith and quarterback Christian Hackenberg, both second-round choices. Smith hasn't been healthy and Hackenberg has been in moth balls.
The Jets might not find their franchise quarterback in the upcoming draft, but this is a really strong draft at a few positions, and they should be able to find three or four immediate starters. With four of the top 107 picks, they can fill holes at cornerback, safety and tight end. The other day, I heard ESPN analyst Mark Dominik, a former GM, say on the air this draft could be "a game changer" for a team.
The Jets should be investing in it, not divesting. Plus, this isn't the NBA, so picks aren't lottery protected. What if the Jets acquire a No. 1 pick that turns out to be at the bottom of the round? That would be a bad look.
The ideal scenario: Trade down, remain in the first round and acquire a future No. 1 pick. The most logical partner for that type of trade is the Houston Texans, picking 25th. They need a quarterback, but the sense I get is they won't mortgage the future with a blockbuster trade.
So to answer your question, Rich, no, it wouldn't be a wise trade. The bird in the hand is better than two in '18.