A look at what's happening around the New York Jets:
1. Trader Mike: The Jets' approach on the second and third days of the draft would've been terrific fodder for Chris Berman. They went back ... back ... back ... back, as general manager Mike Maccagnan traded back four times, a franchise record.
But what did they accomplish by wheeling and dealing?
They turned seven picks into nine players, but the overall value of the draft actually decreased. Using the values from a standard trade chart, their original seven picks counted as 2,478.4 points. When the draft dust settled, they had nine selections and 2,429.5 value points -- a drop of 48.9. That may not sound like much, but it's the equivalent of a fourth-rounder, based on the chart.
One caveat: Maccagnan acquired a 2018 fifth-rounder by dealing one pick, but the Jets still ended up in the red even with that 27.4-point total factored into the equation.
Maccagnan acknowledged "you roll the dice a little bit when you move back, but there were situations where we felt there would still be some players that we potentially could get (while trading down)." He liked the way it turned out.
Look, here's the bottom line: If the draft produces a handful of good players, no one will remember the points. The Jets believe they landed at least four future starters -- safeties Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye and wide receiver ArDarius Stewart and Chad Hansen. If they're right, it'll be their best draft in a long time.
2. Different strokes, different folks: We've seen a contrast in styles from the last three general managers. Clearly, Maccagnan likes stockpiling late-round selections. Mike Tannenbaum (2006-2012) was philosophically opposed to that approach. He traded away late-round picks because he felt they didn't have much value. During one four-year stretch under Tannenbaum, the Jets had only 17 picks.
And then there was John Idzik (2013-2014). He made one of the biggest trades in franchise history (Darrelle Revis to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers), but no one ever called him Trader John. With 12 picks in 2014 -- a.k.a the Idzik 12 -- he didn't make a single trade during the draft. He effectively sat on his hands and made a lot of bad picks.
3. The what-if scenario: Safety Jamal Adams was a no-brainer once he fell to the sixth pick. As one opposing scout told me, "It was a freaking gift from the football gods." But what if he was off the board?
From what I understand, tight end O.J. Howard would've been the next choice. He wound up falling to the Bucs at 19. The Jets were high on running back Leonard Fournette and he would've drawn serious consideration if he had been available. As for the quarterbacks, they felt the prospect with the greatest upside was Patrick Mahomes, who went 10th to the Kansas City Chiefs.
4. Stacking the D: Even though it's just coincidental, it's interesting to note that each first-round pick of the Maccagnan-Todd Bowles regime represents one of the three levels on defense -- defensive line (Leonard Williams), linebacker (Darron Lee) and secondary (Adams). Bowles can't say his GM isn't taking care of him. Maybe one of these years they'll get around to picking an offensive player. They haven't done it since 2009 (Mark Sanchez), the longest streak in the league.
They doubled down on safeties, taking Maye in the second round. In case you're wondering, the last team to pick two safeties in the first two rounds was the New England Patriots in 2009 -- Darius Butler and Patrick Chung. They were both chosen in the second round.
5. Maye day: I spoke to one team that rated Maye as a first-round player, but one minor concern came up in their homework on him.
"He had some issues with being reliable and on time," an NFC scout said.
Uh, oh. We all know that's a touchy subject for the Jets.
The University of Florida football staff spoke glowingly of Maye, according to the scout, adding that the issues occurred primarily with the training staff.
6. Speed kills (sometimes): Some teams are slaves to the stopwatch when scouting players, especially wide receivers. The Jets aren't. The 40 times for Stewart and Hansen (4.49 and 4.53) ranked 18th and 27th out of 58 receivers at the scouting combine, respectively. They're not slow by any means, but they're not blazers, either.
The Jets liked them because their traits (toughness, route running, sure hands) should translate well into their West Coast system. I've seen Stewart on tape; he reminds me of Jerricho Cotchery, but slightly faster.
7. Late-round gem? With their final pick, the Jets selected wide receiver-turned-cornerback Derrick Jones, whom Bowles described as a developmental player. One AFC scout raved about Jones, saying, "Definitely worth a shot. The kid has talent. I think they may have gotten a steal. He's 6-foot-2 with 32-inch arms. I wish we had taken him."
The same scout raved about fifth-round pick Dylan Donahue out of West Georgia, a Division II school. The scout doesn't think Donahue (6-foot-3, 248 pounds) doesn't have the athleticism to make the conversion to every-down linebacker in a 3-4 front, but he predicted a career on special teams.
"He's a bigger version of Larry Izzo," said the scout, referring to the former special-teams great for the Patriots. "I wouldn't be surprised if he's mentioned someday as special-teams player of the year."
The Jets could definitely use some help in that department.
8. On the Marks: The Jets have signed one of the most coveted undrafted free agents, Washington State wide receiver Gabe Marks. He's the Pac-12 record holder for career receptions (316), but wasn't among the 253 players selected. Why not? His 40 time (4.56) wasn't great and he's only 5-foot-11, 189 pounds. He also played in a wide-open spread offense. It's interesting that he chose the Jets, who have a lot of young receivers.
9. Following the crowd: Maccagnan's tendencies in this draft fell in line with the rest of the NFL, which is to say he picked SEC players (four) and defensive backs (four). League-wide, a record 57 defensive backs were drafted. The SEC led all conferences (again) with 53 selections.
10. Pryor restraint: The Jets haven't said if they'll exercise Calvin Pryor's fifth-year option -- the deadline is Wednesday -- but the answer seems obvious after drafting two safeties.