After Sunday's win, the New York Jets' current draft position is 11th, which might seem like Siberia for a quarterback-needy team -- cold and lonely. It's hardly ideal, but it also doesn't mean they will be out of the quarterback action. Remember, Patrick Mahommes and Deshaun Watson went 10th and 12th in last year's draft, respectively.
In the annual Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay draft primer (hey, the draft is less than 150 days away), McShay projects four quarterbacks will be picked in the first round -- Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, Josh Allen and Baker Mayfield, in that order. Kiper says Mayfield, favored to win the Heisman Trophy, is a "fringe" first rounder.
Most talent evaluators agree that Darnold (if he declares) and Rosen (assuming he declares) will be top picks, possibly one-two. The Jets would have to put together a major compensation package, including their 2019 first rounder, to get that high in the pecking order.
The realistic alternatives are Allen and Mayfield, players that could be within the Jets' shorter reach. What makes them fascinating from a scouting perspective is they're total opposites.
Allen has ideal traits, and scouts crave traits -- cannon arm, terrific athleticism and protypical size at 6-foot-5. On the downside, he's not having a great year at a lower level of competition, and now his throwing shoulder is banged up. The Wyoming star said he's planning to play in the Dec. 22 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl if healthy.
Mayfield is undersized at 6-foot-1 (his listed height) and has some character concerns, but he's a prolific passer, a charismatic leader and a winner -- maybe a national champion. His draft stock has climbed steadily throughout the season.
For Mayfield and Allen, both of whom have questions to answer, the pre-draft process will be tremendously important. A lot will happen between now and the draft, but it certainly appears Mayfield will be on the board for the Jets if they're at 11.
Broadway Baker, anyone?