The latest New York Jets-related draft buzz, with help from ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay, who spoke to reporters Wednesday on a national conference call:
Do the Jets prefer Baker Mayfield or Josh Rosen? Based on most mock drafts, the choice at No. 3 could be between these two quarterbacks. It's a fascinating decision because they're so different as players and personalities. Mayfield is a fiery playmaker who can thrive outside the pocket; Rosen is a pure pocket passer with flawless mechanics. Mayfield is cocky and speaks his mind; Rosen can be outspoken on certain issues, but he's known to be reserved and cerebral.
"[If] it comes down to Baker and Josh Rosen, honestly, I've heard both," McShay said. "I've heard people who seem very convinced, in who they've talked to and what they know, that Baker Mayfield is the guy. I've talked to other people who seem just as convinced, in who they've talked to and the information they've got, that Josh Rosen would be the guy."
What I'm hearing: Pretty much the same as McShay, with a slight edge to Mayfield. From what I understand, he has impressed the Jets during the pre-draft process, allaying any concerns about off-the-field issues (his 2017 arrest) and on-field antics. In my opinion, you need someone with a strong personality to handle one of the toughest jobs in sports -- playing quarterback for a team that hasn't reached the Super Bowl in a half-century. If general manager Mike Maccagnan had to make the choice last September, it would've been Rosen, hands down, but he has warmed to Mayfield. If there's a hang-up with Mayfield, it's that he's only a shade above 6-feet tall.
What about Josh Allen? He has the highest ceiling of any quarterback in the draft, and there's growing speculation that he could go No. 1 overall to the Cleveland Browns. The Jets have done a ton of homework on Allen, starting last fall when they scouted every one of his games. But ...
"One thing I have not heard is that the Jets have any interest in Josh Allen, that it would be [Sam] Darnold and one of those other two guys," McShay said.
What I'm hearing: The same. While the Jets love Allen's prodigious arm strength and athleticism, they have concerns about his accuracy -- only a 56 percent passer at Wyoming. I'd be surprised if they pick Allen at No. 3.
Could Darnold fall to the Jets? Sure, it's possible. For weeks, Darnold-to-the-Browns seemed like a safe bet, but the Browns have done a nice job of smoke-screening. Suddenly, Allen is the hot name. If Allen goes first and running back Saquon Barkley goes second to the New York Giants, the Jets could find Darnold in their lap. Wouldn't that be something?
"I think Cleveland is going to stay there and take either Sam Darnold or Josh Allen," McShay said. "More people in the league I talk to are saying Josh Allen now, but until the commissioner announces the name, you just never know."
What I'm hearing: The Jets apparently bought into the Allen/Browns chatter because they hastily arranged a trip to Florham Park for Darnold, who originally wasn't on their list of top-30 visits. In fact, that visit concluded on Wednesday, the final day prospects can visit team facilities. If Darnold slips to No. 3, yes, I believe the Jets would happily pick him.
What about trading up? Before making the St. Patrick's Day trade with the Indianapolis Colts, the Jets reached out to the Browns to see what it would take to move up to No. 1. McShay doesn't see that happening, adding that Cleveland "is not open for business," but what about No. 2?
While McShay believes the Giants will stay put and draft Barkley, he suggested they could be enticed to move down a spot if Darnold and Barkley are available to them. He said he's heard "some speculation" the Giants are "torn within their building" on the Darnold-Barkley question. The Jets might smell an opportunity, especially if they have the hots for Darnold.
"Do the Jets try to nudge them a little bit toward, 'Hey, we'll give you a later pick. Now you can take Barkley and get an additional pick, and we can go up and get our guy,'?" McShay said. "I think that would be the only possibility of a move."
What I'm hearing: A Jets-Giants trade would be the story of the draft. For the record, the Jets didn't contact the Giants before swinging the Colts trade, but that doesn't mean they won't do business with each other. I wrote this a few days ago -- and got mocked by some people on Twitter -- but I'm telling you, don't rule it out.