A look at what's happening around the New York Jets:
1. Chuckie says: Jon Gruden knows quarterbacks, and he certainly knows the players in the upcoming draft. When I caught up with him the other day by phone, he was "sitting in a dark room in Tampa" (his description of his home office) and studying video of them. I brought up North Carolina's Mitchell Trubisky, who has been linked to the Jets in many mock drafts, including Mel Kiper's latest version. Gruden said he'd be surprised if the Jets, even with their quarterback issues, take Trubisky at No. 6 overall.
"I can’t see them going that high for that," Gruden said. "There’s a lot of unknown with some of these quarterbacks. Five of the seven are underclassmen. Trubisky has played one year of college football. I don’t know. A lot of it will be dependent on what they truly think of their young quarterbacks they currently have."
Gruden likes Trubisky's upside, but he said the lack of experience (13 starts in college) is a "concern." Of the seven quarterbacks who participated in Gruden's QB Camp TV series, which starts April 11 on ESPN2, Trubisky had by far the fewest amount of starts.
I agree with Gruden on two points: It's too risky to take Trubisky at six and the Jets' feelings about Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty will come to the surface in this draft. If they draft Trubisky, a possibility, it would be a blow to both young passers.
2. The Parcells Principle: Since we're quoting former Super Bowl-winning coaches, this is a good place to bring up Bill Parcells' method for evaluating draft-eligible quarterbacks. He measured them based on these minimum standards:
Three-year starter. A graduating senior. Start 30 games. Win 23 games. Post a 2-to-1 touchdown-interception ratio. Complete at least 60 percent of your passes.
It's not a fool-proof method, but let's have a little fun. If it were applied to the Class of '17 (the consensus top eight prospects), the player who comes the closest to meeting every criterion is Clemson's Deshaun Watson. His only shortcoming, if you could call it that, is that he's not a senior, although he graduated in three years. He was 32-3, 67.4 percent, 90 touchdowns and 32 interceptions.
3. Draft rumors: Passing along some Jets-related thoughts from scouts and personnel people around the league (their opinions, not mine):
General manager Mike Maccagnan is married to his best-player-available philosophy, which puts LSU running back Leonard Fournette into play at No. 6. ... Fournette needs to be in a power-running scheme, not a zone-based scheme that requires cutback running. ... Alabama tight end O.J. Howard is the real deal and is worth a top-6 pick. He'd be ideal in a West Coast offense, which the Jets likely will employ. ... Alabama's Reuben Foster has "as much natural talent as you will see in a linebacker," but he could struggle with the playbook and might not have the ability to call signals as a "Mike" linebacker. ... Ohio State safety Malik Hooker has "some Ed Reed qualities," but he might not be ready until training camp. He's recovering from hip and sports-hernia surgeries. ... "I hear they really like Charles Harris," a possible first-rounder from Missouri. "He'd fit as a rush linebacker in their scheme." ... LSU safety Jamal Adams "could step in from Day 1 and run Todd Bowles' secondary."
4. The running-back debate: Because it's such a deep running-back class, there's a lot of chatter on whether it pays to select a runner in the first round. There's evidence to support both sides of the argument. Consider:
All three first-round running backs in 2015 and 2016 have made the Pro Bowl -- Todd Gurley, Melvin Gordon and Ezekiel Elliott, who led the NFL in rushing as a rookie. On the flip side, Jordan Howard, who finished No. 2 to Elliott, is proof that talented backs can be found in the later rounds. He was a fifth-round choice last year.
A few more nuggets: The last player to lead the NFL in rushing and win a Super Bowl in the same season was Terrell Davis in 1998. The last team to lead the NFL in rushing and a win a Super Bowl in the same season was 1985 Chicago Bears. Lastly, only two of the 12 playoff teams last season had a running back who was drafted in the first round.
The debate will intensify if the Jets pick Fournette.
5. Sherman Island? I've received a couple of questions on my Twitter timeline about the possibility of the Jets trading for Richard Sherman, who is being shopped by the Seattle Seahawks. Yes, the Jets need another cornerback, but a pursuit of Sherman would contradict everything they've done this offseason. They're in a younger-and-cheaper mode, so Sherman, 29, makes no sense. He's a win-now player, and the Jets most certainly aren't a win-now team. He's also due to make $22.4 million over the final two years of his contract.
It'll be interesting to see what the Seahawks can get for Sherman if they wind up dealing him. Four years ago, the Jets received a first-rounder (13th overall) and a fourth rounder for Darrelle Revis. At 28, he was a year younger than Sherman, but he was coming off major knee surgery. I bet Sherman would bring back less than the Revis package.
6. Running out of room: After signing former CFL cornerback John Ojo, the Jets have 82 players on the roster, only eight shy of the league limit. That doesn't leave them much wiggle room, considering they have seven draft picks. They'll have to start making cuts if they accumulate additional picks and/or sign the usual number of undrafted free agents.
7. Capping a fine career: Tony Romo's retirement means the distinction of biggest cap charge in the league falls to Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco ($24.55 million). While researching, I came across something that may cause Jets fans to shudder: Muhammad Wilkerson's $18 million cap number is 19th overall and fifth among non-quarterbacks. The four ahead of him are Justin Houston ($22.1 million), Josh Norman ($20 million), Von Miller ($20 million) and Ndamukong Suh ($19.1 million). Based on his performance last season, Wilkerson doesn't belong in that company.
8. Two-Tone: Romo started 133 games in his career, but only two came against the Jets -- both on special occasions. On Thanksgiving Day, 2007, he led a 34-3 rout of the Jets. On Sept. 11, 2011 -- the 10-year anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks -- Romo committed two costly turnovers in a 27-24 loss. It still ranks as one of the best and most emotional games at MetLife Stadium. As for Romo's legacy, the man had a storybook career, but, please, let's put a lid on the Hall-of-Fame talk.
9. Minor miracle: Tim Tebow homered in his first at-bat for the Columbia Fireflies, a New York Mets single-A team, which means he already has scored more than he did in a full season with the Jets.
10. Big foot to talking head: Remember Tom Hackett? He was the most decorated punter in college football last season and signed with the Jets as an undrafted free agent. He competed against fellow Aussie Lachlan Edwards in training camp, but Hackett was sent packing after only two days. The former Utah standout, known for his big personality, apparently has punted his football career. He currently works as a radio host on a sports talk show in Salt Lake City, according to the Salt Lake Tribune. Hackett keeps a reminder of his Jets career pinned to his office cubicle -- an uncashed paycheck.