Mike Maccagnan is a cool buyer. For a man who drinks 10 cups of espresso a day (no exaggeration), he by no means appears jittery or rattled. It takes lots to get an increase out of him, which is why it is noteworthy he displayed a touch of defiance final week when questioned about his sketchy historical past of drafting quarterbacks — a hot-button problem within the present panorama.
The New York Jets common supervisor defended himself by reminding reporters that Bryce Petty was a fourth-round choose (2015) and Christian Hackenberg was a “late” second-rounder (2016). It was his means of claiming, “Hey, guys, gimme a break, it is not like I blew a first-round choose.” No, he did not, however Hackenberg was such a colossal miss — he nonetheless hasn’t performed in a recreation — that some of us are questioning if Maccagnan will get it proper on April 26.
“It doesn’t faze me,” Maccagnan mentioned of the criticism. “It’s the school draft. [There are] guys you may hit on and guys who don’t pan out. That’s a part of the method. We really feel fairly assured with this yr’s group and the place we’re located.”
The Jets are choosing third and, barring the draft upset of the last decade, they may choose a quarterback from the group of Josh Allen, Sam Darnold, Baker Mayfield and Josh Rosen. It will be a franchise-altering choice for the Jets and a legacy-defining alternative for Maccagnan, a school economics major-turned-scout who discovered the massive chair in 2015. He’ll try to unravel The Quarterback Riddle, which has flummoxed this star-crossed franchise for many years.
They’ve tried every thing.
They’ve rummaged via the recycle bin (Josh McCown and Ryan Fitzpatrick), they’ve tried their luck within the second spherical (Hackenberg and Geno Smith) and so they’ve rented a employed gun (Brett Favre). Their final first-round choose was Mark Sanchez in 2009, and that was working for a few years — till it wasn’t.
After failing to safe the one fast repair within the 2018 market — Kirk Cousins mentioned no — Maccagnan went again to his days as an economics pupil. He took a few of his finest property (three second-round picks, together with one in 2019) and bought them off for an opportunity to attain with a possible high-yield funding — simply the boldest transfer of his tenure.
The blockbuster commerce with the Indianapolis Colts, which allowed the Jets to climb three spots within the draft order, carries appreciable danger. It is an all-in transfer that may go away Maccagnan out of a job in a few years if it backfires.
“I don’t like essentially giving up the picks, per se, to maneuver up,” mentioned Maccagnan, including he did it as a result of it is an opportunity to “probably assist your self within the greater scheme of issues.”
ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. referred to as it “a hefty worth to pay,” saying the Jets basically gave up three potential starters — the draft picks that went to the Colts — to pick out maybe the third-best quarterback. In that context, yeah, it does not appear to be a sound transfer, however nobody will keep in mind the compensation if the quarterback develops right into a long-term resolution.
It is a calculated gamble, however what? You may’t sit again, passively, and await the following Tom Brady within the sixth spherical. You may’t win a Lombardi Trophy by taking part in it by the guide. To cite Tom Cruise in “Dangerous Enterprise,” typically you simply should say … nicely, .
“We do suppose there are some superb quarterback prospects on this class,” Maccagnan mentioned. “All of them have totally different strengths and possibly some totally different areas of concern or weak spot. That’s one of many explanation why I have been to all these professional days, as a result of there are some actual viable guys there that you just suppose could also be good additions in the event that they fall to us in the fitting spot.”
The query is, can Maccagnan be taught from his previous quarterback errors?
With Hackenberg, Maccagnan relied an excessive amount of on projection. The GM noticed the massive arm and projected what Hackenberg might be, not what he was — an inaccurate passer with questionable instincts.
Will that impact the best way he evaluates Allen, who has an amazing quantity of uncooked, bodily expertise however is taken into account increase or bust?
With Petty, Maccagnan guess on a participant from a variety system, figuring he’d want a yr or two to make the transition to a pro-style offense. It hasn’t occurred for Petty, who’s 1-6 as a starter.
Will Maccagnan downgrade Mayfield as a result of he performed in a variety at Oklahoma?
Hey, nobody mentioned this can be a simple choice. Historical past says two of the highest 4 quarterbacks can be NFL disappointments. Maccagnan put himself within the batter’s field and will get one other swing. Perhaps the third time would be the appeal.