Over the next two weeks, FishDuck.com Feature Writer Caleb Couturie will be analyzing the 25 teams in the NFL Draft that may look to select Marcus Mariota.
**DISCLAIMER: This is part of a project FOR FUN. All trades suggested are merely hypotheticals, and do not reflect my actual opinion of what will happen on draft day. Enjoy.**
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No. 6: The New York Jets
NYJ’s Draft Pick: Sixth
NYJ’s 2015 Cap Space: $53,165,074
NYJ’s Top Needs: QB, CB, DE/OT
Have the Jets won a Super Bowl yet, Rex? The ever ambitious Rex Ryan saw his flare for the dramatic take a hit as the 2014 Jets suffered their worst season yet under his tenure. Consequently, the boisterous Ryan was fired. Geno Smith, the savior of New York after Mark Sanchez‘s departure, has been nothing short of awful in his first couple years in the NFL and his backup, Michael Vick, should simply retire.
The Jets don’t have a whole lot going for them other than a solid run defense, and they desperately need some building blocks to form an offense around. If the Jets grabbed Marcus Mariota, he could mentor under Vick (who was the original dual-threat QB) and after a year, or maybe less, Mariota would be the clear-cut starter.
HOW IT CAN HAPPEN:
NYJ trade for the No. 1 pick, swapping their No. 6 pick and sending 2016 first and second-round picks to Tampa Bay. For the Jets, giving up two extra picks would be pricey, but for them there should be no price on what Mariota is worth. The AFC East is weak and getting weaker with every birthday for Tom Brady, so sooner or later someone is going to have to leap the Patriots for the top spot. For Tampa, this is a situation where they stock up on picks and just wait another year for their QB solution. Another year of mediocrity, although frustrating, could put them in a really strong place for the 2016 season.
HOW MARIOTA WOULD DO IN NEW YORK:
Cold. So, so, so, so, so cold. If Mariota thought Oregon was chilly, wait ’til he’s playing in -40 temperatures with wind chill in the snow. It’s not Hawaii, I’ll tell you that. If he could get over the weather, though, Mariota could have a great career in NY. If he’s truly as good as advertised, he could be how the Jets get put back on the map. He’d bring in fans, stimulate tons of revenue in jersey and memorabilia sales, and I mean, come on! It’s New York.
The market is huge and the fans are die-hard. The Jets would need to spend a few years building an offense with actual skill players around him, but since the Patriots look to have a stranglehold on that division for at least another two years, the Jets have time.
WOULD HE START?
Hopefully not. Ryan blew it by starting Smith too early, and that clearly hurt the QB as he still hasn’t developed. It’d be hard, and the fans would have to be patient, but if Mariota could basically redshirt for a year, I think it’d do him a world of good. It’d also help him adjust to the weather and throwing in the cold. This isn’t to say he wouldn’t be the best QB available, he very much would be, but if the Jets knew what’s good for them they’d let him develop before they thrust him in before he was ready.
Jets’ Projected Record with Mariota: 6-10
Jets’ Projected Record W/O Mariota: 5-11
Mariota’s first year stats: 950 yards/5 pass TDs/2 INTs/2 Rushing TDs
Top photo from commons.wikimedia.org