It’s never too early to start thinking about the NFL draft. Especially if you’re a team suffering through a painful season, like the New York Jets.
Riddled with questions marks on the roster, a major need at quarterback and a head coach on the hot seat, the Jets seem to be living in a constant nightmare as the 2016 NFL regular season moves from week-to-week.
In case Jets-fans need a nugget of news to make them feel good about the future of their beloved franchise, a recent report from the New York Daily News should get some of Jets faithful a little excited.
The report indicates that the Jets are very interested in North Carolina junior quarterback Mitch Trubisky, who is assumed to be available in the 2017 NFL Draft. Trubisky has yet to officially declare.
“They got their eyes set on the North Carolina quarterback,” a rival scout reportedly told the Daily News. “The Jets are all over this kid. All over him. They’ll probably deny it if you ask, but they love that kid. That’s their guy. They’re not going to get him though, because I think that kid is going to get over-drafted.”
Trubisky’s mother says that Mitch is on track to graduate this month and will announce whether he’ll enter the draft after UNC’s game against Stanford in the Sun Bowl on December 30th.
While the anticipated draft class of quarterbacks for 2017 is mediocre at best, a team like the Jets should be in position to get one of the draft’s top quarterback prospects.
Jets owner Woody Johnson consulted Charley Casserly during his search for a head coach and a general manager a few years ago. Casserly spoke about the Jets’ current quarterback situation, Bryce Petty in particular, as well as the idea of drafting a quarterback in the draft.
“Trying to train a quarterback in the fire… that’s not the way you get it done,” said Charley Casserly, who consulted Johnson in his search for a new coach and general manager two years ago. “You got to get it done in the offseason and bring him in and build him up. That’s the ideal way to do it. Obviously, they’re going to play (Petty) for four games and see how he progresses and then make the decision.”
“Anything he does would NOT influence my draft decision,” Casserly said. “That’s my opinion. If there’s a quarterback in a round you like, I’d take him anyway. The more, the merrier and we’ll figure this thing out. It doesn’t seem like there’s a guy in the draft where they’re picking (in the first round) that is the answer to the problem unfortunately.”
Trubisky has the arm strength, size and athleticism that would suggest he will translate well at the NFL level but he only been a full-time starter for one season. One area he needs to improve on is his footwork and pocket presence.
But in the one season Trubisky has started he produced big numbers; 3,468 yards, 28 touchdowns and only 4 interceptions.
Is he the answer at quarterback for the Jets? It remains to be seen, but it appears the Jets have him high on their draft board, perhaps at the very top.