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Sunday, April 22, 2018

Annual Draft Issue

Quarterback Rankings
Green Rewind’s contributors along with myself will rate the four QBs. Except for the Ryan Leaf-Payton Manning year I have never seen a pre-draft buzz like now with the four quarterbacks. I’ve heard so called experts say only two of the four will be franchise quarterbacks. Others have said three of four will be. I am in this group. We will remember this quarterback class years from now just as we did the 1983 draft class (Elway, Marino, O’Brien etc.). Ralph, Ray and myself have been following the Jets a combined 100+ years. We have all paid many prices being Jet fans and at this point in our lives no one wants them to pick the right QB more than we three. We are ranking the QBs 4 to 1. Here we go…….

Ralph Sharaga
4: Baker Mayfield: Good arm strength. Accurate thrower. Fun guy. Not concerned about past behavior issues. That being said,  there is no precedent for a 6 foot qb from a gimmicky spread offense  succeeding in the NFL. I hope Mayfield will be the first. Just not a high enough ceiling  to spend the 3rd pick on. 

3:  Sam Darnold:  Consensus top rated qb based more on the year before last. He's a gamer. Resourceful, extends plays- mentally and  physically tough. But he leaves the pocket too quickly, only took 4% of snaps last year from under center and his throwing motion is a bit funky. Not as strong an arm as the either Josh.

2:  Josh Allen:  Over the past 50 years, the three most physically gifted Qbs I have  seen are, in no particular order, John Elway, Bert Jones and Terry Bradshaw. Allen is a notch below these guys. A rare specimen. High ceiling makes him a very tempting pick. Needs work on lower body mechanics (sometimes throws off back foot) which should help accuracy.

1:  Josh Rosen: The three most important traits for a successful NFL qb to have are, 1:arm strength and accuracy, 2:strong pocket presence, 3:and being a film rat (See Brady and Peyton Manning). Rosen checks all three boxes. Personality issues are overblown. Most NFL ready, perfect fit for west coast offense. Durablility is my only concern. Let's hope #3 at UCLA will be #3 on Thursday night.

One final thought. I hope all four of these QBs become great because the Jets are getting one of them. The more likely scenario is that maybe one will become a star. I don't care which one as long as he's wearing the Green and White - in his prime!

Ray Clifford
I, like it seems everyone has no clue who is going where. If you look at the Mock drafts it is almost comical how much they vary. I only have one hope and that is that the Jets make the right choice. Maccagnan will either be canonized or roasted based on this pick. My thoughts, on them... 

4. Josh Allen has scary good POTENTIAL... I hate that word. I know his stats weren't great in crunch time, I know he didn't play with the best talent and I know how much the scouts love him. All I can see is Ryan Leaf vs. Peyton Manning and how many people thought Leaf was the better QB. Is he Ryan Leaf or Carson Wentz? I also can't help but wonder if he's got thick enough skin to 
handle the NY media. Of the four he HAS to sit for a year and can't be rushed. 

3. Baker Mayfield to me is the biggest boom or bust pick. Has tons of "moxie" to quote the late great Keith Jackson, but you better gear your offense to his strengths because he's not going to be Drew Brees, he's going to be Russel Wilson. Numbers guys say he does his best work in crunch time which is a plus. Unfairly compared to Johnny Football. Not sure I would have traded up if this is the guy they want. 

2. Josh Rosen also possesses all the tools and I think would thrive in the NY market. After reading his interview with ESPN I am less concerned about his off field interests conflicting with his drive to be a great QB in the NFL. BUT and it is the big one... those concussions are a scary issue, almost to the point of being a deal breaker. I know the NFL has done a lot to protect the QB over the 
last decade, but it only takes one bad hit and he could be on that downward spiral. Without those he's my pick.

1. Sam Darnold has all the tools and can make all the throws, but was a turnover machine at times. That can be corrected. He is mobile, which might do him good if he's behind this Jets line. I would take him if he's available, but don't see him making it to the 3rd pick.

In the end, I think they traded up for one of the big three and which one is out of their hands. But I will feel like it was a reach if they spent those picks to trade up for Mayfield... unless he pans out. 

Marty Schupak
4. Baker Mayfield: Mayfield is undersized for the NFL with average or above average arm strength. He brings an “edge” to his game walking on to two major football programs and eventually winning the Heisman. When I watched the Senior Bowl, I thought with the few plays he played, he looked somewhat uncomfortable. But he is gritty and makes most of the throws. And despite what some experts have said about him being successful throwing into small windows in the NFL, I am somewhat skeptical. My gut feeling is this is the guy that will be wearing the green and white.

3. Josh Allen: Right after the Senior Bowl I swallowed the Josh Allen Kool Aid. He made two of the best touch passes I have seen in a long time. Athletically he is first of the four with his height, speed and arm. He was handicapped at Wyoming with an inexperienced offensive line and inferior receivers but the accuracy issue raises a red flag to me I cannot get around. A project unlike Hackenberg that may pay huge dividends.

2. Josh Rosen: This talented passer has been unfairly punished because his parents are successful, he sustained two concussions and he had a little bit of an attitude when he was young. Head to head against Darnold he was the better player. He throws very tight spirals through small windows. His comeback against Texas A & M was masterful taking hit after hit but getting better and better coming back from 34 points. With the “Sharaga” factor I may have him at #1 by Thursday. 

1. Sam Darnold: Shocked if the Browns pass on this franchise quarterback. He extends plays like Ben Roethlisberger which I love. He sees the whole field. Some say he is being overhyped because of his interceptions and the way he protected the ball in 2017 fumbling way too much. Throw out the USC quarterback stigma, this player will be great in the NFL. 

Final thoughts….
Though I think Baker Mayfield will be a Jet on Friday morning Josh Rosen is a close second. Fair of unfair whoever the Jets take must be the real deal or else Mike Mac will be gone.

Draft Rumors and Facts
….QB Lamar Jackson is moving up the draft board at warp speed and should go in the first round. Patriots, Cardinals and Chargers are the teams interested…..Jets may trade back into the second round for defensive line help…..Three sources say the Browns are feigning love for Sam Darnold to bait the Giants to trade to No. 1 overall. - Dan Patrick, The Dan Patrick Show…..Six No. 1 picks have quarterbacked their teams to a Super Bowl title. They were: Joe Namath, Terry Bradshaw, Jim Plunkett, Troy Aikman, John Elway, Peyton Manning and Eli Manning. (Steve Young was the first player taken in the aforementioned 1984 supplemental draft.) The lowest drafted quarterback to win a Super Bowl is Bart Starr, who was taken No. 200 in 1956. That’s one spot lower than Tom Brady, who went No. 199 in the 2000 draft. Then there’s Kurt Warner, who wasn’t taken at all in 1994 and went on to win a Super Bowl six years later…..If Darnold is picked first, he will be the 6th USC player to be the first pick of the NFL draft. USC’s previous first overall picks were tackle Ron Yary to the Vikings in 1968, running back O.J. Simpson to the Bills in 1969, running back Ricky Bell to the Buccaneers in 1977, wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson to the Jets in 1996, and quarterback Carson Palmer to the Bengals in 2003…..Despite great stats and talk of him being a fast rising late first rounder, Mason Rudolph, Quarterback, Oklahoma State has been designated by some scouts as overrated and the next Bryce Petty…..The 2000 New York Jets are the only team to make four first-round picks in the same draft…..Luke Falk is now the third quarterback the Patriots have been linked to, with the others being Josh Rosen and Lamar Jackson according to Mike Giardi, NBC Sports Boston…..Green Rewind’s underrated draft prospects: Simmie Cobb Jr. WR, Indiana, Frank Ragnow, Center, Arkansas, Alex Cappa, OT, Humboldt State, Michael Joseph, CB, Dubuque, Michael Gallup, WR, Colorado State, Olasunkanmi Adeniyi, EDGE, Toledo, Mike Hughes, CB, UCF…..Connor Williams, Offensive Tackle, Texas may be the biggest underachiever in the draft…..The best stretch of No. 1 picks may be from 1964-1971.Three of the eight selections made the Hall of Fame (Ron Yary, O.J. Simpson, Terry Bradshaw), four of the others made the Pro Bowl and the last one, Jim Plunkett, quarterbacked two teams to a Super Bowl title and was the game’s MVP once…..On Friday, Tom Pelissero of reported that LSU stars Arden Key and Derrius Guice could slip in the draft due to off-field concerns…..Jason La Canfora continues to hear that the Patriots are trying to trade up for a quarterback while Doug Kyed of NESN reports that Josh Rosen is the player that they are most interested in….Senior Bowl director Phil Savage believes the Browns will select Josh Allen first overall……Some think South Carolina tight end Hayden Hurst is a top ten talent…..Six teams had Josh Allen in for interviews at their facility. The Jets were the only team to have a private workout with him….

More from Ralph…….
Why Taking Baker is a Bad Idea
How is it that no one knows for sure who the Browns will take. No one has a clue what the Giants will do with pick #2. Yet more and more media and football people feel the Jets are in love with and taking Baker Mayfield at 3. Why are the Jets the only team
tipping their hand!!? There are two possible answers.
1; This is a smokescreen being bought hook, line and sinker by many. (My personalview)
2: Mike Mac. is not very bright for A; tipping his hand B: seriously considering Mayfield with the 3 rd pick. But let’s face it, anyone capable of drafting Hackenberg is capable of any folly.
Let’s consider the idea of drafting Mayfield with pick 3. In my 57 years of following pro and college football, I can count the number of 6 foot QB’s on one hand, who have had good to great careers in the NFL. That is the definition of a long shot. You don’t take
long shots at pick 3. Heck, NBA teams don’t draft 6 foot 8 inch centers with the 3 rd pick.. Remember, Brees was a 2 nd rounder and Russell Wilson a third rounder. But Mayfield’s height isn’t the only issue. Watching game film you can see he has a good
and accurate arm. Athletically he’s average at best. (Runs a 4.84 40. Russell Wilson ran a 4.54. That’s the difference between escaping a collapsing pocket and getting sacked). But because of the talent, coaching and system at Oklahoma, he threw into huge windows,
had all day to pass and had crazy good stats. But college football is full of QBs who played for strong teams in good systems and, as a result, had great stats. Check out the stats for Tebow, Geno Smith, AJ McCarron, and Bryce Petty just to name a few. Another
issue is that Mayfield never took a snap under center. Taking Mayfield would mean completely changing your offense to suit him. At pick 3, there is a good chance the Jets will be presented with a choice of Mayfield or Josh Allen. We all know the strengths and weaknesses of both by now. Comparing them is tough because Allen played for a mediocre mid major program at Wyoming while
Mayfield was at a national powerhouse. This is why I suggest watching a tape of the Senior Bowl. They were teammates on the North squad (BTW, since when is Oklahoma considered north). So they both played with and against the same players on the same
day. Granted it’s a small sample but I found it revealing.
In Mayfield’s two series he looked unsure of himself. Taking snaps from center, having less time to pass and throwing into much smaller windows. One of his passes was batted down at the line. Whoever picks him better get used to that. Allen on the other hand
played well. He looked confident, displayed great touch, and seemed at home in a more pro style offense.
(FYI in Tom Brady’s senior year he threw 16 tds and had 6 ints. This year Josh Allen had threw 16 tds and had six picks. Just sayin’)As I said at the top, I believe this Mayfield frenzy is a smokescreen. I think the Jets are trying to bait a team, that loves Mayfield, into trading up to #2. That would enable the
Jets to grab the guy they really want – Josh Rosen.

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