NFL Draft Discussion
The Jets and the Colts pulled off a blockbuster trade last week that sent shockwaves around the league. It’s unusual that draft trades occur this far in advance of the actual draft but New York wanted to ensure that they’d have a chance at a top Quarterback prospect.
The two teams swapped 1st round picks as the Jets moved up three spots to the #3 overall pick in next month’s draft. Indianapolis moved back to the #6 slot but also acquired three 2nd round picks (37th overall, 49th overall, 2019 2nd round). Dan Ficca and Rob Grimwood break down the trade from both sides here.
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Grade the Trade:
Dan: I actually think this was a fair trade that makes a lot of sense for both teams. The Jets certainly gave up a bunch of picks to move up only three slots. However, they were clearly not comfortable sitting back at 6 and hoping that their guy would fall to them. I feel like they did what they had to do to secure their future QB. They do have a ton of holes to fill and could have really used those 2nd round picks to infuse the roster with young talent.
That being said they have one gaping hole that has been there for what seems like ages and that has been at the QB position. They should be able to land one of the top prospects in Sam Darnold (USC), Josh Rosen (UCLA), Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma) or Josh Allen (Wyoming). If the Jets can finally succeed with this pick and draft their franchise Quarterback I don’t think anybody will lament over what was surrendered to get him. Of course, the downside is if they fail yet again. If the Jets draft the wrong Quarterback the team will have really set themselves back for years to come losing what would basically amount to 4 early picks in 2 years.
Rob: I agree with you Dan, the trade was a fair deal which may slightly be in Indy’s favor in my opinion, but nonetheless was a trade that needed to happen for both teams. The Colts need stoking, rebuilding, re-branding. The best way to do this is to build on its future. We need to take a leaf out of our division rivals book down in Jacksonville where they have re-shaped their organization from top to bottom and are now reaping the benefits of doing that.
There are so many holes and needs on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball in Indianapolis so being able to have four picks in the first 50 in this upcoming draft is pivotal to addressing these issues. Chris Ballard has hinted that the 6th overall pick may still be used as trade bait and because of the depth of quality in QB likely to be seen drafted in the top 10, this may be the case- although I would imagine it will be a draft day decision depending on whether particular targets are available when Irsay and company are on the clock.
Dan: Despite the claims of some fans that the Jets should take the best available player at #3 there is no doubt in my mind that they will draft a QB. Teams do not give up that much draft capital to move up to the top 3 to select anything but a Quarterback. The Jets have not had anything close to a franchise Quarterback in what has felt like ages, and they’re finally hoping to change that. I think they have their eyes on Josh Rosen but he’s going to be a tough get. If the Browns draft Sam Darnold as expected, then the Giants are the wild card. They could draft Rosen, RB Saquon Barkey, DE Bradley Chubb or trade back with a QB needy team like Buffalo. If that happens there are reports that the Jets have Josh Allen ranked ahead of Baker Mayfield which would be a mistake in my opinion.
I rank the top Quarterbacks Rosen, Mayfield, Darnold, and Allen, so my hope is that the Jets end up with one of Rosen or Baker. Ultimately I do think that they end up with Josh Rosen. He’s the most polished of the top 4 and despite questions about his character, he would be a great fit in New York. Although he has some injury (shoulder, concussions) and arm strength concerns he is an accurate passer, with great field vision that can throw his receivers open. So my hope is that Rosen is the pick for the Jets at 3.
You’re right Rob with so many holes to fill Indy needed to stockpile picks. Do you see them having a specific player in mind at 6 or will they go with the best player available?
Rob: There are a couple of different scenarios that the Colts could play with coming into this draft. Firstly, they could wait at #6 and take the best player available. Now, assuming there is four QB’s off the board in the first 5 picks, that would leave Indy in a position to draft either Bradley Chubb (DE, NC State) or Saquon Barkley (RB, Penn St), both of which would be great suitors for Indianapolis’ current needs and both players that would receive warm welcomes at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Secondly, if Chubb and Barkley are both off the board when it comes to Indy’s pick, they could in fact trade this pick away again as I eluded to earlier. There seem to be a few suggestions floating around the analyst community that Buffalo would be interested if this was the case. From an Indianapolis standpoint, those #12 and #22 picks sure look pretty juicy to add to our arsenal of 2nd round picks, especially with recent news that Bills’ general manager Brandon Beane is “trying like hell” to grab a pick enabling them to take an elite prospect.
Bottom line is- most Indianapolis fans would be happy and content with either of these scenarios. This initial trade with the Jets was a great piece of business from Chris Ballard and still leaves the Colts in a prominent position when draft day rolls around.