Over the course of this season, it has become clear that the New York Jets do not have their franchise quarterback on the roster of the New York Jets. As perhaps the earliest and most fervent Geno Smith supporter, it pains me to say that but at some point you just have to face facts before you sink four years into a quarterback. Smith may have a shot this season to reclaim his starting role, however it seems likely that he'll sit and learn on the bench and compete for the job again in the offseason. With a cheap rookie contract, it's doubtful Smith is going anywhere, even if the team fires the coaching staff and front office.
However, that doesn't mean Smith will just be "given" the starting role back. I would be extremely surprised if the team didn't draft a quarterback this year, even if it isn't as high as many are suggesting. In my opinion, you don't draft a quarterback in the top five, where the team will likely be sitting, unless you're sure about him. He's gotta meet all your criteria for a franchise quarterback, because if you get the wrong guy that high up, you're likely setting your franchise back for around four years. I don't see anyone here that I'm that confident about, especially because this is a fairly weak class, so I would personally sign Sam Bradford, Brian Hoyer, or Jake Locker as a stopgap until I find my guy.
That said, let's take a look at a non-exhaustive list of the quarterbacks that will be available this year in the draft:
|Connor Cook||Michigan State|
|Dak Prescott||Mississippi State|
|Everett Golson||Notre Dame|
|Jacoby Brissett||N.C. State|
|Jameis Winston||Florida State|
Of these guys, Winston is my favorite. His leadership intangibles are particularly striking, but his off-the-field concerns are a clear trend of a guy who thinks he's above the law. Winston has been widely compared to Ben Roethlisberger (I've also heard Steve McNair), and I think this is an apt comparison. Roethlisberger is probably my favorite active quarterback and probably the most underrated currently playing, so I could be convinced to draft Winston, although you won't find me banging the table for him.
After Winston, my second favorite quarterback is likely Rakeem Cato, although he is a late round developmental prospect. Cato is a dark horse Heisman contender, and the backbone of the 8-0 Marshall Thundering Herd. I highly suggest you start getting to know him, and I would be very happy if the team used a late round pick on him. He may just be this year's Russell Wilson.
Outside of possibly Winston, I don't believe there are any Day 1 QBs in this draft. That includes Mariota, who I believe would need to sit for some time to learn a pro-style offense, because as we've seen with Smith, it's a big transition. How would you rank these quarterbacks? How would you approach the quarterback position this offseason?