The Jets face a franchise-changing decision at quarterback in the NFL Draft where they may have to decide between Josh Rosen and Baker Mayfield.
If everything goes as planned, the New York Jets will draft their quarterback of the future tomorrow night. The real question is whether general manager Mike Maccagnan will place their franchise in the hands of UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen or Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield.
Everyone has a different opinion about which player would be better for the Jets. Mike Mayock of NFL Network believes Mayfield will come off the board to New York with the third overall pick. Many evaluators like ESPN’s Todd McShay, however, believe Rosen is the better long-term prospect.
The arguments for Rosen getting the nod are pretty obvious. He might very well be the best pure passer in the entire draft. If he’s allowed to sit back and survey the field in a clean pocket then he can absolutely pick a defense apart. The Jets might not be the ideal team to keep him upright, but if they do he’s highly likely to become a productive player early in his career.
Mayfield is the player who is the most polarizing prospect in the draft. Some look at last year’s Heisman winner as the consummate competitor and a proven winner. He inspires his teammates like no other quarterback available this year. You watch his tape in big games and you can’t help but be impressed by his ability to spray the ball all over the field.
The downside for both players is also pretty significant. Many scouts question Rosen’s ability to inspire confidence in his teammates. The fact that he grew up in an affluent household and openly admits to having interests outside of football serve as red flags for some teams. It’s unclear just how the Jets feel about Rosen’s mental makeup.
Mayfield lacks the physical characteristics NFL teams really covet for their franchise quarterbacks. He lacks the size necessary to see over most NFL lineman. Additionally, Mayfield isn’t blessed with elite speed or mobility outside the pocket. He showed the ability to make plays on the perimeter for the Sooners, but scouts aren’t convinced he can replicate that at the pro level.
In my mind, Rosen still has to have the slight edge in this race. It’s rare to see a signal caller come into the NFL with such a polished ability to make throws in the pocket. His propensity to turn the football over too often is a real concern, but the Jets have to believe they can coach that out of them. With all due respect to Mayock, Rosen should be headed to New York with the third pick in tomorrow’s NFL Draft.