The New York Jets are getting closer to admitting a mistake in drafting Sam Darnold with the No. 3 overall pick in 2018. Ian Rapoport reports that Jets general manager Joe Douglas is listening to offers for Darnold.
It has long been assumed that one of two quarterbacks would be taken with the No. 2 overall selection in next month’s NFL Draft, BYU’s Zach Wilson or Ohio State’s Justin Fields. The only question remained was if it would be the Jets, or if they would trade out of that position and bank on Darnold.
The Jets sent three second round picks to the Colts in 2018 to move from No. 6 to No. 3 and select Darnold, and they’ll be looking to recoup some of those picks if they move him on. Though they’ll inevitably take a loss on those picks and the No. 3 overall they invested in him in 2018.
If the Jets sit tight at No. 2 and take either Wilson or Fields, it’s the Dolphins at No. 3 who will benefit the most. There are a host of teams in the Top 10 including Philadelphia at No. 6 and Carolina at No. 8 who would still be looking to trade up. Miami could name their price, and it’s going to cost more than the three second rounders the Jets used in 2018.
What this means for the Atlanta Falcons.
The Falcons need to look towards replacing Matt Ryan and planning for the future, but in order to secure one of the big three quarterbacks in the draft, they’ll likely have to trade up. With more than one team in dire need of a quarterback, trading up is going to be cost prohibitive for Atlanta.
Instead, the Falcons should be looking to trade down. There will be plenty of smoke screens in the coming weeks of Atlanta wanting to take a quarterback Mac Jones of Alabama or Trey Lance of North Dakota State. Convincing a team that needs a quarterback that Jones or Lance will be off the board at No. 4 will strengthen their position to trade down.
If the Jets stay at No. 2, that guarantees at least Philly or Carolina, whoever doesn’t trade with Miami, will still be in need a quarterback AND have a high pick to barter.
Bottom line, if the Jets stay at No. 2, that increases demand for Atlanta’s pick at No. 4. New Falcons general manager Terry Fontenot will love to have multiple options.
The Falcons could move to No. 6 or No. 8, pick up an extremely talented player in a position of need and bolster other positions like safety or defensive line as well.