Maybe The Jets Have “A Plan”?

I may have spoken too soon yesterday in my assessment that the NY Jets got “a meager return” for Sam Darnold in the trade with the Carolina P{anthers.  Maybe the new guys in charge of football with the Jets – – Joe Douglas as GM and Robert Saleh as head coach – – have a plan to change the fortunes of the team and the basis of that plan does not require the appearance of a Fairy Godmother every month or so.  The Jets also brought in a haul of draft picks from the Seahawks in the trade then for Jamal Adams.  Over the next two years, the Jets have plenty of “draft capital”; now the question will be how effectively will they use those assets.

  • For 2021, the Jets have two first-round picks, one second-round pick, two-third round picks, one fourth-round pick, two fifth-round picks and one sixth-round pick.
  • That is a total of 9 draft picks this year…
  • For 2022, the Jets have two first-round picks, two second-round picks, one third-round pick, two fifth-round picks and three sixth-round picks.
  • That is a total of 10 draft picks next  year….

If the plan for the Jets is to “get young” and develop young players into a formidable team at a bargain-basement cost against the salary cap, the Jets would seem to be on track to try to accomplish that.  Before anyone reminds me of my complete lack of mind-reading skills, I acknowledge that situation and I still wonder if that is “The Plan” for the current incarnation of the NY Jets.

Readers will surely recall that I am not a fan of relying on “draft capital” to rebuild a team.  I assert that the draft as it is set up does not favor the worst teams all that much and I notice that scouting reports/evaluations often do not reflect performance in the NFL.  I have suggested here several times that NFL teams place a higher value on high draft picks than I think is warranted.

Let me focus here on the first pick overall in the NFL draft over the past 22 years – since Peyton Manning went first overall and had a Hall of Fame career.  These are not random picks from the first round nor are they the first-round picks by a single team; these are the players taken before any other players in that draft class.  So, how did that work out for the teams holding that pick?

  • 1999:  Tim Couch  Browns  – –  Marginal career at best
  • 2000:  Courtney Brown  Browns  – –  Injury riddled career.
  • 2001:  Michael Vick  Falcons  – –  Pro Bowl 4 times; a good selection.
  • 2002:  David Carr  Texans  – –  Mediocre career at best
  • 2003:  Carson Palmer Bengals  – –  Pro Bowl 3 times; a good selection.
  • 2004:  Eli Manning  Chargers  – –  Two Super Bowl rings; an excellent choice.
  • 2005:  Alex Smith  Niners  – –  Pro Bowl 3 times; a good selection.
  • 2006:  Mario Williams  Texans  – –  Pro Bowl 4 times; a good selection.
  • 2007:  JaMarcus Russell  Raiders  – –  Bust, plain and simple.
  • 2008:  Jake Long  Dolphins  – –  Pro Bowl 4 times; a good selection.
  • 2009:  Matthew Stafford  Lions  – –  Very good QB but not enough to make the Lions good.
  • 2010:  Sam Bradford  Rams  – –  Mediocre career at best
  • 2011:  Cam Newton  Panthers  – – NFL MVP in 2015; an excellent choice.
  • 2012:  Andrew Luck  Colts  – –  Pro Bowl 4 times; retired early; excellent choice.
  • 2013:  Eric Fisher  Chiefs  – –  Solid performer; a good selection
  • 2014:  Jadeveon Clowney  Texans – –  Good not great player; a decent selection
  • 2015:  Jameis Winston  Bucs  – –  Never lived up to his press clippings.
  • 2016:  Jared Goff  Rams  – –  Team gave up on him after 5 years.
  • 2017:  Myles Garrett Browns  – –  Pro Bowl twice already; a good selection.
  • 2018:  Baker Mayfield  Browns  – – Jury is still out…
  • 2019:  Kyler Murray  Cards  – –  Jury is still out…
  • 2020:  Joe Burrow  Bengals  – –  Jury is still out…

Considering that this list represents THE BEST college football player available in that year according to the drafting gurus for about half of the NFL, I do not see nearly enough “excellent selections” or “game changer for the franchise” entries on this list.  I guess it is nice to have the chance to draft THE BEST player available in a given year, but the execution of that option indicates to me that it is not nearly as tangibly valuable as it is made out to be.

We shall soon see what Joe Douglas does with that picnic basket full of picks and what Robert Saleh does to turn those guys into NFL caliber players.

Every year, I take my watching of regular season college basketball games plus the tournament games to come up with a “Sleeper Pick” for the NBA Draft.  If I said I had even a 20% hit rate on those “Sleeper Picks” I would be stretching the truth. There were two “Sleeper Picks” that turned out well; Fred Van Vliet has been a solid point guard for the Raptors over the past 5 seasons and Matisse Thybulle has been a valuable bench player for the Sixers since the acquired him in 2019.  Undaunted by the possibility for continued embarrassment, I have 3 names to offer here – – the reason being that two of them are underclassmen and may not enter this year’s draft.

  1. Dexter Dennis – Wichita St.:  He is an excellent defender particularly out at the 3-point line.  He is a junior and has eligibility left.
  2. Neemias Queta – Utah St.:  he is listed at 7’0” and 245 lbs. and I believe that.  He is an excellent ball handler and interior passer.  His offensive game needs some work, but it is hard to “teach” a 7-foot player to dribble the ball effectively.  He is a junior and has eligibility left.
  3. Lucas Williamson – Loyola-Chicago:  He has above average skills as a ball handler, shooter, defender and rebounder.  However, he is not “great” in any of those dimensions…  He is a senior and will be draft-eligible this year.

Finally, apropos of nothing, here is a Tweet from humorist Brad Dickson formerly with the Omaha World-Herald:

“There’s a truck in my neighbor’s driveway reading ‘Two Men and a Snake.’ It’s either a plumbing contractor or the world’s worst petting zoo.”

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………



4 thoughts on “Maybe The Jets Have “A Plan”?”

  1. That comment on Stafford – “not enough to make the Lions good” ? Let’s be fair – they draft a guy with Montana’s accuracy, Brady’s drive, Peyton’s brain, Favre’s arm, who runs like Lamar Jackson, and HE would not make the LIONS good

  2. Perhaps the NY Jets’ plan is to use the 2021 NFL Draft to buoy fan hopes in order to fill stadium seats while collecting enormous TV money–and maybe go 8 – 8 in the process.

    1. TenaciousP:

      If the Jets go 8-8 in 2021 after going 2-14 in 2020, the team and its fans will be ecstatic, and Robert Saleh will be a major candidate for Coach of the Year.

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