By Lenn Robbins
Gosh this is going to be harsh for New York football fans but there’s a very good chance they wake up Friday morning with neither the Jets nor Giants having their franchise quarterback.
Talk about buzzkill going into Thursday night’s first round of the NFL Draft.
More than one expert believes Zach Wilson is not the second-best quarterback available to the Jets, who seem committed to taking the BYU product. And at least one expert believes that quarterback Daniel Jones, who has some extremely desirable qualities, is not the man to the get the Giants to promised land.
Break out the official NFL Draft tissues, now.
A look at the Jets first because of their lofty draft position. They should have their choice of Wilson, Alabama’s Mac Jones, Ohio State’s Justin Fields or Trey Lance from North Dakota State.
“I have Fields as my No.2 quarterback,” said Reid Fowler of DraftKings. “And I actually have Zach Wilson ranked No.4. I think Trey Lance has more upside than Zach Wilson.”
Fowler is not the only one who believes the Jets would be better served, much better, by taking a quarterback not named Wilson. ESPN’s Jeff Legwold has Wilson listed as the 24th best prospect, not the second.
And he does not have Wilson rated behind Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence, who will be drafted by the Jaguars with the No.1 pick unless Russian hackers take over the draft. Following Lawrence he has Lance as the second best QB prospect (ninth overall) and Fields third (11th). Jones falls just outside the first round at 33 and the 5th-best quarterback.
Back to Wilson
“I do have some issues with them taking him No. 2 overall because he has to be transcendent, right?” said Fowler. “You talk about these top three, four picks, arguably top 5 and you see the Jadaveon Clowneys of the world, the Jameis Winstons, even though Winston and Marcus Mariota didn’t pan out, those guys had the super stat hype train; they were going to change the landscape of a franchise.
“I don’t know if Zach Wilson’s that type of guy, not from a talent perspective because I think he’s got some of the best talent in the world but just from a durability standpoint. I don’t know if this guy can stay upright for a long time.”
Fowler is referring to the fact that Wilson had hand surgery and surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder. At 6-foot-3, 209 pounds, Wilson has good burst as opposed to straight line speed. He also has a quick release, which should help him avoid absorbing the big hit.
Fowler’s other concern is Wilson’s fiery demeanor. He brought that up when asked about Jones.
“I think he’s the right guy for New York,” Fowler said of Jones. “And the reason why I say that, the reason why Zach Wilson is going to have a tougher time adjusting to the New York media, is because he’s not like Daniel Jones.
“You take a look at the players that have truly been successful in New York – Eli Manning, two Super Bowls, very level headed. He didn’t let anything get to him.
“Derek Jeter – you want that kind of person in New York where you have such high highs and low lows. I do think he’s right guy for [Giants GM Dave] Gettleman and New York but I don’t think right now he’s the guy who’s going to take them to the next level.”
So, what do the Giants do in this draft? Fowler said Big Blue should grab Fields, if he falls to No.11. Assuming that doesn’t happen, Fowler likes the Giants options.
They could take one of the three elite wide receivers – LSU’s Ja’Marr Chase, Alabama’s Jaylen Waddle or DeVonta Smith. Or they could continue in what seems to be a never-ending quest to build the offensive line, a process that was stalled with last year’s drafting of Andrew Thomas. Or they could go back to a Big Blue recipe for success.
“In the New York market you’ve had Michael Strahan, Jason Pierre-Paul, Justin Tuck, Olivier Vernon, when he was healthy,” said Fowler. “The Giants need to get back to that edge rusher that they had.”
Fowler likes Miami’s Jaelen Phillips as the best pass rusher in this draft. We have pegged Phillips as our favorite defensive player, following Antoine Winfield Jr. last season. Purdue’s Rondale Moore is our favorite offensive player.
And as for the Jets?
“I would love for the Jets to take Justin Fields because he has that thing about him,” said Fowler. “He has that Russell Wilson type of personality where it’s about winning, it’s about the team.”
Now where are those NFL Draft tissues?
The NYExtra.com’s Final Mock Draft
The NYExtra.com’s Final Mock Draft
- Jaguars – Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson.
- Jets – Zach Wilson, QB, BYU.
- 49ers – Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State.
- Falcons – Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida.
- Bengals – Penei Sewel, OT, Oregon.
- Dolphins – Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU.
- Lions – Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State.
- Patriots – Mac Jones, QB, Alabama.
- Broncos – Rashawn Slater, OT, Northwestern.
10.Cowboys –– Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina.
11. Giants – Kwity Paye, DE, Michigan.
12. Eagles – Patrick Surtain II, CB Alabama
13. Chargers – Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech.
14. Vikings – Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama
15. Panthers – Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State.
16. Cardinals – Patrick Surtain II, CB Alabama
17. Raiders –– Alijah Vera-Tucker, OG, USC
18. Dolphins – Najee Harris, RB, Alabama.
19. Washington – Trevon Moehrig, S, TCU.
20. Bears – Teven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State.
21. Colts – Jaelen Phillips, DE, Miami.
22. Titans – DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama
23. Jets – Azeez Ojulari, DE/LB, Georgia.
24. Steelers – Jamin Davis, LB, Kentucky
25. Jaguars –– Greg Newsome II, CB, Northwestern.
26. Browns – Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame.
27. Ravens – Elijah Moore, WR, Ole Miss.
28. Saints – Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue.
29. Packers –Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota.
30. Bills – Christian Barmore, DT, Alabama.
31. Ravens (from Chiefs) – Jason Oweh, DE/OLB, Penn State.
32. Bucs- Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa