Both Teams Will Have Back-to-Back Selections in 2018 NFL Draft
By: Eric Ransom
In a twist of fate, the Giants and Jets will be in prime position to select franchise quarterbacks – right next to each other.
The Giants, coming off a miserable 3-13 season, will be selecting 2nd overall behind the Browns, poised to possibly move on from the Eli Manning era.
After a trade with the Indianapolis Colts, The New York Jets traded their 6th overall pick in this year’s upcoming draft, as well as a few second round selections, in exchange for the 3rd overall pick – right after the Giants.
They even tried to land the 1st overall pick in a trade with the Browns, but had to settle with plan B.
Not only will both be battling for best pick, but five quarterbacks will be up for grabs, and both teams are in dire need of their services.
Among these five quarterbacks could be one or two possible franchise caliber players donned in New York uniforms next year. The big question that remains, though, is who the Giants and Jets fancy – and who the Giants may steal from Gang Green.
Names like USC QB Sam Darnold, a player who has been speculated to be a top pick for months, could be the most popular option for both Big Blue and Gang Green, and even first overall to the Browns.
Darnold, a sophomore, has been touted as a somewhat risky selection, as his short tenure as a player has left scouts hesitant on instilling full trust in his abilities.
Along with Darnold, UCLA QB Josh Rosen has drawn a lot of attention, gathering comparisons to Packers OB Aaron Rodgers.
In fact, Rodgers, a Cal-Berkeley alum, has publicly praised Rosen.
“Josh, he’s got the total package. He throws it really well, he moves well enough – He’s [a] heady, smart, gamer,” said Rodgers.
Other quarterbacks like Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield, Wyoming’s Josh Allen and Louisville’s Lamar Jackson are options as well. Jackson, the 2016 Heisman trophy winner, is projected by some scouts to fit better as a wide receiver.
A quarterback like Mayfield, who won the Heisman trophy this year, has possibly the strongest pedigree, appearing in three bowl games and winning only the Sugar Bowl in 2017. His on the field antics and wild nature may hurt his stock, especially in the New York limelight.
Although the Giants will be in the hunt for one of these coveted gunslingers, the recent trade of pass rusher Jason Pierre-Paul to Tampa Bay may lead them elsewhere on draft night.
With a hole now on the defensive line, the Giants may inquire about NC State lineman Bradley Chubb, a 6’ 4” defensive end with a 4.65 40-yard dash time.
Most recent mock drafts have been steering the Giants away from Darnold for Chubb, with Darnold going to the Browns at number one overall, and Rosen heading to the Jets.
Nonetheless, both the Jets and Giants have watched Darnold and Rosen with great intrigue. Where the Giants pick may not be a given, it is a sure fire bet the Jets will pick the best quarterback available.
The Jets missed out this offseason on free agent quarterbacks like Kirk Cousins, Case Keenum and, briefly, Drew Brees, only to settle on bringing back Josh McCown, and sign the oft-injured Teddy Bridgewater from the Vikings.
Bridgewater is a low-risk, high-reward option for the Jets, after once leading the Vikings to an 11-5 record and a playoff berth in 2015, before injuries halted his 2016 and 2017 seasons.
The NFL draft will take place from April 26-28 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas at 8:00pm.