New York Jets’ First Round Draft Decisions; Marcus Mariota Or Vic Beasley?


Why New York Jets Should Not Draft Marcus Mariota

At the end of every New York Jets season, fans are faced with an abundance of difficult questions that loom over the future of their beloved franchise. However, the question marks are not the source of what has caused Gang Green’s offseason troubles in the past, but rather, how the organization chose to answer those questions — if at all.

Luckily this year, the Jets have answered with an exclamation point, and have flown out of their comfort zone.

In one of the most exciting offseason’s in recent Jets memory, it seems as if new General Manager Mike Maccagnan, and Head Coach Todd Bowles, have truly started to put together a playoff caliber team. The two have done a decent job so far of answering the team’s questions, although, many still remain. Their biggest challenge yet will certainly be the NFL Draft.

How To Handle Round 1

As free agency begins to slow down, it’s time to look towards the draft. This year, the New York Jets have the sixth overall pick. While many speculate them to select Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Marcus Mariota, it’s in the Jets’ best interest to exercise other options. Mr. Mariota undoubtedly had an impressive NFL Combine. Although, and as its been seen in the past, obtaining an athletic skill set does not necessarily guarantee a quarterback success in the NFL.

This years draft class isn’t the greatest we’ve seen. However, there are key players throughout the first round in positions such as wide receiver, cornerback, offensive line, quarterback, and most importantly for the New York Jets, defensive linemen/outside linebackers. If the Jets want to make a serious impact, they have to look to the edges.

I can already hear the groans of angry fans claiming they don’t need to pick another defender in the first round. Yes, the New York Jets need a franchise quarterback, that is a well known fact, but I do not see them finding one in Marcus Mariota.

Drafting him would create more media controversy than the Jets need and would essentially bury New York fans with questions that are otherwise deemed unnecessary. Questions that would center around when exactly Mr. Mariota would play, or if the offense is conditioned enough to keep up with his fast paced play style. Essentially, all he would seem to add is more commercial spotlights criticizing every movement the Jets make. These frenzies have caused turmoil for New York in prior seasons.

Right now the Jets have a solid defense. After signing cornerback Buster Skrine and safety Marcus Gilchrist, as well as reuniting with former Jets Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie, the secondary jumped from one of the worst in the league, to possibly the best. This defensive backfield can now compliment the ferocious rushing defense that ranked top 5 in the league in yards allowed last season.

All that is left for the Jets to add, is a true, elite pass rusher and I believe they will find that in the first round this year with Clemson’s own Vic Beasley. That is just one name to choose from, but if by chance he is not available by the sixth pick, plenty of other talent still remains on the board, in that position.

“Beasley has the flexibility to be able to duck their reach and turn the corner, showing excellent speed to close”

Vic Beasley had an eye-catching NFL Combine performance. According to CBS Sports Scouting Report, “Beasley might have the best first step in the draft. His burst off the ball frequently catches tackles off-balance and he’s able to cross their face. Beasley has the flexibility to be able to duck their reach and turn the corner, showing excellent speed to close.”

Assuming the Jets’ defense is in good health, Beasley is the one who can elevate them from solid to scary. The 243-pound defensive end who switches to outside linebacker, has been criticized of his strength but with Sheldon Richardson, Muhmammad Wilkerson, and Damon Harrison beating on the offensive lines, Beasley is a guy who will rush the edge and bring down the quarterback. Beasley has a lot of raw talent that can be molded by an aggressive coach like Todd Bowles.

Despite being criticized of his struggles against the run, and his overall strength, Beasley brings a speed to the outside like no other, with an incredible ability to hit and strip the ball carrier. His strength can be built up, and his fundamentals can be taught over time. Speed can not be taught; his 4.53 40-yard dash is proof of that. Even as a primary edge rushing linebacker, there are many things Beasley can learn from traditional veteran linebackers such as David Harris, and Calvin Pace. Through development from a determined coaching staff, and leadership from a seasoned core, Vic Beasley seems like the best route for the Jets.

By not drafting Mariota, the Jets can use their early pick to grab a true difference maker. This also gives new Offensive Coordinator Chan Gailey, a true chance to develop quarterback Geno Smith.

I am well aware of the fact that Geno Smith has been sub par to say the least in his first two years as a pro. However, it’s important to remember that developing a quarterback in the NFL is something that takes time, patience, but most of all, defeat of some sort. There has certainly been unforgettable moments. Nevertheless, it is imperative that the New York Jets play with what they’ve got right now.

Newly acquired Ryan Fitzpatrick is also an alternative at the position, who has previously worked with Chan Gailey in Buffalo. The Jets have other options than just Smith. Fitzpatrick is a veteran that can help progress Smith, or they could even take a quarterback in the later rounds (Bryce Petty, Brett Hundley) to further the competition.

It is well recognized that these aren’t exactly the best options in terms of longevity for the New York Jets. It hasn’t been an easy road for Smith. Let’s remember that Rex Ryan failed to develop any type of quarterback success in his six year stint. Under the new coaching staff, it is certainly not impossible for Geno Smith to become a successful NFL quarterback. This is still a better option than drafting Marcus Mariota, who barely knows how to run a huddle because he never played in one with Oregon.

More from New York Jets

Also, the Jets have always been a firm believer in the ground and pound, a constant running play style; I see that being an issue for him because he did not take snaps from under center with Oregon either. Marcus Mariota is a flawed quarterback, which is expected with his age and experience. But thats not why the Jets shouldn’t draft him. The Oregon star may go on to succeed with other teams, but he will not evolve as a quarterback with the New York Jets. Bottom line—bad fit.

Smith may not be the answer for the New York Jets, but this is the roster that will give them the absolute best way to find out. The acquisition of Brandon Marshall will give the Jets a true number one receiver. This will allow Eric Decker to see more catches, as well as Jeremy Kerley and tight end Jace Amaro. Chris Ivory will lead the run game by providing the Jets with consistent yardage, as he will see much more carries this year. If the Jets use their pick on Mariota they take a tremendous risk that does not seem worth taking. If he’s on the board, they should draft Beasley from Clemson.

Next: Who Could New York Jets Take In 1st Round In 2015 NFL Draft?

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