New York Jets: Another option early in the 2018 NFL draft

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 24: James Carpenter (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 24: James Carpenter (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) /

Another reason why the New York Jets should go all-in to sign Kirk Cousins to play quarterback is so they can use the draft position on the offensive line.

Sam Darnold or Josh Rosen? Josh Rosen or Sam Darnold? That’s all we seem to hear about when it comes to the New York Jets. Other names have been added to the mix, such as Baker Mayfield and Lamar Jackson but the dialogue hasn’t changed. Who are the Jets going to draft? Who is your favorite? Round and round it goes.

What if, however, the Jets have other plans in mind? There is one other name that often comes up in the quarterback discussion. The name is Kirk Cousins. He will be a free agent at the end of the year and after getting the franchise tag twice, the odds are very low that he will re-sign with the Redskins. Therefore he will be out there for the taking.

Before even taking the end of the season into account the Jets have $80 million in cap space. They will have the money to open the checkbook for this guy. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. The Jets should do what they have to do to bring Cousins into the fold. We have talked in the past about some of the reasons, such as his age and the fact that he is a known-commodity.

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Another reason is that it frees the team up to use the premium draft position to draft a different premium position. It gives the Jets the chance to finally rebuild the offensive line.

And I don’t just mean the middle of the line either. There are other positions to select besides offensive guard. It’s time to fill D’Brickashaw Ferguson’s old position of left tackle. Start there and make your way to the right to fill any holes.

Let’s face facts. The offensive line has been bad. According to Football Outsiders, the Jets offensive line is ranked 25th in run offense with an adjusted line yards average of 3.68 per carry. What muddies the waters more is the fact that the Jets are ranked 5th in open field yards per carry.

What does that tell us? It says that the running backs are making something happen at the second level but the line isn’t helping very much. When put into those terms it obviously needs to change. The line needs to get some push to help the running attack.

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In pass protection, the line has been worse, ranked 30th overall. They have allowed 35 sacks and an adjusted sack rate of 10%. In short, the Jets offensive line isn’t getting the job done and that needs to change. If it doesn’t, it won’t matter who is playing quarterback because they will be running for their lives.

Signing Kirk Cousins frees the Jets to go another way in the NFL draft. It’s time to invest major resources in the line. It’s time to take a high pick and use it on a tackle. The last time they did it, the player they selected stuck around for ten years. It may just be high time to try again.