New York Jets: Quarterback observations from the 2018 NFL Combine

PHOENIX, AZ - DECEMBER 26: Quarterback Josh Rosen (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, AZ - DECEMBER 26: Quarterback Josh Rosen (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images) /

Observations from the 2018 NFL Combine involving the quarterback, the New York Jets most important position to solve.

The eyes of the New York Jets were on Indianapolis on Saturday. For anyone who isn’t aware, yesterday was the day that the quarterbacks had their on-field workouts. Sam Darnold (no throwing), Josh Rosen, Baker Mayfield and the rest of the 2018 QB crop took the field to show the world they are worthy of a high pick.

Mike Maccagnan and company were watching with great interest. If the Jets can’t answer that elusive position with Kirk Cousins they will likely be reaching into this group to find their potential leading man. If they miss it is likely to be the end of the line for Maccagnan and his coach, Todd Bowles. Needless to say this was a big day for the Jets.

With all of that said let’s go through some observations from the big day:

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First of all this group of quarterbacks is fast. Every single one of them ran the forty yard dash in less than five seconds. Not that it’s the most important thing but it is interesting to note the speed of these young kids.

The game has changed which is a big reason for the increase in quarterback speed. As we have all seen there is a bigger premium on making plays with your feet as a quarterback, so these kids are quicker than they used to be.

As far as specific players, Josh Allen and Baker Mayfield were better than I expected. Mayfield is a very accurate passer, at least in this controlled environment. Allen showed off far better footwork than on his game tape. Clearly he prepped for the event by working on a big negative in his game. He’s still not, in this writer’s opinion, the future franchise quarterback of the Jets but he isn’t as bad either. Same for Mayfield.

Lamar Jackson had a tough day. There are rumors that he is being asked by teams to workout at wide receiver, but Jackson has no intention of doing it. However, he needs to clean up his passing. Don’t pay attention to the fact that he was completing passes. He tried very hard to, waiting for the receivers to make their cut before releasing the football. That’s not how it works in the NFL. His footwork wasn’t solid. He definitely hurt his stock.

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Bucky Brooks called Josh Rosen one of the losers of the day. Personally I felt Rosen looked quite good. His deep passes were pretty and hitting wide receivers in stride. Don’t get hung up on incomplete passes. Remember he isn’t working with his own wide receivers so the timing isn’t going to be perfect.

What I found to be most impressive was his ability to anticipate. Rosen was the only one that consistently threw to a spot rather than to a receiver. He would throw the out route prior to the receiver making his break. That is how it is done in the NFL. Regardless of how he did with the completion percentage at the Combine, his footwork was great and he throws with the fluidity of a baseball pitcher.