New York Jets: Early thoughts on Josh Rosen vs. Baker Mayfield

PASADENA, CA - SEPTEMBER 03: Josh Rosen (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
PASADENA, CA - SEPTEMBER 03: Josh Rosen (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

Some early thoughts on the Josh Rosen vs. Baker Mayfield debate from a New York Jets perspective.

The stage is set for the New York Jets. Finally, after years upon years of frustration they can finally choose their franchise quarterback. The suffering, the decades of suffering, finally has the potential to come to an end. Thanks to the bold move by general manager Mike Maccagnan the Jets are selecting number three in the draft, the first time they are in the top three since 1996. That pick, for anyone who doesn’t remember, was Keyshawn Johnson.

If all things stay the same, the majority opinion is that Sam Darnold will be gone after pick number one and that the Giants will take Saquon Barkley. That will leave two popular choices available for the Jets, Josh Rosen and Baker Mayfield. Josh Allen would be available as well but he is not exactly popular amongst Jets fans. The choice that will make everyone happy is either Baker Mayfield or Josh Rosen.

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If you follow me at all you know that my first choice is Josh Rosen. As the days and weeks draw closer to the NFL draft we will have more detailed analysis on both of these players. However, this morning we begin the discussion.

It would be difficult to be disappointed with either of these two players, and Mayfield does have elements that work to his advantage. He played all four college years instead of coming out early like Rosen is doing. His career completion percentage is 68.5% compared to Rosen’s 60.9%. That is special accuracy.

Here is an interesting point on Rosen, Lance Zierlein made this point in his draft profile:

"Rosen has the pocket poise, accuracy and intelligence to become a good NFL starter, but he needs to be willing to take what defenses give him more frequently."

However, that makes Rosen sound like a gunslinger which he is not. The numbers tell a different story. Rosen’s average yards per attempt for his college career was 8.0 while Mayfield’s was 9.8. Maybe he is the gunslinger that needs to take what the defense gives him.

Here is why the preference is Rosen over Mayfield. It’s all in the feet. Rosen’s feet are set perfectly every time he throws. Mayfield’s are not. Mayfield is able to get away with footwork issues at the college level that he won’t be able to in the NFL. He could be developed but, has anyone watched the Jets develop a quarterback lately? If you hadn’t noticed, they aren’t so good at correcting mechanical or footwork issues with their quarterbacks.

They need a guy that doesn’t have those problems, that just needs to learn the NFL way. That is Josh Rosen. His throws could have him start tomorrow, once he adapts to the speed of play.

Now Rosen does have a documented history of injury concerns, but that doesn’t phase me. First of all he came back to play as well as he did last year, marking his high in touchdowns with 26. Secondly, he simply isn’t a mobile quarterback. He’s not Russell Wilson, he’s a Peyton Manning type. He can move when he has to but doesn’t do it that often.

Draft him and build him an offensive line. If the guys up front are blocking for him, the injury factor dissipates significantly. Concussions can be a concern with any quarterback. They get hit in the head it’s a risk, and playing this game it’s a risk. I wouldn’t use that as a reason to pass on a clearly viable player.

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There are character concerns with Rosen. Some believe that he acts “entitled”. That will get stopped quickly in the NFL. If the Jets make the choice, the locker room will police that out. Remember how the late Joe McKnight got hazed when he wasn’t doing what he was supposed to? That was ended quickly and it would be ended for this guy also.

We’ll do more later on, but Rosen is the guy that needs to be the pick, although it’s not as if Mayfield doesn’t have ability.