Heading into training camp 2018 for the New York Jets, they could have quite the quarterback competition on their hands. The re-signing of Josh McCown, signing of Teddy Bridgewater and with the trade with the Indianapolis Colts moving from six to three to quite possibly draft the quarterback of the future. could bode well for them this season. Who is going to be the person to lead the Jets heading into the 2018 season? Here is how it could all shake out in a potential race for the starting gig.
Good: He provides leadership as he is a quarterback that players can trust. Last year, he had 2,926 yards passing with 18 touchdowns and only nine interceptions in his first season with the Jets. In 15 years in the NFL, he has passed for 17,168 with 97 touchdowns and 78 interceptions. A stacked receiving core of Robbie Anderson, Jermaine Kearse, and Terrelle Pryor, Quincy Enunwa, Andre Roberts, ArDarius Stewart, and Chad Hansen should help him as well as he has a bit of a rapport with these guys.
Bad: During his NFL career, he has not played a full season due to injuries including last season when his season ended in week 13 against the Denver Broncos with a broken hand. For him to remain healthy, the offensive line will have to protect him. The line, last year, ranked 26th in the league in quarterback sacks, giving up 2.9 sacks per game to the opposing defense. Keeping McCown upright will be a big goal in 2018 to prevent any more injuries. Another thing that has plagued him in his career is his completion percentage as last year was his best with 67.3 percent. Prior to last season, he has only hit 60 percent or higher four times in his 15-year career.
Depth Chart: Heading into training camp, the former Sam Houston State quarterback will be the number one quarterback on the Jets depth chart. He will need to show head coach Todd Bowles and new offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates that he is the man to lead the team heading into the upcoming season.
Good: During his three years in the NFL, Bridgewater has passed for 6,150 yards with 28 touchdowns and 22 interceptions. What makes him so versatile is not only can he beat you with his arm, but he can beat you with his legs as well rushing for 398 yards and four touchdowns in his three years in the league. He is still young only 25 years old and has plenty of good years left pending that he can comeback fully from a serious knee injury in 2016. Like McCown, he will have a talented receiving core to throw the ball too.
Bad: He missed the 2016 season after completely tearing his ACL and dislocating his left knee during a non-contact injury. That injury was so serious that he thought, at the time, he was going to lose the leg. The protection will be key for him to remain healthy as the offensive line will have to protect him. Taking too many hits, especially to the knee, could be a “dooms day” scenario for Bridgewater.
Depth Chart: Heading into camp look for Bridgewater to be the number two quarterback on the depth cart. For him to overcome McCown as the starter, it will take a strong offseason.
Good: During his collegiate career, Mayfield put up 14,607 yards with 131 touchdowns and only 30 interceptions with a quarterback rating of 175.4. He also was a threat on the ground rushing for 1,083 yards with 22 touchdowns, making him a dual-threat. He has a flamboyant personality and that is something they have not seen at the quarterback position since the days of Joe Namath. A polarizing player in college transferring that spunk to the pro level could be something that could make him a good pro for years to come. With McCown and Bridgewater on the roster, he can sit and learn from two players that have NFL experience as opposed to being thrown in the lion’s den.
Bad: At only 6’1, he is considered small for a NFL quarterback. In addition, Mayfield has on and off the field concerns. He was arrested in 2017 for public intoxication, disorderly conduct, and resisting arrest. During a game against the Kansas Jayhawks in 2017, he used negative language and inappropriate behavior towards the Jayhawk sideline.
Depth Chart: Mayfield will go into camp as the number three quarterback with both McCown and Bridgewater ahead of him. He will be the quarterback of the future, but to sit and learn could do him some good like Kansas City did with Patrick Mahomes.
With three solid quarterbacks on the roster, the Jets have viable options. However, each of them do have question marks. It will be fun to see how this plays out between OTAs, mini-camp, training camp, and into the regular season. Only time will tell who the Jets will go to at quarterback.
Photo from Josh McCown’s Twitter.