The Jets traded up one spot with the Jacksonville Jaguars and drafted Baylor QB Bryce Petty with the 103rd overall selection in the fourth round on Saturday.
"That was the longest 48 hours I've ever had in my last. As soon as they called, it was unbelievable" saidPetty during a conference call shortly after being drafted.
When asked about the transition from a college spread offense to an NFL offense.
"Definitely a mountain to climb" Petty said.
Petty was the 2013 Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year and a 2014 Heisman Trophy finalist.
In his senior year Petty passed for 3,855 yards with a 63.1 completion percentage 29 touchdowns and 7 interceptions.
NFL.com's Gil Brandt had Petty rated as his 53rd best player in this class.
"He throws the ball as naturally as any quarterback in the draft," NFL Media analyst Mike Mayock said during the NFL Network's draft coverage. "Beautiful touch, accuracy, play-action, quick feet, big arm, can drop it in the bucket. He's got all the tools to work with.""But when you say, 'You need a redshirt year,' here's why. The more he has to move away from the pocket, the more he has to get into second and third reads, it leads to bad decisions. ... He's got a long way to go."
"Bryce Petty needs to sit," NFL analyst Daniel Jeremiah added. "Now, hopefully, whoever's playing ahead of him -- be it Geno Smith or Ryan Fitzpatrick -- hopefully they afford him that luxury."
The Jets swapped 4th-round picks with the Jaguars and gave up the 7th-round pick (229) they acquired from the Texans Friday in order to move up.
When I said Friday that trading down in the third round afforded the Jets the luxury of being able to go for a riskier pick later on, I guess this was the kind of pick I meant, because the Petty selection can be characterized as a boom-or-bust pick. Yesterday's trade down gives the Jets more chances to hit on some mid-round level contributors, so even if the Petty pick doesn't work out they can still potentially come out of the last day of the draft with immediate upgrades and added depth going forward.
I view Petty as a long way off from being ready to handle the mental aspects of an pro-style offense. As with Marcus Mariota, there are many things he wasn't really asked to do, so we can't determine how good at them he may or may not be. If the senior bowl is anything to go by, these areas need a lot of work. Unlike Mariota though, although his stats were good, Petty wasn't even that consistent with the things he was comfortable with. I guess that's the difference between a top five pick and a day three selection.
There is upside here, because Petty has adequate size, mobility and arm strength and good intangibles. However, there is likely to be steep learning curve for him in terms of making reads and anticipating pressure. As Jets fans know from recent seasons, that's a rocky path for a quarterback to travel down. If Petty can live up to his full potential then, in theory, he could be an ideal fit for a Chan Gailey-style offense. That's if Gailey is still here when he's ready ... and there's just as much chance that this day will never come.
I like the pick but I'm not going to get ahead of ourselves, as many will. Bryce Petty hits many of the checkboxes (height, body type, live arm, field vision, etc.) for what it takes to be an NFL QB, but there's still plenty of work and worry about the checkboxes he misses (system translation, back injuries, advanced age) to determine what he will be at the NFL level.
Petty played through some brutal back injuries this past year that might have badly effected his accuracy and movement, but the fact that he's already 24 is concerning. Why? Over-simplistically because if he was a better QB he would have already declared for the NFL Draft. It is possible that Petty gets time off the field to get healthy and can play better, but there are going to be concerns about his ceiling as a player along with his health and durability going forward. That's why it's taken him this long to be "good enough" to be just a fourth-round selection.
Don't get me wrong, there's lots to like here in Bryce Petty, but it is by no means a certainty that he is the quarterback of the future. I am pleased that the Jets didn't pull the trigger on day two of the 2015 NFL Draft, but until Petty can prove otherwise he seems like little more than an inexpensive arbitrage play on a Brandon Weeden type of investment.
As for why the Jets traded up one spot?
Ian Rapoport reported that the Browns wanted to move up to take Petty for themselves and the Jets closed the door on that. Not for nothing, but there were plenty of players that I liked infinitely more at this pick than Petty; OT TJ Clemmings, RB Buck Allen, CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu to name just a few.