The Jets are focused on adding a quarterback in free agency, whether they hit the lottery with Kirk Cousins or not. But depending on who they sign, they still might be interested in adding another young quarterback in the draft.
And they certainly are studying Baker Mayfield to see if he could be that guy.
The Oklahoma quarterback figures to be one of the two likeliest of the four top quarterback prospects to still be available when the Jets pick sixth overall. And after meeting with him at the scouting combine in Indianapolis last week, the Jets have several more meetings and scouting opportunities set up with Mayfield in the next few weeks.
The first will take place on Wednesday when representatives of the Jets - along with reps from the other 31 teams - will be in Norman, Okla., for the Sooners' Pro Day. But Mayfield also told TheMMQB.com that he has a private interview scheduled with the Jets in Florham Park, N.J., and that the Jets plan to return to Norman for another private workout.
Mayfield added that he also plans to visit the Giants and Cleveland Browns, and that the Browns, Saints and Dolphins will work him out in Oklahoma. The Browns and Jets - two teams rumored to be very interested in the Heisman Trophy winner - are the only ones he said are planning to do both.
A Jets source said that the team is studying Mayfield, but there have been some initial concerns about how well he'll handle the New York environment. Mayfield is a brash, incredibly confident character who has had some over-the-top missteps in his college career - such as when he defiantly planted a Sooners flag at midfield after beating Ohio State, or was caught on camera grabbing his crotch in the direction of Kansas players who refused to take part in a postgame handshake.
Most scouts think Mayfield's ability makes him one of the best quarterbacks in the draft, even if his height (6-1) isn't ideal. But those personality concerns are a good reason why teams thinking about drafting him would want to meet and talk with him as much as they can before the draft.
It doesn't seem likely that the Giants would draft Mayfield at No. 2 - especially since USC's Sam Darnold, UCLA's Josh Rosen, or possibly both will still be available - but if Mayfield gets past the Browns, who pick at 1 and 4, the Jets could have a choice between Mayfield and Wyoming's Josh Allen at 6.
Just how he'd fit in with the Jets depends on what happens when free agency opens next week. If they land Cousins, who'll be 30 in August, they are set at quarterback for the next 3-5 years and probably would go in another direction with the sixth pick. But if they fail to sign him - a real concern with many people around the league convinced he's destined to sign with the Vikings -- most of the other free agent options come with major questions.
So the Jets might, for example, want to hedge their bets by signing someone like Teddy Bridgewater, who is working his way back from a devastating knee injury, and pairing him with a veteran like Josh McCown and a young player like Mayfield. That would give them multiple options in their search for a quarterback of the future - not a bad idea given the Jets' historic lack of success in finding one.
Allen could be a strong consideration in that case, too, and the Jets will surely be at his Pro Day and make him one of the 30 players they bring in for pre-draft private interviews, too. Mayfield, though, is the most intriguing and possibly controversial options. So it makes sense that the Jets are studying up.