Jets GM Mike Maccagnan waited patiently, and when USC QB Sam Darnold slipped down to No. 3, he pounced.
"We sat tight and we felt very happy we had a chance to pick him," Maccagnan told the media after selecting Darnold.
Maccagnan wouldn't admit whether or not Darnold was their No. 1 player on their draft board, but he was never nervous the Jets wouldn't land someone they felt confident about.
"I would say simply we felt very good about a few players," Maccagnan explained. "We never felt we had to cross our fingers."
Head coach Todd Bowles sees Darnold with a "very high ceiling," and thinks his natural competitveness can bring out the best in his teammates.
"I like his competitiveness," Bowles said. "He has an inner desire and drive that brings out the competitiveness in other players."
One of Darnold's main problems coming out of USC was his turnovers, as he threw 22 interceptions over his two years starting for the Trojans. But the Jets weren't turned off by that, saying his "upside" outweighed his cons.
"You don't want turnovers on any level...but we feel his upside and ability far outweigh (turnovers)," Bowles said.
It is exactly what they traded up to do, grabbing their potential Quarterback of the Future. But Maccagnan and Bowles both said the 21-year-old Darnold won't be thrown into the starting role. He will need to get acclimated with the playbook and his teammates first.
Make no mistake, though. They won't have him on training wheels.
"We're not going to throw him in there, but at the same time we're not going to hold him back either," Bowles said.
Darnold will travel to the Jets' facility on Friday to reunite with the front office, and meet his new teammates and coaches as an official New York Jet.