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Most of the draft discussions surrounding quarterback prospects have been focused on the consensus top five prospects: UCLA's Josh Rosen, USC's Sam Darnold, Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield, Wyoming's Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson from Louisville.
However, depending how the offseason goes, the Jets might end up in a situation where they're not in the market for one of the top prospects.
If the Jets address their starting quarterback position in free agency - or even via trade - they may instead find themselves exploring the later rounds to find someone who could be a useful backup, or perhaps has the potential to take over for whoever they get in a few years.
If the Jets manage to win the race to land Kirk Cousins, they'll have to guarantee him so much money that they'd effectively be committed to him as their starter for the next three or four seasons. In that scenario, they'd presumably be looking to find value in the later rounds. Most of the other alternatives - including whoever the Vikings get rid of and maybe even Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles - aren't as much of a sure thing, leaving them still in the market for someone with starter potential in the earlier rounds.
After the top five prospects, the biggest name is Oklahoma State's Mason Rudolph. In fact, Chris Trapasso from CBS Sports not only believes he could crack the top five, but actually has Rudolph ahead of them as his top ranked quarterback.
Trapasso believes that Rudolph is closer to being an NFL-ready prospect than the other top prospects, and says he likes what Rudolph can do in the pocket. However, there are those that credit much of Rudolph's success this year to an excellent supporting cast that included top receiver prospects James Washington and Marcell Ateman.
About 12 months ago, Washington State's Luke Falk was also considered a potential first round pick. Falk is a player who idolizes Tom Brady as he prepares obsessively off the field. However, if his 2016 season was disappointing, his 2017 season was even worse. Falk was banged-up and got benched a couple of times as he played inconsistently. He's now rated as a probable late-round pick, but perhaps within the right system he could realize the potential that had him highly rated in the past.
Several other players have impressed during the season or at postseason all-star games, and it will be interesting to see if any of them impress sufficiently at the combine to move up into the top three rounds.
With all the attention on Mayfield and Allen at the Senior Bowl, it was the opposing team that racked up 425 passing yards and five touchdowns in an easy win. They were led by the draft's outstanding small-school quarterback prospect, Kyle Lauletta, who ended up with three touchdown passes and won the MVP award. Lauletta, who played for the Richmond Spiders, showed good downfield accuracy, and an ability to elude pressure.
Mike White from Western Kentucky and Kurt Benkert from Virginia also raised their stock by each contributing a touchdown pass to the win. White passed for over 3,800 yards in the regular season, more than every other draft prospect apart from Mayfield and Rudolph. He also had more passes dropped than anyone else. Benkert raised his profile in November with an outstanding performance as Virgina almost upset Miami. However, he completed less than 55 percent of his passes in seven of his last eight games.
Texas Tech's Nic Shimonek and Toledo's Logan Woodside weren't invited to the Senior Bowl, but impressed at the previous weekend's all-star games. Shimonek was among the leaders in this class with a completion percentage of over 68 percent and 30 touchdown passes in the regular season. He'll be looking to convince scouts he's more than just a system quarterback. Woodside was among the leaders in yards per attempt, and had a sparkling ratio of 24 touchdown passes to only three interceptions. His issue is that he lacks height at just 6-foot-1.
Riley Ferguson from Memphis could be a late-round bargain if he can bulk up and work on his decision making. Ferguson racked up over 4,200 yards and 38 touchdown passes last year. He showed some improvements in terms of getting rid of the ball more efficiently in 2017.
With most experts agreeing that there are five top prospects in this year's class and the Jets currently holding the sixth pick, they might find themselves in a situation where they'd need to move up to get the one who best suits their needs. Don't be surprised if they opt instead to address the need in free agency and target passers later on in the draft.