The Jets are sitting in a sweet spot in the upcoming NFL Draft. They hold a high pick (No. 3) in a draft that isn't thought of as quarterback rich. That means any team that wants a quarterback should want to move up to get their first choice, rather than wait and settle for seconds.
And the Jets are just the type of team that should be very interested in trading down.
For one thing, they already have their franchise quarterback. For another, a pass rusher is one of their greatest needs, and there are plenty of quality pass rushers at the top of this draft. And maybe most importantly, the Jets are a rebuilding team with a ton of holes, yet they only have six picks in this draft and no second-rounder (which they sent to the Colts in the Sam Darnold deal last year).
They should explore trading down in the draft to recoup their second rounder and add additional picks - as long as they don't drop down too far.
So which quarterback-needy teams are most likely to be interested in moving up? There are several in the Top 10 and a few just outside it. It's impossible to even guess at what a trade package would look like without knowing how much competition there is. But the lower the Jets go, obviously, the more extensive the package could be. Who knows? They could even recoup their second-rounder and add a future first-rounder, too.
Here's a look at the teams that might want to strike a deal:
1) Oakland Raiders (at No. 4)
Jon Gruden seems like exactly the kind of coach/executive to take an early leap of faith on a guy like Kyler Murray. It's all speculation on Murray right now, but if he gets to 3, Gruden could be tempted to prevent someone else from dealing up to get him.
For the Jets, they could recoup their second-round pick and still get the player they would've taken at 3. The Raiders, by the way, have three first-round picks, though it's hard to see them giving one up to move up one spot.
2) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (at No. 5)
The Bucs have committed to Jameis Winston for 2019, but his contract runs out after the season and they've said nothing about 2020. Drafting a first-round quarterback would be a terrible way to show their faith in him, but he's been a lot of trouble in his short career with inconsistent results.
It's doubtful they'd do it, but if they were willing a trade, a deal would be similar to any deal the Jets could strike with the Raiders. They could get their second-rounder back and still get a top pass rusher since they wouldn't move far at all.
3) Giants (at No. 6)
A deal between these two intra-stadium rivals makes so much sense, yet because of their internal rivalry and proximity, it's almost certainly not going to happen.
But playing the hypothetical, it could be a win-win. If the Giants decide to take a quarterback - and it's still only an "if" - this might be the only way to guarantee they get their man. And the Giants could give up their high second-round pick, plus a bunch of others. They have seven picks between Rounds 4 and 7, and maybe more on the way in terms of compensatory picks.
Plus, to get a franchise quarterback, they can give up something from next year's draft too. The Jets get their picks. The Giants get their quarterback. I mean, why not?
4) Jacksonville Jaguars (at No. 7)
There is no doubt they are eyeing the quarterbacks in this draft, and there is no doubt they are looking at opportunities to leap-frog over the Giants if they decide to take one. Imagine the Jets holding an auction for their pick with Tom Coughlin and the Giants as the two fiercest bidders. It would be fascinating.
The Giants have more picks to offer. Both have extra third-round picks. All their picks are in the same range. Would one of them dangle a 2020 first-rounder to seal the deal?
5) Detroit Lions (at No. 8)
But don't they have Matthew Stafford under contract through 2022 on a deal that makes him uncuttable/tradeable for the next two seasons? OK, sure, but on Tuesday, GM Bob Quinn refused to rule out drafting a quarterback at No. 8. They're probably not in an urgent position where they need to trade up, but if they fall in love with someone who can be Stafford's successor …
6) Denver Broncos (at No. 10)
Now we're in the area where the Jets would definitely get a future first-rounder back in a deal. Broncos GM John Elway is, quite frankly, first-round-quarterback-crazy. It's like he's a collector. Of course, he's yet to find a franchise one, and this time around word is he's thought to be … um … locked in on Missouri's Drew Lock.
If he's absolutely certain that he's found his guy this time, that's got to be worth next year's first-rounder, this year's second-rounder, and maybe one of the four extra picks they currently have in Rounds 4 through 7. The Jets still would be in range for a pass rusher, probably.
7) Miami Dolphins (at No. 13)
This gets into an area the Jets might not want to be in, beyond the first tier of prospects in this draft and maybe even deep into the second tier. They could get a pass rusher, but it might be someone too far down their board to justify with such a high pick. They might have to switch to another position (which won't be a problem if they fix their pass-rush issue in free agency).
To drop this far, though, the package would have to look a little like what the L.A. Rams gave up to move up from 15 to 1 for Jared Goff in 2016. They gave up the entire top of their draft (a first-rounder, two seconds and a third), plus their first and third-round pick in 2017 (though they did get back a fourth- and sixth-rounder in 2016).
Sure, the Jets aren't dealing the first overall pick here, but the framework of a deal would be similar.
8) Washington Redskins (at No. 15)
The Redskins aren't sure Alex Smith will be back for the start of next season, or if he'll resume his career at all. Even if he does he'll be 34 in May and coming back from a terrible leg injury. What's it worth to them to jump up and secure their quarterback of the future?
They only have five picks in this draft. Would they be willing to part with most of them, plus a future first-rounder? How about two future first rounders? Owner Dan Snyder once gave up a second-rounder and two future firsts to move up from 6 to 2 to draft Robert Griffin III (in 2012) … so yes, he is indeed just crazy enough.