Jets Fans Should Be Very Concerned With Mike Maccagnan's Draft Decisions Print E-mail
Written by Denis Krusos   
Monday, 25 February 2019 15:35


The Jets have won 14 games in the last 3 seasons.  However, there is light at the end of the tunnel.  New York does have a very promising young quarterback in Sam Darnold. and Jamal Adams is a star at safety.  Plus, the team has 102.4 million in salary cap space to sign talented free agents.  Darnold is about to enter his 2ndseason and is not earning a high salary yet. It is critical in these next two seasons for GM Mike Maccagnan to build a good team around Darnold.  The Jets could go from a bad team to one capable of having post-season success should New York’s GM nail his next two drafts plus spend wisely in free agency.  


Unfortunately, Maccagnan’s four-year draft track record is spotty at best.  He has hit on most of his top 10 selections (Leonard Williams (so-so), Jamal Adams (star) and Sam Darnold (very promising).  However, the NFL is not the NBA where a couple of superstars can make your team

a title contender.  You need a lot of good players on your roster to be a terrific team in pro football.  


Maccagnan has the 3rdoverall pick in the upcoming 2019 NFL draft.  He should be able to pick an excellent player.  The problem isn’t with New York’s high 1stround picks.  The problem is Maccagnan has so many misses in rounds 2 through 7 and fails to find day 3 steals.  The teams that have post-season success all find really good players in the mid-to-late rounds of the draft.  


New England has been the NFL’s most successful franchise since 2001.  The game’s best quarterback (a 6th round all-time bargain) and head coach are certainly a big reason why. However, it is more than just Tom Brady and Bill Belichick.  The Pats have a complete roster with numerous draft bargains.  Julian Edelman was a 7thround steal for New England.  All he does is make one clutch catch after another from Brady in big games.  New York could use such a receiver to help Darnold become a star.  Maccagnan instead has numerous wide receiver flops (Devin Smith (2ndround), Charone Peake (7thround), ArDarius Stewart (3rdround), and Chad Hensen (4thround) on his record. 


New England drafted Rob Gronkowski in the 2ndround.  Gronk will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame one day. That’s quite a find in the 2ndround.  The 2ndround has been a disaster under Maccagnan.  Devin Smith was a bust in 2015 and then the Jets’ GM topped that pick by selecting Christian Hackenberg in 2016.  Hackenberg was inaccurate at Penn State and showed little pocket presence.  There was a reason why his nickname was Sackenberg entering the draft.  It still is amazing that Maccagnan spent a 2ndround pick on a quarterback with such glaring deficiencies.  The Jets finally received some production from a 2ndround pick with the selection of Marcus Maye in 2017.  Maye showed promise as a rookie, but could not stay healthy in 2018.  The jury remains out on whether Maye can be relied upon to be in the lineup.


New England’s offensive line was outstanding last season.  They protect Tom Brady well and open holes for the team’s running game.  And they did not have to use a bunch of 1stround picks (unlike Dallas) to build it.  Shaq Mason was a 4thround selection.  Marcus Cannon was a 5thround bargain.  RB Sony Michel may have been a late 1stround pick by the Pats, but James White was another day 3 find (4thround).   Bill Belichick finds productive players in rounds 2-7 and Mike Maccagnan all too frequently does not.


It is fair to fully evaluate Maccagnan’s 2015 and 2016 drafts.  He failed to draft an impact player despite having the 6thpick in the draft in 2015.  Leonard Williams has just been okay ,but the team hopes he can still put it all together. Darren Lee, Jordan Jenkins and Brandon Shell are decent players, but not difference makers.  The rest of their picks (9) were a waste.  Jets fans have no reason to believe that Maccagnan is all of a sudden going to find a bunch of terrific players on day 3 steals.  The most likely result is that the Jets GM does an average job in free agency and continues to miss too often in the draft over the next two years.  The Gang Green brain-trust builds a decent team around Darnold and the Jets are an 8 or 9 win team.  Whether that is good enough for Jet ownership remains to be seen.


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