Our friends over at Football Outsiders did a Four Downs post about the AFC East and analyzed the post-draft Jets. While F.O. was dismayed in the Jets ability to add talented skill position players, they did note that the talent that they have might improve if they can get better quarterback play.
Enter the Jets second round pick, Geno Smith.
… the Jets addressed the single-most important offensive skill position in last month’s draft. Geno Smith may have been the second signal-caller selected, but Football Outsiders’ statistics-based Lewin Career Forecast said he was the best quarterback prospect in the 2013 draft class. Last year, that honor went to Russell Wilson, and Smith seemingly has a much easier path to the starting lineup than Wilson did. He’s only behind ship-has-sailed Mark Sanchez and body-has-failed David Garrard on the Jets’ current depth chart. To boot, recent trends say that NFL teams don’t spend top 100 picks on quarterbacks with the intention of stashing them on their benches. Of the 22 quarterbacks selected in the first three rounds since 2009, 17 started at least six games as a rookie, and two of the non-starters were Peyton Manning’s backup (Brock Osweiler) and Tom Brady’s backup (Ryan Mallett).
Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com
In case you aren’t familiar with the Lewin Career Forecast, it is a statistical forecasting tool that helps determine NFL quarterback prospects by looking at a few simple measuring points, most notably completion percentage and number of starts in college. It’s good to know that Smith was the 2013 class’s best prospect, but LCF is obviously not a perfect science. It did predict Russell Wilson’s success, but also projected Colt McCoy’s. Bringing it a little closer to the Jets, the LCF expected good things from Kellen Clemens, while Mark Sanchez received a poor grade. A miss and a hit, respectively.
In Rex Ryan’s rookie year, the coach made a show of a quarterback competition it seemed clear that the job was going to Mark Sanchez. Now with Idzik looking over his shoulder he’s going to have to choose the best player at the position to start at quarterback. That might be Smith, or it might not. Even if Smith doesn’t win the job and is brought along more slowly, he might still see significant playing time based on the overwhelming majority of more highly drafted rookies who (according to the quote above) play during the course of the season.