New York Jets draft capsule
3. NEW YORK JETS (5-11)
LAST SEASON: Rebuilding Jets were one of NFL’s early-season surprises while winning three of first five games despite some preseason prognosticators saying New York would struggle to win more than one. Todd Bowles’ bunch didn’t get many more victories and finished 5-11 for second straight season, but Jets were competitive in almost all games. Players praised positive culture change stressed by Bowles, as well as leadership of quarterback Josh McCown. Both Bowles and GM Mike Maccagnan received two-year contract extensions. McCown had career year at 38, setting personal bests with 2,926 yards passing, 19 TD passes and five TD runs before missing final three games with broken left hand. Wide receiver Robby Anderson had breakout season with 63 catches, 941 yards and seven TD receptions, and rookie safeties Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye made good first impressions as immediate starters. Jets struggled to generate consistent pass rush with Muhammad Wilkerson (3 1/2) and Leonard Williams (2) combining for 5 1/2 sacks.
THEY NEED: QB, OLB/pass rusher, D-line depth, TE.
THEY DON’T NEED: S, CB, LS.
POSSIBLE FIRST PICK: QB Josh Rosen, UCLA; QB Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma; QB Sam Darnold, USC; QB Josh Allen, Wyoming.
OUTLOOK: It’s all about finding right quarterback after being aggressive and trading up from No. 6 to No. 3 in deal with Indianapolis in March that also cost New York two second-rounders this year and one next year. Jets put themselves in position to get one of top three QBs, but pressure’s on Maccagnan & Co. to get pick right. New York re-signed McCown and added Teddy Bridgewater in free agency, so first-rounder won’t be pressured to start right away in new coordinator Jeremy Bates’ offense — but could give veterans run for starting job in training camp. Also appears to be end for both Christian Hackenberg (2016 second-rounder) and Bryce Petty (2015 fourth-rounder) with Jets. Maccagnan was busy in free agency, adding CB Trumaine Johnson, WR Terrelle Pryor, RB Isaiah Crowell, LB Avery Williamson, K Cairo Santos and C Spencer Long. New York still has plenty of needs, including pass rusher and depth on defensive line. For Jets fans looking for optimism, team has had No. 3 pick in NFL draft one other time: in 1981, took RB Freeman McNeil, who is franchise’s second-leading rusher.