Surely Marcus Mariota can fall no further than this, right?
After Clemson pass rusher Vic Beasley edged out Mariota at No. 5 in our Fan Mock Draft, the New York Jets now hit the clock. Despite the presence of Geno Smith and Ryan Fitzpatrick, or perhaps because of their presence, quarterback is still a huge question mark for the J-E-T-S. But are new general manager Mike Maccagnan and new head coach Todd Bowles willing to stake their first draft pick on Mariota? That's up for you to decide, but an offense that ranked dead last in passing yards in 2014 would certainly do everything it could to improve its passing game.
To that end, the Jets already traded for wide receiver Brandon Marshall this offseason, pairing him with Eric Decker. Does that mean the Jets would pass on the opportunity to add West Virginia wide receiver Kevin White? The 6-3, 2125-pounder provides a significant downfield threat and could complement the Jets' passing options well, though the team did also recently extend slot receiver Jeremy Kerley, so perhaps they've invested too much lately at the position to make White the pick.
What about the offensive line? With Nick Mangold at center and D'Brickishaw Ferguson at left tackle, two spots are accounted for both for now and the near future. The Jets also signed former Seahawks starting guard James Carpenter in free agency. But with 32-year-old Willie Colon at left guard and the unremarkable 29-year-old Breno Giacomini at right tackle, adding a stud young offensive lineman could make sense too. Iowa's Brandon Scherff would be the man for the job in that case
But despite the offensive question marks, Bowles is a defensive guru and Maccagnan could opt to give his coach a toy with which to play on that side of the ball. While nothing can really be ruled out on draft day, we're probably safe in assuming that cornerback is off the board at this spot, with Darrelle Revis, Antonio Cromartie and Buster Skrine all signed in free agency (and former first-round pick Dee Milliner still in the fold).
Outside linebacker Calvin Pace will turn 35 during the season and with a dominant front three, the Jets could turn their eyes to a complementing pass rusher on the outside. With Beasley and Fowler off the board, Missouri's Shane Ray, Kentucky's Bud Dupree and Nebraska's Randy Gregory would be the options there. If the goal is to continue beefing up the front three, Oregon's Arik Armstead could be the choice.
That pretty much rounds out the options, unless you think Maccagnan opts for a wildcard in his first draft. Who could fit that mold? How about Georgia running back Todd Gurley? If the Jets view Gurley as a transformational back, they could afford to wait on his ACL recovery with Chris Ivory and newly signed Stevan Ridley in the backfield currently.
The easy choice seems to be Mariota, but it's up to you. Who heads to beautiful East Rutherford?