The Jets are in the market for a quarterback, albeit most likely for one they hope doesn’t take too many snaps. There will be a backup vacancy when the league year commences on March 13 as Mark Brunell is an unrestricted free agent, but the NFL’s game of QB dominoes could have an impact on the Jets’ 2012 draft.
As we sit here in Indianapolis with the draft still a couple of months away, most pundits believe the Colts will use their No. 1 overall selection on Stanford’s Andrew Luck.
“I think Luck has more credentials, fewer questions about him, than any quarterback since John Elway,” Brian Billick, the NFL Network analyst and former Ravens head coach, said this morning. “Now it has to come together, but I think this guy is the real deal. … His arm strength is plenty. He is going to mature — he is going to grow still in that arm strength.“
Luck, who soon may call Lucas Oil Stadium his home, wants to continue to improve as he makes his transition to the next level.
“I think for me, it’s sort of quickening everything up in terms of release,” Billick said of Luck. “Those extra milliseconds count, especially in the NFL — guys are so much faster, stronger and bigger. Then making sure my drops are rhythmic, quick every time, and being consistent in that area.”
The Rams are scheduled to pick after the Colts, but most people believe St. Louis is going to attempt to trade out of its No. 2 slot. Brian Schottenheimer, the new Rams offensive coordinator and former Jets OC, already has a talented young signalcaller in place with Sam Bradford, and the Rams have lots of needs.
Many quarterback-hungry teams will are taking a long look at Robert Griffin III. Griffin measured in at 6’2⅜”, so height is not an issue. The Heisman Trophy winner was eager to start interviews with teams and ease any fears that his success at Baylor was based largely on Art Briles’ system.
“It’s not the traditional spread where it’s shotgun all the time, although we are in shotgun a lot. So were Tom Brady and Eli Manning in the Super Bowl, but that’s not the point,” RG III said. “It’s not a simple offense. I’m not going to try to make it seem difficult, but I will explain it to them whether its progressions, protections and what I’m doing out there. It’s not as simple as everybody makes it seem.”
“This is the best throwing athlete I’ve seen come out in a while,” said Billick of Griffin. “Far better than Michael Vick, in my opinion, far better than Cam Newton. I’m very intrigued. This guy has a pure throwing action for an athletic quarterback and he clearly has the intelligence to transition.”
Perhaps no person to play the position has ever been more cerebral than Peyton Manning, but there are no clear answers on his situation. Manning is still a Colt as of this weekend, but he will be highly coveted on the free agent market if he’s released and he checks out medically.
The Jets, who own the No. 16 overall selection, could be helped by the rise of a third quarterback and that player might be Texas A&M’s Ryan Tannehill. While Luck and Griffin III seem like sure bets for top-five selections, QB-needy teams could make a play to jump up and get Tannehill before the Green & White select or could place calls to GM Mike Tannenbaum to get to the Jets’ 16th spot.
Tannehill is a fascinating story himself, considering he led the Aggies in receptions his first two seasons as a receiver before switching back to quarterback and passing for 5,450 yards and 42 touchdowns.
“I’ve always thought of myself as a quarterback, so I was frustrated by it yet blessed to have the opportunity to be able to play another position,” Tannehill said Friday. “Not a lot of people get to contribute in another way to help their team and it was exciting for me to be able to do that. I learned a lot about the game, got a lot of experience. Even if it wasn’t at the quarterback position, I did get experience playing football and seeing the game out there. I learned a lot from it and fortunately I was able to get back to where I wanted to be, under center.”
The quarterback landscape will become more clear after free agency comes and goes. QB Matt Flynn stands to get a lot of money from someone and his offensive coordinator in Green Bay, Joe Philbin, is the new Dolphins head coach. The Jets aren’t really in the passing derby at the moment, but the game of QB dominoes will have some kind of impact on every team in the league.
Live Chat: Discuss Free Agency/Draft on Tuesday
Once we conclude the weekend here in Indy, we’ll make our return trip to Florham Park. With so much going on in the football world, newyorkjets.com editor-in-chief Randy Lange and I are going to host a live video chat on Tuesday. You can start getting your questions and comments in now.
Tags: Andrew Luck, Brian Billick, Indianapolis, Joe Philbin, Lucas Oil Stadium, Matt Ryan, NFL Combine, Peyton Manning, Robert Griffin III, Ryan Tannehill
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