Anything can happen over the next month before the Jets are on the clock in the first round of the NFL draft. Through two blockbuster deals on Friday, however, it certainly seems like New York is positioning itself to take BYU quarterback Zach Wilson with the No. 2 pick.
News broke early in the afternoon on Friday that the 49ers had traded up to No. 3, sending a haul of picks to the Dolphins as Miami moved back to 12th overall. The trade, as first reported by ESPN's Adam Schefter includes two future first-round picks.
It's the kind of trade you make to move up and get a quarterback. Even if the 49ers are reportedly sticking with Jimmy Garoppolo, the expectation is that this year's class of quarterbacks will come off the board early and often. This puts San Francisco right in the thick of that process.
Considering the connections between the 49ers and the Jets, namely New York's new head coach Robert Saleh, you have to figure San Francisco tried calling Jets general manager Joe Douglas about moving up to the second overall pick.
As much as that would make sense, it turns out San Francisco never reached out to the Jets about the No. 2 pick.
Perhaps San Francisco already knows what New York is planning? Odds are the 49ers were one of the teams that reached out to the Jets about Sam Darnold's availability. Maybe the No. 2 pick was ruled out as early as those conversations earlier in the offseason?
As if that was enough breaking news for the day, Miami then traded back into the top 10 moments later, swapping an assortment of picks with the Eagles in another blockbuster.
The Eagles also wanted to trade up to the No. 3 pick, per Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, but Philadelphia backed off because they didn't believe Zach Wilson would be available.
Rapoport later clarified that this had more to do with Philadelphia's rebuild and internal evaluations of whether or not it would be worth it to trade up that high in this year's draft.
Either way, the big takeaway here is that other teams are acting under the assumption that Wilson won't be available past the second pick. Any team seeking to draft a quarterback after pick No. 2 would be working with Ohio State's Justin Fields, Trey Lance of North Dakota State or Alabama's Mac Jones.
New York could have gotten busy on Friday if they wanted to trade away the No. 2 pick. Sure, the entire story regarding the Jets' involvement in negotiations and possible proposals is unclear at this time, but this was a perfect opportunity to secure plenty of value if the plan was to stick with Darnold. That opportunity came and went.
Only a few more teams—possibly the Denver Broncos or Carolina Panthers—could be in the market to trade up for a quarterback. Would they blow Douglas and his team away with an offer that New York can't refuse? Sounds like it would need to be even more than Miami received from San Francisco.
Even then, the Jets might not accept it.
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