New York Jets Mock Draft:
About the Pick: Matt Barkley came into the year as the top quarterback prospect, but a poor senior year will open up a lot of questions surrounding him. Though his completion percentage is solid, his accuracy isn’t as strong. Barkley benefited from an exceptional group of pass catchers in college, who turned a lot of poor throws into catches and big gains. With having to throw in tighter windows at the next level, Barkley will need to improve in this area. Barkley does have good overall potential, and should be able to grow into a productive starter, but a number of questions surround him. On pure talent/potential he’s a tough sell for the top 20 or 25, but being a quarterback should allow him to go in the top half of the draft.
Steve’s Take: There is little doubt that this is a reach pick for the Jets, but they may not have a choice. Given the major cap hit New York will face when they release Mark Sanchez, it will be extremely difficult for New York to add any quarterback of even moderate value (Jason Campbell, Alex Smith, Matt Flynn, etc.). The Jets could wait till the 2nd round, but by the middle of the round there might not be any options capable of starting right away. New York could potentially trade for a cheaper alternative, but if not they may need to draft Matt Barkley.
The Jets really should consider trading back in the first round. They are a team with many needs and will have to build exclusively through the draft and league minimum free agents given their salary cap situation. While they have defensive needs they need to use this draft to rebuild their offensive line, quarterback and wide receivers and that should be their focus.