The New York Jets have won three straight games and are actually in a three-way tie for the best record in the AFC East after beating the Cleveland Browns, 17-14, in Week 5.
While New York has a winning record for the first time since the 2015 season, it’s not all good for Gang Green. Sunday’s win might spoil any chance the Jets had of earning the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.
The quarterback-heavy draft class is highlighted by USC’s Sam Darnold, UCLA’s Josh Rosen and Washington’s Luke Falk, among others. But those players may all be gone by the time the Jets are on the clock.
Since 2002 — when the Houston Texans were given the first overall pick — the 2004 San Diego Chargers are the only team that won more than three games and still owned the No. 1 pick in the ensuing draft. Over the last 15 years, the team earning the top pick has averaged 1.9 wins per season, a number the Jets have already surpassed.
What does this all mean? Not much. The draft is an absolute crapshoot. The best quarterback may be taken No. 1 overall (see Cam Newton, 2011) or No. 199 overall (see Tom Brady, 2000). It mostly depends on the coaching staff, surrounding personnel and so many other variables that are extraordinarily hard to evaluate in the pre-draft process.
But this also means the Jets will have extra pressure to “hit” on their next draft pick. Whether you consider the Jets as a “tanking” team or not, it is clear they are rebuilding. They will need their young players, such as Jamal Adams, Marcus Maye and Darron Lee, to become impact players. Whether they draft at No. 1 or No. 8, simply put, they will need to pick the right guy.