Let’s be clear: this sort of analysis is mostly trivia in nature. That’s because past draft picks are simply sunk costs, although that’s generally only clear after a team has reached an evaluation on a player. The Jets drafted Mark Sanchez in 2009, and that didn’t work out. Four years later, the team selected Geno Smith in the second round, and that didn’t work out, either. In between, the Jets spent a 7th round pick on Greg McElroy, but spending much time lamenting the use of a 7th round pick is not productive. Similarly, a year after drafting Smith, the Jets selected Clemson’s Tajh Boyd in the 6th round. New York then upped the ante by grabbing Bryce Petty in the fourth round in 2015, a move which seems unlikely to pay off.
And while those picks may not have been good, they were old made under an old regime. General manager Mike Maccagnan came on board in 2015, and while he didn’t draft a quarterback that year, he did trade a 7th round pick for Ryan Fitzpatrick, a moved that was heralded as a steal last December. So far, the only quarterbacks drafted by Maccagnan were Petty in ’15 and the second round pick used on Christian Hackenberg last year. Petty has underwhelmed in limited action, while there has been no ability to grade the Hackenberg pick so far, as he (intentionally) did not see the field last year.
So yeah, the Jets have drafted a lot of quarterbacks. And for the most part, those picks have been bad. But that doesn’t mean the Jets should stop drafting quarterbacks or that drafting quarterbacks is a bad idea. It just means the team hasn’t found its quarterback yet — unless, again, they already have in Hackenberg (or perhaps Petty).
Two years ago, I looked at the draft capital spent on quarterbacks from 2000 to 2014. Today I want to do the same thing but from 2009 (when the Jets drafted Sanchez) to 2016. Again, I’ll be assigning draft picks value based on the Draft Pick Value Calculator, which comes from the values derived here and shown here. If we assign each draft pick its proper value, and then sum the values used to select quarterbacks by each team over the last eight years, we can see which teams have devoted the most draft capital on quarterbacks.
And while the Jets have used six picks on quarterbacks over that time period, New York isn’t alone. The Broncos have, too, and Denver may not be much closer than the Jets are when it comes to finding their franchise quarterback of the future. The table below is sorted by total value, and the Jets rank “only” 4th in that regard, behind the Rams (who have spent two number one picks on passers during this time frame), the Bucs (a #1 and another first) and the Titans (a #2 and a #8). I hvae also listed each quarterback selected by each team during this time frame, from most valuable pick used to least. Take a look:
The Jaguars spent a top 10 pick on a quarterback in 2011 and did so again in 2014; it’s possible the team will do so again in 2017 or 2018, too, but that wouldn’t make that a bad idea if the right quarterback was available. Of course, on the other side of things, it’s good to be the Falcons. Since drafting Matt Ryan in 2008, the Falcons have used just one pick — the 249th overall selection — on a quarterback in the last eight drafts.