By Ryan Alfieri, Editor
Mark Sanchez’s future in New York has gone under fire over the past few weeks for erratic play, and rightfully so. It’s not that the Jets are losing, its how inept their offense has looked in the process.
No one expected the Jets to light up the scoreboard every week like they did in Week 1, but they were a defensive touchdown away from getting their second shutout of the season, which is almost unheard of in the NFL. Even if Sanchez improves from this week foreward, his inconsistency and tendency to make rookie mistakes in his fourth season as a pro is enough for the Jets to cut their losses and try again at the quarterback position.
Usually, franchise quarterbacks are found with the use of high draft picks (which the Jets should own if things continue), but is this the year to be picking a quarterback in the top 10?
Headed into this season, the top passers were projected to be Matt Barkley, Logan Thomas, and Tyler Wilson. All of those players, especially Thomas and Barkley, have seen their stock dip dramatically. In fact, Logan Thomas has already publicly stated that he will return to Virginia Tech for his senior season.
Barkley has not been as disastrous as Thomas, but a horrendous offensive line and a dink-and-dunk offense has exposed him more as a complimentary player that a true franchise quarterback. Tyler Wilson has regressed largely because he lost several key starters at the receiver position.
However, there have been a handful of players that have emerged as possible top-5 selections. West Virginia’s Geno Smith comes to mind, but even he has cooled off after an incredibly productive few weeks in the middle of October. If Smith is the first quarterback off the board, he will be long gone before the Jets pick, as a team like Kansas City, Jacksonville, or Oakland could all be in the mix. Kansas State’s Colin Klein has emerged as a Heisman candidate, but he is hardly the pro passer the Jets are yearning for.
One could hardly blame the Jets for moving on from Sanchez after the season, but they must consider what their options would be in terms of finding his replacement. They could possibly trade for a player like Matt Flynn, but is he really that much of an upgrade over Sanchez? The Jets need to find themselves a quarterback who can be a top-10 type of player, not another complimentary player that is more or less the same caliber as Sanchez.
If the Jets are willing to roll the dice on a player in the draft, they might as well hang on to Sanchez for one more season if they are going to wait for the right player to come along.