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Did Jets’ Maccagnan Pull an Idzik in Draft?


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Did Mike Maccagnan wait too long to snag a cornerback?

Just a few short seasons ago, the New York Jets entered the 2014 NFL draft with little to no talent at several positions, but few came close to the lack of play-makers the team had at the wide receiver position.

With one of the deepest receiver classes in NFL history, it seemed Gang Green had finally caught a break.  A dire need that could easily be filled with the likes of Brandin Cooks, Kelvin Benjamin, Jarvis Landry, Alan Robinson and a slew of others waiting to hear their names called.  As we all know, however, former GM John Idzik opted to choose safety Calvin Pryor before following that up with a bust in tight end Jace Amaro in round two.

Idzik would eventually address the wide receiver position by taking Jalen Saunders and Shaq Evans, a pair of fourth-rounders who have combined for 1 catch for 7 yards since being selected in 2014, and then with a bit of luck, Quincy Enunwa in round six.

As if there weren’t enough blemishes on Idzik’s resume, that alone could be viewed as a fireable offense.

Fast forward to this season and as much as scary is at sounds, is it possible that Mike Maccagnan has pulled an Idzik?  As was the case with the wide receive position for Idzik in 2014, one could make a case for cornerback being the team’s top need behind the QB position this season.  So, in a cornerback class that may rival the wide receiver class of 2014, Maccagnan didn’t take one until round six when he took a pair of big-bodied corners in Jeremy Clark and Derrick Jones to go along with second-year cornerback Juston Burris.

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Maccagnan clearly thinks highly of second-year cornerback Juston Burris.

Potentially compounding the criticism of waiting until round six to select a cornerback is the fact that Maccagnan drafted a pair of wide receivers in ArDarius Stewart and Chad Hansen in rounds three and four respectively.  This isn’t to say Stewart and Hansen don’t have the ability to be contributors on offense, but this time around, wide receiver wasn’t nearly as pressing a need as cornerback.

With Eric Decker, Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson, Quinton Patton and Charone Peake already in the fold, it wouldn’t have been out of the question to expect the Jets to wait until much later in the draft to select a receiver if not passing on the position all together.

As it stands now though, the Jets didn’t take a pass at the receiver position but they did just that at cornerback.

Maccagnan passed on several highly touted cornerbacks in the early and middle rounds.  Marshon Lattimore, Marlon Humphrey, Adoree’ Jackson, Fabian Moreau, Jourdan Lewis, Cordrea Tankersly are just a few that come to mind.  All so Maccagnan could choose a pair of safeties and wide receivers.

In time, Maccagnan’s decisions may prove to be brilliant, but if the receivers flounder and the corners he passed on go on to excel, the comparisons to Idzik, which up to now are lunacy at best, will become more valid than any Jets fan would have ever hoped or anticipated.

 

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I actually thought about this after the draft. In the most loaded draft in recent memory for TE/CB we waited.

In theory it works because there is a supply and demand issue at hand, where it makes sense to wait but I do wish we went after CB a bit more early.

However, my counter point is that, this was also one of the deepest safety classes in recent memory, and we certainly got plenty of those now.

Idzik screwed up because he picked a position and player we actually did not need. We did need a free safety, but I think Rex and company fell in love with the hard hitting ways of Pryor.


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9 hours ago, win4ever said:

I actually thought about this after the draft. In the most loaded draft in recent memory for TE/CB we waited.

In theory it works because there is a supply and demand issue at hand, where it makes sense to wait but I do wish we went after CB a bit more early.

However, my counter point is that, this was also one of the deepest safety classes in recent memory, and we certainly got plenty of those now.

Idzik screwed up because he picked a position and player we actually did not need. We did need a free safety, but I think Rex and company fell in love with the hard hitting ways of Pryor.


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Except one position is generally considered a far higher priority position than the other, is more important to nail completely, and is less forgiving if we half-whiffed/half-nailed-it on those picks.

On paper if a draft is so deep at a position (i.e. one can find good, starter talent later) then it hardly seems a good allocation of resources to use multiple higher picks - particularly a really high pick, no matter how "sure thing" he is - on said deep position. Even more so when that deep position isn't generally considered a premiere one in the first place, compared to others where the team is also in need of improvement.

As you say, it seems to make more sense to hold off to where the draft's sweet spot is for that position, and then the high picks can be used at positions that are not only more important and harder to fill, but at which there is a much steeper dropoff with each passing round in that draft.

I'll leave overall rating this draft strength to others, but if a draft is crazy deep at a position, that depth often starts to really thin out in the 3rd-4th rounds. For that very same reason, though, it's where the relative value is greatest. Taking the deepest position (safety) so early is not the way to maximize the draft's strength at that position. Likewise, taking a deep position (CB) so late usually means you waited too long and are now tapping into no better pool of players you'd get in any other draft (where those positions' prospects weren't so comparatively strong). 

Granted, it's theoretical because players are drafted, not the draft class aggregately. Even in an allegedly thin draft class, at a given position, one can still hit (and hit later at that). It's just harder to do.

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Hitting on a good player early is good (duh), but it doesn't mean value is maximized.

Basic blackjack logic is the same. It's not enough to win your hand when dealt an 11. Unless you're Rain Man counting that deep into the deck/shoe, you double. Sure you could lose double, but patting yourself on the back for winning 1 hand is short-lived happiness. Luck aside, to end up on top over time, you need to clean up double on those best hands (analogous to our best/high draft picks) to end up ahead of the house in the end.

Or for another sports analogy, one doesn't put weak singles hitters batting cleanup. They may get on base more, and you'll still score if they get a hit, but (provided they're proportionally good/bad in more meaningful at-bats) over time you're going to score fewer runs than with a power hitter there. Or that's the idea, anyway. Getting a weak single with bases loaded usually brings 2 runs in (sometimes only one, though), and while there's a higher percentage of that happening than a power hitter connecting on a double or homer, with so few such opportunities that's the time you should be trying to score 3-4 (while acknowledging it comes with a greater risk of whiffing and scoring zero), because it's hard to score runs.

Whether due to individual positional importance, cost and opportunity to fill any given position via FA, and/or relative success in adequately filling positions later, taking a pair of safeties early just makes the rest of the task more difficult.

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12 hours ago, ASH1962 said:

How is comparing Idzik to Mac "lunacy" at best? I think it is a good comparison. What is lunacy is claiming "total rebuild" and letting the main organizational problem participate in that rebuild.

Sorry, I think getting a QB is much more important than replacing Mac.  Since there was no better QB choice available for the Jets and the team needs to assess Heck, I agree with this decision.  I am also happy with the "rebuild" approach and taking the BAP.  Something you seem to be overlooking.

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3 minutes ago, GKnight83 said:

Sorry, I think getting a QB is much more important than replacing Mac.  Since there was no better QB choice available for the Jets and the team needs to assess Heck, I agree with this decision.  I am also happy with the "rebuild" approach and taking the BAP.  Something you seem to be overlooking.

If they start Josh McCown at QB are we really rebuilding with a 38 year old QB? 

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21 minutes ago, Sperm Edwards said:

Hitting on a good player early is good (duh), but it doesn't mean value is maximized.

Basic blackjack logic is the same. It's not enough to win your hand when dealt an 11. Unless you're Rain Man counting that deep into the deck/shoe, you double. Sure you could lose double, but patting yourself on the back for winning 1 hand is short-lived happiness. Luck aside, to end up on top over time, you need to clean up double on those best hands (analogous to our best/high draft picks) to end up ahead of the house in the end.

Or for another sports analogy, one doesn't put weak singles hitters batting cleanup. They may get on base more, and you'll still score if they get a hit, but (provided they're proportionally good/bad in more meaningful at-bats) over time you're going to score fewer runs than with a power hitter there. Or that's the idea, anyway. Getting a weak single with bases loaded usually brings 2 runs in (sometimes only one, though), and while there's a higher percentage of that happening than a power hitter connecting on a double or homer, with so few such opportunities that's the time you should be trying to score 3-4 (while acknowledging it comes with a greater risk of whiffing and scoring zero), because it's hard to score runs.

Whether due to individual positional importance, cost and opportunity to fill any given position via FA, and/or relative success in adequately filling positions later, taking a pair of safeties early just makes the rest of the task more difficult.

i won't argue this.  but if you look at it reasonably, adams was the correct pick, assuming no trades.  so the real issue is maye.  assuming we have no issues with taking offense in rounds 3-5, who all seem to be good prospects, the question is, who would have been a better pick in the 2nd round?

there are dalvin cook fans, and i get this although he does have real injury/off the field concerns.  sidney jones, who is coming off an acl tear?  everett or shaheen, two other TEs who at this point are no better nor have higher upside than leggett?  assuming mixon was off the draft boards, the best case of misuse of the maye pick was the jets could have taken wilson cb florida, tabor cb florida or awuzie cb colorado.  

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16 minutes ago, bitonti said:

the difference between Mac and Idzik is that Mac actually hits on middle round picks. Brandon Shell is going to start for 10 years. 

We hit on Winters and Aboushi in 2013 granted Aboushi was let go for non football reasons, but he's been a quality starting guard for the Texans. And we hit on Enunwa in 2014. Too soon to say about 2015 and '16.

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24 minutes ago, bitonti said:

the difference between Mac and Idzik is that Mac actually hits on middle round picks. Brandon Shell is going to start for 10 years. 

Really? because of one player?  What about Quincy Enunwa and Brian Winters?  haha

 

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I really hope this isnt the case but Maye > Teez Tabor may sting like a mofo.  Quincy Wilson too.  I was mind blown when they doubled up on the safety position with both those guys still on the board who were considerably better players in college. 

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6 minutes ago, JiF said:

I really hope this isnt the case but Maye > Teez Tabor may sting like a mofo.  Quincy Wilson too.  I was mind blown when they doubled up on the safety position with both those guys still on the board who were considerably better players in college. 

Would've preferred a CB or TE to Maye, personally.

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34 minutes ago, Augustiniak said:

i won't argue this.  but if you look at it reasonably, adams was the correct pick, assuming no trades.  so the real issue is maye.  assuming we have no issues with taking offense in rounds 3-5, who all seem to be good prospects, the question is, who would have been a better pick in the 2nd round?

there are dalvin cook fans, and i get this although he does have real injury/off the field concerns.  sidney jones, who is coming off an acl tear?  everett or shaheen, two other TEs who at this point are no better nor have higher upside than leggett?  assuming mixon was off the draft boards, the best case of misuse of the maye pick was the jets could have taken wilson cb florida, tabor cb florida or awuzie cb colorado.  

Well I don't assume no trades, for starters. That is setting unrealistic hindsight conditions that didn't exist. If any safety is such great value there, surely someone else would have wanted him badly enough to surrender value to move up and steal him for themselves.

I can't recall a team - never mind while veteran salaries are so far up there, and so disproportionate to even top 5-10 pick rookies - starting a successful rebuild by using its top 10 and top 20 picks on an ILB and a safety. The trade value for a pick up there is so disproportionat to what one gets by trading down later, that they can't be merely "good" to justify these lower-dollar positions. They have to be incredible HOFers or the picks sucked.

Any safety is not good value there unless the team has a QB (and probably a great one at that). If somehow one of our two guys develops in to a good QB or better, or we nail it in picking one next year, that changes things. But it's "sure thing" pussy ball with such a high pick. Never mind to double up on the position with another top 40 pick.

I know a lot of people don't agree. Well, then we just don't agree.

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14 minutes ago, JiF said:

Really? because of one player?  What about Quincy Enunwa and Brian Winters?  haha

 

Deon Simon was a pretty good 7th rounder. Juston Burris could start, as could Mauldin. If we consider how many picks Idzik had (12 total picks in 2014 draft, Mac has had 14 total in 2015 and 2016), Mac is hitting mid/late rounders at double the rate of Idzik. 

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3 minutes ago, Sperm Edwards said:

Well I don't assume no trades, for starters. That is setting unrealistic hindsight conditions that didn't exist. If any safety is such great value there, surely someone else would have wanted him badly enough to surrender value to move up and steal him for themselves.

I can't recall a team - never mind while veteran salaries are so far up there, and so disproportionate to even top 5-10 pick rookies - starting a successful rebuild by using its top 10 and top 20 picks on an ILB and a safety. The trade value for a pick up there is so disproportionat to what one gets by trading down later, that they can't be merely "good" to justify these lower-dollar positions. They have to be incredible HOFers or the picks sucked.

Any safety is not good value there unless the team has a QB (and probably a great one at that). If somehow one of our two guys develops in to a good QB or better, or we nail it in picking one next year, that changes things. But it's "sure thing" pussy ball with such a high pick. Never mind to double up on the position with another top 40 pick.

I know a lot of people don't agree. Well, then we just don't agree.

yet the secondary cost the team several games last year.  how many more times are you willing to watch the jets defense make a scrub TE look like a star?  for all the picks they've spent on defense, nobody has been able to cover a TE or the deep middle of the field.  

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4 minutes ago, bitonti said:

Deon Simon was a pretty good 7th rounder. Juston Burris could start, as could Mauldin. If we consider how many picks Idzik had (12 total picks in 2014 draft, Mac has had 14 total in 2015 and 2016), Mac is hitting mid/late rounders at double the rate of Idzik. 

Double the rate.  Arent we lucky? 

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6 minutes ago, bitonti said:

Deon Simon was a pretty good 7th rounder. Juston Burris could start, as could Mauldin. If we consider how many picks Idzik had (12 total picks in 2014 draft, Mac has had 14 total in 2015 and 2016), Mac is hitting mid/late rounders at double the rate of Idzik. 

You're better than this.

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The problem with both Mac and Idzik is not finding a QB. If Idzik takes Jimmy G instead of Amaro he might still have a job. If/when Mac gets fired it will be because of the same reason. Just saying his mid round picks aren't terrible and we haven't had 4th/5th rounders that made this team better for a long time.

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1 minute ago, bitonti said:

The problem with both Mac and Idzik is not finding a QB. If Idzik takes Jimmy G instead of Amaro he might still have a job. If/when Mac gets fired it will be because of the same reason. Just saying his mid round picks aren't terrible and we haven't had 4th/5th rounders that made this team better for a long time.

gms are graded on whether or not they find a legit qb.  doesn't have to be a star, just has to be playable, at the least.  mccags has one more draft to find one if hack sucks this year.  

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1 minute ago, bitonti said:

The problem with both Mac and Idzik is not finding a QB. If Idzik takes Jimmy G instead of Amaro he might still have a job. If/when Mac gets fired it will be because of the same reason. Just saying his mid round picks aren't terrible and we haven't had 4th/5th rounders that made this team better for a long time.

Neither Idzik nor Macc are good at evaluating talent.  That's why Idzik is fetching Starbucks orders in Jacksonville and Macc will be doing the same this time next year in Houston

 

Let's look at the Qb's Idzik passed on: Glennon, Carr, Bridgewater, Garropolo 

 

Macc - Glennon (FA), Prescott, Kizer

 

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The only WR Idzik took that year that was worth anything was Enunwa in the sixth round. This year Mac took two CBs in the sixth round. I'd say he pulled off the rare double-Idzik. 

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Just now, slats said:

The only WR Idzik took that year that was worth anything was Enunwa in the sixth round. This year Mac took two CBs in the sixth round. I'd say he pulled off the rare double-Idzik. 

i disagree b/c the jets also needed 2 safeties in a deep class and mccags jumped all over that.  he did not ignore the secondary early on, just like he didn't ignore offense.  the offensive skill players he picked are considered good prospects by most outlets.  if mccags did not address the secondary until, say, the 3rd round, then i could see the comparisons.

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Could be a stupid move, given there's a reason that corners are prioritized over safeties in the defensive backfield.

Still, seems to me that the Jets want tall, physical press corners and quality safety play. Almost like Seattle - except a different system and interchangeable safeties rather than two really distinct guys. I'd feel differently if they were just randomly drafting all different kinds of corners late, but they're clearly targeting guys who fit a mold. So it seems there's at least a plan there. Whether or not it's a good plan remains to be see .

It's an interesting way to zig where other teams zag. If it plays out okay and you can get good secondary play without investing a ton in the corner position when everyone else is doing that, then you're in pretty good shape. They may be a little late to the game on this, but it seems different enough than Seattle's scheme and I like trying something new-ish rather than straight up trying to copycat what's worked for other teams. At least this regime is going to do something different and go down swinging if this blows up in their faces.

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