NFL New York Jets

8 Quarterbacks New York Jets Should Consider this Offseason

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Quarterbacks New York Jets Should Consider

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It may be getting old to hear, but the New York Jets need to find a solution at quarterback. This person needs to be able to win a position battle for the present, but also be a reliable option going forward. New York recently signed veteran David Garrard. Honestly, Garrard was a respectable starter at one point. He is a former Pro Bowl selection, and during his first season on top of the Jacksonville Jaguars’ depth chart, Garrard threw 18 touchdowns against only three interceptions.

That was a long time ago.The former East Carolina Pirate has not played in two years due to physical issues including back surgery. While being serviceable, he is not a franchise quarterback. Garrard may not be the ideal option, but the alternative is not very good for the Jets.

Mark Sanchez has hit rock bottom. Besides statistical struggles (which include 50 turnovers the past two years) Sanchez looks fragile. His confidence that was clearly on display during his early success was nowhere to be found. The budding star from USC suddenly fell from grace. Throws were constantly being forced into double and triple coverage only to be intercepted.

Of course financial reasons will almost certainly cause Sanchez to be on the team’s roster in 2013. New general manager John Idzik said that there would be an open competition at every position including quarterback. Sanchez is currently listed as the starter, but that does not guarantee he will keep the job.

Tim Tebow most likely will be gone despite recent speculation that he could stay. Greg McElroy is a former seventh-round draft pick. In his one career start McElroy showed decent decision making, but limited arm strength as well. He could be in the mix for starter, but is a longshot. Here are options that exist via trades, Free Agency, and the 2013 NFL Draft, who should be included in the competition.

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Tyler Thigpen

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This is a man who has been forgotten in NFL circles. Tyler Thigpen was of course drafted in the seventh round of the 2007 NFL Draft out of FCS school Coastal Carolina. Thigpen played well in his one real opportunity as a pro, starting 11 games for the Kansas City Chiefs in 2008. He finished with 18 touchdowns against 12 interceptions, while totaling 2,006 yards.

There is reason to believe Thigpen could recapture some of this momentum. A 2010 start for the Miami Dolphins against the Chicago Bears, was his last significant action in the regular season, resulting in Thigpen running for his life behind a porous offensive line.

Although he was buried on the Buffalo Bills’ bench he is still a viable option. Thigpen shows an ability to make plays with his feet. There is strength in Thigpen’s throws, but he does struggle deep. His range of throws is good enough though to work in the West Coast Offense. Jets quarterbacks coach David Lee is familiar with Thigpen as he served in the same capacity with Buffalo.

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Jason Campbell

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Yes, this may not be a name that will make Jets fans do backflips, but there are reasons behind this. Jason Campbell has a good build for a player at his position and possesses good arm strength. Doubters feel that he never lived up to the status of being a first-round pick by the Washington Redskins in 2005.

The former Auburn standout went through a constant transition of offensive coordinators during his time in Washington. It should be noted that he never had a season where he threw more interceptions than touchdowns. Sanchez has done this twice, and Campbell’s career passer rating of 82.5 is almost 11 points higher than Sanchez’s 71.6 .

He also had the Oakland Raiders off to a 4-2 start two years ago before breaking his collarbone.

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Colt McCoy

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If college success translated to the next level, Colt McCoy would be a future Hall of Famer. McCoy threw for 112 touchdowns and just 45 interceptions at Texas. He showed a quick release and was great in a timing based short passing game. Scouts felt that his strengths would only translate to a certain kind of NFL scheme.

It may be true that he lacks a cannon arm but there is a lot to like about him. In his only full season as starter, McCoy finished with 14 touchdowns and 11 interceptions along with 2,733 yards. The Cleveland Browns did not do a good job of surrounding him with talent, and then dumped him on the bench behind Brandon Weeden.

Cleveland tried to trade him last year for a late round pick, but no news has come out recently. If the Jets surrender a fifth round pick or so that should be enough. McCoy would probably become the best quarterback on New York’s roster right away. Recent rumors state that Cleveland is interested in New England Patriots backup quarterback Ryan Mallet. If this were to happen, McCoy to the Jets could definitely become a reality.

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Matt Flynn

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Here is an intriguing name. Matt Flynn made the most of two career starts for the Green Bay Packers . This includes throwing a franchise record six touchdowns in 2012, with a franchise that has seen Bart Starr, Brett Favre and now Aaron Rodgers. Flynn cashed in signing a three-year, $19.5 million contract with the Seattle Seahawks last offseason.

After the deal, it was just assumed that Flynn would be the starter. Third-round draft pick Russell Wilson won the job, while Flynn rode the bench. Like Thigpen, Flynn has experience in the West Coast offense. His arm strength is decent and he is good in play-action. While there is very little buzz as of now regarding a trade, connections with Idzik makes a deal possible, perhaps for a fourth-round pick.

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Tyler Bray

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Here is a case of someone who has witnessed what happens when a prospect enters the draft early. There are those who criticize Tyler Bray for a lack of consistent accuracy, as well as the way he carries himself. After witnessing four years of Sanchez struggling to complete passes near a 60 percent level, there are probably certain Jet fans who want no part of another quarterback with concerns in this department. Bray had 69 touchdowns and 28 interceptions during his three years at Tennessee.

Although it may be worrisome to have a prospect with that issue, this could be fixed with proper coaching. Also Bray has a cannon for an arm. Although offensive coordinator Marty Morhinweg will try to fix Sanchez, he will likely fail because he is what he is at this point.

Bray however, has time to correct this flaw. He could also be available in the third round which allows New York to address other areas of need first.

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EJ Manuel

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The player here is a bit of a mystery. EJ Manuel has all the tools that scouts look for. At 6'5'' Manuel has a great frame like Bray. What he also has is great speed, slightly better than Wilson. Unfortunately for Manuel, the one flaw in his game is decision making under pressure. He does occasionally stare down field and could lock on to one receiver.

These imperfections could be corrected with time, and the West Coast offense could suit him. At Florida State Manuel displayed an exciting ability to stretch a defense with his impressive arm strength. He also has never completed less than 65 percent of his passes, which is something Jets’ fans would welcome. Manuel had a solid Pro Day, and could have pushed himself to the first round. He might be a bit of a reach with the ninth pick, but would be a great choice in the second round.

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Tyler Wilson

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Tyler Wilson could be a solid addition. Heading into this past season, Wilson was considered by many as a first-round pick. A perceived lack-luster senior campaign at Arkansas (21 touchdowns 13 interceptions) has left his stock and ability in question. New York should not worry about these things.

Wilson is listed at 6'3''. This brings to mind pre-draft comparisons of Russell Wilson, and perhaps even Drew Brees. Wilson is mobile, with the capability to get out of the pocket. His throws come with velocity which is important when winds pick up at MetLife Stadium.

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Ryan Nassib

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This could be difficult to make a reality. Ryan Nassib has seen his stock rise in recent weeks. Experts have talked about Nassib going from a late second, early third round-pick to possibly a top 10 selection. As a result, the Jets could actually miss him by the time their ninth pick comes around. They could also have to decide whether he is worth coming off the board that high.

Like Wilson, obtaining Nassib with their 41st overall selection in the second round would be ideal. His senior year at Syracuse, however, may have made that tough. Nassib’s 26 touchdowns and 10 interceptions was the best season for an Orange quarterback since Donavan McNabb was in college. Nassib is another “shorter” prospect at 6'2'', but he has much to offer. One issue could be a transition back to a pro-style offense. Nassib thrived in a spread shotgun that was implemented in 2011. It showcased his quick release which is also a valuable asset.