One year ago today, any New York Jets fan knew that the 2018 season would be filled with growing pains – the type that comes with a young, rebuilding team. Yet they were able to rejoice at MetLife Stadium because of the selection of the franchise quarterback they have been waiting decades for in draft pick Sam Darnold.
Fast forward to last night, as Jets fans gathered once again at MetLife Stadium for the team’s 2019 NFL Draft party. Unlike last year, this time fans believe the team has playoff potential… if they ace the draft.
New York Jets Third Overall Pick Review
General Manager Mike Maccagnan needed to make the right picks, starting with the third overall. Many fans I had the honor of speaking with before the draft, such as Paul Borngesser agreed that, “This is a make or break draft for him. High profile players fell into his lap early, and he needs to make sure he uses these  picks to win games.”
Paul’s not wrong. Maccagnan got lucky that absolute studs in defensive tackle Leonard Williams and safety Jamal Adams were passed upon. Both were arguably the best players in their respective classes. At the same time, Maccagnan rough history in the middle rounds of the NFL draft leaves him on thin ice with fans. As die-hard Jets fan, Ethan U stressed to me, “This is a team with at least 8-win potential, that has been built by the leadership of Adams and company.”
So, given his job status next year falls on this pick, fans began to wonder what Maccagnan would do?
Longtime fans John Monteverde and Pedro Salcedo were quick to respond.
“We should trade down and recoup pick from the Darnold trade, and spend them defensively… The Cardinals-Murray pick is key. However, what the team will probably do is pick Quinnen Williams to provide more pressure up the middle.”
As the clock hit 8:00 pm, fans took their seats in MetLife, despite the looming rain. The ceremonial ‘boos’ rang through the stands as Roger Goodell approached the podium. And just like that, the draft was underway. Fans now only could sit back and watch, as Arizona selected Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray. Followed by the 49ers taking defensive end Nick Bosa from Ohio State.
Then came their Jets…
“With the third pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, the New York Jets select Quinnen Williams, nose tackle, Alabama.”
Jets fans rejoiced, knowing that Maccagnan just drafted a player who was by many accounts the best available player in the draft. The pick of Williams brings enormous expectations to the defensive line. The Alabama product joins Leonard Williams and Henry Anderson in Gregg Williams’ aggressive defensive scheme. One fan I spoke to spoke about how “Williams combined with Leo [Williams] gives us a scary front for any team to face.”
Advice to Williams
Now, as the Maccagnan and the team focus on the remaining rounds of the draft, season ticket holder Bobby Smith and Jets fans alike have one message to Williams and the rest of the 2019 class…
“Come in, work hard, let’s win a Super Bowl.”
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