Good Morning
Good Morning

More picks, more opportunities for Jets GM Mike Maccagnan

Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan speaks to reporters

Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan speaks to reporters ahead during a news conference, Friday, April 24, 2015, in Florham Park, N.J., ahead of the NFL Draft from April 30-May 2 Credit: AP

Mike Maccagnan's draft philosophy is simple: the more picks, the better.

But that's not to say the Jets general manager won't consider moving up in the draft order to snag a player he deems worth it.

"Since it's my first time as a general manager, I don't really have a track record yet," Maccagnan said Friday. "But I think philosophically, I like the idea of getting more picks. Because to me, more picks are more opportunities to find players.

"Really, what you end up weighing is how good that one player would be, that you're going to move up for, for the potential two or three, whatever draft picks you're going to give up for him."

All options will be in play for the Jets on Thursday night, the first day of the NFL Draft.

The Jets have the sixth overall pick, but that could change. Maccagnan said trade talks will heat up in the next five days and he'll call the five teams ahead of the Jets to gauge their interests. As for whether he has his eye on Marcus Mariota, Maccagnan would say only that he "absolutely" feels comfortable with the homework they've done on the former Oregon quarterback.

Maccagnan, a former economics major with a background in finance, often sounds like a portfolio manager when discussing his stance on selecting players. It's about "projecting yield and return," he said, though he also cautioned that "too much information can muddy the water."

And while he downplayed the importance of garnering high draft grades from the media, Maccagnan made it clear how important next week is for the franchise. "You can't miss on your first three or four rounds in the draft," he said.

But it would be a mistake to assume that the first-year GM will automatically target a glaring team need in Round 1.

"To me, it's one of those pet peeves," he said of picking primarily based on position need versus talent. "Need and the draft, I've seen a lot of mistakes being made over the years with that. So I've been very diligent, when I'm given this opportunity, I'm going to try to keep it as separate as possible.

"Now, obviously, every team has needs. I get that," Maccagnan said, adding that area of need can serve as a tiebreaker between players. "You want to solve them as best you can. But just because you take somebody, and if he doesn't pan out, you're still going to have the same need a year from now. And you won't have solved the problem."

Maccagnan made a splash in free agency by revamping the Jets' secondary with high-priced cornerbacks, including former Jets Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie. But the draft is far more difficult to navigate because the risks often are greater than in free agency.

"When you go out in pro free agency, it's a much smarter and, quite frankly, much more efficient way to fill needs," he said. "You're basically comparing apples to apples when you go out and sign pro players. You can analyze the tape. You know exactly what they've done in the league. . . . I think the draft, I tend to focus on, ideally, you want to take the best player available . . . because you're analyzing a much younger athlete who is still physically developing."

Notes & quotes: Safety Jaiquawn Jarrett signed his restricted free agency tender offer from the Jets worth $1.54 million. Maccagnan said he also expects nose tackle Damon Harrison to sign his tender offer shortly.

New York Sports