- James Walker, ESPN Staff Writer
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Finally, the New York Jets are looking at improving their offense.
After keying on defense in the first round for the fourth straight year with cornerback Dee Milliner and defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson, the Jets are reportedly turning their attention to finding a quarterback.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports the Jets are calling multiple teams in an effort to move higher in the first round to take West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith. Only one quarterback -- EJ Manuel of Florida State -- was taken in the first round, so the Jets could have their pick of the litter at the position. Many believe Smith is the best quarterback in this draft and would be solid value in the second round.
The Jacksonville Jaguars hold all the cards with the No. 33 overall pick. They could take Smith to compete with draft bust Blaine Gabbert. Other teams like the Philadelphia Eagles (No. 35) and Arizona Cardinals (No. 38) also could have interest in a quarterback ahead of the Jets, who have the No. 39 overall pick.
Regardless of whether the Jets find a trading partner, they would be wise to take a quarterback in the second round. This is a rare year when just one quarterback was taken off the board. There is plenty of depth at the position still available, and the Jets should be able to land a quarterback with potential to compete and develop.
If the Jets can’t trade up for Smith, Syracuse’s Ryan Nassib, USC’s Matt Barkley and NC State’s Mike Glennon all have their strengths and could fit in a West Coast offense. The Jets trust their scouting process and will pick the highest quarterback remaining on the board.
Mark Sanchez’s time in New York will soon run its course. Barring an unexpected turnaround, which includes leading the Jets to the playoffs, this will probably be Sanchez’s final year with the team. David Garrard also signed a one-year contract this offseason.
The Jets need a fresh arm in their quarterback room with long-term promise. Under no circumstances should the Jets not have a new quarterback on their roster by the end of tonight.