Grab a passer?
NO DOUBT ABOUT IT
I saw a funny meme on Facebook recently.
Seriously, this is what it's come to for the Jets.
Rex Ryan used to be able to fend off constant criticism of Sanchez by bringing up his four road playoff victories. But it's hard to use that defense now, with his roster in rebuilding mode and his 26-year-old starting quarterback coming off a season in which he threw 18 interceptions, completed 54.3 percent of his passes and was benched in favor of Greg McElroy.
Oh, and the Butt Fumble. Can't forget about the Butt Fumble.
It's time to move on and draft Sanchez's replacement in the first round. West Virginia's Geno Smith and Syracuse's Ryan Nassib are on Gang Green's radar.
Smith is coming off a season in which he threw 42 touchdowns and six interceptions. He's fast enough to where he could run some read-option plays a la Robert Griffin III to keep opposing defenses off balance and would give some hope to a franchise that just traded arguably the most dominant player in its entire history.
Nassib beat Smith in the Pinstripe Bowl and is a solid pocket passer who comes from a pro-style system.
The Jets also like Florida State's EJ Manuel, who can run the read-option as well.
Given that they're in transition, the Jets could play Sanchez this season in order to groom Smith, Nassib or Manuel for the future.
It doesn't look very bright right now. But for the Jets, hope immediately comes with any quarterback not named Mark Sanchez.
Mike Mazzeo is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com
TAKE A PASS
A word of advice to Jets general manager John Idzik: Pass on a passer.
It would be a mistake to pick a quarterback with one of his two first-round selections, mostly because there isn't a quarterback worth picking. This is the weakest class in years, with no can't-miss prospects on the board.
Typical Jets luck. They finally get into position to make a bold quarterback move, and there's no one there.
The Jets have a need, but it would be a knee-jerk decision to reach for a lesser talent. If you make a mistake with a first-round quarterback, it sets back the franchise a few years. If the Jets suffer any more setbacks, they'll be reduced to expansion status.
The smart play is to fortify the other 21 positions and revisit the quarterback issue in the 2014 draft, which could be a banner crop for passers. For now, you live with Mark Sanchez, David Garrard and Greg McElroy, hoping new coordinator Marty Mornhinweg can make like a quarterback whisperer and resurrect Sanchez's career.
Sure, West Virginia's Geno Smith might be tempting. He has a strong arm and good mobility, but there are inconsistencies in his game. Syracuse's Ryan Nassib, Jon Gruden's favorite quarterback in the draft, is a game manager, a la Andy Dalton. Florida State's EJ Manuel has terrific size and intriguing physical tools, but there are questions about his ability to function in a sophisticated offense.
The strongest commentary came from teams picking in the top eight. If Smith were a franchise quarterback, do you think Chiefs coach Andy Reid, who owns the No. 1 pick, would have traded for Alex Smith? The Cardinals, Raiders and Bills also acquired veteran quarterbacks -- castoffs -- because they weren't smitten with the draft's top prospects.
The Jets, always known for splashy moves, should avoid one here.
Rich Cimini covers the Jets for ESPNNewYork.com.