The New York Jets made a blockbuster trade earlier this month, sending their 2018 first-round pick (sixth overall) and three second-round picks to the Indianapolis Colts, for the third pick overall.
This was clearly done for a shot at one of the draft’s top four quarterbacks – USC’s Sam Darnold, Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield, Wyoming’s Josh Allen or UCLA’s Josh Rosen.
Obviously one or two of these prospects could be selected first and second, so it’s a matter of which players are available at three.
One of the players who has a good chance of slipping to three is Rosen, but could the Jets pick him after he insulted their owner’s boss?
Over the summer, President Donald Trump appointed Jets Owner Woody Johnson as Ambassador to the United Kingdom.
On April 11, 2016, while golfing at Trump National Golf Club in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, Rosen wore a hat covered with an “F Trump” headband and posted it on Instagram.
After the his Instagram post went viral, featured on many websites, causing a stir, Rosen added to the caption – “I support all presidential candidates in this race for the White House. I believe in the American system of democracy and hope that our country picks the best and most qualified person to be our Commander in Chief.”
However, in August of 2016, he told Sports Illustrated he didn’t regret the decision to wear the hat.
“I don’t regret posting the photo at all, because personally I thought it was hilarious,” Rosen said. “I want people to know I’m a real person, that I don’t have someone running my Instagram, I don’t have someone prewriting all of my interviews and stuff. With Trump, I’m learning to evolve my message and understand how to convey the substance of it.”
If a draft prospect had worn an “F Obama” hat, would some teams have stayed away in the draft? Maybe. It might have been hard to sell that player to most NFL locker rooms.
So could the Jets still pick Rosen, who insulted the owner’s boss, the President of the United States?
The Jets need a quarterback very badly, and Rosen might be the draft’s best pure passer
And also, since Woody Johnson is busy working as an ambassador, his brother Christopher is running the Jets. The Jets are owned by Woody, Christopher and their mother Betty, heirs to the Johnson-and-Johnson fortune. They bought the team in 2000, and for the first 17 years of their ownership, Woody was the hands-on owner, but Christopher is filling in during his ambassadorship.
But make no mistake about it, Woody Johnson is the out-front Jets’ owner, and will re-assume that role when his job in Great Britain ends.
You have to wonder if it will end sooner than expected if the Jets pick Rosen, who was patently disrespectful to Trump.
However, despite the possible ramifications of picking Rosen, he might be too good for the Jets to pass up.
If you don’t have an elite quarterback in the NFL, it’s hard to compete for the Super Bowl.