Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan will be running his first draft this year after arriving in New York from Houston this offseason, and it’ll be an important one for the franchise, which holds the sixth overall pick next Thursday. Speaking to reporters today, Maccagnan addressed a number of topics related to the upcoming draft and the Jets’ general plans. Here are a few highlights, with all links going to the Twitter accounts of beat writers Rich Cimini (ESPN.com) and Manish Mehta (New York Daily News):
- Maccagnan would prefer to add more picks, which increases the team’s chances of finding good players, rather than to give up picks to move up for someone. The Jets will still reach out to every team picking ahead of them to gauge the market value of those selections, but don’t necessarily expect to trade up.
- Asked about Muhammad Wilkerson‘s absence from the club’s offseason program, Maccagnan downplayed the defensive lineman’s absence, noting that the workouts were voluntary and adding, “I’m sure Mo is doing a good job wherever he’s working out.” For now, the club is too focused on the draft to deal with Wilkerson’s contract situation, but the GM says that will happen “at some point in time going forward.”
- The Jets expect restricted free agents Damon Harrison and Jaiquawn Jarrett to sign their tenders. Today is the last day RFAs can sign offer sheets with rival teams, and neither player appears poised to do so.
- Maccagnan and the Jets “absolutely” feel comfortable with the amount of homework they’ve done on Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota, whom they saw during a visit, a private workout, and his pro day.
- Maccagnan, point to the Steelers as an example, said he’d like to create a “pipeline” of 3-4 outside linebackers, since those players take some time to develop.
- The Jets evaluated just under 1,400 prospects, and ended up with just under 300 on their draft board, per Maccagnan.
- According to Maccagnan, his philosophy involves using free agency to fill needs (such as cornerback), and using the draft to select the best players available.