Over the years, we’ve heard various personnel executives talk about how much they liked Tom Brady coming out of Michigan with former Colts General Manager Bill Polian going so far as saying that he had a first-round grade on Brady.
It is hard to believe that Polian, who understands the value of a franchise quarterback quite well, would have repeatedly passed on Brady if that was the case and it’s hard to believe he would have been there for the Patriots in the sixth round if other teams were also high on his ability. It’s much easier to believe that those who missed out on a star are revisiting and revising history to explain how they allowed it to happen.
The spectacular start to Deshaun Watson‘s career appears to be having the same effect. Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News reports that there are some around the Jets letting it be known that they were willing to trade back into the first round to take Watson after using the sixth overall pick on safety Jamal Adams. That would have been unnecessary if they just took Watson, of course, and the seriousness of that desire seems questionable beyond letting an opportunity to take Watson pass.
Per Mehta, those around the Jets were willing to trade their 2018 first-round pick and Muhammad Wilkerson to jump back up to take Watson. It’s difficult to imagine that Cleveland, who got the 25th overall pick and a 2018 first from Houston, would have taken Wilkerson’s massive contract at a point when they’ve been hoarding draft picks and just took Myles Garrett with the first overall pick.
It is equally difficult to believe that the Chargers, Panthers or Bengals — who picked 7th, 8th and 9th — would have made such a deal even if the Jets threw in other assets as part of the deal. Mehta reports that the Jets never made an offer, so that could be wrong but it still seems that the way the Jets were going to get Watson was by taking his sixth and their lack of conviction that he was the right guy at that spot can’t change because of how well Watson’s done in his first seven games.