How the Jets missed on Derek Carr and every other good player in '14 draft

From ESPN - September 17, 2017

OAKLAND -- A look at what's happening around the New York Jets:

1. A tale of one draft: You could argue the biggest difference between the Jets and the Oakland Raiders is the 2014 draft. The Raiders crushed it, picking pass-rusher Khalil Mack, quarterback Derek Carr and guard Gabe Jackson in the first three rounds. The Jets? They pulled a Bill Buckner, letting a great opportunity go between their legs. Only one of then-GM John Idzik's 12 picks remains on the roster: backup guard Dakota Dozier.

You may find this interesting (or just a cruel tease), but there was a small segment of the organization that felt Carr had the goods to be a franchise quarterback, sources said. The Jets interviewed him at the Senior Bowl and dispatched quarterbacks coach David Lee to his pro day at Fresno State. Impressed, Lee told people they should draft Carr. The team had picked Geno Smith the previous year, but some in the organization were not sold on him (and with good reason, as it turned out).

No matter. Sources said Idzik and his scouts had doubts about Carr because of a lackluster bowl game and the belief -- shared by others around the league -- that he'd turn out like his older brother, former draft bust David Carr. A lot of quarterback-needy teams look pretty silly now.

As it turned out, Carr was picked 36th overall, 13 spots ahead of the Jets' slot in the second round. The Jets made an effort to trade up, but not for Carr. No, Idzik wanted wide receiver Marqise Lee, who went 39th to the Jacksonville Jaguars. He settled for tight end Jace Amaro, who would become the latest in a long line of second-round busts. One team official was told by a league insider to "run away" from Amaro because of concerns about his toughness. Some folks in the draft room were crestfallen by the turn of events.

It will be remembered as the "What might have been" draft. As previously reported, the Jets had interest in Odell Beckham Jr. Before taking safety Calvin Pryor (another bust), the Jets talked to at least one team in the top 11 about swapping places. They would have given up the 18th pick and their second-rounder to move up. Why a trade did not happen is one of those unsolved Jets mysteries.

It's no mystery why the Raiders are a prohibitive favorite in Sunday's matchup.

2. Wake up, Mo: Coach Todd Bowles called out his defensive line last week after its poor performance in the opener. He should have singled out Muhammad Wilkerson, who was credited with only two tackles and one tipped pass in 63 snaps. It was a continuation of last season, causing some in the organization to wonder what's going on. At this rate, Wilkerson has no shot at seeing his $16.8 million salary for 2018, which becomes guaranteed in March.

Defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers tried to rationalize the performance by saying he does not expect Wilkerson to make plays when the opponent runs to the opposite side. Roughly two-thirds of the Buffalo Bills' attempts were away from Wilkerson, but great players find a way to make plays. He did it two years ago and was rewarded with a five-year, $86 million contract.

On Sunday, Wilkerson will be matched up against the weak link of the Raiders' offensive line, right tackle Marshall Newhouse. There's no excuse for another clunker.


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