New York Jets general manager Joe Douglas is holding true to his promises
“This organization is going to lift you, not the other way around.”
Since that day and even preceding it, Jets general manager Joe Douglas has done nothing but live up to that promise; which is what Douglas’ predecessor, Mike Maccagnan, could never do.
Maccagnan, who served as the Jets’ general manager from 2015 to 2019, spewed a similar string of cliches when discussing his plan to support former Jets quarterback Sam Darnold.
“We definitely are excited about the idea of putting players around Sam,” Maccagnan said at the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine, nearly one year after trading up to select Darnold with the third overall pick in 2018. “That’s going to be one of our focal points this offseason.”
Unlike Douglas, who is walking the talk, Maccagnan’s vow to support Darnold turned out to be nothing but an empty promise. Maccagnan did an embarrassingly poor job of building a supporting cast for Darnold, ultimately leading to the young passer’s demise in New York.
Douglas is not making the same mistake. He refuses to allow Wilson to fail because of the pieces around him (or lack thereof). If Wilson does not live up to expectations as a Jet, it won’t be because of the team’s inability to put him in a position to succeed.
We still need to see if Douglas’ picks actually pan out, but the pure amount of effort that he has put into supporting his quarterback is highly impressive, especially in comparison to Maccagnan’s follies.
When you compare Maccagnan and Douglas’ quarterback-supporting endeavors side by side, it is absolutely mind-blowing how much stronger of an effort Douglas has made. Seriously; it’s difficult to believe what you’re about to read is real.
Joe Douglas vs. Mike Maccagnan: A monumental difference in QB-supporting
Firstly, here’s a look at all of the non-quarterback offensive players selected by Maccagnan over his five drafts from 2015 to 2019. Listed beside each player is the value of the pick they were selected with (based on the Jimmy Johnson trade chart).
|2015||2||37||Devin Smith||WR||Ohio St.||530|
|2018||4||107||Chris Herndon||TE||Miami (FL)||80|
|2019||4||121||Trevon Wesco||TE||West Virginia||52|
|2015||5||152||Jarvis Harrison||G||Texas A&M||29|
|2016||5||158||Brandon Shell||T||South Carolina||26.6|
|2018||6||204||Trenton Cannon||RB||Virginia St.||8.2|
Compare that monstrosity of a list to the work done by Douglas. Here are all of the non-QB offensive players selected by Douglas over his three drafts from 2020 to 2022.
|2022||1||10||Garrett Wilson||WR||Ohio St.||1300|
|2022||2||36||Breece Hall||RB||Iowa St.||540|
|2022||3||101||Jeremy Ruckert||TE||Ohio St.||96|
|2021||4||107||Michael Carter||RB||North Carolina||80|
Let’s break down what we’re looking at here.
First of all, consider this: in five years as the Jets’ general manager, the earliest draft pick that Maccagnan spent on a non-QB offensive player was the 37th overall selection in the second round of the 2015 edition (Devin Smith).
In only three drafts, Douglas has already drafted five non-QB offensive players prior to the No. 37 slot (Garrett Wilson, Mekhi Becton, Alijah Vera-Tucker, Elijah Moore, Breece Hall).
Things start to get truly unfathomable when you throw pick values into the equation.
Maccagnan invested 1,133 points’ worth of selections into non-QB offensive players over five drafts.
Douglas has invested 5,405 points’ worth of selections into non-QB offensive players over three drafts.
Yes… those are the real figures. Douglas is doing that much better than Maccagnan at helping out his young quarterback.
There are a lot of ways you can slice up those pies to exemplify how big the gap is.
Douglas’ total of 5,405 points is about equal to the value of four 9th-overall picks, while Maccagnan’s total of 1,133 points is about equal to the value of one 13th-overall pick. Douglas’ pie can also be sliced into six 18th-overall picks while Maccagnan’s can be divided into three 52nd-overall picks.
Let’s look at those numbers on a per-draft basis, tilting the scales even further in Douglas’ direction.
Maccagnan invested an average of 227 points per draft into non-QB offensive players.
Douglas is investing an average of 1,802 points per draft into non-QB offensive players.
In other words, Douglas is currently investing nearly eight times more capital per draft into QB-supporting prospects than Maccagnan did.
For perspective, Maccagnan’s average of 227 points is about equal in value to the 73rd pick in the draft. Douglas’ average of 1,802 points is about equal to the fourth pick in the draft.
Douglas invested more points into non-QB offensive players in each of his three drafts than Maccagnan invested in his entire five-year career (1,133):
- 2020: 1,657 (Becton, Mims, Perine, Clark)
- 2021: 1,740 (Vera-Tucker, Moore, Carter)
- 2022: 2,008 (G. Wilson, Hall, Ruckert, Mitchell)
And it wasn’t even close – each of Douglas’ draft classes invested at least 500 more points (equal to the value of the 40th overall pick) into non-QB offensive players than Maccagnan’s whole tenure.
It’s ultimately about making the effort count, but Joe Douglas’ effort is undoubtedly tremendous
As we mentioned earlier, these prospects have to turn into legitimately good players for all of Douglas’ work to translate into a strong product on the football field. Putting in the effort is one thing. Getting results out of that effort is another.
The early results are promising, with players like Becton, Vera-Tucker, Moore, and Carter showing lots of potential, but there’s a long way to go. We haven’t even seen the 2022 class take the field in rookie minicamp yet.
Regardless of how it all plays out, Jets fans can at least sleep tight knowing that their favorite team finally has a general manager who is doing everything within his power to supplement the development of the franchise’s most important player.