20. New York Jets- Connor Cook, QB, Michigan State
Ryan Fitzpatrick had a very solid year for the New York Jets and almost led them to a playoff berth. However, he’s limited and has already reached his ceiling with only a chance for decline in the future. New York has the pieces in place to make another run at the playoffs but also need to think about the long-term future.
As long as Todd Bowles is the head coach, the Jets will be a team that looks to win with their defense. This means they need a quarterback who knows how to protect the football and play this style. Michigan State’s Connor Cook played under very similar conditions in college and succeeded.
Cook has his share of warts, but is overall underrated as a prospect. He doesn’t have the eye-popping numbers like other quarterback that came out of a spread attack. Cook is a steady performer who makes smart decisions and delivers in the clutch.
He strikes me as the type of player who’d be able to step in as a rookie and do what’s needed to lead his team to the playoffs. We’ve seen other rookie quarterbacks like Joe Flacco and Ben Roethlisberger mange the game in a similar fashion.
Next: No. 21 Washington Redskins