“We’re excited about the guys we got,” Maccagnan told WFAN’s Mike Francesa on Tuesday. “We were pretty active obviously on draft day moving back, picking up some more picks. But we kind of went by how our board was stacked and we felt — I know a lot of people kind of saw us take two safeties and wide receivers — but we felt good about the players we got at the values where they were in the draft, and we think they’ll be good players for us going forward.”
Maccagnan said he believes drafting for need can be risky.
“You can’t really go in with like a grocery list of, ‘I need this, I need this, I need this.'” he said. ” … Our focus was really to try to take the best player available we felt comfortable with.”
Sometimes need and value intersect, which appears to be the case with the Jets’ first-round selection. LSU safety Jamal Adams had been projected by many to be a top-three pick, but he fell to the Jets at No. 6.
“We really didn’t expect Jamal to be available when we picked,” Maccagnan said. “In some of the mock drafts, he kind of trickled down, but we always thought one of those teams ahead of us would’ve more or less picked him off. And we felt very happy when he fell to us. And again, he’s a very good player, not just on the field, but really, from an intangible standpoint, we really feel he’ll be a real cornerstone-type player for us going forward.”
[graphiq id=”ahnAvki65oh” title=”New York Jets 2017 NFL Draft Board” width=”600″ height=”655″ url=”https://w.graphiq.com/w/ahnAvki65oh” ]
Some observers wondered if the Jets would select another quarterback in the draft. While they didn’t end up with one, Maccagnan said it wasn’t because they were opposed to the possibility.
“Quarterback was a position we looked very strongly at, all through the process, and we put our values on them,” he said. “And again, if there was a situation where we felt that was the best player available, we would take him.”
Josh McCown, Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg will go into training camp battling for the Jets’ starting QB job. In the first couple of OTA practices, they’ve received equal reps, Maccagnan said.
“I think it’s really an opportunity that’s wide open for any of these guys,” he said.
While the Jets, who went 5-11 last season, have their share of doubters for next season, Maccagnan said he believes the franchise is headed in the right direction.
“I think sometimes beauty’s in the eye of the beholder,” he said. “I think the one thing I will say (is) we may not have some of the name players that we’ve had in the past, but we do have some good, young players that we feel good about.”
To listen to the interview, click on the audio player above.