Speculation has arisen lately regarding the possibility of Philip Rivers leaving San Diego. The Chargers may want to move in a different and younger direction. Many believe their target is Marcus Mariota, the 2014 Heisman winner from Oregon.
San Diego holds the 17th pick in this years draft and Mariota is expected to be selected before the Chargers are on the clock, anywhere within the top 10.
Don't forget about Rivers
If they really want to make a move for Mariota they will not be upgrading at the position for 2015; in fact, their playoff hopes would most likely evaporate for the immediate future.
Phillip Rivers is a really good quarterback in the NFL and would be considered great if he were to have a ring. In 2014 Rivers had a total QBR of 66.8; good for 10th in the NFL.
He ranked 4th in the league, completing 66.5% of his passes while throwing for 31 touchdowns. Rivers played through several injuries, which inevitably caused some inconsistency in his play, throwing for the second highest interception total in his career, 18.
Rivers put up Pro Bowl caliber numbers despite playing behind an abysmal offensive line. Last season the Chargers ranked 29th overall and 27th in pass blocking. He also played with the 30th ranked rushing attack in the NFL. Needless to say, Rivers had to consistently put the offense on his shoulders and win games despite being one-dimensional.
Keenan Allen is a young talent who has star potential, but, including him, the Chargers do not have elite weapons for Rivers to throw the football too. Yes, Allen is talented, but he is not elite. Antonio Gates is ageing and his game has dissipated.
Taking into consideration that Rivers has been forced to play with one of the worst offensive lines and rushing attacks in the NFL, he has done a tremendous job.
Jets Make Sense For Rivers
If Marcus Mariota falls past the top five and the Jets are on the clock, they would be foolish not to call the Chargers and discuss a trade to acquire Phillip Rivers.
The Jets have improved drastically this offseason and are a quarterback away from competing for a ring.
New head coach, Todd Bowels, is known for his stout defensive coaching and the Jets are now loaded on defense. New York has signed both their former cornerbacks, Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie, to revitalize the secondary.
A revamped secondary in addition to an already elite defensive line, being coached by one of the best defensive minds, should propel the Jets to be a top five defense in 2015.
New York is not only improved defensively; they upgraded on offense by trading for a true number one receiver in Brandon Marshall.
All of a sudden Eric Decker can play as a number two, where he is more comfortable, and the Jets have the best receiving core they have had in some time.
In 2014 the Jets had the 3rd ranked rushing attack in the NFL. Returning an elite running game with an improved receiving core and a potentially great defense has the Jets in position to win now.
Rivers Could Win Super Bowl In New York
Gang Greens' only issue is at the quarterback position. Geno Smith has struggled in his career thus far. Over his first two seasons he has more turnovers than touchdowns.
The other option the Jets have is Ryan Fitzpatrick, who started for the Houston Texans in 2014. Fitzpatrick is an average starting quarterback but neither player will allow the Jets to replace the New England Patriots at the top of the AFC East.
If the Jets were to acquire Phillip Rivers, they would be poised to win the AFC East and possibly win the AFC. Not only are the Jets a perfect fit for Rivers, but they are also a perfect team to trade with if the Chargers are looking to select Marcus Mariota. Phillip Rivers for the 6th pick in the draft is a fair trade that the Jets should be exploring.
Rivers throwing to Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker, while also having the third ranked rushing attack at his disposal would be a dream scenario for both Rivers and the Jets. Phillip Rivers is set to become a free agent after the 2015 season and if San Diego does not have him in their future plans, they should go ahead and trade him for value.
Marcus Mariota Is A Project
Mariota is a project due to the fact that he ran a very unique offense in college. He ran the spread formation at the fastest tempo at the collegiate level.
Mariota did not huddle, nor did he take snaps from under center, which is why his pro fit is in question. His accuracy issues flash on the screen when watching his tape from Oregon. He has yet to prove that he can read defenses or be a pocket passer. Although Mariota is a project, Mike McCoy - Head Coach of the Chargers - has a cerebral offensive mind and may be able to get the best out of him.
Draft Day Mania
The Jets need a quarterback to realistically compete for a ring and the Chargers may be looking to trade Rivers to go with a younger option; it sets up perfectly for a draft day trade that will shake up the entire AFC.