Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter
Now that the Jets have filled their general manager vacancy, there will inevitably be changes in the way the Jets put together their team.
While Joe Douglas, like Mike Maccagnan before him, has a background in scouting, there are plenty of differences in his approach.
Let's consider some of the main tenets, how they differ from those of Maccagnan and what this could mean for some of the players on the current roster.
While with the Eagles, Douglas told the media that his scouting was more focused on production than projection. Clearly, he's looking for players who have had success at the college level, not those who have unrealized upside due to unrefined technique or not having maximized their athletic potential.
Interestingly, all of the Jets' 2019 draft picks - apart from Blessuan Austin, whose college career was derailed by injuries - were basically one-year wonders.
In terms of both statistical production and all-conference recognition, each of the other five had limited success prior to the 2018 season before breaking out last year.
Would that 2018 production have been enough to convince Douglas, or would he have gone in another direction, perhaps targeting players who had produced over multiple seasons?
An aversion to analytics
There was some concern within the Eagles organization that Douglas was resistant to general manager Howie Roseman's increasing reliance on analytics. In recent drafts, the Jets have had some positive feedback from the analytics community for some of their picks, including players such as Parry Nickerson, Folorunso Fatukasi and Blake Cashman.
Douglas perhaps wouldn't have picked these players, but will he value them on his roster?
If Maccagnan had listened to the analytics community, he probably wouldn't have made his biggest draft mistake and selected Christian Hackenberg in the top 50. With that said, Douglas likely wouldn't have made this pick either if he stuck to his production over projection philosophy.
In some regards, the analytics conundrum can be overthought. Ultimately, whether you watch a lot of film or rely on metrics that come from watching film, the goal is to assess how good a player is. If the process is carried out effectively, both approaches should yield similar results.
Douglas is also said to place a high level or importance on character, and may not have selected Jachai Polite or Chuma Edoga, who come with attitude concerns.
It remains to be seen how much patience he will have with young players such as those, or even veterans who have been embroiled in minor controversies in the past, such as Robby Anderson, Le'Veon Bell or Trumaine Johnson.
Building from the trenches
One thing Maccagnan seemed reluctant to do was use high picks on offensive linemen.
It's believed the Jets organization hasn't seen the value in highly drafted linemen for several years, feeling a mid-to-late rounder has just as much chance of developing into a starter.
For Douglas, this hasn't been the case, as his teams have generally drafted plenty of offensive linemen including a few high picks like Andre Dillard and Cody Whitehair. It will be interesting to see the dynamic between this approach and Adam Gase's belief that you shouldn't spend too many resources on interior linemen. Could Douglas also look to bolster the team's current offensive line depth?
Aside from the offensive line, Douglas has also used some high picks on edge rushers in recent drafts, another position somewhat neglected by Maccagnan's Jets. It seems unlikely the current committee-based approach at that position will continue for much longer.
At running back, the Jets gave a record deal to Bell but Douglas is coming from an organization who could have tried to sign him and opted not to, albeit that this was Roseman's decision. For what it's worth, Douglas used a second-round pick on a running back (Miles Sanders) in this year's draft.
In the past, observers have noted how the Jets have had a tendency to hire someone diametrically opposite to their predecessor. For example, Maccagnan, with his scouting background, was supposed to be a refreshing change from John Idzik, who was widely viewed as a penny-pinching "bean counter." The trouble with this approach is that the new hire is stuck with the remnants of a team that was put together under a different philosophy.
Although the Jets replaced Maccagnan with another candidate that has a background in scouting, there are still aspects of Maccagnan's approach which will be prioritized differently under the new regime. In much the same way as coaches like Gase and Gregg Williams will be looking to find players who are best suited to their system, Douglas will take some time to put together a roster in his own image.