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Rapoport: Jets looking at QBs who could go late in first round

The New York Jets continue to be linked to a quarterback in this draft.

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Tuesday that the Jets were "keeping in regular contact with QBs slated to go in the first round," and Thursday he tweeted that the franchise was "doing a lot of groundwork for QBs that may land in the first round or early in the 2nd round," specifically mentioning Fresno State's Derek Carr and Eastern Illinois' Jimmy Garoppolo.

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Carr is seen by some as a first-rounder; Garoppolo generally is considered a second-round prospect.

The Jets taking a quarterback with their pick at No. 18 seems far-fetched. But could they be toying with the idea of moving back in the first round? Or trying to acquire another first-round pick, this one in the late 20s or early 30s?

The Jets already have Michael Vick and Geno Smith at quarterback, and the media frenzy that would ensue with another quarterback is, frankly, almost unfathomable. But Vick turns 34 soon, and if the Jets aren't sold on Smith, getting a quarterback in this draft makes sense.

If they have decided to grab a signal-caller, the "when" becomes important. Given the holes the Jets have at wide receiver, cornerback and tight end, it's hard to see them trading away the No. 18 pick to move back for another quarterback. Trying to acquire another first-round selection for a quarterback after the pick is made at No. 18? That makes more sense. Again, though, the holes in the roster and the media circus that would ensue in a pivotal season for coach Rex Ryan makes you shake your head about that idea.

Trying to move up in the second round from their spot at No. 17 (49th overall) makes the most sense, assuming they truly want a quarterback in the first two rounds. Finding a young guy and letting him develop for a year (or a half-season) behind Vick might be what the front office is thinking.

Again, though, any decision on drafting a quarterback in the first two rounds would indicate the Jets don't have faith in Smith. He started all 16 games last season after being selected in the second round.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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