New York Jets: 3 Quarterbacks That Could Start for the Jets in 2011

Chris Dela RosaContributor IMay 12, 2011

PITTSBURGH, PA - JANUARY 23:  Mark Sanchez #6 of the New York Jets drops back during their 19 to 24 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2011 AFC Championship game at Heinz Field on January 23, 2011 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Going into preseason (if the lockout ends beforehand) the Jets will have plenty options when it comes to choosing their next starting quarterback.  Each of the three quarterbacks brings their own skill set that could be utilized by the Jets to make them a successful club.  The three potential starters are:


1) Mark Sanchez

In 2009, the Jets drafted Mark Sanchez, expecting him to be their quarterback for years to come. Since then, he has led his team to two consecutive AFC Championship Game appearances, falling short of the Super Bowl in both.  

The benefit of having Sanchez as the starter for the Jets is the recent experience he's had. While he's only going into his third year in the NFL, Sanchez has already worked with multiple players on the Jets.  

Some of these players include his favorite target Dustin Keller and Jericho Cotchery.  When it comes to the running game, Sanchez is already accustomed to handing the ball off to LaDainian Tomlinson and Shonn Greene.

The problem with Sanchez is injuries.  

In 2009, Sanchez suffered a knee injury because of his inability to slide.  In order to try and fix this problem, the Jets brought in Yankees former catcher and current manager Joe Girardi.  

In 2010, he also suffered an injury to his shoulder as the season came to a close.  He played through this injury all the way through the the playoffs.  While Sanchez is injury prone, he has shown some growth and with the next player im going to mention, there is definitely some added motivation for him to succeed.


2) Greg McElroy

This year, the Jets drafted another quarterback.  This year's selection is another well-known quarterback, Greg McElroy from Alabama.  

Drafted in the seventh round, McElroy has shown in the last two years that he can be a productive quarterback; in 2010, he completed 70 percent of his passes, throwing for 2,987 yards, 20 touchdowns with a quarterback rating of 169.0.  

Although he was drafted late, McElroy does bring something to the table.  He has smarts and can handle the pressure of being an NFL quarterback.  He showed this ability in 2009 when he led the Crimson Tide to the National Championship Game and won with poise.  

Even though he had help from people like Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram, he still threw over 2,500 yards, with 17 touchdowns and only four interceptions.

McElroy was one of the more underrated quarterbacks of the draft, he's shown that he has the physical skill set to play a high level of football; he's also proven that he can survive in the spotlight, which is something that a quarterback for the New York Jets will need to have.


3) Mark Brunell

Probably the least likely to get the job is Mark Brunell.  

Before the 2010 season, the Jets acquired veteran Mark Brunell.  The 20-year veteran still has some left in his tank as he displayed his ability to throw the ball in the final game of the Jets 2010 season against the Bills when he threw for 110 yards with two touchdowns.

In all seriousness, Brunell will not be considered as a serious candidate for the starting position as this will likely be his last season in the NFL.  He'll probably throw five to 10 passes this season in case the starter needs to come out for a few plays.

The true battle brewing is between Sanchez and McElroy.  Last week, Sanchez invited several returning Jets skill players and the skill players that were drafted to his "Jets West Camp" at Mission Viejo High School in California. 

The camp ran from May 2 to May 8.  On the second day, Sanchez was very impressed at the way McElroy played; he said, "He's so sharp."  It will be interesting to see what happens this preseason if the lockout is lifted in time.  Until then, may the suspension to who the starter will be, build.