Jets add QB depth, draft FSU 'playmaker' Travis



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FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Former Florida State quarterback Jordan Travis wiped away a tear at the start of his video conference with reporters, overcome with emotion after being selected in the fifth round by the New York Jets on Saturday.

“This is a freaking dream come true,” Travis said. “I mean, it still hasn’t hit me yet. My emotions are kind of everywhere right now.”

Travis, whose promising 2023 season ended with a gruesome left ankle fracture last November, can restart his career on a quarterback depth chart that includes future Hall of Famer Aaron Rodgers and seasoned backup Tyrod Taylor. Travis was the eighth quarterback selected, the first Florida State quarterback since Jameis Winston went No. 1 overall to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2015.

The Jets were looking for a developmental quarterback after trading Zach Wilson, the No. 2 pick in 2021, to the Denver Broncos on Monday. General manager Joe Douglas said before the draft that his goal is to turn the Jets into a “quarterback factory,” strongly hinting that he would pick a quarterback.

“I can’t wait to meet Aaron and Tyrod, just pick their brains every single day, see how they treat their teammates, how they carry themselves off the field, on the field, and just learn little things,” Travis said. “Man, I freaking can’t wait.

“I love watching Aaron Rodgers, ever since I was a little boy,” he added. “I mean, he’s one of my brother’s favorite quarterbacks, so I’ve always watched him. To have an opportunity to go work with him and just learn from him is such a blessing.”

Later in the fifth round, five picks after Travis, the Jets selected former CFL player Qwan’tez Stiggers, who played cornerback for the Toronto Argonauts. Stiggers became the third player in the common-draft era (since 1967) to be drafted without having attended college and the first CFL player with no college experience to be drafted.

Travis, who wasn’t able to participate in the scouting combine or pro day because of his injury, declined to say when he’d be able to return to football activities. He said he would meet with the Jets’ trainers to determine a timetable.

It has been a trying five months for Travis, who was a Heisman Trophy candidate for the undefeated Seminoles at the time of his injury against North Alabama. They finished the regular season undefeated, but his injury was the reason why the Seminoles were excluded from the College Football Playoff.

“It’s been a grind, but I love it,” he said, choking up. “I love this type of stuff. I love having to wake up every single day and having to make a decision and make a choice on who I’m going to be every single day. I just love the work, and I love just seeing improvement every single day. So, yeah, man. I mean, it’s been a journey, but it’s been a blessing from the man upstairs.”

Travis is a dual-threat quarterback who broke several school records at Florida State. He produced the most touchdowns in school history (97) and the most yards in total offense (10,553). He improved his passing accuracy in 2023, with 20 touchdown passes and only two interceptions.

“I’m a playmaker. That’s the main thing,” he said. “I make plays when everything breaks down. Yeah, man, I’m just a baller. I’m a competitor. Every single time I get on the field, I want to dominate the guy across from me. And I’m a winner. I mean, that’s the main thing for me is throughout my career, I fell in love with winning so much and I hate losing.”

Stiggers made an unprecedented leap from the CFL to the NFL. Typically, CFL players are allowed to sign with any NFL team, but he never attended college and was therefore eligible for the draft.

He took a circuitous journey, leaving football for two years after his father’s death and then returning to play semi-pro before joining the CFL. His father, Rayves Harrison, died in September, 2020; he was in a coma for several months after a one-car accident. Stiggers said he took a leave from football to focus on his mental health.

In the CFL, Stiggers was named most outstanding rookie while playing for the Toronto Argonauts. The Jets have a crowded cornerback room, led by All-Pro Sauce Gardner and D.J. Reed. Much like Travis, the Jets see Stiggers as a long-term project.

“It’s going to be a blast,” he said of the NFL. “I’m going to put on a show.”



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