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Jets hoping Jordan Travis can grow, learn under Aaron Rodgers: ‘ball of clay’

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The Jets adhered so strictly to the Green Bay Model of Quarterback Development that they even drafted another Jordan to learn underneath Aaron Rodgers.

To be fair, it’s more coincidence than anything else that Jordan Travis — a fifth-round pick by the Jets in last week’s draft — shares the same first name as Jordan Love, who was brilliant for the Packers last season after spending his first three years behind Rodgers on their bench.

Travis — who will begin as a third-stringer with time to recover from a gruesome injury — imagines in his future a day of inheriting the reins from Rodgers, too.


Jets quarterback Jordan Travis works out on the exercise bike to rehab the broken leg he suffered at Florida State in November. Bill Kostroun / New York Post

“I do think about that a lot,” Travis said Saturday after rookie minicamp concluded, “but right now I’m just focused on where my feet are — getting healthy, getting everybody around me better, being a great teammate.”

But does he believe that he can start in this league?

“100 percent,” Travis said confidently.

As five other quarterbacks whom the Jets are less invested in threw passes over the last two days, Travis stood off to the side gripping a football and pump-faking throws.

He rode the exercise bike during other parts of practice as he continues to rehab the broken leg he suffered at Florida State last November.

“I’m just thankful to have a ball in my hand again and a helmet on my head,” Travis said. “Watching those guys throw, I love seeing guys compete.”


Jordan Travis speaks with the media during Jets' rookie minicamp on Saturday.
Jordan Travis speaks with the media during Jets’ rookie minicamp on Saturday. Bill Kostroun / New York Post

But the struggle between staying patient and giving into competitive instincts is constant.

“I got in the stretch lines [Friday] and they pulled me out,” Travis quipped. “I’m trying to get out there.”
Travis won his final 17 collegiate starts and was the 2023 ACC Player of the Year after throwing 20 touchdowns and two interceptions. He never would’ve been available with the No. 171 pick had he entered the draft healthy, especially if he altered the outcome of Michigan’s winning the College Football Playoff.

“We feel like he’s kind of a ball of clay,” head coach Robert Saleh said. “The style of college, its tremendous schemes, but they’re more tailor-made to what they can and can’t do rule-wise. Footwork and throwing motion, and just being able to process and work in an NFL offense — getting under center, controlling the huddle — there are so many things that we feel like we can build on [his] athleticism.”

Saleh’s hope is that Travis is ready to practice by training camp in late July.

“I’m just trying to get ready as fast as possible,” Travis said. “Obviously, that’s the goal, but I want to be 100 percent, too.”

Former Florida State receiver Keon Coleman — who was drafted by the Bills with the first pick of the second round — said Travis “was the best quarterback in the country, despite who just got drafted” during an appearance on the “RG3 and The Ones” podcast with former NFL quarterback Robert Griffin III. He crossed AFC East rivalry lines to show respect to Travis.

“The leader I am, I’m just the same person every day,” Travis said. “Consistent in everything I do. A guy that works hard, never late for anything, treats everybody with respect.”

Jets general manager Joe Douglas said before the draft that he wants to build a “quarterback factory” like the Packers did by drafting, developing and trading future starting quarterbacks Mark Brunell, Matt Hasselbeck and Aaron Brooks during Brett Favre’s tenure, and later having Rodgers waiting behind Favre much like Love ultimately succeeded Rodgers.

Favre (2008) and Rodgers (2023) both moved on to the Jets.

Travis fits the bill of high-upside value pick.

“I love adversity,” Travis said. “I love waking up every single day and having to make a choice. It just makes the story a whole lot cooler. There’s never been a doubt in my mind.”

The plan is for Travis to learn under Rodgers and Tyrod Taylor — who influenced Baker Mayfield and Justin Herbert as rookies — and complete his comeback story down the road.

“I’ll watch every little thing that they do,” Travis said. “I’m going to ask a lot of questions, for sure. You have two great quarterbacks ahead of you and I’ve been looking up to them for a long time, so having the opportunity to pick their brains every day, seeing how they treat their teammates, how they carry themselves off and on the field, I look forward to.”


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