Few people were aware of the player the New York Jets coveted as the first round of the NFL Draft approached. And that includes many members of the team's hierarchy.
It was no secret that the Jets were planning to take a quarterback with the No. 3 overall pick, especially after they made a blockbuster trade with the Indianapolis Colts in March to move up three slots and get in position to snag their preferred player.
But, according to the New York Daily News, the team went to great lengths to make sure their top choice didn't wind up divulged to the media beforehand.
The draft could not have unfolded any better for New York, which wound up taking USC's Sam Darnold, who was rated the No. 1 overall QB by NFLDraftScout senior analyst Rob Rang.
"I don't want to get into where we had guys ranked," said Maccagnan after selecting Darnold. "But we were very excited when he was available for us at three."
Maccagnan went to such great lengths to keep the team's preferences under wraps that he did not assign a grade to any of the top five quarterbacks who eventually were selected in the first round.
New York was expected to land either Darnold or Josh Rosen, the top two quarterbacks on Rang's Big Board. That was before the late buzz surrounding Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield, who went to the Cleveland Browns at No. 1.
The Jets then had to hold their breath while waiting for the No. 2 pick of New York Giants, hoping they would not trade down to another quarterback-needy team.
When the Giants, as expected, went with Penn State running back Saquon Barkley, Maccagnan was poised to pounce on what he hopes will be the franchise's quarterback of the future -- even if he still won't say if Darnold was the team's top-rated player at the position.
Suffice to say, though, Maccagnan is thrilled with his choice, telling the NFL Network that Darnold would get a chance to compete with incumbent Josh McDown for the starting job.
"Nothing's been predetermined one way or another," Maccagnan said last week. "There's a chance for anything on the table. Nothing's been sort of set in stone in terms of how we're going to do this in terms of a firm time frame.
"But he's going to have every opportunity and we'll see how it develops going forward."