Jets players aren’t ready to get rid of Sam Darnold just yet.
Conventional wisdom would state that even after the New York Jets lost out on picking Trevor Lawrence No. 1 overall, Joe Douglas could use the No. 2 pick to draft one of 2021’s other great quarterback prospects, like BYU’s Zach Wilson or Ohio State’s Justin Fields. While doing so would kick Sam Darnold — who has more interceptions than touchdowns in his third year in the league — to the curb, not everyone around the Jets is willing to fully commit to getting rid of Darnold and starting over.
Per FanSided’s Matt Verderame, a source claims that players in the Jets locker room have been impressed with how Darnold has navigated a challenging season, citing injuries and the fact he is still 23 as reasons he could take a huge step forward in 2021.
The Jets could go in several different directions with the No. 2 pick if they keep Sam Darnold
Despite the fact that rookie Mekhi Becton has been a Pro Bowl-level player, George Fant has been serviceable at right tackle, and Darnold has had the third-highest time to throw in the league since Week 12, a large contingent of Jets fans want to draft Oregon tackle Penei Sewell and move either him or Becton to right tackle. Glossing over the fact that that switching from left to right tackle is essentially like learning a new position, it would give the Jets a fearsome pair of tackles.
While Wilson’s cavalier style of play and Fields’ struggles against elite competition are big question marks, both of them look like 10-year starters in the NFL given their arm talent. Still, if the Jets are committed to Darnold and think the offensive line is solid, trading down might be the best option.
Doing so could allow the Jets to take a new running back to beef up their ground game, get some cornerbacks that can finally play reliable man coverage, and add a new tight end with a higher ceiling than Chris Herndon.
No one can defend Darnold’s stats this year, as his numbers rank near the bottom of nearly every major passing category. However, some within the Jets think that getting him a few extra playmakers and stopping the leech that is Adam Gase from sucking away any more of his talent can finally help Darnold become the passer so many thought he could be when he left USC.