For this reason alone, the New York Jets still need to consider drafting a quarterback.
The franchise will be undergoing a full-fledged rebuild when the 2020 season comes to a close, meaning nearly everyone is available for firing. Adam Gase failed to do the one thing he was kept on for, while a majority of overpriced free agents haven’t lived up to their contract.
Trevor Lawrence, perhaps the most complete quarterback prospect since Andrew Luck, was there for the Jets’ taking. Instead, now Joe Douglas will have to decide if the team should continue to build around Sam Darnold or start fresh with a risky option at the No. 2 spot.
It’s easy to say that Darnold is a product of Gase’s play-calling, but one stat alone will haunt him if the season were to end today. In 10 starts, Darnold has thrown for 1,767 yards, six touchdowns and nine interceptions.
The only other player since 2001 to come close to that? Former No. 1 high school prospect and Carolina Panthers quarterback Jimmy Clausen. Carolina finished with the No. 1 pick and drafted Cam Newton the following season.
There are only 2 QBs since 2001 to have
▫️ 10+ Starts
▫️ Fewer than 7 Pass TD
▫️ Fewer than 2,000 Pass Yds
▪️ Jimmy Clausen (2010)
▪️ Sam Darnold (2020) pic.twitter.com/Eu2c0wX7lx
— NFLonCBS (@NFLonCBS) December 23, 2020
Is Sam Darnold done as a starter in the NFL?
Darnold hasn’t been it for the 2020 season. Then again, nothing in New York has been “it” when you think about it. The difference is, there was so much potential in his sophomore season when he finished 7-6 as a starter and threw for over 3,000 yards.
Only the next Jets head coach will have a say in what the franchise will do with Darnold. More often than not, if coaches are given the option, they try to start over with “their” quarterback option. If that’s the case, what should the team do with the No. 2 selection?
There are three options for New York: stay put, trade down or try to trade up to snag Lawrence from Jacksonville. The best move right now would be to trade down. Lawrence’s skills would only do so much with the offensive talent in the Big Apple
Could Justin Fields or Trey Lance do any better? No. In fact, it’d probably be much worse.
Despite being out since Week 5, Dak Prescott STILL has more passing yards (1,856) this season than Sam Darnold (1,767). pic.twitter.com/doXUes3P7K
— LeadingNFL (@LeadingNFL) December 22, 2020
Rising quarterback prospect Zach Wilson might be a name to watch for in the coming weeks. The BYU sensation is great under pressure and loves to throw on the run or outside of the pocket.
On Tuesday, Wilson tallied 437 total yards of offense and five touchdowns in a 49-23 Boca Raton Bowl victory over UCF.
The Jets would be taking a risk either way now that Lawrence is out of the picture. However, look at what happened to Ryan Tannehill the second Gase was out of the picture. Currently, he leads the NFL in touchdown passes since taking over for Marcus Mariota in Tennessee.
BYU QB Zach Wilson in the first half vs. UCF: 17/21 passing for 353 total yards and 5 total TDs (3 passing, 2 rushing)
Check out the ball placement on this throw pic.twitter.com/cImWQ7Ed62
— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) December 23, 2020
Could Darnold see the same revival?
No matter what happens, the 2020 year is enough for the Jets to start fresh. Maybe just trade back and grab more picks before drafting the next Broadway gunslinger.