Why Sam Darnold’s progress should still matter to Jets fans
Any day now there will be a photo on social media of a fan in a Jets No. 16 jersey with “Lawrence” across the back. You can bank on it.
Three years ago, it was a fan in a Jets jersey with “Darnold” on it at a Yankees game that set Twitter abuzz.
Things change quickly in the NFL.
The Jets drafted Sam Darnold a year later and he was hailed as the team’s savior. It has not quite worked out that way, and now it feels like many Jets backers are ready to move on to the next savior — Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence.
But here’s the thing: It is not time to give up on Darnold yet, though it may be in a few months. If the Jets end up with the No. 1 pick in next spring’s draft, Lawrence is a no-brainer.
But what if the Jets don’t get that pick? It looks like 0-16 is coming. It looks like the Jets should be getting Lawrence’s jersey ready. But this season is not even half over. If the Jets win a game, they could end up picking No. 2. Strength of schedule is the tiebreaker for draft position, and the team with the weaker schedule gets the better pick. The Jets are going to have a very high strength of schedule and likely will lose those tiebreakers — and there are still seven other teams, not counting the Bengals and Eagles, who each have a tie, looking for win No. 2.
If the Jets do not end up with the No. 1 pick, the Darnold decision will be a tough one. Do they build around Darnold or move on to one of the top quarterbacks in the draft not named Lawrence?
There are 10 games left in this season and the Jets should not lose sight of what the priority was entering this year. This organization needs to figure out what it has in Darnold before January comes. Darnold has missed two games with a shoulder injury, but he appears to be on track to return Sunday. If he can stay on the field, that gives the Jets 10 more chances to watch Darnold and 10 more chances for general manager Joe Douglas to figure out what he has.
Source : Brian Costello Link