It has yet to be seen whether new Jets head coach Robert Saleh will move forward with Sam Darnold as his starting quarterback.
Darnold, just 23 years old, has shown brief flashes of brilliance during his three years in the league so far. But he’s turnover prone, and the Jets have the No. 2 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence won’t be available by pick No. 2, but Ohio State’s Justin Fields and BYU’s Zach Wilson will be. Either could pan out to be a franchise quarterback, a label that has yet to be associated with Darnold.
The Jets have plenty of options this off-season and the decisions could shape the organization’s future. If NFL insider Mike Garafolo had to make a prediction about New York’s quarterback situation, he’d bet Darnold is the starting quarterback for 2021.
“I’d say Darnold’s their guy in 2021,” Garafolo said of the Jets’ quarterback situation.
From @gmfb Weekend on Sam Darnold's chances of returning to the #Jets. With Robert Saleh's coaching staff yet to evaluate the roster, free agents and the draft, it's hard to say for sure. But there's thought in the building Darnold's potential remains untapped. pic.twitter.com/RxPQhuspLD
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) January 23, 2021
One of the toughest aspects of evaluating Sam Darnold has to do with his supporting cast. The USC alum hasn’t had much help on the offensive end during his three years in the Big Apple.
Rather than using the No. 2 pick on another quarterback, the Jets should look to add help for Darnold. New York could even trade down to acquire more assets and add depth in the process.
Robert Saleh’s first few months as the Jets head coach could dictate the trajectory of the organization over the next few years.