Mark Sanchez can relate to Sam Darnold on a number of levels. After a great career at USC, he was the No. 5 overall pick by the New York Jets in the 2009 NFL Draft, and seen as the quarterback of the future for the franchise.
While he didn’t have the most gaudy personal statistics, Sanchez guided guided the Jets to the playoffs in his first two seasons with the team, 2009 and 2010. The team has not made the postseason since. After 8-8 and 6-10 seasons the next two years, the team moved on from him.
Darnold, a fellow Trojan, has probably shown a higher ceiling so far, but he’s played for a worse team, and like Sanchez, hasn’t taken meaningful steps forward. He is coming off of his third year in the league, in which he posted his words yards per attempt and passer rating marks, and threw just nine touchdowns to 11 interceptions.
Discussing the latest mock draft from Todd McShay during Get Up on ESPN today, Sanchez says that the team need to move Darnold this offseason, or things will get ugly when he struggles this year. The Jets have been attached to a few quarterbacks during the run-up to the draft, including Ohio State’s Justin Fields and BYU’s Zach Wilson.
Ex-Jets QB Mark Sanchez would like to see Sam Darnold out of NY. On @GetUpESPN: “They gotta do something fast to get him out of there.”
— Rich Cimini (@RichCimini) March 5, 2021
The New York Jets are still figuring out the status of their quarterback position, with three pretty distinct paths forward. It is not looking super likely that Sam Darnold gets another shot with the franchise at this point.
Jets rumors in the Deshaun Watson sweepstakes have cooled in recent weeks, though the team still has the best potential package for the Houston Texans superstar. Watson would probably accelerate the team’s timeline in a big way, and maybe even make them playoff contenders on day one.
The team has the No. 2 pick, and Zach Wilson is the most common name floated at that spot as of now. If the team is in love with one of the quarterbacks available there, it is hard to pass up that opportunity.
Of course, if they are not, and the new coaching staff under Robert Saleh believes it can fix Darnold, it could make sense to hold onto him for one more season, and get him some help with that No. 2 pick. The Jets could potentially trade down to stockpile more assets, especially in a draft with a number of top flight wide receivers, a position of severe need for the franchise.
The 2021 NFL Draft begins on April 29.