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What Robert Saleh Reportedly Sees In Jets QB Sam Darnold

Sam Darnold escapes the pocket during a New York Jets game.

EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - OCTOBER 01: Sam Darnold #14 of the New York Jets scrambles against the Denver Broncos during the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium on October 01, 2020 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

As owners of the No. 2 overall pick in this year's draft, the New York Jets are in prime position to draft a quarterback--should they move on from Sam Darnold.

After news of new head coach Robert Saleh's hiring the other night, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that he expects the Jets to move forward with Darnold as their starting quarterback in 2021.

“I think that Joe Douglas and this staff believe in him — Robert Saleh believes in him, and I think they’d like to give Sam Darnold an opportunity for a full season — when he’s healthy, with a new staff to see what he can do," Schefter said.

On Sunday morning, longtime ESPN Jets beat writer Rich Cimini shared that Saleh and his likely offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur have watched tape of Darnold and "believe he has untapped potential."

All of this smoke around Darnold in January means one of two things: either the Jets really do want to give Darnold a shot under a new staff, or Saleh and company are talking the young QB up in the hopes of convincing someone to trade for him.

Darnold, the No. 3 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, has flashed promise at different points with the Jets, but had the worst season of his career in 2020. In 12 games, he threw just nine touchdowns and 11 interceptions.

With the Jets holding the No. 2 pick, they're short of where they need to be to take Trevor Lawrence, but could still draft BYU's Zach Wilson or Georgia's Justin Fields if they want a quarterback.