The likelihood of the New York Jets using their second pick in the 2021 NFL Draft on a quarterback has increased markedly after they traded Sam Darnold to the Carolina Panthers.
The former number 3 pick in the 2018 draft was picked up by the Panthers to be their new starter for a sixth round pick in 2021, followed by a second and fourth round pair of picks in 2022.
“Liked The Competitor, Liked The Toughness”
Speaking about his organizations acquisition of the former Jets starter, the Panthers general manager Scott Fitterer spoke highly of Darnold, revealing he had tracked his career since leaving USC.
“Sam is a guy that, going back to when he was coming out of USC, he was a guy I really liked,” admitted Fitterer.
“Liked the competitor, like the toughness, his ability to move in the pocket. He can make big plays down the field with his arm. So all those things really stood out about him. I just think in this offence with Joe Brady with Matt Rhule, the weapons we have around him, that he can take that next step with us.”
“I was really excited to add someone of Sam’s caliber to our team,” he concluded.
Stats Don’t Tell A Great Story
While the Panthers seem happy to have got their man, some onlookers have already
pointed out that the stats for Darnold’s three-year career in the NFL do not look great so far.
He has gone 13-25 as the Jets starter, throwing 45 touchdowns but also 39 interceptions. He has never finished a season above 59.8% in completion percentage and last year he was dead last among all NFL quarterbacks for passer rating.
In addition, he has missed a number of games in all three seasons so far, (ten in total) however, the Panthers believe that they are the team that can revive Darnold’s flagging career.
With a stellar running back in Christian McCaffrey alongside two very talented wide receivers in D.J. Moore and Robby Anderson, Darnold will certainly have the weapons available to him to make a splash with the Panthers.
They also didn’t give a whole lot up in draft capital to secure the pick, which looks like it is a win-win situation for both organisations and the player too.
What Next For The Jets?
Jets General Manager Joe Douglas now faces the task of finding the Jets new quarterback for head coach Robert Saleh to work with.
Talk of a move for Houston Texans DeShaun Watson has quietened down, especially in the face of the chargers that the Texans signal-caller faces in Houston and it now looks increasingly likely that the Jets will find their new quarterback in the draft.
With Trevor Lawrence seemingly the certain first pick for the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Jets seem to have. a choice between Zach Wilson, Justin Fields, Trey Lance and Mac Jones.
So far Douglas has been coy about stating which of those four quarterbacks the Jets will take, though he has watched all four throw and admitted that he had ‘got something’ from watching them in action in their pro days.
Of course, Robert Saleh will have his say too and the feeling is that it will be Zach Wilson who gets his name called second in the draft in just over a fortnights time to user in a new era for Jets fans.
And they will be hoping that this one is more successful than the Gase-Darnold era that failed so spectacularly.