The Jets are approaching a critical destination this offseason, and their path of descent could vary drastically.
In one plan, the Jets stick with Sam Darnold in 2021, and if the returns are positive, perhaps beyond. In the other, they move on and replace him with another option, likely selected with the No. 2 pick in April’s draft.
At this point, they’re still at their cruising altitude. NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported the Jets are planning to complete evaluations of the top quarterbacks in the upcoming draft — including Pro Days and interviews — before making any decisions on Darnold, per sources informed of the situation.
The Jets have received real interest in Darnold, per Rapoport, but want to take their time to get a better view of the quarterback landscape as a whole entering 2021.
This, of course, is the wise way to approach things. Just because three significant quarterback names have been traded (in principle) in the last month, that does not mean the Jets have to rush to make Darnold the fourth.
New York spent the No. 3 pick in the 2018 draft on Darnold and have done the least to help him become an effective NFL quarterback, cycling out receiving corps and offensive lines before firing his woeful head coach at the end of the 2020 season. Spending a pick one spot higher on another rookie who may or may not be less talented than Darnold might not end up being the best business decision.
On the other hand, the Jets have a ton of holes on their roster. Moving Darnold for picks while also keeping that No. 2 selection could put the Jets in a spot to reset at quarterback (perhaps with a lower ceiling that we might never see anyway) while also addressing multiple needs elsewhere. They’d also kick the “big quarterback contract” can down the road another half-decade.
All options are on the table, including who the Jets might take at No. 2. During the season, most thought it was Ohio State’s Justin Fields, but BYU’s Zach Wilson has gained a ton of steam in his rise up the board. Are either worthy replacements?
That’s for the Jets to determine — and they’re rightfully in no rush to do so with two months left before the draft.
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