Sam Darnold is in his third year in the NFL and after two years of mediocrity at the New York Jets, the 2020 season is a crucial one for Darnold which could either make or break the quarterback’s NFL career.
The California native earned alot of admirers in his time in the University of Southern California for the USC Trojans, recording 57 touchdowns and 22 interceptions in his two seasons in college.
He was seen as one of the top prospects in the 2018 NFL Draft and the Jets moved up to get him at number 3 overall.
Head coach Todd Bowles took Darnold but only managed one year before he was fired. Adam Gase has come in, but after one season is already in the hot seat. Darnold is entering dangerous territory of having three head coaches in as many seasons in the NFL.
The Jets may be 0-6 without Sam Darnold but they are still 11-15 with him under centre.
Sam Darnold can easily point to his head coaches for his lack of success so far in the Big Apple, but his production on the field is far from perfect.
Darnold was also recording saying he was “seeing ghosts” in week 7 of the 2019 game against the New England Patriots.
I was not blown away by Darnold’s college tape and he certainly has not lived up to expectation.
For me, he does not appear to have that wow factor that you see with Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson and even the likes of rookies Joe Burrow and Tua Tagovailoa.
Sam Darnold may potentially have the same issue that Dwayne Haskins has at the moment of not being drafted by a head coach that is still with the team.
If the Jets and Sam Darnold struggle then Adam Gase will be most likely out of the door in New York. A new head coach may want to draft a new quarterback or bring one in through free agency.
Sam Darnold needs to have a great 2020. Without the pressure of fans, Darnold may be able to finally fulfil the potential without the intimidating fanbase on his back.
He is not blessed with great offensive options to throw to and will hope 2020 rookie Denzel Mims who was drafted in the second round can help him. Eleventh overall pick offensive tackle Mekhi Beckton been drafted in to provide some protection to a heavily sacked quarterback.
Should Beckton work out for the Jets then Darnold will have more time under centre to make the throws he desires and be able to make those throws that he has probably not been able to fully showcase.
Overall, in conclusion, the Jets are in a worrying time as a franchise with what appears to be no real plan going forward but if they want Darnold to work out then they need to give him the best coaching and protection possible.