Both the New York Jets and Buffalo Bills drafted two quarterbacks ready to do their part in taking over the AFC East once a certain New England Patriot retires. Here’s a breakdown on both Sam Darnold of the Jets and Josh Allen of the Bills.
The AFC East division has entered a pivotal time in NFL history as the New England Patriots nearly 20-year reign looks to be coming to an end. Tom Brady is 40 years old, Bill Belichick is at odds with his quarterback and owner Robert Kraft and the Patriots have lost key pieces to their AFC Championship team this offseason. As the Patriots enter the unknown, two of their division rivals are on the rise.
The 2018 NFL Draft saw the New York Jets and Buffalo Bills draft their potential future franchise quarterbacks in USC’s Sam Darnold and Wyoming’s Josh Allen. The Jets moved up from sixth to third with the Indianapolis Colts in March by trading away three second-round picks; two in this year’s draft and one in 2019. Darnold, who the Jets thought they would be drafting at No. 1 this season, fell to the Jets at No. 3 with Oklahoma’s signal caller Baker Mayfield going No. 1 to the Cleveland Browns.
Buffalo selected Allen with the No. 7 pick in the draft after moving up from 12. The Bills traded two second-round picks to move up and grab the Wyoming signal caller. With the AFC East entering a new chapter after nearly 20 years, the Jets and Bills are hoping their investments will reap rewards for them for the next decade or more. Below is a “Tale of the Tape” between Darnold and Allen that details their respective 2017 college seasons and the situation they enter for their respective franchises.
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2017 season: 4,143 passing yards, 26 touchdowns, 13 interceptions, Pac-12 conference championship, conference championship MVP
2017 New York Jets record: 5-11, missed playoffs for a 7th straight year
2017 season: 1,812 passing yards, 16 touchdowns, 6 interceptions, All-Mountain West Conference Honorable Mention
2017 Buffalo Bills record: 9-7, made playoffs for the first time since 1999 (18 year drought)Quarterbacks on Bills roster: Allen, AJ McCarron, Nathan PetermanAllen’s Playmakers: RB LeSean McCoy, WR Kelvin Benjamin, WR Zay Jones, TE Charles Clay
Clearly, Darnold has the most upside and will likely start sooner than Allen will. As far as to which quarterback will be most successful, the Jets have been rebuilding for the past few years now and are building a competitive team from top to bottom.
Darnold will have a better supporting cast around him to ensure his development and continued success. Either way, expect to see in either 2019 or 2020, these two new faces in the AFC East eventually face each other twice a year which will ultimately create an even bigger division rivalry between the Jets and Bills.
For once in the division and within the next year or so, Brady and the Patriots will likely not be a factor anymore leaving the division up for grabs by a new team. Who do you think will have the better career in the AFC East between Darnold and Allen? Leave your comments below!