Expectations are high for newly drafted quarterback Sam Darnold but offensive lineman Kelvin Beachum recently tempered them since patience is key as he develops.
When the New York Jets selected Sam Darnold in the 2018 NFL Draft, it was the turning point for an organization that hasn’t had a franchise quarterback in decades. It’s safe to say that Darnold is likely going to be one of the better quarterbacks the Jets have had but it’s important to remember that patience is key in the grand scheme of things.
Even though Darnold should be able to handle such high expectations, it’s expected that Darnold will need some time to adjust to life in the NFL. The Jets will likely have quarterback Josh McCown start Week 1 of the regular season which won’t put so much pressure on Darnold to be ready by then.
Regardless of when Darnold starts, offensive lineman Kelvin Beachum believes that such high expectations should be tempered since he’s yet to play a single snap during the regular season. Even when Darnold eventually starts for the Jets, he’ll still be a rookie trying to learn what it takes to succeed at the pro level.
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In an article written by Darryl Slater of NJ.com, here’s what Beachum said about Darnold and why he’s not ready to proclaim him the quarterback savior of the Jets just yet:
“Man, I’m one of those guys: Until you get hit in the mouth, I don’t know what you’ve got yet,” Beachum said. “And he ain’t been hit in the mouth by an NFL defensive lineman. So when that time comes, we’ll see.”
Beachum is a six-year veteran and knows that pro football is an entirely different game than anything Darnold saw at the collegiate level. Defensive ends are faster, blitzing linebackers can read quarterbacks like the back of their hand, and defensive backs will do whatever it takes to create a big turnover.
While Darnold is being groomed to have a successful pro career, Beachum keeps things real and looks at his development from the other side of the spectrum. His comments aren’t meant to rain down on the Darnold parade, but rather, to ensure that fans, analysts, and draft gurus understand that he’ll need time to develop through good times and bad times and won’t instantly be the second coming of Joe Montana just because of his draft status.
Overall, Darnold has what it takes to succeed at the next level but until he gets his first pass out of the way, his first pick-six against him, and that first sack in the books, it’ll take some time for him to put everything together. Beachum knows that once he adjusts to the speed of the NFL, that’ll be the best time to see if he’s everything everyone believes he’ll be or not.