Sam Darnold, former star QB out of USC, has the skillset to succeed in New York. Allowing Darnold to develop properly is key to his long-term success with the New York Jets.
Sam Darnold’s availability at 3rd overall on draft night came to the surprise of many. Throughout the entire draft process, the consensus was that Darnold would be the first overall selection to the Cleveland Browns. Many reports suggested that he was the number one ranked quarterback on a plethora of draft boards and often stood atop of mock drafts. He was also likely the top-ranked quarterback on the draft board of the New York Jets.
With the Browns going in a different direction at quarterback, and the New York Giants focusing on an improved running game, the Jets may have finally found their franchise guy. For the first time in a while, they have a great situation for a young quarterback.
Not many veteran quarterbacks enjoy mentoring someone to eventually take their job. Josh McCown, however, embraces his role as a teacher for Darnold. In an article written by Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News, McCown reassured the Jets fan base of his goals for the first-round draft pick:
“The best thing I can do is look back in five years and Sam Darnold is in the Pro Bowl,” said McCown, who will turn 39 this summer. “That would be the most satisfying thing. We’ll see. It’ll be fun.”
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With the help of two veteran quarterbacks in Teddy Bridgewater and McCown, plus offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates, Darnold should have all the resources he needs to succeed. That is why patience becomes crucial for all Jets fans.
While Darnold will have the opportunity to win the job out of training camp, expecting that to happen could lead to disappointment. Darnold should likely see the field in 2018, but it is okay if it is not in Week 1.
The transition from the college game to the pros is never easy. Often times, rookie quarterbacks sit behind a veteran signal-caller for a few weeks before getting their chance. In other situations, quarterbacks sometimes sit out their entire first season.
Every young quarterback develops differently, and some evolve quicker than others. Taking that into account, the bottom line is seeing production when they get on the field.
At just 20 years old, Darnold was the youngest quarterback in the draft. With his size, athleticism, arm strength and accuracy, he has all the qualities that coaches dream about.
Keeping those traits in mind, early struggles will still happen. Adjusting to the speed of the NFL game takes time. The throwing windows will get tighter, and more coverages will be disguised.
The more Darnold is able to learn from his teammates and coaches, the better he will be. As mentioned earlier, he possesses elite qualities that can, and will eventually translate to the NFL game. His work ethic and love for football will absolutely speed up the process and get him on the field earlier.
It essential for Jets fans to remain patient and understand there will be good and bad times throughout the process. It is an exciting time for all parties surrounding the Jets. For a player that owns supreme potential like Darnold, allowing him to develop correctly is equally important.