Former New York Jets linebacker Greg Buttle is very high on the No. 3 overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft, saying the team should start Sam Darnold Week 1 of the regular season.
Add former New York Jets linebacker Greg Buttle to the list of people jumping on the Sam Darnold bandwagon. After watching Darnold’s impressive debut in his first preseason game, Buttle is convinced no one else should start under center for the Jets come Week 1.
Darnold shined in the Jets’ preseason opener. He completed 13 of 18 passes for 96 yards and one touchdown. The Jets would go on to defeat the Atlanta Falcons 17-0. Buttle likely sees that Darnold is everything he’s been hyped up to be and then some.
How impressive has Darnold been so far in preseason action? Buttle has compared him to another former player on the Jets that should make fans smile due to such a big comparison.
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In an article written by Bob Glauber of Newsday, here is what Buttle said about Darnold:
“Let me tell you something. What he’s done in the first week is more than any other quarterback coming in here as a rookie, including Chad Pennington. I’m telling you. I’ve seen them all.”
Currently, Buttle does pre and postgame shows on the Jets’ Radio Network on ESPN radio and goes all the way back to Joe Namath, who was in his final season with the Jets when Buttle was a third-round pick out of Penn State in 1976. So I think it’s safe to say he knows a thing or two about great quarterbacks.
But Buttle, like many Jets fans, is optimistic yet cautious about Darnold’s potential to be a star in the NFL. This is due to the fact that the entire time he was on the field, Darnold faced the second team of Atlanta’s defense.
Despite this, Darnold passed the eye test showing great mobility, arm strength, and poise in the pocket. Darnold even had Washington Redskins cornerback Josh Norman singing his praises after the teams held joint practice throughout the week heading into their preseason matchup this Thursday.
The Pro Bowler had this to say about the Jets rookie in an article written by Rich Cimini of ESPN:
“Someone asked me about him the other day, and I was like, yeah, whatever, he’s just a guy. Then you go out here and see him making these throws and you’re like, all right. That’s not so much a college-level throw. He’s putting them on the money.”
Although very impressed with Darnold’s debut, Jets head coach Todd Bowles is in no rush to make a decision and will likely take the rest of the preseason to decide who will be named the Opening Day starter.
Darnold is still battling with Teddy Bridgewater and Josh McCown for the starting role. But expect Darnold to take the majority of first-team reps throughout the rest of the preseason. If Darnold continues to play with the same poise and confidence he did in Friday’s preseason opener, he could easily become the front-runner to win the starting spot come Week 1.