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Jets early roster preview: Quarterbacks

MIAMI, FL - NOVEMBER 04: Sam Darnold #14 of the New York Jets looks to pass against the Miami Dolphins in the first quarter of their game at Hard Rock Stadium on November 4, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - NOVEMBER 04: Sam Darnold #14 of the New York Jets looks to pass against the Miami Dolphins in the first quarter of their game at Hard Rock Stadium on November 4, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
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The New York Jets filled up their quarterback room this offseason, adding three new names to the group. Although the starting job is locked up, there’s still competition to watch at the quarterback position.

For once, Jets fans don’t have to keep a constant eye on the quarterback position over the offseason. No more competitions that last until days before week one. For the first time in years, Jets fans know their starting quarterback in the month of May.

The Jets currently have five quarterbacks on the roster, which will more than likely change eventually, but you can never have enough quarterbacks going into training camp and the preseason. The Jets made the mistake of only carrying three quarterbacks last preseason, which led to guys playing much more than they had to. Mike Maccagnan didn’t make the same mistake this year.

However, the backup quarterback is essential to a team, and the Jets have quite a few players to choose from. Josh McCown will likely officially announce his retirement sometime this offseason, so Darnold will have a new backup in 2019. Will it be a signee, or will it be a returning player?

The Jets started off their quarterback frenzy by signing former Broncos and Vikings quarterback Trevor Siemian to a one year deal. The 27-year old quarterback started for one season in Denver before moving to a backup role.

Later on in the offseason, the Jets signed former AAF quarterback Brandon Silvers, who was recently waived after the Jets claimed former Dolphins quarterback Luke Falk. Siemian and Falk will join Sam Darnold and Davis Webb to make a quarterback room of four players. How do these four line up on a depth chart?

The Depth Chart

Starter: Sam Darnold

The unquestioned starter heading into the 2019 season is our lord and savior, Sam Darnold. Unlike last year, Darnold won’t have to compete for the starting job. Head coach Adam Gase is hopeful that Darnold will make a big jump in year two with an improved supporting cast, like other first-year starting quarterbacks Jared Goff and Carson Wentz did.

Darnold should make huge strides in year two. He now has a top ten running back and an impactful slot receiver to help him out. Look at Goff. When the Rams surrounded Goff with more talent, he thrived. Wentz followed a similar path. If he doesn’t dramatically improve this season, it’ll be a disappointment for the Jets. However, I fully expect him to make the jump.

Darnold is a lock for the starting lineup barring any injuries. He’s probably a strong candidate to be one of the teams captains as well. Now, let’s go beyond the obvious. How will the other three quarterbacks line up on a depth chart to start off training camp?

Second String: Trevor Siemian

This was really tough to decide. The Jets may look to Webb, whose work ethic has been praised several times since signing with the Jets. However, the Jets will choose the more experienced passer to be Darnold’s backup. For now, at least.

Siemian is a top tier backup. He was a solid starter during his tenure with the Denver Broncos, posting 5,686 yards, 30 touchdowns, and 24 interceptions in his two years of starting. He then was traded to the Vikings, where he took on a backup role behind Kirk Cousins. One year later, he hit the open market and signed with the Jets on a one year, $1 million deal.

To have a backup quarterback who once threw 30 touchdowns over two seasons is something to be happy about. Hopefully he stays on the sideline watching Darnold run the offense all year, but if he does have to go on the field, the Jets offense should still be able to function. Siemian is a top tier backup passer in the NFL, and he’ll more than likely be the guy to back up Darnold in 2019.

Third String: Davis Webb

Claiming Webb off the waiver wire was considered a good move by the Jets last year. This year, he has the chance to prove it. Webb will probably start off training camp as a third stringer, but the door is open for him to work his way into the backup role.

Webb was a third round pick in 2017. The Giants oddly cut him just one year later, giving him basically no chance to develop. But, he was a third round pick for a reason. He’s got a cannon of an arm. He still has potential to develop into a player worthy of a roster spot, or maybe even a starter elsewhere.

Webb’s work ethic has been notably praised for his work ethic as well. From before he was drafted to as recently as this year, he’s always been known for his dedication. If his hard work pays off and he has a strong training camp/preseason, he could be in line for the backup job.

"Davis Webb is a starter in this league no doubt. He has the intangibles, he has the work ethic to be a starter one day."- Jamal Adams

— Carlin, Maggie, & Bart (@CMBWFAN) October 30, 2018

Fourth String: Luke Falk

Let’s be real. The Jets aren’t keeping four quarterbacks on the roster. Falk is much more likely to be a practice squad candidate if anything. He may just be a body to take some reps in the preseason. Who knows.

It’ll be an uphill battle for Falk to make the 53-man roster.  He was under head coach Adam Gase in Miami last year, so there’s an advantage. It’ll take a strong showing throughout the entire offseason for Falk to make the active roster. He’ll likely start off as the Jets’ fourth string quarterback and be on the roster throughout the preseason. If he plays well, perhaps the Jets will stash him on the practice squad.

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