NFL.com pegs Jets QB Sam Darnold as 1st-time Pro Bowl candidate
The New York Jets could have a first-time Pro Bowler in second-year quarterback Sam Darnold, says NFL.com’s Marc Sessler.
After a strong rookie season that had plenty of peaks and valleys, New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold could be in for a breakout campaign in in 2019.
With some added firepower at the skill positions, improved blocking, and a new scheme that plans to aggressively attack opposing defenses, Darnold is a popular pick to prove this year why the Jets made him the No. 3 overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft.
One such voice expecting big things from Darnold this year is NFL.com’s Marc Sessler, who picked Darnold as the team’s most likely candidate to earn his first Pro Bowl nod in 2019:
Not unlike Browns fans wearing Baker Mayfield jerseys, hanging Baker Mayfield posters on their walls and drinking gleefully from Baker Mayfield coffee cups, Jets faithful finally have a rising sun to wake up to each morning. Sam Darnold is poised to make a serious second-year leap, with Le’Veon Bell at his disposal and just enough talent at the receiver position. Limiting turnovers will help, but the Darnold we witnessed in the final month of last season was uber-promising. Playing in a ponderously conservative offense as a rookie, Darnold now finds himself with a challenging, creative, alpha-male spirit-guide in Adam Gase. The future is aglow.
After just one season as the starter at USC, Darnold made 13 starts for the Jets as a rookie. Though the team struggled to a 4-9 record with Darnold at the helm, he still showed tons of promise and often looked like the franchise quarterback he was drafted to be.
Darnold finished his first NFL season with 2,865 passing yards, 17 touchdown passes and 15 interceptions, completing 57.7 percent of his passes.
This season, Darnold will have the added bonus of Le’Veon Bell in the backfield, one of the NFL’s most dynamic running backs. He’ll also have one of the league’s most explosive slot receivers in Jamison Crowder, a stellar guard in Kelechi Osemele, and returning talents like Robby Anderson, Quincy Enunwa and Chris Herndon.
On paper, the Jets look like a young, talented team that could easily be a popular dark-horse pick to make the playoffs this season. If that happens, it will likely have plenty to do with Darnold’s performance, and that could end up getting him that first Pro Bowl nod.