NY Jets Post-NFL Draft State of the Roster: Quarterbacks

NY Jets (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
NY Jets (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

The NY Jets appear to have improved their roster heading into the 2020 season. Today we took a look at the state of the quarterback position.

The NY Jets will sport a new-look roster when they eventually (hopefully) take the field for the start of the 2020 season. From offseason free-agent signings to nine new rookies joining via the 2020 NFL Draft, the Jets roster looks very different than it did last year.

And one position that saw some change in the offseason was the quarterback position.

While Sam Darnold will be the unquestioned starter heading into his third NFL season, the backup job has been a point of much discussion this offseason. And coming out of the draft, a new face has joined the pack.

With four quarterbacks under contract, most would assume that the Jets will be set at the position. But there have been some rumblings that the team could look to add a veteran backup before the start of the season.

Nonetheless, we’re only here to analyze the players currently under contract.

With that, let’s take a look at the state of the Jets’ quarterback depth chart heading into 2020.

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Projected starter:

  • Sam Darnold

Sam Darnold is set to enter his third season as a professional and he’ll be looking to put together his first 16-game campaign. The USC product has missed three starts in each of his first two seasons dealing with ill-timed injuries and illnesses.

He showed signs of improvement in his sophomore NFL season improving his numbers across the board despite dealing with arguably the worst supporting cast in the league — aside from maybe the Miami Dolphins.

While Darnold must work to become more consistent and avoid some back-breaking mistakes, his hopefully-improved offensive line will provide some help. He remains at his best when improvising and working outside the pocket — something we’ll ideally see a lot more of in 2020.

If Darnold could get some help from his coaching staff and supporting cast, perhaps he could finally take the next leap in 2020 that Jets fans have been waiting for.

Projected backups:

  • David Fales
  • James Morgan (R)
  • Mike White

The Jets saw firsthand just how important the backup quarterback position is last year. Darnold may have only missed three games, but the Jets were outscored 84-23 in those woeful three weeks.

Perhaps as a direct response to their issues last season, the Jets opted to draft FIU quarterback James Morgan in the fourth round of this year’s draft — definitely earlier than most teams would think to select a player who they hope never plays a meaningful regular-season snap.

Yet despite this, there’s no guarantee that Morgan will earn the backup job out of training camp. He will have to compete with the incumbent David Fales who spent most of last season as the team’s de-facto backup.

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Fales may be turning 30-years-old in October, but the former San Jose State standout has played in just five games in his NFL career without making a single start. He’s hardly the most appealing backup option.

The Jets will either hope to sign a more experienced backup or pray that Morgan is ready to assume the backup role. The 23-year-old has an NFL-caliber arm and has been praised for his intelligence, but his decision-making and ball placement need some work.

Elsewhere, former Dallas Cowboys fifth-round pick Mike White will be fighting for a roster spot after spending most of last season on the Jets’ practice squad. And the practice squad is likely his only chance at sticking around with Gang Green barring injury.

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Ultimately, the fate of the position falls on Darnold’s shoulders. But if disaster strikes and the backups are called into action again, the Jets better be sure that they have a sound plan behind their franchise quarterback.