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NY Jets: Sam Darnold ranked as a bottom-3 starting QB by Pro Football Focus

NY Jets, Sam Darnold (Photo by Al Pereira/Getty Images)
NY Jets, Sam Darnold (Photo by Al Pereira/Getty Images)
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NY Jets’ quarterback Sam Darnold was recently ranked as a bottom-three QB by PFF.

NY Jets‘ quarterback Sam Darnold faces somewhat of a make-or-break season in 2020. His first two seasons in the NFL have been marred by an awful supporting cast and just general misfortune.

But in 2020, time is beginning to run out for the former third overall pick to make good on his potential. Again, many of his shortcomings have been the result of external circumstances. And for that reason, many Jets fans remain optimistic about his future.

However, it doesn’t appear as though the folks over at Pro Football Focus are nearly as optimistic.

Sam Monson of PFF recently released his ranking of all 32 starting quarterbacks in the NFL and Darnold was ranked near the league’s basement. In fact, only two quarterbacks earned spots lower on the list than Darnold.

The former USC star came in at 30th on the list, ahead of just Washington’s Dwayne Haskins and Denver’s Drew Lock. That’s some harsh criticism of a player who’s seemingly shown more than he’s being given credit for.

Monson pointed to Darnold’s lack of significant progress in his first two seasons and his overall lack of consistency as a rationale for his low ranking. Below is an excerpt from his statement.

“Dating back to Sam Darnold’s college years, it is possible to find stretches of play where he ranks among the best quarterbacks in football, but they have never lasted.

And while he regularly flashes the potential to be far better, there’s no point in continuously bringing up potential if it’s never realized.”

Is NY Jets’ quarterback Sam Darnold ranked too low on PFF’s list?

Monson does make a valid point, but of course, it’s important to remember the situation that Darnold has been dealing with.

Two different head coaches. Two different offensive coordinators. Two different offensive systems. A bottom-three receiving corps. A bottom-two offensive line. And the NFL’s worst running game.

That’s been the story of Sam Darnold’s two years in the NFL — hardly ideal breeding grounds for a young quarterback.

Monson does make a note of this stating that “he has been working with some significant mitigating factors,” but also claims in that same sentence that “we are running out of time for Darnold to show he can be consistently better than he has been.”

Yes, excuses can be a dime a dozen. You can make excuses all you want, but if a player doesn’t perform, it ultimately falls on their shoulders. Still, these feel like valid justifications.

And despite his abysmal situation, Darnold managed to improve significantly in his second year cutting down on turnovers and somehow finishing with a winning record as a starter.

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That’s a cherry-picked stat, sure. But there’s something to be said for a young player continuing to grow and develop in spite of arguably the worst situation in the league.

Say what you want about Sam Darnold, but never question his moxie.

Perhaps there’s some hometown bias at play here, but it sure feels as though Sam Darnold is better than the third-worst starting quarterback in the NFL.

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That said, Monson is right about one thing. Time is most definitely running out.

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