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NY Jets: 3 players who could be the team’s quarterback in 2021

Dec 24, 2020, 8:43 AM EST
NY Jets, Sam Darnold Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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NY Jets

NY Jets Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The NY Jets will likely be evaluating the quarterback position moving forward.

We’ll be hearing it all offseason. The NY Jets will be picking in the top two come the 2021 NFL Draft in April. With this pick possibly being used on a signal-caller, Sam Darnold is playing for his job over these final two games.

Many may raise the question, how did it get to this point? What could’ve gone wrong for the Jets to be in this position three years after drafting a quarterback whom many thought was the best in his respective class?

The answer is complicated, as there have been many reasons why the Jets have gone down a tireless loop of disfunction and affliction over a good part of the past decade.

Though, one reason comes to mind as to why the Jets are currently in the position they are. That name, ladies and gentleman, is Adam Gase.

Gase had shed a tear on this franchise ever since being welcomed in his introductory press conference in January of 2019.

Gase, along with many other members of the Jets’ staff, is responsible for this organization’s continued struggle to win games and compete at a high level. This is only one of many reasons why the Jets may have a new leader under center come 2021.

Next: 3. Sam Darnold, NY Jets

NY Jets

NY Jets Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

3. Sam Darnold could be the NY Jets’ quarterback in 2021

An obvious player that will likely get plenty of attention this offseason is current Jets’ quarterback, Sam Darnold.

Darnold’s 2020 campaign has not gone as he, and many others, had hoped. In 10 games played, Darnold has thrown six total touchdowns, along with tossing nine interceptions.

That isn’t good by any metric, especially considering Darnold is in his third year, this is when quarterbacks are expected to see the largest improvement in their play. Not for Darnold, unfortunately.

Darnold’s lack of production has had many question his ability to lead this team to multiple victories down the stretch, as the Jets are currently sitting at 1-13 heading into Sunday’s matchup against the Browns.

Darnold only has limited time left to prove to this organization why he is their quarterback of the future. It won’t be easy, as the Jets have already secured a top-two spot in this year’s NFL Draft with Cincinnati upsetting Pittsburgh, the Jets have a decision to make come draft night.

Keep Darnold, or draft his replacement?

Next: 2. Zach Wilson, BYU

NY Jets

NY Jets Mandatory Credit: Rick Bowmer/Pool Photo-USA TODAY NETWORK

2. Zach Wilson could be the NY Jets’ quarterback in 2021

Was anyone able to catch Zach Wilson carving up UCF in the Boca Raton Bowl? I’m sure Jets fans did.

After winning their first game of the season against the Los Angeles Rams, the Jets were flying high as players and coaches were pleased with the way their team performed against a high-ranked Rams squad.

Though, this victory came with a rather large consequence. The Jets handed over the No. 1 overall pick to the Jacksonville Jaguars after their most recent victory, and many fans were understandably upset.

This team may have just lost out on a generational talent in Trevor Lawrence, in which this franchise would sob over for years to come, until Tuesday night.

Quarterback Zach Wilson of BYU put on a star-studded performance against unranked UCF as he completed 26-of-34 passes for 425 yards, to go along with five total touchdowns. An outstanding game, even against a bottom-tier team in UCF.

Wilson was able to showcase his quick release, strong arm, and efficient accuracy as he led BYU to a 49-23 victory in the Boca Raton Bowl.

The Jets may be in need of some moxie at the quarterback position, and boy does Zach Wilson provide that. His decisive decision-making and charismatic confidence were at work against UCF.

Wilson has something about him, that “it” factor that many draft analysts often mention is a rare, but important trait among quarterbacks coming out of college.

Wilson’s contagious personality and play-making ability may be exactly what the Jets need to get them back on track.

Next: 1. Trevor Lawrence, Clemson

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NY Jets Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

1. Trevor Lawrence could be the NY Jets’ quarterback in 2021

Everyone knew this was coming. Trevor Lawrence, currently attending Clemson, is slated to be the highest-graded quarterback coming out of college since Andrew Luck. So, of course, he’s number one on this list.

Some may now argue a quite unrealistic number one, as Lawrence may have slipped out of the Jets’ clenched fist after the team notched a one in the win column this past Sunday.

The Jacksonville Jaguars now hold sole position of the No. 1 overall pick and aren’t slated to be favored in either of their next two games moving forward.

Trevor Lawrence is a generational talent, these players only come out of college once every five years. So, as one can imagine, it’s important for a rather bad team like the Jets to jump at the opportunity to draft a player of Lawrence’s caliber.

Winning a meaningless game in late-December after going winless over the previous three months isn’t the way to get the job done if you’re the Jets.

Though, nothing is a guarantee in the NFL. Lawrence could turn into an all-time great quarterback in this league, or, he can bottom-out and become the next Marcus Mariota. The latter seems extremely unlikely, although, it warrants consideration.

Lawrence would be the perfect quarterback for the Jets, not only for positional value, but for the attention he would bring along with him. After the 2020 season concludes, the Jets will likely be looking for a new head coach to pair with either a returning or fresh quarterback in 2021.

If the Jets were to hold the No. 1 overall pick in the upcoming draft, a potential coaching candidate may be attracted to Lawrence’s name alone. Not to say the team’s attractiveness would alter severely if they kept hold of the No. 2 overall pick.

NY Jets: 3 players who should have made the Pro Bowl. Next

Though, it’s interesting to envision a world where someone like Chiefs’ offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy is inclined to take the job with New York solely due to the possession of the first overall pick.

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