NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported on Monday that the Jets “are planning to complete their evaluations of the top [quarterbacks] in the NFL Draft before making any decisions on Sam Darnold.”
He noted that includes both pro days and interviews. Which essentially means that we’ll likely be waiting quite some time — probably until at least the end of March, if not April.
This is because all the top quarterback prospects — aside from Trevor Lawrence — have pro days in the middle or end of March.
North Dakota State’s Trey Lance has his pro day on March 12th. BYU and Zach Wilson will have theirs on March 26th. And Justin Fields and Ohio State will host their pro day on March 31st.
It’s likely the Jets wait until after all pro days have been completed to finish their evaluation of the top quarterback prospects. That means they won’t have a decision made until after the first wave of free agency.
The NY Jets aren’t trading Sam Darnold any time soon
Ideally, the Jets would have already made their decision prior to the start of free agency to avoid any conflicts with potential suitors. However, it’s important to consider the fact that this isn’t a normal draft process.
The Jets will be unable to meet with players at the NFL Combine. Just like last year, there will be no private workouts — at least as of now. That means the first, and possibly only, chance they will have to meet the top QB prospects in person will be at their pro days.
If the Jets are going to move on from Darnold and draft his replacement with the No. 2 overall pick, they need to be sure about the decision. And it’s nearly impossible for an NFL team to complete an evaluation of a quarterback without watching them compete in person.
It makes sense that the Jets want to be patient with their approach. And that also fits the Joe Douglas mold of operating.
The Jets may ultimately decide to move on from Darnold when all is said and done. They may decide to select his replacement in the 2021 NFL Draft.
But for now, they’re taking things slow. Don’t expect a trade any time soon.