Ranking every NY Jets starting quarterback since 1990

NY Jets, Zach Wilson
NY Jets, Zach Wilson / Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
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12. Ray Lucas, QB, NY Jets

Speaking of great backups in Jets history, it's hard not to mention Ray Lucas. Following the Jets' thrilling AFC Championship Game appearance in 1998, fans were excited about a Vinny Testaverde-led team in 1999.

That was until disaster struck, and Testaverde tore his Achilles in Week 1. In stepped the aforementioned Rick Mirer, who sputtered in six starts. That was when Bill Parcells turned to former undrafted free agent Ray Lucas.

Lucas started nine games for the Jets and helped lead the team to the brink of playoff contention. In an otherwise lost season, Lucas provided Jets fans with a glimmer of hope and some fun weeks of football.

He doesn't have the longevity of the players above him on this list, but Jets fans will never forget what he did for the team in 1999.

11. Geno Smith, QB, NY Jets

Geno Smith never really got a fair shake of things in New York, all things considered. His rookie season was marred by inconsistency, but he still helped lead the Jets to a surprising 8-8 record. That would prove to be the peak of his Jets career.

Smith and the Jets would struggle in 2014, leading to his premature benching in favor of veteran Michael Vick. Rex Ryan would eventually turn back to Smith, but the damage had already been done.

One IK Enemkpali punch and an untimely ACL tear later, and Smith's Jets career was as good as over. He'll go down as a Jets draft bust, but it's nice to see him finally turning his career around in Seattle after all these years.

10. Sam Darnold, QB, NY Jets

Another young quarterback who the Jets didn't do any favors is Sam Darnold. The highest QB drafted by the Jets since Joe Namath at the time, Darnold was hailed as the savior of the franchise.

He had his flashes of greatness, but ultimately, Darnold's inconsistencies proved to be his downfall. He threw 45 touchdowns and 39 interceptions in three seasons as the Jets' starting quarterback.

The Jets shipped him to Carolina ahead of the 2021 season and replaced him with a new young QB in Zach Wilson. Darnold's supporting cast got worse every year he was in New York, so it should come as no surprise that he never really developed.

Still, he wasn't a good NFL quarterback. It's hard to rank him any higher than this.