Sam Darnold could start for Jets sooner rather than later

When Sam Darnold was drafted third overall in April, Jets fans eschewed their typical chorus of boos. They screamed in delight.

Darnold was the perceived no. 1 overall pick … until the Browns took Baker Mayfield instead. Now New York was gifted its future in Darnold, a big-armed, big-bodied QB who excelled at USC. He’s also excelled in his short time with the Jets, to that point that ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that Darnold “has a very fair shot” at winning the starting quarterback job.

The template plan was to have 38-year-old Josh McCown start while serving as a mentor to Darnold and Teddy Bridgewater, also on the roster.  Darnold enters an ideal situation as the ego-less McCown is willing to not only serve as a defacto QB coach but also step aside once Darnold (or Bridgewater, if applicable) is ready.

McCown is still likely to start Week 1 but it is no longer a sure thing. Jets reporters have gushed over Darnold’s training camp session.

  • He’s special.
  • He bounces back from mistakes.
  • He’s learning the playbook far faster than anyone anticipated.
  • He’s so adept at knowing when and when not to run.

There are never any guarantees when it comes to the Jets, especially in their quarterback room, but Darnold truly seems like future – and maybe the present.