'They Should Stick With Sam Darnold': Former Jets Star Defends New York's Quarterback

Publish date:

Former Jets linebacker Bart Scott knows exactly what the Jets should do at quarterback in 2021 and beyond.

"I think they should stick with Sam Darnold," Scott said in an appearance on ESPN's Get Up on Friday. 

As much as it seems like the Jets are leaning toward drafting BYU quarterback Zach Wilson in the NFL draft later this month, Scott thinks general manager Joe Douglas needs to use the No. 2 pick in another way. 

"If you move down and you get all these picks, you can build a great roster," Scott said. "Then, maybe you are more attractive to a Russell Wilson next year. Maybe you are more attractive to a Deshaun Watson. Or maybe, just maybe, Sam Darnold can play and make you look good and now you have a team around him that you can continue to build around and he's only 23 years old."

Darnold has certainly struggled through his first three years in the NFL, regressing even further this past season. That doesn't mean it's time to target a "shiny new toy" in the draft, as Scott said. 

After all, as he alluded to, Darnold is still young enough to turn his career around. Scott believes the quarterback just needs to be placed in the right environment to succeed, playing under a quality coaching staff.

"I am an expert in horrible quarterbacks," the 11-year veteran said. "I know one when I see one. Sam Darnold is not a horrible quarterback. He's a franchise quarterback. I've been around enough bums to know who's a good quarterback. He just needs some protection and opportunity to learn and grow underneath a great offensive-minded coach."

Wilson was tremendous in his pro day, showcasing the kind of upside he has at the next level. As talented as Wilson is, Scott pointed out that there's no way to know whether or not he'll be able to survive in a market as big as New York. 

"One thing we know about Sam Darnold is he's built to be in this market. New York is a totally different monster. You come out here, you're going to be criticized by three or four different shows a day, nationally and locally. We don't know if Zach Wilson's built like that, we know that Sam Darnold has big shoulders. It can't get any worse for Sam Darnold."


Follow Max Goodman on Twitter (@MaxTGoodman), on Facebook (also @MaxTGoodman), be sure to bookmark Jets Country and check back daily for news, analysis and more.