If the New York Jets land the No. 1 pick in next spring’s NFL Draft, Joe Namath thinks it might be almost impossible to pass on Trevor Lawrence.
The consensus top pick in the 2021 draft, Lawrence has 1,544 passing yards and 15 touchdowns with an interception in five games this year for Clemson. Even with the Jets having drafted Sam Darnold three years ago (and moving up in the draft to get the third overall pick), Namath thinks the Jets might not be able to look beyond the obvious talents of the polished Lawrence.
“It will be hard to pass on Lawrence, I tell you. He’s a marvelous player, he has been the past few years. Everything about him…his passing ability, his movement, his habit of winning. He’s a monster. Whoever is going to have a chance to get him, will probably take him,” Namath told Jake Asman on Sport Map Radio.
“First of all, if it does end up being our guys, our team, Joe Douglas who is there now will make that decision because there are a lot of teams - there 31 other teams out there that Sam Darnold can play for several of them; he might be somewhere else starting if that scenario did unfold – if the Jets did get that No. 1 pick. They might do something with Sam to get another high draft choice or two or three.”
Namath was clear in saying that he wasn’t advocating a move on from Darnold and that the offensive line has been a letdown, despite an offseason rebuild that brought in four new starters. But Namath was pragmatic, talking about what the Jets and Douglas, their general manager, might be looking at in terms of options.
The legendary Namath remains the only quarterback to lead the Jets to the Super Bowl. The team hasn’t made the playoffs since the 2010 season.
The Jets currently have the inside track on the top pick. At 0-6, they are the only winless team in the NFL.
Darnold has struggled this year behind an offensive line that is providing little protection. The former first round pick is currently out with a shoulder sprain, having suffered the injury in Week 4 while being sacked in a loss at the Denver Broncos.
Veteran backup Joe Flacco has started the past two weeks.
“You got to get players. I don’t know whether Sam is still going to be there. I do know that if the Jets are in that undesirable position at one time or another during the season, being in last place, they have the desirable position of having the first pick,” Namath said.
“I don’t know what they’re going to do. Do they get other draft choices? Do they still believe in Sam? I don’t look at the videos of the games, replays the way the coaches do. They’ll have to make that decision.”