Trevor Lawrence to the New York Jets is about the only hope that ‘Gang Green’ fans have right now. But for one former Jets star, the right move isn’t Lawrence but to stick with Sam Darnold.
Just give him the damn Darnold, if you will.
Talking with ESPN’s Max Kellerman on Monday, former Jets wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson said that he would “Herschel Walker that No. 1 overall pick” and hold onto Darnold. Now in his third year as the Jets starter, Darnold was taken No. 3 in the 2018 NFL Draft but has struggled this year on what is admittedly bad offense.
Lawrence is the consensus top pick in next spring’s NFL Draft, the quarterback out of Clemson has 1,544 passing yards with 15 touchdowns and an interception in five games this year.
“I don’t really like them drafting Trevor Lawrence, it’s not because I don’t like Trevor Lawrence it’s because I think they’ve got a quarterback already,” Johnson told Kellerman.
“They need a new head coach so that new quarterback can service the Jets and the fanbase the right way. A lot of people think they need a new quarterback. I don’t believe that, I think they need a new head coach and players around him. I’d take that first overall and shop that thing for several No. 1, twos and players to be named later.”
Darnold’s struggles are not all on him but it is hard to see him have such a rough season while other first round picks from that same draft class in 2018 are all doing better. The Cleveland Browns’ Baker Mayfield, Buffalo Bills’ Josh Allen and Baltimore Ravens’ Lamar Jackson have all performed better than Darnold this season.
All three also play on winning teams. Two of the three, Allen and Jackson, were drafted after Darnold was selected third overall.
If the Jets do decide to move on from Darnold after this season, that will be four flameouts from the last four quarterbacks that they selected in the first two rounds of the NFL Draft (Mark Sanchez, No. 5 overall in 2009; Geno Smith, No. 39 overall in 2015; Christian Hackenberg, No. 61 overall in 2016 and Darnold).
Only Sanchez lasted five seasons with the team.
“You can’t argue with the Jets taking Mark Sanchez because they didn’t take Mark Sanchez for him to throw the ball 50 times a game. What they took Mark Sanchez for is exactly what Tannehill is doing in Tennessee. The problem is Mark Sanchez is when he was allowed to throw the football, he turned it over. In New York, he became somewhat the joke,” Johnson said.
“You can’t argue with his first several years as a quarterback that he quarterback’ed his team AFC Championship Games even though most people said it was the defense. That was the defense.
“Yes, that was the defense but he didn’t screw it up. He didn’t start screwing it up till later on.”