In an NFL Draft that was top heavy at the quarterback position, James Morgan wasn’t highly known and there wasn’t much buzz about him. But the Jets made Morgan their fourth round pick, taking an understudy and insurance for their franchise quarterback Sam Darnold.
There is potential for this young quarterback, a transfer from Bowling Green. FIU finished 6-7 with a bowl game loss to Arkansas State. But it was still a good season overall for the program and their starting quarterback.
In a 30-24 win over Miami in November, the first time that FIU ever beat their local rival, Morgan was solid going 16-for-30 with two touchdowns in the upset.
Last year, he was 207-for-357 for 2,560 yards with 14 passing touchdowns and five interceptions. He stood out at the East-West Shrine Bowl and the NFL Combine, raising his draft stock considerably.
With Darnold firmly entrenched as the starting quarterback and the team’s franchise player, Morgan was drafted to add depth to the position. Last year proved the importance of a good backup behind Darnold could have cost the Jets a chance at a winning record and playoff contention.
Following a diagnosis of mononuceleousis after a Week 1 home loss at the Buffalo Bills, Darnold missed the next three games. The Jets offense struggled on their way to an 0-4 start to the season.
In bringing on-board a steady quarterback like Morgan, the Jets have protection should Darnold have an injury or a drop in performance.
The pick doesn’t come without controversy. A quarterback early on Day 3 is worth questioning given the Jets pressing needs at other areas (they hadn’t addressed cornerback at that point). With players such as Louisiana Tech nickleback Amik Robertson and UCF wide receiver Gabriel Davis on the board, the Jets could have enhanced their two-deep elsewhere other than quarterback.