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Sam Darnold Shouldn’t Start Game One for the Jets

The New York Jets drafted quarterback Sam Darnold with the third overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. He’s from USC, the same college that Mark Sanchez attended. Both didn’t have a lot of starts as they entered the Jets first training camp. Sanchez was rushed by then, Jets coach, Rex Ryan. Now the Jets former coach thinks the Jets should start their new franchise quarterback in Week 1. History has taught him nothing.

Darnold is a California native. He’s competitive. He’s hoping he can with the Jets starting job over Josh McCown and Teddy Bridgewater. Last year the Jets offensive line was a hot mess. Before you throw a rookie behind that line in real NFL action, you have to know how good they really are. Ken O’Brien was sacked 62 times in his first full season with the Jets. The year before he played as a starter and a backup. Getting sacked that many times hurt his shoulder and that would bother him from time to time in his career. He had a nice career, but he could have been better without getting beat up so early in his career. He was older, he was 25 when that happened. Does anybody want to see that potentially happen to a 21-year-old?

It doesn’t matter how good he looks in camp. It won’t even matter how good he looks in preseason. He needs to learn the playbook and see first-hand how McCown or Bridgewater handle being a target in the early part of the Jets schedule. I’d skip him against the Lions (ranked 20th in 2017), Dolphins (26th in 2017), Browns (ranked 21st in 2017) and Jaguars (ranked second in 2017). The Browns line is improved, the Dolphins have upgraded, and the Lions have made the pass rush their #1 priority this year. I’d wait. Better to be safe than sorry.

There may never be a good time to play him this season. I would think by Game four they’ll know what’s up with the offensive line and he’ll have a good idea of what it really takes to be a full-time NFL starter. Otherwise, why did the Jets bother re-signing McCown and signing Bridgewater? There had to be a plan, right?

Jets coach, Todd Bowles says it will be a healthy competition. You can’t have a healthy competition with three quarterbacks. There aren’t enough snaps to go around and that’s why I think he’s not being completely honest in his interviews. We’ll see how it plays out, but the roster construction is set up for Darnold to be redshirted to start the season.

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