Sam Darnold is getting some love from a Jets teammate as the 2021 NFL Draft approaches.
The New York Jets seem to be starting over nearly every single year at this point. The team most recently went 2-14 in 2020 and that means they own the No. 2 overall pick in the NFL Draft.
There is a new head coach in Robert Saleh and it is possible the pick is used on yet another new quarterback. Sam Darnold was the last guy taken to be the franchise signal-caller and so far, he has had mixed results. However, Adam Gase did him zero favors.
Debates have raged on all offseason about what the Jets should and will do with Darnold. One teammate recently spoke out in support of the former No. 3 overall pick.
Jets teammate sticks up for Darnold ahead of 2021 NFL Draft
The Jets are in a perfect position to draft either Trevor Lawrence or Justin Fields. Lawrence should go No. 1 overall to the Jacksonville Jaguars, but no one knows what will happen with Urban Meyer running the show.
Darnold has also popped up in trade rumors this offseason, while a star like Deshaun Watson has been linked in other rumors to join the Jets. La’Mical Perine speaking up in support of Darnold is a big step and shows the quarterback still does have support in that locker room.
Darnold has played in 38 games over his three seasons. He has thrown 45 touchdowns and 39 interceptions and only managed nine touchdowns in 2020. That came in arguably the most important season of his young career given the impending decision on his fifth-year option and possible extension. But he will now be on his third head coach in 2021 so there is some benefit of the doubt given to Darnold.
What the front office and coaching staff think of Darnold will shape the franchise in 2021 and beyond. What players like Perine think won’t matter as much because we have seen teams move on from top picks before in favor of the next best thing. Moving on from Darnold in favor of someone like Fields could be a parallel to when the Arizona Cardinals dumped Josh Rosen for Kyler Murray. The only difference is Darnold has had time to prove himself.
The support from Perine is nice for Darnold. Now he has to wonder if the front office has already made up its mind.