Jets will reportedly finish evaluations of draft-eligible quarterbacks before making decision on Sam Darnold

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The new York Jets own the No. 2 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, which means they’ll likely have the opportunity to select the best non-Trevor Lawrence player on their board. With a new head coach (Robert Saleh) and offensive coordinator (Mike LaFleur) in place, it’s been widely rumored that the Jets will look to draft a quarterback in that spot. 

Of course, taking a quarterback at No. 2 would cast doubt upon the future of Sam Darnold, who the Jets selected No. 3 overall in 2018. Darnold has made 38 starts in three seasons and only occasionally shown the kind of promise that would lead the Jets to pass on a QB with one of the top two picks in the draft, which is why most draft observers have the Jets opting for someone like Zach Wilson or Justin Fields. 

Naturally, the question that arises once you settle on the idea of the Jets moving on from Darnold is what they can get for him, and from whom. But that might be moving too fast, according to a report from NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, who notes that the Jets are in no rush to move on from Darnold, and prefer to complete their evaluations of the draft-eligible quarterbacks — including Pro Days and interviews — before making a decision. 

It seems rather obvious that the Jets would want to finish their evaluations of this class before moving on from their incumbent starter, but the fact that they’re putting serious consideration into doing so is likely an indication that Darnold is not long for New York. (Or northern New Jersey.) It makes sense to get as much information as possible before coming to a final decision, but the timing of a possible Darnold trade has to work for the acquiring team as well as the Jets. That means a decision has to be made regarding whether they want to get out in front of the free-agent market in early March, or wait until they know they’re getting their man in late April. 

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