Jets Doing Their QB Homework Before Making Decision About April’s Draft

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The New York Jets remain the most talked about team in the league when it comes to what they are going to do in free agency as well as the 2021 NFL Draft at the end of April.

The team has a huge decision to make when it comes to their starting quarterback spot. Is Sam Darnold going to be in that mix, or is the team going to either draft a QB or try to snag one from another team via trade?

The big rumor has been that the Jets were a front runner for Houston Texans unhappy quarterback Deshaun Watson, but that rumor has died down since Watson has said he doesn’t want to go to New York.

As for Darnold, he’s been New York’s starter for the last three seasons since he was drafted third overall in 2018.

Since then though it’s been a struggle. He’s just 13-25 as a starter, and has thrown 45 touchdowns with 39 interceptions.

So with new coach Robert Saleh and GM Joe Douglas in the mix looking to quickly turn things around, the team is doing its homework on the current quarterback situation.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports today via Twitter that the Jets are looking at the top QBs in the draft before they do anything regarding Darnold.

If the Jets do decide to go the trade route to get a new quarterback, Darnold could be in the mix as part of a trade package.

Or the team could use the second overall pick for Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields, who a number of mocks have going to the Big Apple to take over the quarterback spot.

Plenty of things could happen between now and draft day, but it sounds like the Jets are doing what they can to make sure they make the right decision as to who will play QB in 2021.

Written by Matt Loede

Matt has been a part of the Cleveland Sports landscape working in the media since 1994 when he graduated from broadcasting school. His coverage beats include the Cleveland Indians, Cleveland Browns and Cleveland Cavaliers. He's written three books, and won the "2020 AP Sports Stringer Lifetime Service Award."


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  1. Maybe give the guy some WRs who can actually play and a RB under 35 first? I’m not sure how you can evaluate a QB’s performance when he’s working with practice squad talent at skill positions. It’s passing management screw-ups to the players. Crowder is his only decent WR, and he’s more of a #2 slot WR. Frank Gore is their starting RB, and about to qualify for social security. Honestly? If I’m a fan I’m wondering if they are even trying? They’ve got a ton of cap room, so sign a legit WR like Robinson, Golladay, and a decent RB. You put any QB out there throwing to a group of backups like this then it’s not going well.

  2. Hey Matt,
    Deshaun Watson wouldn’t have been much better than 13-25 for the Jets, either. Maybe with his talent he coulda dragged them to 18-20, or 20-18…but they didn’t/don’t have the players.
    Robert Saleh didn’t sign up for a complete re-build, but I’m pretty sure that’s what he’s gotta do.
    Darnold has ability, and no one player (Watson) can make that kind of impact to turn a team around, so trade the #2 pick for a lower first-round pick plus a second and third rounder and move down on the draft board and get some quality players/best available that will be on the team roster when the season starts.

    New GM Joe Douglas (O lineman at Richmond in college):
    2015 – Director of College Scouting for the Chicago Bears…um, uhhhh…
    2016 – VP Player Personnel for the Phila Eagles…um, uhhh…
    2019 – 6 year GM contract with the Jets (got there just after Jets hired Adam Gase

    I get it that these really motivated O and D Coordinators wanna move up to the HC spot, because the HC money is at least 5x the OC or DC money, but the 49ers will be back in the SUPE before the Jets even sniff the playoffs (“…playoffs…PLAYoffs???”) and Saleh and his family probably had a sweet setup in NoCal.
    Maybe the allure of “bright lights, big city”? The Jets play in the swamps of New Jersey (as do my G-MEN lol) and he’ll be living in Jersey (don’t know which exit), but he’ll be able to see the bright lights when he looks towards the Hudson as he’s leaving the Jets facility sometime around midnight.
    When a couple more HC jobs open up after next season he’ll be kicking himself for rushing in to this one.

  3. Who knows how much of it was the lack of talent skill players, bug eyed Gase, or Darnold’s abilities…but I doubt too many QBs going into that situation would have sniffed a .500 record.

  4. +1 to what John and Rick said. Throwing Darnold under the bus w/o looking at what crumbs/scraps he’s had to work with at the skill positions not to mention the shitty head coach who openly admitted to not even working with him is just absurd.

  5. Forget about Darnold he’s from USC and they never perform well in the NFL not one has won a thing Palmer was decent but never won anything and the rest well not much to say except do not draft QB’s from USC history doesn’t lie

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