This time 2 years ago, Sam Darnold was the #1 QB on my Big Board in a “star-studded” class and I was excited to see him perform on the next level. I was confident his poise, competitiveness, and versatility as a passer would translate to the next level and as of today, I am not sure I can say it has. Sure, Darnold should shoulder some of the blame for this, but the team that drafted him hasn’t made his transition easy at all. With the 2020 season looming, we hit the 10 year mark for the last time the Jets made the postseason, and with pressure high as ever for Darnold to succeed in year 3, the Jets need to help him now. Here is my blueprint for GM Joe Douglas.
First of all, 3 years 30 million for George Fant? not catastrophic, but him being a starting Left Tackle in the NFL has never gone well. The interior of your line is decent, but you need a cornerstone left tackle to protect Darnold, who was under pressure in the pocket at an extremely high rate last year. Trade your second round pick for Trent Williams. In the standoff between Williams and the Redskins, nobody is winning right now but Williams has the leverage. I am sure the Redskins would be happy to take the 43rd overall pick in the draft in exchange for Trent Williams, especially considering they don’t have a second round pick.
Now that you have acquired arguably the best LT in the NFL, you can focus on your #11 pick, Jerry Jeudy. The Jets let their most productive pass catcher Robbie Anderson walk this offseason, leaving a huge hole at the top of their WR depth chart. Enter Jerry Jeudy, the true #1 who can grow with your young QB. Jeudy would be a sure fire candidate for Rookie of the Year and I have no doubt that him and Darnold project well together. I also believe his presence on the outside will create more opportunities for Jamison Crowder to get work from the slot.
Wow, just like that your offense looks like it can compete a little bit! but the defense still could use some work. My strategy would be to sign Free Agent Jadeveon Clowney to a 2 year deal. The Jets have the cap space to make this move and Clowney would bolster their run defense as an OLB. If these were the moves to be made, I would focus bolstering the secondary with young talent or even possibly gambling on another young WR with my two 3rd round picks. Even safer, sign a veteran cornerback like Eli Apple or Aquid Talib to a one year deal with your extra cap space.
And just like that, you are not the laughing stock of the league. Cmo’n Joe, give Darnold a chance!