NFL.com’s Marc Sessler predicted one future first-time Pro Bowler for each NFL team and pegged second-year quarterback Sam Darnold as his choice for the Green & White.
“Not unlike Browns fans wearing Baker Mayfield jerseys, hanging Baker Mayfield posters on their walls and drinking gleefully from Baker Mayfield coffee cups, Jets faithful finally have a rising sun to wake up to each morning,” Sessler wrote. “Sam Darnold is poised to make a serious second-year leap, with Le'Veon Bell at his disposal and just enough talent at the receiver position. Limiting turnovers will help, but the Darnold we witnessed in the final month of last season was uber-promising. Playing in a ponderously conservative offense as a rookie, Darnold now finds himself with a challenging, creative, alpha-male spirit-guide in Adam Gase. The future is aglow.”
See the Jets Quarterback in Photos
The No. 3 overall pick in 2018, Darnold played 13 games as a rookie, completing 57.7% of his passes for 2,865 yards, 17 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. But in the final four games last year, the 6’3”, 225-pounder threw for 931 yards, six touchdowns and one interception while completing 64% of his passes.
Despite learning his third offense in as many years, Darnold feels more confident heading into Year 2.
“I think Coach Gase is going to give me some freedom,” he said. “I don't want to stand up here and say he's going to give me the keys necessarily, but I definitely he's going to give me the freedom to if I see something to go with my instincts and trust it. But if I'm not sure, just roll with the play that he gave me and let’s go. I think that's kind of the attitude of this offense and I'm super excited about it.”