If Jets general manager Joe Douglas doesn’t trade quarterback Sam Darnold this season, Darnold is likely to be a hanging free agent in 2021.
This is because Douglas is unlikely to exercise Darnold’s fifth-year option for 2022. And if Darnold fights again in 2021 – the fourth and final year of his rookie contract – Douglas may seek a quarterback choice in NFL Draft in 2022
Here is an early overview of nine possible goals, listing their class 2021
Sam Howell, North Carolina, sophomore (6-1, £ 225)
At this early stage, he is widely considered the best quarterback prospect in 2022. In two seasons, he has 68 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. One potential problem: It’s a little shorter, which some NFL teams may not like. But man can play. It is clear.
Kedon Slovis, USC, third year juniors (6-3, 215 lbs)
Like Howell, he had a dominant true freshman season in 2019 – 30 touchdowns, nine interceptions. He had 17 touchdowns and seven picks in six games last season. If Howell is (very early) the No. 1 quarterback for the 2022 NFL Draft, Slovis is right there in the No. 2 combination, with Spencer Ratler and Tyler Schuff.
Spencer Ratler, Oklahoma, sophomore (6-1, £ 205)
First of all, what a great name. He is riding in 2019, so there is only one full season in college. And it’s not that big. Rattler had 28 touchdowns and seven picks in 11 games last season. Let’s see if he can upgrade this in 2021. Maybe he’ll go back to school in 2022.
Tyler Schuff, Texas Tech, fourth year juniors (6-5, £ 221)
He just moved from Oregon to Texas Tech after replacing Justin Herbert at Eugene. Shough Redhead in 2018 and backed Herbert in 2019. Shough started 2020 as a starter, but Oregon moved on to Anthony Brown, a transfer to Boston College. Shough had 13 touchdowns and six picks in seven games last season. It will qualify immediately at Texas Tech in 2021. Shough has a prototype NFL quarterback frame.
Jaden Daniels, Arizona, sophomore (6-3, £ 185)
While Howell, Slovis, Ratler and Schuff are probably the four main quarterbacks to watch at the moment, one or two more quarterbacks could significantly increase his lineup in the 2021 draft. Daniels plays for former Jets coach Herm Edwards in Arizona. It started on Day 1 in 2019, when there were 17 touchdowns and two picks. In 2020, he had five touchdowns and one pick in four games. NFL teams may want him to improve a little.
Malik Cunningham, Louisville, fifth year senior (6-1, £ 200)
There will probably be three seasons of starting experience by the time the project for next year becomes. So there will be a lot of film that NFL scouts can appreciate. Some teams like to have some product in the quarterback. But the Cunningham 2020 season (20 touchdowns, 12 spades) was not as strong as 2019 (22 touchdowns, five spades).
Grant Gunel, Memphis, third year juniors (6-6, £ 228)
He just moved from Arizona. He has only one season starting full-time internship in 2020. He has a size in the NFL. That’s obvious. But he doesn’t have much experience – 12 games played in college, with 15 touchdowns and two picks. Still a lot to prove.
Michael Penix Jr., Indiana, fourth year juniors (6-3, £ 218)
Injuries are a problem for him, although he remains an intriguing prospect. He broke his ACL in 2018 when he risked. He entered 2019 as a starter, but was limited to six games due to a clavicle injury. In six games last season, he had 14 touchdowns and four picks, then broke his ACL in late November. Here questions here. Let’s see what 2021 brings for Penix.
Jack Cohan, Notre Dame, fifth-year student (6-3, £ 221)
He just moved from Wisconsin, where he started a full season (2019) and then missed the entire 2020 due to a leg injury. In 2019, he had 18 touchdowns and five picks. With the departure of Ian Book from Notre Dame, Cohen will have a chance to start in 2021 and improve his squad. But Coan obviously has a lot more to prove. Definitely a prospect for replacement cards at this point. Coan went to high school in Saville, New York, on Long Island.
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