Jets' Sam Darnold Says He's Not Focused on Trevor Lawrence Draft Speculation

Blake SchusterAnalyst IIIOctober 22, 2020

New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) gets past Denver Broncos' DeShawn Williams while rushing for a touchdown during the first half of an NFL football game Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Seth Wenig/Associated Press

New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold isn't paying attention to calls for the team to draft Clemson's Trevor Lawrence next spring, but he is aware of them. 

Darnold told reporters Thursday he's seen social media chatter about the possibility Lawrence could land in New York, though his focus remains on his next opponent. 

With the Jets sitting at 0-6, it makes sense for some fans to turn their attention toward tanking or rebuilding. Either way, 2018's No. 3 overall pick is likely running out of time to establish himself as a franchise passer. 

Darnold is 11-19 as the Jets' starter and has a career completion percentage of 59.8 with 39 touchdowns and 32 interceptions. 

It doesn't help that the general manager who drafted him, Mike Maccagnan, was fired in May 2019. 

The decision to part with Maccagnan came only months after he hired head coach Adam Gase and two months after he signed running back Le'Veon Bell to a four-year, $52.5 million deal. 

New York cut Bell ahead of Week 6 this year, while Connor Hughes of The Athletic reported the front office will reevaluate Gase's position after the season.

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Despite the turnover, Darnold's future is still mostly up to him. 

If the quarterback—who has yet to complete two full seasons' worth of NFL games—can continue to develop and excel, he could hang on to his role. If not, that doesn't necessarily mean Lawrence is coming to take his job. 

It's still too early to guess which NFL prospect will be the No. 1 pick, and which team will land it, though Lawrence has as good a chance as any player. 

The 2018 national champion finished seventh in Heisman Trophy voting last year and has already compiled 81 touchdowns on 13 interceptions through two-plus seasons as the quarterback at Clemson. 

With New York boasting the NFL's third-worst offense (276.7 yards per game) and the 20th-ranked defense (378.8 yards allowed per game), it'll take much more than a switch at QB for the Jets to become a contender in the AFC East.