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Report: It would be an upset if Sam Darnold isn’t Jets’ Week 1 starter

Vincent Frank
Sam Darnold will have a big rookie campaign during the 2018 NFL season

New York Jets rookie first-round pick Sam Darnold flashed big time in his preseason debut against the Atlanta Falcons last week. How much? Well, he’s earning first-team practice reps over his veteran counterparts and is slated to start Friday against the New York Giants.

Now, according to this report from Manish Mehta of NY Daily News, the expectation is that Darnold will in fact be the Jets’ Week 1 starter.

“Barring deer-in-the-headlights moments over the next couple weeks, it’d be an upset if Darnold isn’t the Week 1 starter,” the insider reported. “The brain trust is happier with this kid with each passing day, according to people familiar with the organization’s giddiness level.”

This is a dramatic move up the depth chart for a rookie who was the third quarterback off the bench last week and held out to start training camp. However, everything that’s come from the Jets’ camp this summer has been positive as it relates to the former USC standout.

The question now becomes multi-faceted. What would have to take place for Darnold not to start Week 1 against the Detroit Lions? If he is in fact the starter, does that mean the Jets will indeed trade veteran Teddy Bridgewater? Remember, the free agent signing also impressed in the preseason opener and could have some value on the trade market. Heck, maybe incumbent starter Josh McCown is moved.

There’s a whole lot to look at on this front. But for now, Darnold prepares to start his first game as a pro Friday against the Giants. After that, it certainly looks like he’ll be the man under center when September comes calling.