The New York Jets are thrilled that USC product Sam Darnold fell into their laps at No. 3 overall this April, but based on his first work during OTAs Tuesday, it’s clear the young quarterback is still a work in progress.
Rich Cimini of ESPN was able to watch the team’s workouts and shared his observations from that first session. He noted that Darnold had a “shaky debut” despite leading all passers with 21 reps.
“He completed only two of 10 passes in team drills, plus two sacks. He was indecisive in the pocket, double clutching on a few occasions. There were a handful of miscommunications with his receivers.”
Of course, all this isn’t unexpected. Darnold is stepping into a new offense with new players. So there is bound to be some growing pains involved in his development.
The best thing he’s got going for himself right now is that the rookie won’t be forced into action before he’s ready. The Jets have veteran Josh McCown penciled in as the default starter unless Darnold pushes him out of the job. Then, behind him, Teddy Bridgewater is a capable player, and he surprisingly was a full participant during practices on Tuesday.
Of course, the odd man out here is former second-round pick, Christian Hackenberg. He didn’t even get a single rep during OTAs on Tuesday, which signals his tenure with Gang Green is coming to an end barring some unforeseen events unfolding.
Darnold will have time to get this all figured out. He’s the future of this franchise, and one poor day of practice isn’t going to make any difference in the long run.