Ryan Tannehill was an afterthought following two poor seasons under Adam Gase in Miami, but he has blossomed into one of the top quarterbacks in the league in Tennessee, leading the Titans to the AFC Championship Game last season.
Could Sam Darnold follow the same path somewhere else?
“I would not be shocked to see that. With Sam Darnold, how do you know how good he is, when he’s had nothing but crap around him?” Chris Simms asked during an appearance on Moose and Maggie on Wednesday. “When you’re surrounded by crap, you usually get a little crap on you, so it’s hard to get a true evaluation there, but I am still a believer in Sam Darnold.”
That said, Simms holds true to what he thought about Darnold three years ago, even if he’s mellowed in the severity.
“Do I think he was overrated out of college? Definitely. I said it then and I’ll say it now: I don’t think he was the best quarterback coming out in that draft,” Simms said. “But, he’s been given no support, and I think if a team is built around him the right way, Sam Darnold can win you a lot of games.”
There’s still quite a bit to work on – “he’s had a few moments of being raw and not understanding the scope of the game,” Simms noted – but all in all, the choice of quarterback may be a simple one for the Jets if they’re atop the draft board next spring.
“There’s a slam dunk who could be the No. 1 pick in the draft, so even if you do believe in Sam Darnold, you feel like you could abandon ship,” Simms said. “They have to ask themselves, ‘are we willing to NOT take Trevor Lawrence, and watch him go somewhere else and be a superstar?’ That’s what could ultimately end the marriage between the Jets and Sam Darnold.”