Through the year SB Nation has theme weeks, where each NFL site answers the same question. This week’s question is why we are excited about the Jets this season.
This would have been a difficult question to answer a year ago, but there is a pretty obvious answer today. The Jets have a new quarterback after trading up to take Sam Darnold third overall in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Is the excitement over the fact the Jets landed Darnold? In part it is. A lot of people thought Darnold was the top signal caller in the deep class of 2018.
But this is more about the hope for the future the selection represents. It isn’t just that the Jets have been bad the last few years. It’s that the team hasn’t provided its fans any reason for hope. The start Geno Smith’s second season in 2014 was the last time I thought it was even conceivable the Jets could have a young, potential franchise quarterback. Smith had a rough rookie season, but it was at least plausible to shake that off develop into a long-term starter.
After Smith’s failure to launch that season, the Jets went into the quarterback wilderness. Ryan Fitzpatrick had a good 2015 season, but we knew at the time that it was at best a medium-term bridge to the future and at worst a one year fluke. A year ago the Jets had a 38 year old journeyman and two nonprospects.
None of us can say with 100% certainty how good of a pro Sam Darnold will be, but he at least gives us hope for the future. For now, that’s pretty good.