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Are the Jets ready to give up on Sam Darnold and focus on QB in Round 1 of 2021 draft?

Oct 1, 2020; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) falls back while being sacked during the second half against the Denver Broncos at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Poor Sam Darnold. He never had a chance with the New York Jets and coach Adam Gase. Now in his third season in the Big Apple, Darnold has the Jets offense looking like a plane coming in for a crash landing.

It isn’t pretty. And it isn’t going to get better, either.

Gase is a disaster. The wide receivers are a disaster. Ownership is a disaster.

The only thing left to save Darnold’s career is a change of scenery, which he could get this offseason if the Jets finish the year as poorly as they’ve started it. Now 0-4, Gang Green is the favorite to land the No. 1 overall pick, which means Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence will take on the role of saving New York; the same job Darnold was supposed to do.

Darnold started 13 games in each of his first two seasons and has all four starts in 2020 so far. He’s completed just 59.8 percent of his passes and has 39 touchdowns to 32 interceptions as a pro. Hardly the kind of numbers expected from the No. 3 overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft.

Darnold’s struggles go beyond just the stat sheet, too. He looks lost at times. He’s seeing ghosts in the pocket. He’s playing just to survive at this point.

Is he a lost cause? Probably not, but the Jets will have no choice but to move on at season’s end if they end up in the driver’s seat of the 2021 draft.

In the latest mock draft from The Draft Network, the Jets do end up with the top pick, and, yes, they send Darnold packing.

The New York Jets are in bad, bad shape at the quarter pole of the 2020 NFL season. The team is inefficient, undisciplined, ineffective, and causing potentially irreversible damage to its young quarterback, Sam Darnold. Darold is hardly the root of the problem in New York, but is he the player to fix what is? It is a hard sell for any NFL team to pass at a shot to secure Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence, who is an elite prospect with special intangibles at his disposal. As the Jets inevitably look to start anew, a fresh start at quarterback will be easily justified. Best of all, the Jets can still get something of substance for Darnold to add to their boatload to draft picks.

Jets fans have been down this road before. The inept incumbent replaced by the beacon of hope. Sure, Lawrence might change that narrative. He’s a stud. But was a stud, too. Or at least Jets fans were led to believe he was.

Bryan Perez

Bryan is the founder of Pro Football Draft. His work has been featured on NBC Sports and USA Today. Former CFL scout.

Follow him on Twitter: @BryanPerezNFL