Jets admit they need to give Sam Darnold more help

The Jets have added some offensive line help for Sam Darnold in free agency, but they know he needs more support via this year’s NFL Draft.

Sam Darnold is entering his third season in charge of the Jets offense and the franchise still isn’t completely sure what they have in the young quarterback. That’s why the front office is doing everything they can to give him the resources required to be successful in 2020.

Jets GM Joe Douglas freely admits that his task is not finished. He recently told reporters that he believes his front office has “a lot of work to do” to give Darnold the protection and weapons he requires to be successful. That’s not a great position for a team to be in at the end of the free agency period.

Helping Sam Darnold in NFL Free Agency

In fairness to the Jets, they have improved things along their offensive line. The group was one of the worst units in the NFL last season. Signing George Fant in free agency should give them a competent left tackle to work with this season. Adding Connor McGovern to take over the center spot should prevent interior rushers from taking free shots at Darnold in 2020. Even the addition of journeyman Greg Van Roten gives them another reasonable option at guard.

Adding those three linemen should lead to improved protection for Darnold next season. Unfortunately, the front office cannot currently claim to have upgraded the weapons available to their young signal caller.

Robby Anderson may not have been worth the contract he earned in free agency, but he was Darnold’s most dangerous weapon last year. Signing Breshaud Perriman was a reasonable response to Anderson’s departure, but it’s still a downgrade at the wide receiver position.

The franchise hopes that Quincy Enunwa can bounce back from the neck injury that cost him almost all of his 2019 campaign. Even if he does, he’s nothing more than an average player to slot in at the No. 2 wide receiver position. He’s better suited to occupy a spot further down the depth chart.

That’s why it’s safe to assume the Jets are going to spend big time draft capital on offensive skill players in the upcoming draft. The class happens to be loaded with talent at the wide receiver position. The Jets would be wise to use their first round pick on an immediate starter who can make life easier for Darnold.

Helping Sam Darnold in the NFL Draft

Coming away with a potential superstar like CeeDee Lamb or Jerry Jeudy would be a big win for the franchise. Neither player has the ability to suddenly transform New York into a playoff contender next year, but either could get Darnold’s career back on the right path. That’s the single most important thing the Jets can do next year.

Doubling down on the receiver position later in the draft would also be a wise strategy. The star power of the class is excellent, but so is the depth. Coming back with another potential weapon for Darnold like Quintez Cephus or Antonio Gibson in Day 3 could pay big dividends for the Jets down the line.

Round 2 is a spot where the Jets could elect to spend another valuable resource on the offensive line. Adding a swing tackle could do a lot to stabilize the group’s depth next season. Several quality options should be available when the Jets have an opportunity to make a selection on Day 2.

Next: Jets must take the best receiver available at No. 11

Jets fans should expect to see their favorite team spend the majority of its draft capital on help for Darnold. If they get it right, the franchise has a chance to really find out what they have in their young quarterback. If they blow it, Darnold’s career will continue to flounder under the bright lights of the Big Apple.

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