On Tuesday, New York Jets CEO Christopher Johnson continued to build the hype surrounding quarterback Sam Darnold, who was chosen with the No. 3 pick of the 2018 NFL Draft two weeks ago.
"I honestly think [people] are going to look back 20 years from now and say this is the moment the Jets shifted into a new gear, that they became a great team," Johnson said (h/t Rich Cimini, ESPN).
No pressure, kid.
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Darnold was the youngest quarterback taken in this year's draft, the USC product just 20 years old. While he hasn't played a competitive down in the NFL, he's already being labeled a franchise savior of sorts.
The Jets have been without a franchise quarterback for the better part of the last four decades, Joe Namath being the last great passer to don the green and white.
New York hasn't made the postseason in each of the last seven years and has only made the playoffs 13 times since winning Super Bowl III, which was one of the greatest upsets in NFL history orchestrated by Namath, back in 1969.
Considered the greatest passer franchise has ever had, Namath played 12 seasons and 136 games with the Jets, the most in team history. That kind of longevity has been hard to find since then as only Ken O'Brien and Rich Todd are the only quarterbacks to have played 100 or more games with the Jets.
Jets fans will be hoping Darnold can be the next one to attain some form of long-term success with the team. Since 2008, the Jets have started 11-different quarterbacks.
Darnold was considered the best quarterback prospect in the 2018 draft class for most of the offseason, though the tune changed after the NFL Combine as Josh Allen and later on, Baker Mayfield emerged as potential targets for the Cleveland Browns, picking at No. 1, to choose.
The Browns did go with Mayfield — who was a late favorite to be taken by the Jets at No. 3 — and after the New York Giants took Penn State running back Saquon Barkley, the Jets saw Darnold basically fall into their laps.
In 27 career games at USC, Darnold passed for 7,229 yards, 57 touchdowns and 22 interceptions.