2018 QB Looking to Bounce Back in Year 4 – The 2018 NFL draft class has been promising thus far. Like most draft classes, the quarterbacks selected in the first round often get compared to one another.
As the first overall pick, Baker Mayfield was a quarterback who was under a lot of scrutiny to start his career, but eventually made up for it with a great year last season.
Lamar Jackson on the other hand has taken the league by storm and already has an MVP to show for in Baltimore.
As for Josh Allen, he set the league on fire last season and led the Bills to the AFC Championship game. Because of his stellar play, Buffalo just rewarded him with a whopping $258M contract extension.
While these quarterbacks have shined, there is one quarterback in particular that has been a disappointment thus far in their career.
Who has the Most to Prove This Year?
When thinking about the biggest disappointment in the 2018 quarterback class, Sam Darnold unfairly or not immediately comes to mind.
While Darnold did not have much to work with in New York the past three seasons, his play has still been underwhelming especially considering how high he was taken and how others in his draft class are performing.
Coming out of USC, Sam Daronld was the third overall pick and was supposed to be the Jets franchise quarterback. Unfortunately for New York, he struggled under previous head coach, Adam Gase like other QBs have as well.
Out of 25 games he started, he one only 13. Some people say the win/loss record for a quarterback is misleading going both ways but I view it as a combination of the quarterback’s play and leadership abilities.
Obviously other factors such as coaching and talent surrounding that player makes a big difference. Despite that, the NFL is primarily a “what have you done for me lately” league. Last season, Darnold went a pedestrian 2-10 as the starter.
Thus after only three seasons, New York traded Darnold to Carolina and took a rookie QB at the second overall pick in Zach Wilson.
While I do not think it is fair to label Darnold as a bust yet, he is under pressure to perform this season for the Panthers. Especially if Zach Wilson shines on a team with a lot of the same players surrounding him, it will not be a good look for Sam Darold whatsoever.
Hopefully for Darnold, a change of scenery with Matt Rhule as his coach will make a difference. Look at Ryan Tannehill for example who had many similarities to start his career.
Both signal callers were drafted high and had Adam Gase as their coach. Tannehill struggled and Miami eventually gave up on him. It was then where many labeled him as a bust. Luckily for Ryan, he got his opportunity in Tennessee where he has shined playing under Mike Vrabel.
Because the Titans rely heavily on Derrick Henry in the running game, it sofended up opposing defenses and allowed Tannehill to thrive in play action situations.
I view Darnold’s fit in Carolina the same way. While the Panthers are not as talented on both sides of the ball, they arguably have one of the best running backs in Football in Christian McCaffrey.
I anticipate them to run the ball consistently and use McCaffrey in the passing game as well. Do not be surprised if Darnold is able to revitalize his career in Carolina and show why he was taken third overall in 2018.