Is Sam Darnold a Better Quarterback than Josh Rosen Heading into 2021 Season?

Published 02/12/2021, 4:42 PM EST
Dec 20, 2020; Inglewood, California, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) tries to run away from Los Angeles Rams defensive end Aaron Donald (99) during the third quarter at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports


The NFL quarterback battle is slowly transforming into a full-blown circus. This is by no means an exaggeration, but merely an obvious fact. The Matthew Stafford – Jared Goff trade deal has so far been the highlight of the year.

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But with Carson Wentz, Deshaun Watson, Derek Carr, Jimmy Garoppolo, Russell Wilson, and even Sam Darnold still being pursued, anything can happen in the coming months.

Jan 3, 2021; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) looks to pass under pressure from New England Patriots defensive end Chase Winovich (50) during the second quarter at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

The situation of the latter, New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold in particular, is not ideal for any quarterback in the league.

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After a poor outing with the Jets in 2020, Darnold could be moved in order to pave the way for rookies Trevor Lawrence or Justin Fields.

Darnold was the 3rd-overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. He was picked ahead of Josh Allen, Josh Rosen, and 2019 NFL MVP Lamar Jackson.

Critics argue that while Jackson and Allen have made significant progress in the last 3 years, Darnold and Rosen have not lived up to their true potential.

Will that change in 2021?

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Former USC player Sam Darnold arrived in New York with the weight of the world on his shoulders. Darnold was expected to be the ‘savior’ for the Jets.

He was touted to be the player who could lead them back to the Super Bowl, under the tutelage of Adam Gase. But 3 years later, things remain the same.

In 38 starts for the Jets, Darnold has thrown for 8,097 with 45 passing touchdowns. He has a 13-25 record with the Jets but could still be traded in the coming months.

Can Josh Rosen redeem himself with the 49ers?

The Kyle Shanahan-coached San Francisco 49ers signed Josh Rosen on a 1-year deal earlier this week. But his 3-13 record is not good enough to earn him an automatic starting spot ahead of the experienced Jimmy Garoppolo.

“I’ve been talking about Josh Rosen a lot. He’s a very interesting case. And I’ve been asking all of my guests what they think, because I’m trying to get as much information as possible because honestly, I don’t understand.

“I’ve never really seen the NFL give up on a top 10 pick before he turns 24. It’s quite remarkable,” Cohn said earlier this week.

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Rosen was the 10th overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. However, his off-field issues led to his downfall. After failed stints with the Miami Dolphins and Arizona Cardinals, Rosen could very well be on the proverbial ‘last straw’ with the Niners.

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The former UCLA man turned 24 on February 10th. He still has time to turn things around and stake a claim for the starting berth in San Francisco. But can he convince coach Shanahan that he’s the ‘one’? Only time will tell.

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Daniel Arambur

1800 articles

Daniel Arambur is an NFL writer and content strategist for EssentiallySports.With more than 1,000 articles, he is one of the senior writers in the NFL cohort at ES. A mass media graduate from the University of Mumbai, Daniel has found the perfect blend of vocation and passion in the sports content niche.

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