Since the glory days of Joe Namath almost 50 years ago, the Jets have been searching for a homegrown QB to deliver a similar type of sustained success as the face of the franchise.
Show your support behind the signal caller of the future with the brand new Darnold 2018 NFL Draft rookie jersey or other piece of apparel, including the the Draft night Jets team hat, which was on the displayed on the QB when he went to the stage after hearing his name called.
Following the departure of the trio last season, Ward became the secondary's leader in 2017.
"I would say simply we felt very good. about three players with that pick", general manager Mike Maccagnan said Thursday night. Sam Darnold spoke with the media following his selection.
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It was reminiscent of the 2015 draft when defensive end Leonard Williams, who some had ranked as the best overall player, fell to the Jets at No. 6.
This was a monumental decision for the Jets, who hadn't used a first-round pick on a quarterback since Mark Sanchez in 2009.
Last year's draft, in Philadelphia, drew 250,000 visitors and generated $94.9 million, according to a Philadelphia Inquirer report. His natural talent was on display both at the combine and at his Pro Day.
But Mayfield also garnered negative attention in recent years for his on-field antics, which included making an inappropriate gesture toward Kansas' sideline and planting Oklahoma's flag on Ohio State's logo at the 50-yard line after the Sooners' victory over the Buckeyes. Darnold immediately inherits the best kind of veteran quarterback there is in Josh McCown, who will be invaluable to him as a mentor. Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg are also still on the roster. Southern California's Darnold, who had a superb 2016 season and was not quite so productive previous year, was the choice.
He became nearly unanimously the top cornerback prospect in this year's class, and by draft time, was projected widely as a likely top-10 selection. The last time came in 1981, when they took UCLA running back Freeman McNeil.
Last season, the Tigers had three players go in the first round with running back Leonard Fournette (fourth overall to the Jaguars), safety Jamal Adams (sixth overall to the Jets) and cornerback Tre'Davious White (27th overall to the Bills). Even though none of these four is considered a sure success. The New York Giants are a complete wildcard at number two.