The New York Jets can’t roll into camp with David Fales as their backup quarterback. Lucky for them, the draft has a few options.
According to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News, the New York Jets have been in contact with five developmental quarterbacks in the leadup to the draft. This shouldn’t come as a surprise given the Jets’ current quarterback situation.
Sam Darnold may be the team’s unquestioned starter, but he’s missed six games in the last two years. A strong backup is a necessity if this team hopes to be able to stay afloat with their franchise quarterback.
In 2019 they only managed one offensive touchdown in three games with Luke Falk. Even despite that, the Jets didn’t let David Fales see the field. Suddenly, they’re ready to roll with him as their backup? That doesn’t make much sense.
It makes more sense that they’d be targeting a long-term backup option for Darnold in the 2020 NFL Draft, and that appears to be the case.
Kevin Davidson, Bryce Perkins, Nate Stanley, James Morgan, and Shea Patterson all spent time with the Jets during the pre-draft process.
Davidson is a strong-armed pocket passer with a ton of tools, but he’s a one-year starting quarterback at Princeton. That’s not a great look given the level of competition. He’d likely be a late pick or potentially an undrafted free agent.
Perkins is a mobile quarterback who carried Virginia’s offense on his back. He took an offense with no other NFL talent on it to the Orange Bowl in 2019. He doesn’t have a strong arm and he doesn’t have prototypical size, but he does have sound decision making and athleticism. Perkins is a perfect model of a developmental quarterback prospect.
His contrasting quarterback styles also mesh well with Darnold’s. It would allow head coach Adam Gase to open up the playbook with or without Darnold missing time. Running some wildcat could be an option with Perkins. That could be an interesting way to throw off defenses who wouldn’t expect to see any quarterback other than Darnold.
Iowa’s Nate Stanley is a prototypical backup quarterback. He’s smart and he lacks tools. He’s basically average or worse across the board with elite football IQ. He could fit the mold of a Matt Moore or Ryan Fitzpatrick-level backup quarterback. The issue here is that Stanley likely doesn’t have much upside as a starter.
James Morgan has significant buzz coming out of Florida International. Morgan has been rocketing up draft boards after strong interviews around the league. He’s a pocket passer with a strong arm and gunslinger mindset. He dominated in 2018, but an awful 2019 has him plummeting toward day three. Morgan is the prototypical developmental quarterback. Big and has a strong arm with little else going for them.
Shea Patterson was a nightmare at Michigan. He was inaccurate, a turnover machine, and relied on his legs rather than his arm. Patterson almost certainly won’t be drafted and if the Jets are targeting him, it’s only as a camp invite as an undrafted free agent. Even then it’s unlikely he has a serious chance of making the roster.