The young Jets running back spoke on his quarterback during a Wednesday appearance on NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football.”
“No disrespect to any of the quarterbacks in the draft…[Darnold is] a great leader,” Perine said while appearing on NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football” Wednesday. “You have to put good weapons around him and he can very well succeed and be one of the top quarterbacks in the league…I hope he’s on our team this year. He’s my starting quarterback.”
Sure, there’s much talk in regard to the Jets‘ 2021 starting quarterback options. To put it bluntly: there’s been a ton of “trade for Deshaun Watson” this and “draft Zach Wilson” that, to the point where people might be forgetting the possibility the Jets roll the dice with Darnold for year four.
And if that were to become the case and the 2018 first-round draft pick were to remain in Florham Park, how would the Jets then handle their numerous offseason decisions?
Well, they’d probably listen to what Perine is saying.
Keeping Darnold could lead to the Jets drafting a receiver with the No. 2 overall selection. LSU’s Ja’Marr Chase and Alabama’s DeVonta Smith would be there for the taking — heck, everybody except for Trevor Lawrence (most likely) will be. Building around Darnold would be a significant goal for the organization, so choosing a talented receiver early would make sense.
Then at No. 23 overall (a pick the Jets own courtesy of the Jamal Adams trade), New York would possess a few options. Continuing to acquire weapons for Darnold could mean the Jets draft Clemson running back Travis Etienne, who some believe is a first-round prospect. The team could also improve a defense that wasn’t so hot last year (24th in yards allowed, 26th in points allowed) and draft a corner such as South Carolina’s Jaycee Horn.
There’s a chance Darnold could additionally thrive under Mike LaFleur’s offensive system if he stays — possibly a change in coaching is what he needs to efficiently develop and flourish on the field.
If Darnold isn’t the answer in 2021, there are still multiple trade suitors who could potentially make a move for the pending fourth-year player. But keeping him around and providing him with the necessary on-field assistance may not be the worst idea for Joe Douglas and co.