New York City has always been at the forefront of the sports world. However, the last few years have not been very to the NFL teams of New York. The Giants have seen Odell Beckham Jr., Landon Collins, and Eli Manning move on while the Jets have run through scrappy rosters for what seems like forever.
In back-to-back years, both teams drafted what they hoped to be franchise quarterbacks and both have seen decent success. The Jets selected Sam Darnold with the third pick of the 2018 NFL Draft while the Giants selected Daniel Jones at No. 6 in 2019.
Darnold came into the league with more hype and potential while coming off a Rose Bowl and Cotton Bowl appearance for USC in consecutive years.
Jones attended Duke and was a very questionable pick as some evaluators had him dropping to the fourth round. He led Duke to the Quick Lane Bowl in 2017 and the Independence Bowl in 2018, while also appearing in the Senior Bowl in 2018.
Jones came into the league following his senior season as a 21-year-old while Darnold came in following his sophomore season at the age of 20. Darnold had less experience but a much higher floor.
The two signal-callers’ rookie campaigns were not similar but their efficiency was comparable. Both players posted 4-12 records as rookies and played in only 13 games.
For an accurate comparison, here are the quarterbacks’ lines from their rookie season:
|* indicates better result||Sam Darnold (2018)||Daniel Jones (2019)|
|Completion Percentage||57.7||61.9 *|
|Yards Per Attempt||6.9 *||6.6|
|Passer Rating||77.6||87.7 *|
|Rushing Yards||138||279 *|
|Rushing Touchdowns||1||2 *|
Right off the bat, it is clear that Jones leads Darnold in some categories while the reverse is true for other statistics.
It is unknown how Jones will perform in his sophomore season but all signs point to some deficiencies in his game. Jones’s biggest games came in the early part of the season and he faltered as he adapted. Now, with a prolonged offseason to allow the league to break him to pieces, he may have a much larger and harder task for his second season despite an improved offensive line.
Sam Darnold, on the other hand, boasted an improved sophomore season despite a poor offensive line and minimal weapons. When active, he posted a 7-6 record and showed a load of potential as the season progressed. Now, with the most weapons he’s had at his disposal since college and a very decent offensive line, he can make another stride towards top-tier status in his third season.
One final aspect to consider is the coaching. The Jets fired Todd Bowles after Darnold’s rookie season while the Giants parted with Pat Shurmur after Jones’s first campaign. Although he still showed many flaws, Darnold appeared to improve in his second year. With that in mind, Jones could follow a similar path and show improvement with the Giants under new leadership.
The debate of New York will go on for the foreseeable future. The upper hand is not clearcut yet.
As of now, Darold appears to have a higher likelihood of success but Jones has a better stat line and situation.