Twitter is constantly ablaze regarding which New York team has the better quarterback. The back-and-forth is constant and it is unlikely to be resolved any time soon. I had a conversation about this with my brother-in-law, who is a diehard Jet fan, the other night. He swears Sam Darnold is far-and-away a better quarterback than Daniel Jones and I vehemently disagree.
Personally, I believe both of these quarterbacks have extremely bright futures in the NFL. Despite coming into the league a year after Sam Darnold, Daniel Jones is actually the older of the two quarterbacks…..by a whole nine days.
Darnold, the third-overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, signed a four-year contract with the Jets worth just over $30 million dollars. He is currently slated to become an unrestricted free agent in 2023. Jones was the sixth overall selection in the 2019 draft and signed a four-year contract with the Giants worth just over $25 million. He is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent in 2024.
In two seasons in the National Football League, Darnold has appeared in 13 games in both his rookie and sophomore year. In his inaugural season, he threw for 2,865 yards, 17 touchdowns, had 15 interceptions, a 77.6 passer rating. Last season, he threw for 3,024 yards, 19 touchdowns, 13 interceptions, 84.3 passer rating, and had a 43.6 quarterback rating (25th in the league)
In his rookie season, Jones also played in 13 games last year (only 12 starts), making the comparisons between the two quarterbacks a bit easier. For the season, Jones recorded 3,027 passing yards, 24 touchdowns, 12 interceptions, 87.7 passer rating, and a 53.6 quarterback rating (18th in the league).
The numbers between the two are extremely comparable. Both quarterbacks showed flashes of brilliance, as well as times where they looked young and inexperienced. Additionally, both signal callers played behind shoddy offensive lines and lacked the benefit of healthy offensive weapons regularly.
Both organizations made shoring up the offensive line woes in front of their franchise quarterbacks a major priority this offseason, which should help both improve exponentially. Jones will hope to benefit from weapons like Saquon Barkley, Evan Engram, Golden Tate III, and Sterling Shepard getting healthy, while the Jets added Breshad Perriman, Denzel Mims, Frank Gore, Josh Doctson, and La’Mical Perine to provide Darnold with help.
With the additions and returns on the offensive lines and offense, both quarterbacks look poised to take a major step forward in 2020. If both quarterbacks live up to their potential, New York fans will undoubtedly be debating who is better for years to come.
It’s too early in the careers of Sam Darnold and Daniel Jones to declare that one team has a clear advantage. The two have been so close statistically, are the same age, and have similar contracts, which further prevents giving one an edge over the other. Time will ultimately determine who is the better of these two young quarterbacks.