Talk that the Jets could tank the 2017 season with an eye on choosing USC quarterback Sam Darnold with the first pick in the 2018 NFL draft don’t seem to sit well with Darnold.
Darnold told Dianna Russini of ESPN that he thinks tanking for him would be silly.
“I don’t think any team should tank their season because of me,” Darnold said.
Darnold redshirted in 2015 while Cody Kessler started for USC, and then earned the starting job early in the 2016 season. He showed steady improvement over the course of his first season as a starter, culminating in a Rose Bowl MVP award, and he is now viewed by many as the best pro prospect currently playing college football.
But Darnold still has three years of NCAA eligibility remaining, and there’s been talk that he could stay in school rather than entering the 2018 draft. That would be very bad news for any team tanking 2017 for the chance to take him, but Darnold said that he simply isn’t in a position yet to make up his mind about whether to turn pro in six months.
If Darnold does turn pro, he’ll be a strong option for whatever team finishes 2017 with the league’s worst record.