It is way too soon to start comparing the route the New York Jets are taking with rookie quarterback Sam Darnold to the one that the Indianapolis Colts took with Andrew Luck.
In the 2012 NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts took Andrew Luck No. 1 overall, and they really had no choice. Six years and four bad drafts later Luck is still nursing a shoulder injury, and some wonder when he will come back to play, if ever. Now, some are questioning if the New York Jets doing the same to their franchise quarterback Sam Darnold. Those comparisons rest on concerns that the Jets (like Luck’s Colts) don’t have the offensive line to protect their quarterback, setting up a future cascade of injuries. However, it’s way too soon to even think about that for the Jets.
When you look at the performance of the offensive line for the New York last season, you can see why people would make that leap, giving up sacks, upon sacks, upon sacks. That said, they improved at center, and two of their offensive linemen were either injured or playing hurt in 2017. So, we will need to reassess that.
Secondly, while Mike Maccagnan has been on the job since 2015, you have to factor in the fact that the Jets brass believed the were a win-now team when he was hired. So, technically they started over last season by stripping the roster. In addition to that, the assumption is already being made the Maccagnan won’t fortify the offensive line if he feels it’s necessary in future drafts to protect Darnold, and that’s not a fair assumption.
Could it become like what happened to Luck in Indianapolis? Yes. That said, to call it that now is just ludicrous. Let’s give it some time before we assess it as history repeating itself, because it’s just the beginning for Mike Maccagnan and the Jets.