When Sam Darnold landed with the New York Jets with the No. 3 overall pick in April's draft, one prevailing thought was that the USC product could sit behind Josh McCown and learn for at least part of his rookie season.
Since then we've only heard glowing praise of the rookie signal-caller, with the coaching staff noting Darnold has a shot to swipe the starting job during training camp, which opens later this month. The latest to trumpet applause for Darnold is the man he'll compete for that starting gig against -- McCown.
"With Sam, we have the right guy, he's wired the right way, he loves the game, he asks the right questions and he's willing to work..." McCown told SiriusXM NFL Radio over the weekend. "That's the foundation, you have to have that."
Darnold will enter training camp as the No. 3 behind McCown and Teddy Bridgewater, but has a chance to leap both with impressive practices and preseason tilts. Rarely in today's NFL do highly drafted quarterbacks sit for an entire rookie season, especially one taken in the top 5.
If McCown's assessment of Darnold holds true through camp, the veteran will be holding a clipboard in the mentor role sooner than some originally planned.