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Jets’ Sam Darnold shoots down influence of Trevor Lawrence whispers

Jets, Sam Darnold, Trevor Lawrence

The New York Jets are the only winless team in football, and they could be bound for the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft next April.

In other words, the Jets might be locked in on drafting Clemson star quarterback Trevor Lawrence.

However, current Jets starter Sam Darnold is paying the rumors no mind. Darnold said Thursday he is merely focusing on Sunday’s game against the Buffalo Bills, according to Brian Costello of the New York Post.

The Jets drafted Darnold with the third overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft with the hopes he would be the next franchise quarterback.

Indeed, Darnold seemed to make significant strides in his sophomore season in 2019, increasing his completion percentage with a drop in interception percentage. The former USC star was more efficient despite a woeful offensive line and the total absence of a run game, which seemed to bode well for continued growth in 2020.

It has not happened. Darnold has missed each of the last two games with a shoulder injury, but he had already been struggling in his first four games. The 23-year-old completed under 60 percent of his passes and was averaging under six yards gained per pass attempt.

The Jets’ offensive woes do not lie with Darnold alone. New York’s offensive line has still struggled to protect whoever has been under center, and Adam Gase’s apparent offensive genius has been nowhere to be found.

At the same time, Lawrence is regarded by many as a generational prospect, and it is entirely possible the Jets start over, much as the Arizona Cardinals did when they selected Kyler Murray to replace Josh Rosen.

But there is still plenty of season left, and Darnold is focusing on getting back to action and making individual adjustments so he can improve.