Word broke today that Deshaun Watson formally requested a trade from the Texans. The New York Jets are featured prominently on virtually every list of most likely trade destinations for Watson, not only because Watson is apparently high on them and they have the trade capital to swing a deal, but also because they need a star quarterback.
However, if you listen to Todd McShay, he'll tell you the Jets already have a star quarterback. In fact, the ESPN NFL Draft insider seems to believe Sam Darnold is comparable to Watson. Why he believes that no one knows. There is literally no evidence to support that notion. But McShay went ahead and voiced that opinion on the ESPN First Draft Show podcast last week and the audio surfaced today.
Here's what McShay said in regards to the Jets trading for Watson and moving on from Darnold.
"To me, it just doesn't make sense. I don't think you're getting a huge upgrade. If I'm the Jets sitting at No. 2 (in the draft) I'm saying, 'I love Deshaun, he's a really good player, I might even think he's slightly better than Sam.'"
Watson is not a "huge upgrade" over Darnold? He's only, "slightly better than Sam?" Um, excuse me?
Here's a clip of the podcast before we break down the facts.
I'm feeling lazy today, so rather than write out all the numbers that showcase the incomparability between the two, I'll just show you their stats side by side.
Whether you're looking at the totals or the per-game averages, it's clear these two aren't comparable on any level. Watson is more accurate, scores more touchdowns, commits fewer turnovers, is more mobile, wins more games and creates more yardage than Darnold. By a wide margin.
You can make the argument that Darnold has played with worse talent, and I'll hear that out. You can even tell me the Jets are better off keeping their litany of top picks this year and putting talent around Darnold to truly see what they have in him. But saying Watson is only a slight upgrade to Darnold is an insult to Watson and what he has accomplished. It would take Darnold five years of Top-5 quarterback play to be in the same league as Watson and, no offense to Darnold, but I don't see that happening.
The reality is the Jets haven't drafted a quarterback who panned out as a long-term starter for them since Chad Pennington and let's not act as if even he was in the same conversation as Watson. They have proven incapable of developing quarterbacks and Darnold is just the latest example. Their best path toward immediate contention is trading for Watson. The reason why is he would be a massive upgrade over Darnold. Not a slight upgrade. A massive one.. That's not me talking, it's reality.