Former Giants head coach Ben McAdoo thinks Jets rookie Sam Darnold has potential to be a "special" quarterback, but said he didn't like his throwing mechanics.
"I think the kid the Jets drafted has a lot of magic in his game,'' McAdoo told the New York Post's Paul Schwartz. "I think he's special. He's obviously a talented guy, he can make plays with his feet. I'd just have a hard time drafting a guy in the first round where you don't necessarily like the way he throws."
Darnold, who played two seasons at USC, threw for 3,086 yards, 31 touchdowns and nine interceptions with five fumbles as a sophomore in 2016. Last season, he threw for more yards (3,787), but fewer touchdowns (26) and more interceptions (12) and fumbles (seven). The turnovers, McAdoo believes, had a negative impact on his perspective.
"He can overcome it, guys have, but that's something that's a challenge for me," McAdoo said. "I'm gonna be looking at that, trying to fix it, because it's a fundamental flaw, and I believe in the fundamentals. The quarterback, his No. 1 job is to pass the football. If I don't like the way he throws the ball, I have a hard time picking him, right?''
The Jets haven't voiced any qualms about Darnold, whom they believe is their franchise quarterback. Veteran quarterback Josh McCown believes Darnold is "the right guy." Offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates said Darnold has handled everything the team has thrown at him so far. At organized team activities last month, head coach Todd Bowles said he thought Darnold did a good job at making adjustments and learning New York's offense.
Regarding the rest of the quarterback Class of 2018, McAdoo said he ranked Josh Allen, who went to Buffalo at No. 7, as his top quarterback, and Lamar Jackson, who went to Baltimore at No. 32, as his second-best QB. He put Darnold ahead of Josh Rosen, who went No. 10 to Arizona, and said he was surprised the Browns drafted Baker Mayfield first overall.
Of course, only time will tell how each quarterback pans out in the league.