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Jets’ top pick Sam Darnold progresses through learning curve at minicamp

The quarterback looks “comfortable” according to coach Todd Bowles.

Sam Darnold on the practice field during the

Sam Darnold on the practice field during the second day of Jets rookie camp at the Jets' training facility in Florham Park, N.J., on Saturday, May 5, 2018. Photo Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Day 2 for Sam Darnold as the Jets’ quarterback of the future was met with more fumbled snaps, which led to a switch at center, a pair of interceptions and some strong throws.

It’s clear that Darnold is on another level than some of his teammates during the weekend rookie minicamp as he moves forward in the process of becoming the franchise quarterback.

“He’s comfortable and obviously he’s doing a lot of learning and taking on a lot with the playbook and the installation and getting used to the new guys and used to the line,” coach Todd Bowles said Saturday. “He’s coming along. He’s made some progress, everyday is a progression for him.”

Darnold continues to make smart decisions when the pocket breaks down, such as run up field to avoid sacks, and he even completed a pass on his third read. He throws a nice ball, in front of the receiver, which allows the player to make the catch on the run and get up field.

Darnold, however, had some issues when he overthrew a wide open receiver down the middle and took a pair of sacks when he could have thrown the ball away.

There were three fumbled snaps between Darnold and converted center Frank Sutton Jr., who played guard at Louisiana-Monroe. Sutton was replaced by Rutgers guard Dorian Miller, who also is trying out at center.

The fumbled snaps didn’t seem to bother Bowles as he understands Miller and Sutton are trying out for the Jets and not expected to make the 53-man roster.

“Guys got to get used to each other,” Bowles said.

Fast 40 without training

Parry Nickerson, a sixth-round pick from Tulane, came off as confident when drafted last week, saying he was a shutdown cornerback. When asked if he was surprised after running a 4.32-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine in March, he said, “No, sir.”

Nickerson, part of the 4 x 100- and 4 x 200-relay teams in high school at Algiers, Louisiana, said he didn’t train for the 40.

“Never ran the 40,” he said. “But I’ve always been pretty fast. I just needed to focus on my techniques.”

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Tight end and fourth-round pick Chris Herndon looked good for a second consecutive day catching passes from Darnold. Herndon has been limited in his recovery from a torn MCL, but is running well . . . Defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers’ son, Kacy Rodgers II, a safety, was credited with breaking up a Darnold pass during practice.

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