FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — With the Jets selecting Sam Darnold with the No. 3 overall pick in the NFL Draft on Thursday night, it means the team has five quarterbacks on the roster.
That number might be reduced.
“Right now, we’re still focusing on the draft,” general manager Mike Maccagnan said. “This will all play itself out over time here. And again, we will make those decisions and I won’t speculate on any particular player right now. But we’ve got some good young quarterbacks and some good veteran quarterbacks. We’ll see how this all comes together.”
The Jets have Josh McCown as the projected starter with Teddy Bridgewater as the backup. McCown re-signed in free agency after the Jets failed to snag their top free-agent target, quarterback Kirk Cousins. Bridgewater also signed a one-year deal with the goal of creating more competition at the position.
Behind McCown and Bridgewater are Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg. Petty is 1-6 as a starter and Hackenberg, a 2017 second-round pick, never has played in an NFL regular-season game.
It’s assumed that Petty or Hackenberg will be released this spring. But the Jets might bring in all five quarterbacks during Organized Team Activities before making a final decision.
Darnold, 20, might sit behind McCown and Bridgewater in 2018 before ascending to the top of the depth chart in 2019. Yet it didn’t stop the questions from coming in about whether Darnold believes he can be the Week 1 starter in 2018.
“No, I’m just neither here nor there,” he said about starting Week 1. “It is what it is. It’s whatever the coaches want me to do, and I’m going to be prepared whatever the coaches ask me to do and that’s it.”