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Joe Namath says it would be hard for Jets to pass on Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence

Trevor Lawrence  of the Clemson Tigers celebrates

Trevor Lawrence  of the Clemson Tigers celebrates a 29-23 win over the Ohio State Buckeyes in the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl at State Farm Stadium on December 28, 2019 in Glendale, Arizona. Credit: Getty Images/Christian Petersen

Trevor Lawrence to the Jets? Broadway Joe says it could – and perhaps should – happen.

Hall of Famer Joe Namath, the only Jets quarterback to win a Super Bowl, said the Jets must seriously consider taking the Clemson star quarterback if they earn the first overall draft pick in 2021.

"It would be hard to pass on Lawrence, I tell you," Namath said Wednesday on "The Jake Asman Show" on SportsMap Radio. "He’s just a marvelous player and has been the last few years. Everything about him, his passing ability, his movement, his habit of winning. He’s a monster. Whoever is going to have a chance to get him will probably take him."

The Jets (0-6) are the only winless team, so they’re already in position to get the first pick next April. If it turns out they agree with many football experts who believe Lawrence is a generational talent, then they might be ready to move on from Sam Darnold after just three seasons. Darnold was the third overall pick in 2018, with many Jets fans hoping he’d turn into the next Namath.

It hasn’t happened yet, with Darnold showing some signs of success, but also struggling at times and dealing with last year’s mononucleosis diagnosis and a shoulder injury that has forced him to miss the last two games. Darnold may return to the lineup for Sunday’s home game against the Bills.

"I don’t know whether Sam’s still going to be there [with the Jets in 2021]," Namath said. "They can maybe get other draft choices. Do they still believe in Sam? They’ll make that decision."

If general manager Joe Douglas does wind up taking Lawrence, Namath believes Darnold, drafted by former GM Mike Maccagnan, would command a high price on the trade market.

"If it did end up being our team [getting the first pick], Joe Douglas will make that decision," Namath said. "There’s 31 other teams out there, and Sam Darnold can play for several of them. He may be somewhere else starting if that scenario did unfold. If the Jets have that No. 1 pick, they might do something with Sam to get another high draft choice, or two, or three."

Regardless of who plays quarterback next year, Namath said it’s incumbent on Douglas to improve the cast around him.

"Whoever is handling that ball, they need some help up front," Namath said. "If you don’t have a defensive line and your quarterback on offense doesn’t have your offensive line working on the same page and being able to handle those beasts that are coming after you - I mean, those defensive players, they’re better today than ever, so quick, fast and strong. You’ve got to get players."

Namath signed with the Jets in 1965 after a stellar career at Alabama. He played 12 seasons in New York, leading the Jets to a 16-7 upset of the heavily favored Colts in Super Bowl III after the 1968 season. He went 62-63-4, throwing 173 touchdown passes and 220 interceptions. Namath was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1985.

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