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NFL Live has differing opinions on Darnold starring Week 1 (1:45)
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Rich Cimini ESPN Staff Writer 

Jets offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates can't hide his enthusiasm for rookie Sam Darnold: "When the lights come on, he gets better." It's pretty clear the momentum to make Darnold the starter is building at a rapid pace.

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5hRich Cimini

GM praises Darnold, open to Bridgewater trade

Jets GM Mike Maccagnan offered his take on the team's quarterback competition, gushing about rookie Sam Darnold and all but confirming he's open to trading Teddy Bridgewater.

Rich Cimini ESPN Staff Writer 

Jets GM Mike Maccagnan revealed some of his feelings on the quarterback situation Monday morning in a WFAN radio interview. He said he's "exceptionally impressed" with Sam Darnold, describing the rookie as "unflappable." Gee, wonder who he feels should be the starter. Maccagnan also said he's open to carrying only two quarterbacks, essentially confirming there's a "for sale" sign on Teddy Bridgewater. They also have Josh McCown, but his age (39) and salary ($10 million) means he has less trade value than Bridgewater.

Rich Cimini ESPN Staff Writer 

Even though he's getting only a fraction of the practice and game reps, incumbent QB Josh McCown refuses to acknowledge what seems obvious. He still believes the competition is open. "Until they tell us one guy's the starter and we operate in that mode, yeah, it's open," he said. Todd Bowles is following the same script as last summer, when he sat McCown for the second and third preseason games. One big difference: Last summer McCown's competition was Christian Hackenberg, who fell on his face. Make no mistake, Sam Darnold is NOT Hackenberg.

Rich Cimini ESPN Staff Writer 

Quote of the day: Josh McCown on whether he believes Sam Darnold's heavy workload in practice is an indication he's being groomed to start opening day: "No. I mean, obviously he's younger. I was taking these kind of reps when he was four years old." That isn't much of an exaggeration. Darnold was five when McCown broke into the NFL in 2002 with Arizona.

Rich Cimini ESPN Staff Writer 

Five observations from Jets practice: 1.) On this particular day, Sam Darnold was the best quarterback on the field. He seemed at ease and in control as he led the starting offense. 2.) CB Juston Burris, back after missing time with an undisclosed injury, took a bad angle on a reception by Andre Roberts, and it went for an 80-yard TD. Burris is in a tough battle for a roster spot. 3.) Impressive practice for TE Jordan Leggett, who made a TD catch in traffic. 4.) Journeyman WR Andre Roberts hasn't garnered any attention, but he's having a solid camp and could stick based on his ability as a returner. He has outperformed young WRs Chad Hansen and ArDarius Stewart. 5.) CB Trumaine Johnson (hamstring) sat out again, but he should play against the Giants, per Todd Bowles. Bowles said this is a good opportunity to evaluate some younger players. One of them is Rashard Robinson, who is making a push for a roster spot.

0:53

Rich Cimini ESPN Staff Writer 

Sam Darnold (third overall pick) and Saquon Barkley (second) will be linked for the rest of their careers in New York. On Friday, they'll meet up in the annual Jets-Giants preseason game.

Rich Cimini ESPN Staff Writer 

It doesn't take a detective to figure out what's happening at quarterback for the Jets. They're getting Sam Darnold ready to start against the Giants, which will give him a chance to nail down the starting job. On Sunday, he received 23 of the 43 first-team reps in practice, ahead of Josh McCown (12) and Teddy Bridgewater (eight). Overall reps: Darnold 54, Bridgewater 32 and McCown 12. McCown downplayed the lack of work, saying Darnold is young and needs the work. That's true, but it's also clear he's being groomed to start. Darnold (24-for-37) had a good day, especially in the red zone (three TD passes). He got away with a duck, connecting on a deep ball to Robby Anderson, who made a nice adjustment. Todd Bowles teased Darnold about the duck: "What do you call that?" Darnold's reply: "A completion."

Seth Walder ESPN Analytics 

The Eagles are the best team in the NFL, per ESPN's Football Power Index. Changes to the vig on Philadelphia's season win total earlier this offseason bumped the defending champs over New England. However, the Patriots (17%) and Steelers (13%) remain more likely to win the Super Bowl than the Eagles (13%) because there are fewer contenders in the AFC. Note: these numbers were run before AJ McCarron's injury, which will affect the Bills' rating.

Rich Cimini ESPN Staff Writer 

Five observations from Jets practice: 1.) Takeaway from Josh McCown's post-practice interview: I think he knows Sam Darnold will be the guy. That's the vibe I detected. 2.) I'm not sure if they'll grow up fast enough to make an impact this season, but young TEs Chris Herndon and Jordan Leggett have long-term potential. They both made excellent catches today. 3.) It was good to see WR Quincy Enunwa back in team drills. He returned from neck surgery, then had a setback with a thumb injury. He looks ready to play in a game. Todd Bowles said Enunwa has "the freshest legs" in camp. 4.) After sitting out the first two games, OLB Lorenzo Mauldin (leg) was back at practice and got a little time with the first team. This is the biggest week of his professional life because his roster spot is shaky. 5.) Rookie S Brandin Bryant, signed as a free agent after the supplemental draft, intercepted Josh McCown on a deep fade.

Rich Cimini ESPN Staff Writer 

QB Teddy Bridgewater wouldn't directly address trade speculation, saying he wants to keep his focus on the Jets. But know this: He absolutely feels he should be a starter in the league. Alluding to his surgically repaired knee, he said Thursday night's game — in which he got banged around a little — served as "the final barrier I had to knock down."

Rich Cimini ESPN Staff Writer 

Jets QB Sam Darnold responds to Redskins CB Josh Norman, who praised the rookie after a joint practice last week. Darnold said it's "cool" to have the respect of a player of Norman's caliber. He also said Norman offered some tips after the game — i.e. ways in which a corner can get "tells" from a quarterback by his reading his footwork.

Rich Cimini ESPN Staff Writer 

A couple of wrinkles in the Jets' QB rotation in practice: Once again, Sam Darnold got the bulk of the reps, but his first-team share wasn't as lopsided as it had been in recent days. He took 11 with the first team (34 total). Josh McCown got 10 with the starters (19 total), meaning this was the first time in camp that he worked with backups. Interesting. Teddy Bridgewater had the lightest day — two with the first team, 14 overall. What does it all mean? I'd be surprised if Darnold doesn't start against the Giants. It's a fluid situation because I do believe there's a chance they could trade Bridgewater. Todd Bowles said he has "some ideas in my head" about who he'll pick as the starter, but will wait until after the last two preseason games. As for Saturday's practice, all three QBs were on fire — a combined 27-for-36.

Rich Cimini ESPN Staff Writer 

Jets injury update: CB Trumaine Johnson missed practice with a strained hamstring, which occurred Thursday night against the Redskins. He was held out as a precaution, said Todd Bowles, who is "hopeful" that Johnson will be back soon. Johnson was their marquee addition on defense; they can't afford to lose him. Positive news: LT Kelvin Beachum and RG Brian Winters returned to the field, albeit on a very limited basis. Basically, they participated in the walk-through. Bowles said "they're close" to returning to action "We're just playing them slow. We're working them in slowly. We're going to take our time with them." Bowles is optimistic they will be ready for Week 1.

Rich Cimini ESPN Staff Writer 

Jets stock-market report: Rising — QB Teddy Bridgewater, WR Tre McBride, WR Charone Peake, LB Jordan Jenkins and S Doug Middleton. Falling: T Brent Qvale, G/C Jonotthan Harrison, WR Chad Hansen, LB Frankie Luvu, LB Lorenzo Mauldin, CB Juston Burris and PK Cairo Santos. Holding steady: QB Sam Darnold.

Rich Cimini ESPN Staff Writer 

Notable snap counts from last night: QB Teddy Bridgewater played 30 snaps (57 percent). Sam Darnold got 23 snaps (43 percent). C/G Jonotthan Harrison led the way on offense (46/87) because he did double duty, playing with the starters and backups. TE Jordan Leggett played 15/28 in his preseason debut. Chad Hansen (22/42) finished third among the receivers, but he played with the backups. S Terrence Brooks (41/64) led the defense. Notably quiet: David Bass, their leading sacker among linebackers in 2017, had only two special teams snaps, none on defense. LB Dylan Donahue (14/22) also played sparingly.

Keyshawn warns Jets to not start Darnold Week 1 (1:12)
4d

Bridgewater: Making the most of my reps

New York Jets QB Teddy Bridgewater reflected on his time with gang green so far, how it felt to take some hits and why he feels he's making the most of this opportunity.

4d

Sam Darnold: Feeling more comfortable

New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold spoke about his chemistry with the starters, his increased confidence in calling the plays in the huddle, and more.

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2018 Draft Picks

RD(PK)PLAYERPOSSCHOOL
1(3)Sam DarnoldQBUSC
3(8)Nathan ShepherdDTFort Hays State
4(7)Chris HerndonTEMiami (FL)
6(5)Parry NickersonCBTulane
6(6)Folorunso FatukasiDTConnecticut
6(30)Trenton CannonRBVirginia State