PISCATAWAY [url=http://www.thecowboysfootballauthentic.com/connor-williams-jersey-authentic]Youth Connor Williams Jersey[/url] , N.J. (AP) — Sam Darnold got plenty of work in the spotlight — and under the lights — in the New York Jets‘ annual scrimmage.
And the rookie quarterback didn’t disappoint.
Darnold got the bulk of the snaps in team drills at Rutgers’ High Point Solutions Stadium on Saturday night, practicing in front of the general public for the first time. He was 9 of 11 for 89 yards during five possessions, showing off his arm strength and also nifty playmaking ability with his legs. He fumbled and took three “sacks,” but it was an overall positive performance for the No. 3 overall draft pick.
“He got a lot work with the third group,” coach Todd Bowles said. “That was our plan to play a lot of the young guys tonight. That was part of catching him up to speed. So, we’ll look at the film and we’ll see what happened, but he’s grasping the offense pretty well and we’ll go from there.”
Darnold sat out the first three training camp practice because of a contract impasse before signing a four-year, $30.25 million deal Monday.
The former USC star is competing with Josh McCown and Teddy Bridgewater for the starting job and was a bit behind because of the early absences. But Darnold is making up for the lost time with each day.
“It’s only been barely a week for him,” Bowles said. “He’s getting better every day.”
On a third-and-2 on one possession, Darnold took off as the defense closed in on him and scrambled for 9 yards — punctuated by a nice slide.
“Some of the things he did in college as well — extending plays,” Bowles said. “And it’s good to have good feet in this league as well as an arm.”
Darnold also is impressing his teammates, including wide receiver Jermaine Kearse, who could end up on the receiving end of lots of the young quarterback’s passes at some point this season.
“He’s an athletic guy,” Kearse said. “He’s just as accurate on the run as he is in the pocket, so that’s something he’ll utilize to his advantage and it’ll help to extend plays. When there’s a situation where he gets forced out of the pocket, it allows us to find areas to get open. He keeps his eyes down the field [url=http://www.officialhockeyjetsshop.com/authentic-adidas-michael-hutchinson-jersey]Michael Hutchinson Jersey[/url] , so that’s a good thing for us.”
Darnold is still behind McCown and Bridgewater on the depth chart, but will be given every opportunity to claim the No. 1 spot by the time the Jets open the regular season at Detroit on Sept. 10.
“He’s just got to keep his head down,” Kearse said, “and keep try to learn as much as can and make the most of the opportunities that he gets.”
McCown went 3 of 3 for 69 yards and a touchdown to Bilal Powell, who took a short pass and took it 52 yards for a touchdown. It appeared that Brandon Copeland might have “sacked” McCown — there’s no contact on quarterbacks in practices — but the refs ruled the play a TD.
Bridgewater was 7 of 7 for 63 yards with no TDs or interceptions, but took four “sacks.”
Darnold wasn’t the only rookie to have a good night on the field. Running back Trenton Cannon, the team’s sixth-round pick out of Virginia State, continued a strong camp with runs of 18 and 14 yards while flashing terrific speed. Tight end Chris Herndon, a fourth-rounder out of Miami, had four catches and could end up being the starter at the position.
Early in team drills, the Jets provided a cool moment for 6-year-old Gio Toribio. The Ossining, New York, native is cancer-free after being diagnosed with Stage 3 anaplastic large cell lymphoma two years ago. Toribio was brought onto the field, took the football from McCown — with the crowd cheering “Gio! Gio!” — and the Jets escorted him 50 yards all the way to the end zone before getting high-fives from the players. Linebacker Darron Lee had invited Toribio and his family to attend the practice after previously meeting them.
Bowles said LT Kelvin Beachum is “week to week” with what the coach called “a sore foot.” Beachum was in a walking boot on the sideline. He was replaced on the first-team offense by Ben Ijalana. … Other players to not practice included: WR Quincy Enunwa, WR Terrelle Pryor, S Marcus Maye [url=http://www.authenticssanfrancisco49ers.com/cheap-dante-pettis-jersey]Dante Pettis Color Rush Jersey[/url] , NT Steve McLendon, TE Jordan Leggett, WR Charone Peake, OL Austin Golson, DL Deon Simon, LB Kevin Pierre-Louis, S Kacy Rodgers II, CB Jeremy Clark and CB Parry Nickerson.
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The Jets had more than 60 former players in attendance, including Mark Gastineau, Marty Lyons, Freeman McNeil, Wesley Walker and Wayne Chrebet.
For the Denver Broncos, long-shot projects are so last year.
Instead, long-term prospects are what dominants their 2018 draft class, players who spent four years in college and enter the NFL with degrees in hand.
Picking higher than they’re accustomed to also allowed the Broncos to land players that initially seemed out of reach. They were thrilled when North Carolina State pass rusher Bradley Chubb, the draft’s top-ranked defender [url=http://www.officialdevils.com/authentic-adidas-marcus-johansson-jersey]Authentic Marcus Johansson Jersey[/url] , fell to them at No. 5 , and again when SMU receiver Courtland Sutton was there at 40 .
Starting with those two surprising selections, nine of Elway’s 10 picks spent four years in college. Almost all were captains and all bring a shot of maturity to a team that was besieged by a generational divide last year when several exasperated veterans charged the 2017 draft class with wanting playing time based not on merit but on draft status.
Elway said Saturday he needed to inject a shot of maturity into a team that’s coming off a five-win season just two years after a Super Bowl parade.
”One thing we learned last year when you’re 5-11 and you’re in a losing streak, you need that maturity and that leadership to get things turned around,” Elway said. ”So, these players have that ability.
”That’s why we decided to go more in that direction.”
Elway copied his cornerstone selection of Chubb on Days 2 and 3, beginning with Sutton, who took a medical redshirt his first year at SMU and graduated after his junior season.
”I stayed another year and I worked on those things that some people saw as my weaknesses,” said Sutton, suggesting that decision did wonders for his maturity and his game.
It wasn’t until the sixth round and their seventh pick – Arizona State guard/center Sam Jones – that the Broncos selected a player who left school before his eligibility expired.
Jones declared for the draft after Sun Devils coach Todd Graham was fired.
After Sutton, Elway’s next five picks – Oregon running back Royce Freeman, Boston College cornerback Isaac Yiadom, Iowa linebacker Josey Jewell, Penn State wide receiver DaeSean Hamilton and Wisconsin tight end Troy Fumagalli – all stayed through their senior seasons.
So did Denver’s last two picks, Washington linebacker Keishawn Bierra and Arkansas running back David Williams, who transferred with his degree in hand after three seasons at South Carolina.
Aside from Jones [url=http://www.jaguarsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-dj-chark-jersey]http://www.jaguarsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-dj-chark-jersey[/url] , the Broncos’ other nine draft picks have a combined 412 games of FBS experience.
So, unlike last year’s class, which has yet to pay dividends , this group is expected to make more of an immediate impact as the Broncos try to leave behind two disappointing seasons and return to the playoff picture for the first time since winning Super Bowl 50.
SNEAK PEAK: Fumagalli, Yiadom and Hamilton all caught the Broncos’ eye at the Senior Bowl, which was one bright spot from coach Vance Joseph’s dreadful debut season.
”It was huge for us,” Joseph said. ”Coaching that game is a clear advantage going into the draft. We drafted three guys from Senior Bowl game. To have a chance to work with those guys for a week in meetings and on the practice field is huge. Taking three guys from that game proves it.”
Not that they want to go back to Mobile, Alabama, for the annual all-star game again any time soon.
”You don’t want to coach that for a long time,” Elway said. ”We had a great time at the Senior Bowl, but we are good not coaching it for a while.”
KEEPING THE FAITH: The Broncos’ decision to bypass a deep class of quarterbacks shows how much faith Elway maintains in Paxton Lynch, whom he moved up to grab in the first round out of Memphis two years ago.
Lynch has only started four games in two years, but Elway keeps insisting he still believes in the raw quarterback even after signing Case Keenum in free agency and declaring him the starter in 2018.
”We are not kicking him to the curb,” Elway said of Lynch. ”Paxton is going to compete with Chad (Kelly) for that backup spot.”
That marked the first time Elway has thrown Kelly into the mix publicly in the year since he drafted him out of Mississippi with the final pick in 2017.
HOMETOWN HERO: Among the Broncos’ undrafted signees is Colorado running back Phillip Lindsay, a Denver native who will compete in the backfield with Devontae Booker and De’Angelo Henderson to back up Freeman.
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