Miller a big fan of Darnold
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Von Miller acknowledges he’s no draft guru and is far from any kind of expert when it comes to quarterbacks. Well, except for sacking them, of course.
But the Denver Broncos star linebacker knew there was something special about Sam Darnold long before the New York Jets made him the No. 3 overall pick.
“I don’t know nothing about drafting a quarterback or anything like that, but I thought he was the No. 1 pick, for sure,” Miller said. “I thought he was the best offensive player in the draft.”
The Jets sure thought so, even if the teams ahead of them took guys on offense ahead of Darnold. Cleveland made quarterback Baker Mayfield the No. 1 overall pick, while the Giants went with running back Saquon Barkley with the next selection.
The Jets pounced on Darnold when their turn came up, and Miller can’t blame them.
“Baker Mayfield was the No. 1 pick, and rightfully so,” Miller said. “But in my opinion, watching everything, from a pass rusher’s point of view, I just felt like (Darnold) was the No. 1 pick in the draft. He wasn’t the No. 1 pick, but he’s definitely playing like it.”
Well, not quite. But Miller will get a chance for an upclose evaluation Sunday when the Broncos (2-2) travel to MetLife Stadium to take on Darnold’s Jets (1-3).
Darnold had a terrific NFL debut with two touchdown throws in New York’s win at Detroit, but has struggled a bit in the three games since — all losses — along with the rest of the Jets’ offense. He has just two TD passes in that span and four interceptions, although he didn’t toss one last Sunday at Jacksonville.
“As a team, I feel like we are really close, and for me personally I feel like I’m just on the edge,” Darnold said. “I’ve just got to continue to find completions, hit my guys deep when they’re there. It’ll come, it’s just a timing thing. It’s going to click one of these games, I know it is.”
This might be a tough week to get things going, though. Especially while facing a defense led by Miller, who has four sacks and two forced fumbles this season.
And, Darnold realizes Miller will be looking to add to those totals — despite all the high praise.
“It’s pretty cool that he said it,” Darnold said. “It’s definitely very humbling, very flattering, but at the same time, we’re going up against him. … I’m just going to go out there and we’re going to handle him the way that we need to and go about our business that way.”
Jets quarterback Sam Darnold rolls out to throw a pass during the first half against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday, Sept. 30 in Jacksonville, Fla.