The Pittsburgh Steelers saw the potential of life without Ben Roethlisberger last year. They watched as Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges started in his absence. A team with playoff aspirations struggled to put up points and a realization was made: the Steelers still need a quarterback of the future.
Currently in New York, Jets quarterback Sam Darnold is struggling on a bad football team. Coach Adam Gase seems to have lost the locker room and things seem to be going from bad to worse. If the Jets’ season continues to go the way it has started the Jets may get the number one pick in the 2021 draft.
If so, they may target Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence. That could mean Darnold would be looking for a new job in the NFL. Steelers receiver Juju Smith-Schuster, who played with Darnold at USC, has an idea of where he should play.
“That’s my guy, man. Sam Darnold, if we could get him to Pittsburgh, I would, but I love Ben [Roethlisberger] so it is what it is,” Smith-Schuster told CBS Sports’ “All Things Covered” podcast. “I’m just saying he’s a great kid. I played with him so he’s one of my boys so I wouldn’t mind playing with him again.”
Darnold is only 23 years old and could sit for a year or two behind Roethlisberger in preparation to take over as the Steelers quarterback of the future. Darnold has the skills to be a great NFL quarterback, but he has struggled to find his footing so far in the NFL.
“I played with Sam Darnold in college and he was a great player, led us to a Rose Bowl,” said Smith-Schuster. “There’s no doubt that he has that ‘it’ factor in him. The NFL’s a lot different now, schemes and all that other stuff so I think that it just takes time. I think his time is coming soon. Right now, I think it’s tough.”
Things have, no doubt, been tough for Darnold in his NFL career to this point. A new start and a change of scenery, however, may be just what he needs to re-ignite his NFL career.