One particular NFL analyst is showing a boatload of confidence in Jets quarterback Sam Darnold.

ESPN’s Dan Orlovsky appeared on the My Sports Update podcast and discussed Darnold and reigning MVP Lamar Jackson. Jackson has had a better NFL career to date despite being picked after Darnold in the 2018 NFL Draft. However, Orlovsky believes a lot of that has to do with the situation each quarterback is in.

“You mean to tell me that Lamar Jackson… if he got drafted by the Jets, he wins MVP?” Orlovsky said on the podcast. “You mean to tell me that if Sam Darnold goes to a team that has a top-five run game similar to the Ravens and a top-five defense similar to the Ravens, we don’t have a very different outlook on Sam Darnold?”

Orlovsky is right in that Jackson’s Ravens are far better than Darnold’s Jets. Baltimore has made the playoffs the past two seasons, while New York has won a combined 11 games over that span. Skillset wise, both quarterbacks have very different attributes. Jackson is a dual-threat quarterback, while Darnold is a gun-slinger, though he does thrive outside the pocket.

Jackson depends on a running game because it makes it less obvious for opposing defenses to know if the running back is going to take the ball or Jackson himself. Darnold relies more on a stable offensive line so he can make the necessary throws. Having strong wide receivers helps with that aspect, too, but the Jets haven’t had many of those for Darnold to work with.

Statistically speaking, Jackson has put up better numbers than Darnold. In two years, Jackson has thrown for 4,328 yards, 42 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He’s also added 1,901 rushing yards and 12 rushing touchdowns. Darnold, meanwhile, has thrown for 5,889 yards, 36 touchdowns and 28 interceptions.

At this moment in time, Orlovsky’s claim is disputable despite the drastically different situations. With an MVP under Jackson’s belt already, it’s hard to agree with Orlovsky’s point of view. Especially since Darnold, his team’s deficiencies not to be ignored, hasn’t exactly been the most consistent player since he entered the league.

In the long run, Darnold’s style could keep him in the league longer. Most running quarterbacks like Jackson don’t last in the NFL for a lengthy period of time. Take Robert Griffin III as an example. He has a similar game to Jackson’s and is now his backup after being a starter in Washington for three seasons.

Both Darnold and Jackson are still in the early stages of their careers. A lot can happen for either quarterback. Only time will tell who will end up being the better player, but Jackson has a clear advantage right now — and in more ways than one.

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