James Morgan
Jet X Graphic, Getty Images

What do the advanced numbers say about Sam Darnold‘s new backup?

The most shocking selection of Joe Douglas’ inaugural draft class was undoubtedly that of Florida International quarterback James Morgan, taken in the fourth round with the 125th overall pick.

Does Morgan have the tools to become a reliable long-term backup for Sam Darnold?

Let’s dig into the analytics behind Morgan’s collegiate career with the Panthers.


Excellent 2018 season

Morgan initially committed to Bowling Green, where he redshirted as a freshman and then played 18 games from 2016-17. He transferred to FIU ahead of the 2018 season and finished out his final two years of eligibility there.

While he had a rough 2019 season in which he played through a knee injury, Morgan was tremendous in his first season at FIU, being named the Conference USA Newcomer of the Year.

In 2018, Morgan completed 213 of 326 passes (65.3%) for 2,727 yards (8.4 per attempt), 26 touchdowns, and seven interceptions, earning an NCAA passer rating of 157.6 that led Conference USA and stands as the 14th-best single-season mark in conference history.

Intermediate passing

The intermediate area of the field (10-19 yards downfield) is where Morgan thrives. In 2019, he completed 44 of 78 (56.4%) passes in that range for 777 yards (10.0 per target), four touchdowns, and no interceptions, posting an NFL passer rating of 107.7. Morgan’s Pro Football Focus passing grade of 90.7 on intermediate throws ranked 17th-best in the entire nation.

Handling pressure

Morgan handled pressure respectably in 2019, completing 40 of 82 passes for 508 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception:

  • 48.8% completion rate (77th percentile among qualified quarterbacks)
  • 71.6 NFL passer rating (66th percentile)
  • 6.2 yards per attempt (49th percentile)

In addition, Morgan only took 12 sacks in 2019, tied for the third-fewest among all quarterbacks in college football with at least 300 dropbacks.

Lack of teammate support

Sorry, the content stops here if you’re not a Jet X Subscriber. Click the SUBSCRIBE button below for more information on the best damn New York Jets content in the world:

LIMITED TIME: Subscribe today and get the first month free (cancel anytime) and help support the COVID-19 public health emergency with a subscription (through the United Way of NYC).

***This page will remain open in one of your browser’s tabs. Come back and refresh the page after clicking the SUBSCRIBE or LOGIN button (if not automatically redirected).
Jet X Subscribe

Already a subscriber? Click the LOGIN button:

Jet X Membership Login

Want to create an account or connect via social media before subscribing? Click the CONNECT button:

Jet X Connect

Add Jets X-Factor to your Google News feed to stay up to date with the New York Jets.

Download the app to get customizable notifications directly to your device:

App Store, Play Store

Sign-Up for the best FREE New York Jets Newsletter on Earth:

Jet X Daily

Join the only verified New York Jets Discord:

New York Jets Discord
newest oldest most voted
Notify of

The backup QB position is unresolved, need a veteran backup. But Morgan will be an asset in the QB room and a number three QB with a High ceiling. Matt Moore or even Trevor Siemens, Please.