It was far from a ringing endorsement, but LaDainian Tomlinson expects Mark Sanchez to be the Jets starting quarterback.

“I think early on by default because I don’t believe Geno Smith will be ready to play,” Tomlinson, who played alongside Sanchez for the Jets from 2010-11.

“[Smith] comes from an offense where they rarely huddle; they play from the shotgun, the spread system so I don’t know if he’s ready to take over Marty Mornhinweg’s offense.”

Smith, who was taken in the second round out of West Virginia, and Sanchez both struggled with inconsistency in OTAs, but that was helped along by plenty of drops by an inexperienced receiving corps. The competition will pick up when the team starts training camp at Cortland at the end of July.

“This is a West Coast offense, and really Mark Sanchez has that type of DNA in him because he played at USC in a West Coast offense,” Tomlinson said. “Early on, we probably will see Sanchez take the snaps at the starting spot. But here’s the thing: in preseason, if Mark Sanchez doesn’t show the ability to improve from turning the football over and that race is close between the two, Geno Smith will be the starter.”