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Sam Darnold, USC [QB] – Joel Bishop

Name: Sam Darnold

Position: Quarterback

School: Southern California

Class: Junior

Height: 6’3″

Weight: 221lbs

40 Time: 4.85

Games Watched: 2017 – Stanford, Washington State, Texas, Arizona State, UCLA



Darnold left high school leaving with season records for passing yards, passing TDs, completions and total yards in 2014. In 2015 Darnold redshirted as the No. 3 quarterback. In 2016 he made a start in the fourth game of the season and leading the Trojans to win their final 9 games of the season. He also named Pac-12 Freshman Offensive Player of the Year, made Football Writers Freshman All-American first team and Campus Insiders Freshman All-American second team. In 2017 Darnold made first-team All-Pac-12 by league coaches.



NFL frame with broad shoulders and thickness throughout body. Scans the field, goes through progressions. Ball is released quickly when needed. Delivers ball accurately on all levels of the field. Can anticipate throws and time his receivers’ breaks and deliver the ball in their stride. Ball is thrown with a tight spiral. Shows the required touch to place the ball over and under defenders. Good arm strength with good velocity in his throws. Can throw the ball deep without too much hang time. Accuracy is just as good outside the pocket and throws well on the move with his eyes downfield. Can feel pass rush presence and escape the pocket. Can get yardage out of his feet.



Mostly in shotgun and will need to learn to play under center. An elongated throwing motion with a wind up before release. Wind up can give defenders extra time to break on the ball. The ball can be quite a distance behind his head in throwing motion, prone to fumbles. Turnovers are an issue with both interceptions due to decision making and fumbles. Holds the ball one-handed and low whilst on the move, will need to learn to hold with two hand and secure ball when on the run. Footwork needs refinement. Needs to consistently plant and drive foot towards target, otherwise becoming unbalanced with throws over and under. Has been caught staring down his first read. Coaches will be unhappy if he continues to take contact on the run, must learn to slide.


Bottom Line 

Sam Darnold ticks the boxes for a franchise NFL quarterback with his accuracy, arm talent and ability to improvise. Will need some mechanical refinement and work under center.



1st round (projected top-5)


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