2018 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Sam Darnold, QB, USC

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 02: Quarterback Sam Darnold
PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 02: Quarterback Sam Darnold /

Sam Darnold brought USC back from the dead, but can he do the same for an NFL franchise

After analyzing several of Sam Darnold’s spectacular games as a freshman, it was hard not to fall in love with his game.

Darnold possess the ideal size that any NFL GM would want in his franchise QB, as well as a plethora of traits that make him the best QB prospect to come out of college since Andrew Luck. Bold right?

Career statistics: 246-of-366 (67.2 percent) for 3,086 yards, 31 TDs, and 9 INTs

Height: 6’4

Weight:225 Lbs.

Pros: First off, Sam Darnold is the best quarterback prospect to come out of college (if he indeed does) since Andrew Luck. While that may be bold, there are three main areas of his game that push him to that level: football IQ, physical toolset, and accuracy.

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Darnold showed that he was not just capable of reading the opposing defense and going through progressions, but excelled at that particular aspect of the game. The best aspect of Darold’s game is the consistent accuracy. You won’t see him miss many throws, if any.

The improvisational trait within his skill set is Tony Romo-esque at times. He possesses the ability to sense and avoid pressure within the pocket on a level that wasn’t there within the 2016 NFL Draft QB class. Lastly, his football instincts are through the roof.

Cons: There are three major issues that are apparent with Sam Darnold: ball security, throwing motion, and lack of experience. While some question his arm mechanics, that isn’t a major issue because the long looping motion has no impact on the ball.

Nine fumbles in the 2016 season are far too many, and it is an issue that Darnold needs to address going into the 2017 season.

Next: 2018 NFL Mock Draft: If Sam Darnold Returns to School?

What I need to see in the 2017 season: In Darnold’s case, the only major issue that should be fixed going into the season is the issues with ball security. Other than that particular issue there is no major issue that needs to be addressed.

If Darnold performs up to par with his 2016 season, don’t be surprised if he is the lock to be the number one pick in the 2018 NFL draft.