NFL Draft

#14
Sam Darnold
Rating Yards TD
148.1 4143 26
Team: USC TrojansHeight: 6-4 Born: 6/5/1997
Position: QBWeight: 220 Hometown: Capistrano Beach, California
Class-Eligibility: Jr-So


Scouting Report

OVERVIEW

Darnold is a cinch to become the sixth redshirt sophomore quarterback to be drafted in the first round. Scouts swoon over his intangibles and bloodlines - grandfather, Dick Hammer, played basketball at USC and was on the Olympic volleyball team, while Sam's father, Mike, played football at Redlands College. Darnold redshirted behind Cody Kessler and Max Browne in 2015 and become the starter in 2016. Darnold completed 67.2 percent of his passes as a freshman, starting nine games, with 31 touchdown passes and nine interceptions. Ball security and decision-making became concerns for scouts observing Darnold as a sophomore, when he had 24 total turnovers, including 13 fumbles. He was still the All-Pac-12 first-team quarterback (coaches) in 2017 with 4,143 passing yards and 26 touchdowns.

ANALYSIS

A pro-ready passer with the arm strength and pocket presence to survive a flawed wind-up release. Likely to be in the running for the No. 1 overall pick and considered a lock in the top-10, Darnold could benefit from a season on the sideline to perfect his footwork and sync a throwing motion that can tip defenders to the intended target. Darnold plays with grit, can deliver the ball on time from a moving pocket and was praised by college coaches and teammates for his natural leadership traits.

With 21 fumbles in 27 career games at USC, scouts are split on whether improving technique on his drop back will help Darnold curb the issue. His process can be sped up by pressure, but Darnold generally responds with clutch throws under duress. Decision-making could improve with NFL coaching. Could thrive in an up-tempo system that accentuates his instant trigger and velocity.

PROJECTION

First round

--Field Level Media


Career Passing Stats

Year Team G Cmp Att Comp % Yds Yd/A TDs Int Sacked Yds
2016 USC  13 246 366 67.2 3086 8.4 31 9 6 30
2017 USC  14 303 480 63.1 4143 8.6 26 13 29 209
Career   27 549 846 64.9 7229 8.5 57 22 35 239

Career Rushing/Receiving Stats

Year Team G Rush Yds Yd/Rush TDs Rec Yds Yd/Rec TDs
2016 USC  13 62 250 4.0 2 0 0 - 0
2017 USC  14 75 82 1.1 5 0 0 - 0
Career   27 137 332 2.4 7 0 0 - 0

Career Defensive Stats

Year Team G Int Yds TDs
2016 USC  13 0
Career   27 0

Offensive Logs

  Passing Rushing Receiving
Date Opp Cmp Att Yds Pct TDs Int Long Car Yds Avg TDs Long Rec Yds Avg TDs Long
9/2/2017 WestMI 23 33 289 69.7 0 2 42 5 -6 -1.2 1 11 0 0 - 0 -
9/9/2017 Stan 21 26 316 80.8 4 2 49 2 4 2.0 0 5 0 0 - 0 -
9/16/2017 Tex 28 49 397 57.1 3 2 56 6 -12 -2.0 0 10 0 0 - 0 -
9/23/2017 @ Cal 26 38 223 68.4 2 1 19 2 14 7.0 0 19 0 0 - 0 -
9/29/2017 @ WashSt 15 29 164 51.7 0 1 26 9 25 2.8 2 11 0 0 - 0 -
10/7/2017 OreSt 23 35 316 65.7 3 1 37 4 -18 -4.5 0 7 0 0 - 0 -
10/14/2017 Utah 27 50 358 54.0 3 0 52 6 15 2.5 0 14 0 0 - 0 -
10/21/2017 @ ND 20 28 229 71.4 2 1 34 9 7 0.8 0 18 0 0 - 0 -
10/28/2017 @ AriSt 19 35 266 54.3 3 0 42 4 19 4.8 0 39 0 0 - 0 -
11/4/2017 Ari 20 26 311 76.9 2 1 41 5 10 2.0 0 10 0 0 - 0 -
11/11/2017 @ Colo 21 34 329 61.8 2 0 37 3 31 10.3 1 24 0 0 - 0 -
11/18/2017 UCLA 17 28 264 60.7 0 1 29 5 10 2.0 1 9 0 0 - 0 -
12/1/2017 Stan 17 24 325 70.8 2 0 54 4 1 0.3 0 7 0 0 - 0 -
12/29/2017 @ OhioSt 26 45 356 57.8 0 1 37 11 -18 -1.6 0 14 0 0 - 0 -
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