After ugly bowl loss, Sam Darnold says he’s undecided on the NFL draft

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If Friday night’s Cotton Bowl was the last game of Sam Darnold’s college career, it was an inauspicious ending.

Darnold, the USC quarterback viewed as a potential first overall pick in the NFL draft, threw a pick-six and lost two fumbles in a 24-7 loss to Ohio State. He said after the game that he hasn’t yet decided whether to turn pro.

”Right now I think I’m really just focused on hanging out with my teammates for the next couple of days, really just saying bye to the seniors because they put together such a great season.’’ he said. “It’s tough. I’ll look at everything and make my decision after that.’’

If Darnold had been permitted to turn pro a year ago, he might have been the first overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft. But Darnold didn’t play as well this year, and that may have hurt his draft stock.

Still, Darnold is now three years out of high school, which means he satisfies the NFL’s requirements to be draft eligible. It would be a major surprise if he doesn’t announce next month that he’s turning pro.

56 responses to “After ugly bowl loss, Sam Darnold says he’s undecided on the NFL draft

  1. Not only was this game embarrassing for Darnold, ESPN and the media’s golden boy dashed to the microphones and threw his teammates under the bus immediately after the game.

  2. Well, Sam it’s pretty much “darned if you do or darned if you don’t

    Mark Sanchez left early and is now a career backup
    Matt Leinart stayed and flamed out of the league in less than five years

    Hopefully you have more success than both of them whatever you decide.

  3. He looked panicked the whole time. Not sure why Barnett is not in the discussion as a first rounder. But he’s still going. As soon as he see’s the video from Thorson blowing his knee out in the NW game that will make his decision for him..there is no real upside to him staying. If he goes first or fifth he will get paid – at least for 4 years.

  4. I saw a kid who could be a great NFL quarterback. Considering everything, the kid is better than he was last season.

  5. Here is hoping when he decides to go pro, he doesn’t fall to the Bills in the draft. Either way, if we pass on him, he turns in to Tom Brady. We pick him, he plays like he did last night for his career. My gawd, I’m glad I am only a fantasy football owner….what a crap shoot the draft is!

  6. He looked like he was ready to play QB for the Browns. No TDs, a pick six, two fumbles and 8 sacks 57% completion on 45 throws. But he made a few “wow plays” and is tough. Thats pretty much every deshone kizer game this year.

  7. Sam Darnold looked like an Antelope in a Lions Den when he was in the pocket. That D Line got after him.USC’s O Line was overwhelmed.

    Big Ten football. You don’t have a Big Ten Champion in the playoffs because they beat each other up. It’s hard coming out of the Big Ten with less than 2 losses. Just when you think you can let yourself down emotionally after a classic game against Penn State a team like Iowa steps up and knocks your top off.

  8. What we saw last night is exactly what will happen to him in the NFL, week after week, if he starts right away. I think I have shoes older than this kid…stay in school.

  9. Any decent scout who’s already studied tape on Darnold, and who’s been studying QB’s for a few years, will not be swayed by his Cotton Bowl performance. He has all the tools. A really high ceiling. He’s also made lots of dumb plays and shown a lot of poor judgement. If I had a coach like Sean McVay or Kyle Shanahan, I’d draft him #1. If I didn’t have a coach like that, I’d try to find one.

  10. I’d hate to see this kid come out before he is ready and then fail and get tossed out like an old hot dog wrapper.

  11. Josh Allen is a better and more prepared QB than both Rosen and Darnold. I think we see 5 QBs taken in the 1st Round. Mayfield will be a short lived success. I really like him, but is a situational talent. If he goes to a solid team, he could be special. Like if Russell Wilson. If he went to a bad team, he would never have gotten a chance and then washed up like every Browns QB.

  12. Browns should draft rosen #1 and darnold #7… and should really consider trading back into the first and taking mayfield. It wouldn’t hurt because at least 1 of them isn’t going to bust. Kind of like what they did at wide receiver a couple years ago… oh wait

  13. As a USC fan, I can tell you he’s no way ready for the pro’s. He regressed this year, and that falls on the coach.

  14. I think as an NFL QB-you go the way of the offensive line for the most part. In the NFL all they care about these days are gaudy passing stats even if most of them are dump offs behind the line of scrimmage to RB’s and TE’s! Just be smart and play that game-the fantasy football people eat that stuff up as well. Just stand in there and don’t worry about making the first reads deep like the old NFL QB’s were required to do.. Just play that dumbed down West Coast offense to the max and they will declare you a top 5 QB in no time. Nothing else matters, oops except high completion percentage and low INT’s.

  15. Rosen wilts under pressure the same way, plus has injury history. By the time the draft rolls around the QB that showed improvement in pocket presence, throwing from the pocket and quick reads will emerge as the first overall…Lamar Jackson.

  16. Well, I hope the NFL teams who draft early think like a lot 9f the experts here. Then, maybe, Darnold cam fall to the middle of the round and the Packers can grab him as the heir to Rodgers. Rodgers has a few.years.left at most and Darnold could be the next decade and a half of HOF play after that. The anti packers crowd would lose their collective minds if Green Bay hit on another superstar QB.

  17. I am willing to give Darnold a break. His ‘best’ receiver certainly didn’t do him any favors in that game. On top of that, his offensive line got their collective butts kicked. It’s hard for a QB to play when your offensive line is playing like a bunch of matadors just waving the red cape and letting them run by. He does need to work on his ball security. That’s way too many fumbles. Still, I don’t think anyone could have succeeded the way his OL played last night. I think he’ll be a good NFL QB whether he comes out this year or next. He made some great throws even though he was running for his life all game.

  18. He has played the same way all year, but last night it looked worse against better competition. He might be number one based on the value of the qb position. But, clearly he is not close to being the best player in the draft. Perhaps the union should consider changing qb compensation to reflect readiness to play compared to draft slot. Running backs drafted early play and so do other positions. The qbs are getting over on their union brothers

  19. I don’t understand the media’s belief that Darnold should be the #1 pick in the draft. Although he is a natural leader and apparently a good person, Darnold’s foot work is suspect, rarely drops back going through progressions like a NFL QB. To me he is a nicer and thicker version of Johnny Manziel.

  20. “Any self-respecting franchise will view this draft as the year NOT to take a QB.”

    Isn’t that the same thing at-home-wannabe-expert-GMs said in 2015 with Wentz and Goff?

  21. Looked like Kizer to me with a little better accuracy. Could you see this guy on my Browns team?

    Hue would bench him in 4 games and probably deservedly so. If you can’t beat Ohio State you aren’t winning a game in the NFL unless the rest of the team around you is really great. That is not my Browns.

    Give me the guy that threw 4 td’s and played like 3 games with a torn MCL or whatever it was.

  22. This game showed nobody anything new. He can make a great throw then immediately follow it up with a terrible one. And the turnovers this year just never stopped. Huge red flag there given defense just get better and harder to read in the NFL. He was better last season.

  23. He definitely didn’t look like an NFL ready QB last night, which is not an indictment of his skills or ability. Tough to judge a man’s talent from one game, but I guess I’d err on the side of getting more experience in college at this point.

  24. Sam needs to go back to SC. Let’s face it. He doesn’t want to play for Cleveland either and I can’t blame him. He needs more work. Like a lot of work. These fumbles and picks are a problem and any NFL scout will tell you it is. If your team doesn’t have a quarterback in this league you won’t win, but so many teams will reach on a guy like Sam who could use another season of reps and training, because they believe he could make them great in a year.

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