Sam Darnold unimpressive in USC loss

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Heading into this season, some people thought USC quarterback Sam Darnold was such an elite NFL prospect that a team like the Jets would be wise to tank its entire 2017 season for the right to draft him first in 2018.

It hasn’t worked out that way.

Darnold was unimpressive on Friday night in USC’s upset loss to Washington State, completing just 15 of 29 passes for 164 yards, with an interception and a game-sealing fumble that ended USC’s last drive. It was not a good performance.

And it has not been a good season for Darnold, who is down across the board from his breakout 2016 season: Darnold’s completion percentage is down, his yards per attempt average is down, his passer rating is down, and after finishing last season with 31 touchdowns and nine interceptions, so far this year he has nine touchdowns and eight interceptions.

Darnold may still be a great NFL player. But his early-season play shows just how foolish it was to suggest that a team should tank its season for him. Draft prospects, especially draft prospects who have only started 10 games, as Darnold had heading into this season, simply aren’t predictable enough to declare them a sure thing.

Darnold is no sure thing.

37 responses to “Sam Darnold unimpressive in USC loss

  1. The number one pick in next years draft and the best player in college football, resides in Happy Valley. He goes by the name Saquan Barkley.

  2. I see a guy who can escape pressure better than the average college QB. But the way he does it, will get him drilled in the NFL. He doesn’t look like his talents match his media hype. However, the QB from Washington State looks like the next coming of Kirk Cousins and that’s not a bad thing. Everybody are not 1st round picks.

  3. Media built him up so his fall would be precipitous…fall meaning a stretch of a couple bad games…lol…I think he will be fine it’s these writers putting these crowns on kids’ head. Why don’t you guys talk about how so called legends like Ben and Eli and how much they really suck now.

  4. never, ever, ever draft a USC QB, ever…Paul MacDonald, Rodney Peete, Todd Marijuanavich, Cassel, Leinhart, Kessler, Barkley, Sanchez—just don’t do it!, Palmer is the only one who ever amounted to anything

  5. Dude can’t hold a candle to Baker Mayfield. Not surprised by his lackluster performance. He has no heart. Mayfield will be the 1st quarterback off the board next year. Saquan will be the #1 pick for sure though…

  6. This is why tanking doesn’t work in football. The approach the Bills are taking, to still try to win and remain competitive while accumulating picks to build for the future is the right way to do it when there is so much inherent uncertainty in the draft. The Jets opposite strategy will prove to be an enormous failure and they will be a bottom 5 team for the next 5 years.

  7. Let the overreaction begin…I only saw the 4th qtr, and two plays showed me he’s got a solid chance to be something.

    First was a crossing route where he gets pressure, but doesn’t panic. He steps up, then while shuffling off balance to his left, throws a dart to a well covered receiver.

    Second was a deep route to a covered receiver, with a closing safety. He put the ball right on the receiver’s back shoulder, where only he could get it. The receiver turned the wrong way, pass incomplete.

    All of these guys will make mistakes…that last minute fumble was sloppy. But I’m not ready to reshuffle the draft order based on one game.

  8. Think about this: how often has a team won a Super Bowl with a top tier RB? I am talking about a RB that is in the top 5 in the league. Look at the last 10 Super Bowl winners – none of them have had a top tier RB. It’s foolish for teams to use top picks on a RB.

    QB on the other hand is a different story. It’s a far better use of draft picks to get a guy who can handle a pro style offense out of college.

  9. He better get drafted high because by the time he comes up for his second contract the NFL will be a shell and the salary cap is going to crater.

    No Fans League.

  10. The Browns don’t care. Our front office has shown a brilliant way of evaluating and drafting talent. Just look at our WRs. Big, fast, can’t catch! Thanks, Sashi

  11. Luke Falk from Washington State is a very impressive quarterback. Yet he gets no attention. He has had two consecutive monster seasons.
    2015:69.4% completion percentage on 644 pass attempts with 7.04 ypa. He also had 4,561 passing yards with 38 touchdowns and 8 interceptions.
    2016: 70% completion percentage on 633 pass attempts with 7.06 ypa. He also had 4,468 passing yards with 38 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.
    These numbers are very impressive and yet nobody talks about this kid. Washington State is a Power 5 school and they play in the Pac-12 North.
    And he is off to another great start with 16 touchdowns and 2 interceptions through 5 games. He has already tied the Pac-12 career completion and touchdown records.
    If this guy has a third straight monster season, I’d pick him over Sam Darnold.

  12. The great QBs do not necessarily come from top 5 picks.

    Brady, Rogers, Romo, and Kurt Water come immediately to mind.

  13. Things change for sure. Hackenberg was the number one rated qb after his freshman year. As a pro so far he doesn’t even look like he can play football!

  14. jimmysee says:
    September 30, 2017 at 2:01 pm
    The great QBs do not necessarily come from top 5 picks.

    Brady, Rogers, Romo, and Kurt Water come immediately to mind.

    Big fan of Kurt Water. Brett Fart and Darron Rogers were also very good non top 5 picks

  15. Meanwhile, Josh Rosen is throwing most games 50 plus times (when everyone on the field knows it’s a throw) and still completing 65% of his passes for close to 500 yards each game. Hawaii was the anomaly (and easy game) and he he went 22 for 25, 5 TDS and 329 yards.

  16. I finally got around to watching the USC game and I thought so that’s the guy? Ehhhh, not very impressive at all. He’s definitely no Baker Mayfield

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