Report: Sam Darnold won’t throw in Indy

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The top quarterback prospects in this year’s draft class will be looking for ways to differentiate themselves from one another over the next couple of months and Sam Darnold has reportedly found a way to do it in Indianapolis this week.

Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that Darnold will not take part in throwing drills during the Scouting Combine. He is expected to throw at USC’s Pro Day workout on March 21 instead.

Josh Rosen, Josh Allen, Baker Mayfield and Mason Rudolph are all expected to do the throwing drills in Indy. Lamar Jackson has not announced what he plans to do at this point.

There have been plenty of quarterbacks in the past who have passed on throwing at the combine in favor of working in familiar conditions and with familiar receivers at their schools. That trend has reversed in recent years, but it seems Darnold will not be part of that wave.

40 responses to “Report: Sam Darnold won’t throw in Indy

  1. At some point, one of these young QB’s is going to look at all those scouts and start laughing. Guys like Jeff George and JaMarcus Russell looked great throwing at Indy. They got picked number 1 overall. It’s a joke that teams are paying their personnel people to go to Indy and make fools of themselves.

  2. If you don’t even want to compete at the combine, how are you gonna handle the NFL? As if waiting until your Pro Day when everything is stacked in your favor so you can complete a few extra passes against open air in comfortable controlled surroundings is supposedly “more impressive” or something? The point of throwing at the combine IS NOT TO JUST COMPLETE PASSES TO FAMILIAR RECEIVERS. It’s to see how you accept challenges, how you adapt to circumstances that you don’t get to control, how you adjust to miscues, how you demonstrate leadership, to display your mechanics, to let people see how the ball looks coming out of your hand live, how much zip you have throwing different routes to different parts of the field, etc. Just going out and completing passes against open air at your Pro Day IS NOT WHAT THEY ARE LOOKING FOR and it is NOT IMPRESSIVE WHATSOEVER to do so.

    It’s SO WEAK when a QB goes to the combine and says “nah, i’m not here to throw. I’m afraid i won’t look good enough”. That tells me far more about a guy than a couple incomplete combine throws.

    Remember, all kinds of scouts said Jamarcus Russell’s Pro Day was one of the most impressive they’d ever seen. So yeah, good for you Darnold. I’m sure you’ll look awesome when everything is literally designed to make you look good. Because you know, that’s what playing in the NFL will be like, right?

  3. charliecharger says:February 27, 2018 at 11:00 am

    At some point, one of these young QB’s is going to look at all those scouts and start laughing. Guys like Jeff George and JaMarcus Russell looked great throwing at Indy.
    =========================================

    Wrong. JaMarcus had his amazing throws at LSU’s pro day, not in Indy

  4. charliecharger says:
    February 27, 2018 at 11:00 am
    At some point, one of these young QB’s is going to look at all those scouts and start laughing. Guys like Jeff George and JaMarcus Russell looked great throwing at Indy. They got picked number 1 overall. It’s a joke that teams are paying their personnel people to go to Indy and make fools of themselves.
    _____________________________________________________________________

    Jeff George (a serviceable NFL QB) and JeMarcus Russell shouldn’t be in the same sentence together.

  5. Since there are questions about his accuracy chickening out at the Combine isn’t going to help him. Bawk bawk bawk . . .

  6. Well from his past year I think we can all clearly see that he is not worth a top ten pick but the “experts” just keep talking up this guy not because of his ability but how he has the size and looks of a great QB.

  7. The underwear olympics is meaningless and in no way translates to actual game play. If widely speculated to already be a 1st round pick, especially near the beginning of the 1st round, I’d advise a player not to participate in any physical drills at all – it proves nothing. And, its not going to hurt your draft position at all. For players projected in later rounds its probably a different story.

  8. Arnold’s arm ability is on the film. What he needs to solve for are his poor ball protection in the pocket, and the bone-headed decisions that he makes throwing the ball late in the play. He reminds of Eli Manning coming out but a bunch more sloppy and a touch more athletic.

  9. Throughout his career at USC I have not understood the ESPN hype, he looks like 2nd day NFL talent to me

  10. The USC QB bust train is bad but doesn’t compare to the bust train from the entire state of Florida since 1990. All those Heisman winners from Miami, FSU, and Florida? All those other highly regarded QBs (plus other schools)? All busts or merely average.

  11. [halfcentaur says:
    February 27, 2018 at 11:05 am
    If you don’t even want to compete at the combine, how are you gonna handle the NFL? … So yeah, good for you Darnold. I’m sure you’ll look awesome when everything is literally designed to make you look good. Because you know, that’s what playing in the NFL will be like, right?]

    You mean playing QB in the NFL is about throwing to unfamiliar receivers?

  12. Ironically, Darnold would probably shine at this sort of workout. With no defense involved I wouldn’t doubt he’d be the best looking QB in this draft. His issue is that he’ll make a great throw then on the very next pass chuck it straight to a defender–but the pass is pretty even on the INT!

  13. You mean playing QB in the NFL is about throwing to unfamiliar receivers?

    ——-

    Given how he likes to turn the ball over, in Darnold’s case it will indeed be about this.

  14. charliecharger says:
    February 27, 2018 at 11:00 am
    At some point, one of these young QB’s is going to look at all those scouts and start laughing. Guys like Jeff George and JaMarcus Russell looked great throwing at Indy. They got picked number 1 overall. It’s a joke that teams are paying their personnel people to go to Indy and make fools of themselves.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    If your going to use a top 5 pick on someone I would think you would take every opportunity to evaluate the talent. Maybe you see something maybe you don’t but your there just in case.

  15. shackdelrio – lots of things about the combine don’t matter. How high a QB can jump. How many bench press reps a WR can do. Even the 40 times are so grossly overrated. How fast a guy runs in a straight uncontested line really doesn’t matter in terms of actually playing the game. Go look at the list of best 40 times ever, and tell me how many of those names you actually recognize, outside of Chris Johnson, for actually making plays on the field on Sundays.

    So yeah, lots of aspects of the combine are overrated and ultimately meaningless. But the chance to see a QB throw the ball in uncontrolled surroundings to guys he isn’t familiar with and see how he responds, how he adjusts and adapts, and how the ball looks coming out of his hand live for lots of people who may not have seen him anywhere other than on film, that actually does kind of matter a bit.

    But what is actually alarming is when a guy is afraid of looking bad throwing against open air and refusing to do it.

    So saying that some aspects of the combine are meaningless doesn’t mean it all is. We need to try implementing things like context and situational nuance. I don’t get why people always wanna try and argue that everything has to either be all this or all that. Either it’s all useful or none of it is. That’s not how ANYTHING works, so don’t try and dumb it down to that level of simplicity.

  16. With some of the the other top QB prospects throwing at the combine, it certainly isn’t a good look for Darnold not to. If he doesn’t, my guess it will cost him a number of draft slots. Maybe a good number.

  17. You’re applying for a transcriptionist or office job that pays $15-$20 per hour. At the interview, you refuse the typing test, telling them, “Hey, I’ve got lots of stuff I already typed; look at that if you want to know my speed and accuracy!”

    What do you suppose your chances might be of getting hired?

    Yeah, I wouldn’t be any more excited to lay out millions in guaranteed money, either, nor would I expect it — especially from a league owned by billionaires well-known for seemingly cold decisions made for business reasons.

  18. It’s not like he is the slam dunk #1 stud in this years qb class. I’ve heard as many as 3 or 4 different names including his that could be the top guy. If you are a team looking for your next field general for the next 10-15 years wouldn’t this be the first step in establishing who that might be? Someone balking at his first test is a red flag imo.

  19. When I watch Darnold, he definitely passes the eye test throwing the ball. However, I don’t see the intangibles with him. He didn’t live up to the hype last year at all. I have a feeling he’s going to be a bust when he gets to the next level.

  20. My gosh I hope the Giants can trade down in the top 10 and nail Nelson. I pray that Gettleman doent go QB at 2.

  21. If Brady threw at the combine, then any QB should throw at the combine! How coaches and players can watch what it takes to be great and do the opposite, just boggles the mind… If a QB doesn’t have the confidence to compete…then I wouldn’t want him leading my team…. I’d betcha most great QBs threw at the combine…!!!

  22. As a die-hard USC fan I can say he seriously regressed last year. Yes, the O-line had some injuries but he just looked flat out scared in the face of pressure and made bone headed decisions as a result. He looked like a day 1 draft pick 2 years ago but he is a day 2 guy now. Of course someone will over reach for him.

  23. This guy and Mayfield – buyer beware.

    Take it from a Raiders fan…

    It wasn’t just Jamarcus who looked flawless at his pro day. By all accounts Manziel tore it up as well.

    If i had the skills to be a potential top-5 pick I’d want to be center stage, going up against my competition, showing people how much better I am.

    If I didn’t, I’d want to set everything up perfectly…

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