Sam Darnold understands the focus on his college turnovers

Getty Images

Sam Darnold is regarded as the safer choice by the Browns at No. 1. Even if he’s not always safe with the football.

Darnold threw 22 interceptions and fumbled the ball 21 times in 27 starts at USC. As a result, he’s hearing a lot about his propensity to not protect the ball in the run-up to the draft.

“There’s obviously a lot of talk about turnovers, which I get,” Darnold said during a recent visit to PFT Live. “The tape doesn’t lie. I’ve heard that a million times. It’s fair. It’s really fair. Turning the ball over is something you don’t want to do as a quarterback. I think the number one job as a quarterback is protecting the football. I’ve been working on it, but at the same time there’s so many plays where I take my left hand off the ball and I make a first down or I throw a touchdown. There’s a lot of give and take when it comes to me turning the ball over. But, yeah, it’s something that I can’t do. It’s something that I’ve really been working on.”

His next team, whoever it may be, will surely be working on him, too — and the team that drafts him undoubtedly will be convinced it’s an issue that can be managed and corrected.

The full interview from Darnold, which begins and ends with a Darnold/Chris Simms duet, is attached to this entry.