Quarterbacks of the USC Trojans tend to be synonymous with one thing: Busts. Matt Leinart, Mark Sanchez, and Matt Barkley are three such examples who were expected to shatter the USC college-to-pro curse, but instead only enhanced it.
The current Trojan signal-caller will change that however. He isn’t only the best college quarterback since Andrew Luck, he may even be a better prospect than the current Colts leader.
Darnold’s start to the season against Western Michigan was far from ideal as he failed to record a passing touchdown, throwing 23-33 for 289 yards and two interceptions. But he did enough to help his side win, and the numbers don’t do him justice from a performance level.
Darnold is 6’4, 225 pounds of pure talent. He put up 3,086 yards, 31 TDs, and 9 INTs with a 67.2 completion percentage in 2016. Expect those numbers to skyrocket this year. My favorite Darnold trait is the way he’s able to extend plays and that all starts with his ability to not fold under pressure. He never gets phased and that is very key for any QB who should (eventually) going pro. He has great velocity on his passes and his short-to-intermediate accuracy is fantastic, although many scouts agree that he can still improve his deep ball accuracy. To top it all off, Darnold can make plays. There’s nothing more to it, he’s able to make plays and help his team win. He’s a leader on and off the field and his teammates love him. There is nothing better than a QB that is loved by his teammates.
As for an NFL Draft standpoint, Sam Darnold should undoubtedly be the #1 overall prospect unless something radical happens during this year. There are some great players in this draft, but if you’re able to get a great QB who can change your franchise, you do it.
There have been some rumors that Darnold will return to school for his senior year, but I think he ultimately will declare for the draft after this year because it’ll be impossible to improve his draft stock (assuming he believes he can go #1).
USC is going to be extremely exciting to watch going forward this year. With Darnold leading them into a year full of expectations, they are in great shape. Darnold is always talked about, so some of his teammates fly under-the-radar. Ronald Jones II is one of the best RBs in the nation and still barely gets talked about. Another guy in that category is WR Deontay Burnett, who is more than likely going to be Darnold’s #1 target. Stay tuned because Sam Darnold and Deontay Burnett are going to have a great connection throughout this year.