Sam Darnold NFL Draft Profile

The following is a 2018 Sam Darnold NFL Draft Profile highlighting everything that you need to know about the USC signal caller. Listed below is his scouting report highlighting strengths and weaknesses while looking at his NFL comparison and his projection. Here at NFL Draft Geek we also like to provide all of our play cut ups, video breakdowns and any other important articles that will give our full view of who we think he is as a prospect.

Sam Darnold NFL Draft Profile

Height: 6’3 Weight: 221 School: USC Trojans


  • Strong arm allows him to drive the ball into tight windows and down the field
  • Displays the touch to drop the ball over defenders both on short and long throws
  • Shows the ability to throw with anticipation and timing hitting receivers on stride
  • Able to make accurate throws going both left and right
  • Above average athlete that is able to escape pressure and keep plays alive
  • Was at his best when the lights were the brightest and come up in clutch situations
  • Calm demeanor doesn’t get him too high or too low


  • Ball Security both with interceptions and fumbling within the pocket
  • Lower body mechanics need work and don’t match up with upper body on a consistent basis
  • Some may have an issue with his unorthodox delivery that is a bit longer than normal
  • Will force balls into tight situations or into double coverage too often
  • Can get a little bit antsy in the pocket and move around when not needed


For teams picking early in the 2018 NFL Draft looking to find their next franchise quarterback, Sam Darnold is going to be one of the names they will think long and hard about. Darnold has a lot of traits that will entice NFL teams. He has the arm strength needed to drive the ball downfield but has the touch to make bucket throws dropping the ball over defenders and hitting his receivers on stride. In short to intermediate throws the ball jumps off his hands and get to the receivers fast and in a position for them to pick up yards after the catch. The big concern over Darnold is his lower body mechanics that often leaves him throwing flat footed or with his hips open that can have the ball sail or even be off the mark by a yard or so. Footwork can be fixed, but that could take a year or two to fully fix the issue. Another major area of concern is his ability to take care of the football. While you don’t want to see him throw 13 interceptions, his fumbling issue within the pocket is much more the issue. Darnold will need to learn to control the ball with both hands helping to prevent the ball from being knocked off.


Darnold may not be quite ready to lead the organization from day one and could really benefit from a veteran bridge quarterback, but could have one of the best ceilings of any of the quarterbacks in this class. Much like Tony Romo I could see Sam Darnold being used on the move quite a bit to take advantage of his athleticism but over time as he continues to develop he’ll settle into a more pocket passer type role.


Player Comparison: Tony Romo


Overall Rankings

Position Rankings





Video Breakdown

Play Clips

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