Jets Select USC QB Sam Darnold with Third Overall Pick in NFL Draft
Gang Green hopes to have found their next franchise QB in Darnold.
The New York Jets helped commence the 2018 draft day with their 3rd pick of the first round, Sam Darnold. The former USC Trojan QB now gets to begin his journey in the NFL with a team that has been lacking order and results in the quarterback position.
Darnold had an exceptional college career during his three years at USC. He started the last two seasons and made a big difference for the Trojans. He became the first quarterback to throw for 4,000 yards in a season. He gained more respect and stood out more during his amazing performance during the 2017 Rose bowl, where he passed for 453 yards for a comeback victory over Penn State. After this performance Darnold was recognized as one of the best quarterbacks and predicted to go quick in this year’s NFL draft. Sam Darnold led the trojans on 20-4 record as their starting quarterback. During his last season, he completed 63% of his passes for 4,143 yards with 26 touchdowns.
Standing tall at 6’3 and 222 pounds, Darnold has been described as a system quarterback, with a lot of talent and potential. From his collegiate performance it was easily noted that he was a very aerial quarterback and confident at that. When watching Darnold play, his confidence dropping back and staying in the pocket before firing was clearly seen, and it’s an attribute the NY Jets need in their quarterback pool. His Combine performance also backed him up as a strong confident quarterback as performed very well during throwing drills.
Even though Darnold is an exceptional athlete overall, his one flaw that has been coming up over and over again has been his unfortunate luck turning the ball over to the other team. During 14 games during his last season he threw for 13 interceptions and fumbled 12 times.
When reporters addressed this during the combine he responded by stating, “I’m aware of that, and I’m aware how much I turn the ball over and that it’s not OK. I’ve been addressing it this offseason. I’ve been working on keeping two hands (on the ball) in the pocket at all times. The only time I let go of the ball is to throw it. That’s something I’ve really been working on. And also keeping it tight whenever I tuck it and run.”
There was also talk that perhaps the Trojan offensive line was also to blame, since he was sacked 29 times during his last season. Hopefully he has better luck with the Jets offensive line and this will help him to continue his exceptional performance into his new beginning in the NFL.