There’s a good chance USC quarterback Sam Darnold winds up being the No. 1 player taken in the 2018 NFL Draft.
And if the New York Jets and Buffalo Bills’ tanking efforts go according to plan, San Francisco won’t have a chance to grab the now-sophomore prospect.
If he falls or the 49ers move up, though, Darnold offers a pretty enticing skill set and intriguing potential to be a true franchise-type signal-caller.
Darnold completed 67.2 percent of his passes in 2016 and had an impressive 31-to-9 touchdown-to-interception ratio that season. And scouts point out how well he executes in short, intermediate and long distances, using a great deal of torque to get behind his throws.
You can see some of that on the Draftbreakdown.com video below:
Yet there’s an apparent weakness in Darnold’s mechanics.
One of the glaring potential issues is Darnold’s long-winding release. You can see it in the above video, as the 6-foot-4 quarterback has to wind up to deliver the pass in a way reminiscent of Denver Broncos QB Paxton Lynch.
And that delivery hasn’t worked out well for Lynch so far.
Plus, I have questions about USC quarterbacks. The last one to truly make an impact at the NFL level is Arizona Cardinals’ Carson Palmer. Everyone else? Not so much.