Week 5 Five Thoughts: 2) The NFL Draft's Sam Darnold Problem

Week 5 Five Thoughts: 2) The NFL Draft's Sam Darnold Problem

Week 5

Week 5 Five Thoughts: 2) The NFL Draft's Sam Darnold Problem

Week 5 Five Thoughts: 2) The NFL Draft’s Sam Darnold Problem


After the loss to Washington State, and after a rocky start to the season, is Sam Darnold still the slam dunk NFL superstar everyone thought he’d be?



5 Thoughts

Week 5 Roundup: Rankings, Bowl Projections, Analysis
1, Why Ed Orgeron & Butch Jones might not be fired
3. Are Bob Stoops & Chip Kelly ready to come back?
4. Florida State to the College Football Playoff?! Here’s how
5. Why UCF should be ranked higher than USF

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Your 2018 NFL Draft suddenly has a problem.

Everyone wants this crop of quarterbacks to be amazing, but the guy who’s supposed to be at the top of the heap is struggling.

UCLA’s Josh Rosen is currently the best NFL quarterback in college football, Oklahoma State’s Mason Rudolph has been outstanding, and despite not exactly looking the NFL part, Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield and Louisville’s Lamar Jackson are becoming hot late-first round ideas.

But it’s Sam Darnold who’s the Andrew Luck, the Cam Newton, the John Elway, the Eli Manning, the Peyton Manning, the LeBron James – the sure-thing franchise-maker.

He still might be. After Friday night, though, he’s not that right now.

Ball security was an issue throughout last year, but every time there was a bad play or a mistake, he’d do something amazing to show the world why he’s the prototype.

That’s still happening, but it’s still not okay to throw 15 interceptions in the last ten games. It’s not okay to have so many problems reading what Wazzu was throwing at him, especially at the end. It’s not okay to be this inconsistent.

Is Darnold going to be the guy who hit 81% of his throws with four scores against Stanford, and then you live with the two interceptions? Or is he going to be the guy who was misfiring all over the place in Pullman, tried to fight through it with a few nice plays and two touchdown runs, but ultimately couldn’t get the job done?

In other words, is he just good enough to break your heart?

He’s not alone in his struggles, though.

 

Remember when Wyoming’s Josh Allen was supposed to be the next Cam Newton and, to some, the No. 1 overall pick ahead of Darnold?

He might still be on his raw skills, but he’s having a Playing College Football problem, completing just 55% of his passes for 877 yards and six scores with three picks in his first five games.

He threw for just 64 yards in the loss to Oregon, and 92 against Hawaii. A week later, Colorado State’s Nick Stevens hit the Rainbow Warrior secondary for 351 yards and four scores, completing 82% of his throws.

It’s obvious Darnold and Allen have all the talent in the world, and that world is pressing down really, really hard on their shoulders. Meanwhile, Rosen has been able to grip-it-and-rip-it for a team that needs him to keep on firing away.

Everyone wants Darnold and Allen to be great, because the world needs better quarterback play.

All it will take is one Rose Bowl-like performance from Darnold, and one rock-solid game from Allen, and everyone will fall in love all over again.

With Oregon State up next for USC and Darnold, this could immediately change back around.

5 Thoughts

Week 5 Roundup: Rankings, Bowl Projections, Analysis
1, Why Ed Orgeron & Butch Jones might not be fired
3. Are Bob Stoops & Chip Kelly ready to come back?
4. Florida State to the College Football Playoff?! Here’s how
5. Why UCF should be ranked higher than USF

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