2. QB Sam Darnold, USC
Yeah, he needs work, and if you draft him, you’re basically committing to being mediocre for the next few years. However, the upside is enormous as long as he’s able to get through some horrendously painful starts to get there.
To get the negatives out of the way, there’s never been a turnover he hasn’t tried to give away. The arm strength is just okay, and his throwing motion and technique could use a whole lot of time in the lab – it takes four days to get the ball out of his hands.
It’s all correctable.
At 6-4 and 220 pounds with great mobility and a cool, even-keel demeanor that coaches are going to love, he’s going to have the right makeup to deal with the many, many down moments he’ll go through to eventually get to where he needs to be.
There were the 13 interceptions last season and the several moments that could’ve and should’ve been disastrous, but then he’d do something amazing to show what all the fuss was about.
He’s going to be one of those quarterbacks everyone wants to make excuses for because there’s so much talent there and so much upside to be special. But don’t kid yourself; there’s absolute bust potential here – or, at least, the potential to be extremely disappointing.
In a perfect world, he gets two years of coaching and seasoning before he’s unleashed on the world, but as a top five overall pick, he’s not going to get it.