USC quarterback Sam Darnold is far from a lock to leave for the NFL after the 2017 season, according to NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah’s sources.
Look around the internet for 2018 NFL Mock Drafts and chances nearly every one you find includes Sam Darnold as one of the top quarterbacks on the draft board.
As much as NFL GMs and fans are eager to get Darnold into the pros, however, the USC quarterback is no lock to leave for the NFL after the 2017 season — or even the 2018 season, if Daniel Jeremiah’s sources are to be believed.
The NFL Network analyst dropped that nugget in his coverage of The Opening while calling attention to the strong impression Darnold left at the showcase event.
“Several sources close to Darnold tell me they wouldn’t be surprised if Darnold played two more seasons at USC,” Jeremiah wrote.
Darnold is a redshirt sophomore, giving him two more years of eligibility at USC after 2017. He could remain with the Trojans as far as 2019.
Given the amount of NFL attention Darnold has received since his spectacular Rose Bowl performance, the wide assumption has been that he will declare for the NFL after this coming season. That’s not an unreasonable expectation. If his stock remains as is, he would be considered a potential Top 5 pick. If you follow Pete Carroll’s early entrance philosophy,
That’s not an unreasonable expectation. If his stock remains as is, he would be considered a potential Top 5 pick. If you follow Pete Carroll’s early entrance philosophy, where a player should only leave if he is the top player at his position, Darnold could certainly qualify.
However, the vibe around Darnold has long been laid back when it comes to his NFL future. Despite his meteoric rise since October, there has been a sense that he is no rush to get to the pros.
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Jeremiah’s report is just another sign that Darnold’s mind isn’t made up just yet.
And a lot can change between now and January when the quarterback will officially be on the clock for his decision.
Another spectacular campaign could see Darnold top of the class. A sophomore slump could see him fall back in the QB rankings.
A USC title run and a Heisman Trophy could see his Trojan dreams fulfilled. Or there could be “Unfinished Business” to attend to in 2018.
At the very least, Trojan fans can take heart in the possibilities.