– Did he have to throw in the rain at all or did the storm hit after he left?
– No, it hit right during his throwing session and I got to tell you, it was a little bit Roy Hobbs-esque. You know what I mean? I mean, it was a little bit “The Natural” because it started raining very heavily right when Sam started to throw and he did not flinch at all.
He had one of the most, I would say, best pro days I’ve seen in a long time. And in large part due to the rain because Colin, here’s the thing, these pro days, there’s no adversity for all these guys. I’ve gone around and seen all of them, I even went to Fargo, North Dakota to see your boy, Carson Wentz, there is no adversity for these quarterbacks on their pro days.
And then all of a sudden, here we get to USC, it never rains in California and there is a torrential rain storm. And Sam Darnold wanted this, he was praying for rain so that he could have some level of adversity and go out there and show the NFL community that he can throw the ball when it’s wet, when the conditions are inclement. And he was fantastic, he was ripping it, man.
I tell you there was still RPMs, he was accurate, any drops were generally on the wide receiver side rather than Sam’s side within accuracy. So I’ve got to tell you, coming away from today– and this is the earliest I’ve said this in this process, the New York Giants are on the clock. Because I think the number one pick was totally solidified today.
– Wow. So by the way, you saw Wentz. You liked Carson Wentz pro day. You know, we all know Wentz is really good. He’s a little bigger than Sam, height-wise. Are Wentz and Donald, are their skill sets reasonably close? I mean, well, compare those two.
– I think Darnold’s probably a bit more athletic. He probably does a much better job– when I’m watching film, when he’s improvising, when he has to make a throw. Remember, Wentz dealt with injuries and so there were a lot of games, in particular in his last year there at North Dakota State, where he wasn’t 100% and he moved as such.
Whereas Darnold, this guy has great subtlety in the pocket and I think that’s one of the things that I love most about him. He throws with great touch and great accuracy and then here’s the biggest point– when they need a throw in the biggest moments of USC’s system, or excuse me, season, game in and game out he generally made those throws.
I think of that Texas game, he made that incredible jump pass right down the middle of the field. If he doesn’t make that pass, they don’t win the game, they don’t even make it to overtime. So to me, the comparisons with Wentz and Darnold are more because of their rugged nature and less because of what they actually did in college. Because when I look at what Darnold did in college, there’s a lot more there, there’s more substance there than there even was with Carson Wentz.