Over the course of his Jets career, Darnold completed 59.8 percent of his passes for 8,097 yards, 45 touchdowns and 39 interceptions. Obviously, those are underwhelming numbers for a former No. 3 overall pick.
Despite his recent struggles, there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic about Darnold’s outlook this fall. In fact, one NFL scout told ESPN’s Jordan Schultz they expect “big things” from the USC product this season.
“I expect big things,” the anonymous scot said. “It’s really a variation of Sean Payton’s offense: Very QB-friendly w/a lot of vertical routes and high-low concepts. DJ Moore takes another step. Anderson is a beast. Marshall gives them a jump ball threat/slot guy.”
One NFL scout on Sam Darnold/#Panthers: “I expect big things. It’s really a variation of Sean Payton’s offense: Very QB-friendly w/a lot of vertical routes and high-low concepts. DJ Moore takes another step. Anderson is a beast. Marshall gives them a jump ball threat/slot guy.”
— Jordan Schultz (@Schultz_Report) September 2, 2021
Panthers general manager Scott Fitterer had nothing but praise for Darnold after the team’s preseason finale.
“We like his athleticism, his size and especially the arm strength — the ability to throw the deep ball. We like that,” Fitterer said, via WRALSportsFan.com. “And everything, like the person that he is, the toughness and the work ethic — all of those things really stood out to us.”
There’s never been any concerns or questions about Darnold’s physical tools. He has the athleticism and arm talent to be a prolific quarterback. The issue has always been his judgement.
With a better supporting cast around him this season, Darnold will have a golden opportunity to revitalize his career.