What I like
- 2016 tape is amazing(17 isn’t)
- Can make all the throws, makes quite a few “wow” throws
- Very good deep ball
- Throws with accuracy, timing, and anticipation.
- Mobile and throws well on the run.
- Tough, linebacker mentality, plays better after he gets knocked around a few times.
- A playmaker when the pocket breaks down.
- Throws receivers open.
- Throws with velocity to fit through tight windows.
What I didn’t
- Streaky. Looks amazing at times other times he’s sloppy
- Throwing motion is elongated(but usually negated by his anticipation)
- Doesn’t protect the ball when moving in the pocket(one hand on it usually)
- Forces passes too often
- Decision making is questionable at times.
- Eye level dropped quickly in the 17 season, which was followed by fleeing the pocket too early.
- Misses layups. There are throws that he just leaves on the table that should be easy.
- Mechanics breakdown when the pocket is muddy.
Comparison: Jameis Winston, not so much stylistically but in results. Winston had an amazing season followed up by a sloppy and inconsistent one. They both struggle with consistency but are great when the games are on the line.
Overall: Realistically Darnold has the highest ceiling of the class. See the 2017 Rose bowl if there’s any question about that. His 2017 season was inconsistent, many blame the pieces around him but too often Darnold was the author of his own failures. I see a streaky QB that will be middle of the pack but not elite.