Quarterback| Southern Cal| Redshirt sophomore
Height:6-foot-3 | Weight: 221 pounds
2017: started all 14 games at quarterback as the Trojans played in both a conference championship game and bowl game; completed 303 of 480 passes (63.1 percent) for 4,143 yards with 26 touchdowns and 13 interceptions; totaled eight 300-yard games; had 75 rushing attempts for 82 yards and five touchdowns; First-Team All-Pac-12 selection by coaches and media; helped USC win Pac-12 championship over Stanford
Career: played in 27 games in his college career, starting 23 of them; completed 549 of 846 passes (64.9 percent) for 7,229 yards with 57 touchdowns and 22 interceptions; totaled 137 rushing attempts for 332 yards and seven touchdowns; First-Team All-Pac-12 selection by coaches and media as a redshirt sophomore; named 2016 Pac-12 Freshman Offensive Player of the Year; was Offensive Player of the Game in Rose Bowl win over Penn State as a redshirt freshman; All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention in 2016; named Freshman All-American by numerous outlets
40-yard dash: 4.85 seconds
Bench press: did not participate
Broad jump: 8 feet, 9 inches
Vertical jump: 26.5 inches
3-cone drill: 6.96 seconds (tied for fifth second among quarterbacks)
20-yard shuttle: 4.40 seconds
60-yard shuttle: did not participate
View images USC Quarterback Sam Darnold.
Summary:Darnold was a highly-touted Southern California prep prospect who redshirted during his first season with the Trojans. He didn't begin the 2016 season as the starter but won the job after four games. Darnold eventually led USC to a Rose Bowl win that season. He entered 2017 as a potential Heisman Trophy candidate and ranked fifth in FBS in passing yards (4,143) but was 26th in passing efficiency.
Lance Zierlein of NFL.com wrote that Darnold looks the part as he "has desired NFL size" but also makes strong reads as he "trusts his pocket and keeps his eyes downfield" and "looks off safeties." Zierlein also noted to not underestimate Darnold's ability to pick up first downs on the ground as he is a "tough runner who can move the sticks with his legs."
Stacking up: Darnold was listed as the top quarterback in this draft class by NFL Media analyst Mike Mayock before and after the combine. Fellow NFL Media analyst Bucky Brooks listed Darnold as his No. 2 quarterback, and ESPN draft expert Mel Kiper, Jr., had Darnold in the second spot in his December rankings.
Good genes: Darnold's grandfather, Dick Hammer, played basketball at USC and was an Olympic volleyball player. He was also an actor who appeared in various commercials in the 1970s.