USC quarterback Sam Darnold might end up being the No. 1 player taken overall in the 2018 NFL Draft, but he wants no part of a team tanking for his services.
His reasoning is simple, and it doesn’t appear to be a thought process based on disliking any one team or teams that might stink in 2017. As he stated on SportsCenter with Dianna Russini, Darnold doesn’t “think any team should tank their season because of me.”
That’s an excellent attitude to take, and it shows a strong sense of maturity in a kid who’s just 20 years of age. Any team that engages in tanking isn’t doing its best to win every single season. And unlike the NBA, where tanking actually can accomplish some good, in the NFL it’s pretty clear that bad teams just kind of stay bad without a brand new injection of culture.
It’s been reported that Darnold might opt to stay in school another year beyond this one. And he might end up doing just that. But if we’re being honest he probably won’t if he ends up having a tremendous 2017 campaign at USC.
As a redshirt freshman last year, he led the Trojans to a 9-1 record in games he started and helped them rattle off a nine-game winning streak to close out the year. Along the way, Darnold completed 67.2 percent of his passes for 3,086 yards with 31 touchdowns and nine interceptions.
NFL scouts are definitely intrigued by his game. NFL front office personnel must be equally intrigued by his character as well.