INDIANAPOLIS (92.3 The Fan) – Sam Darnold won’t show off his arm Saturday while Josh Allen, Josh Rosen and Baker Mayfield let it rip.
He’s saving that for his pro day at USC.
Darnold is spending his time meeting with teams in Indianapolis where he’s accounting for 36 turnovers for the Trojans in the last 2 years in his bid to remain the top QB on draft boards.
“It’s the No. 1 priority of a quarterback is to protect the football,” Darnold said Friday. “I’m aware of that and I’m aware of how much I turn the ball over and that it’s not OK. I’ve been addressing it this offseason and I’ve been working on keeping two hands [on the ball] in the pocket at all times. The only time I let go of the ball is to throw it. That’s something I’ve really been working on, and also keeping it tight whenever I tuck it and run.”
Darnold has lost 14 of 22 fumbles and he’s thrown 22 interceptions.
“I feel like I let myself down and my teammates down during this last season when I turned the ball over so much,” Darnold said. “So that’s something that I need to continue to work on. And that’s the question that’s been coming up a lot, so I’m doing things to work on it. I’m doing thing to keep two hands on the ball in the pocket. I’m working on decision-making, watching my film from last year, watching all the turnovers from last year and the year before that. So I’m working hard at trying to improve myself every day and that’s all I can do and that’s all I’m doing.”
Browns general manager John Dorsey and head coach Hue Jackson haven’t rung an alarm bell over the turnovers, but like every other team, they are investigating where the problem is.
Darnold plans to provide them with answers in the hopes he’ll become a Brown in April.
“I think it’s a really good scenario right now. With the draft picks, the amount of cap room that they have, I would honestly love to play there,” Darnold said. “I think it’s a great opportunity and something that I would be looking forward to.”
The Browns look to draft their 10th quarterback since the franchise returned in 1999 and this year’s draft should mark only the second time they pick one No. 1 overall and the fifth one picked in the first round.
“If Cleveland takes me No. 1 it would be a great opportunity first of all, and that goes for anyone taking me in any position,” Darnold said. “Honestly, it’s always been a dream of mine to play in the NFL and I think turning a franchise around is obviously a hard thing to do but I’m always accepting of a challenge and I think it would be an amazing thing to do. It’s another opportunity to show why I’m a good quarterback and why I think I’m a good quarterback.”
Aside from turnovers there are questions about Darnold’s long throwing motion.
“I think it’s got me to this point and I really haven’t really run into trouble with it,” Darnold said. “It doesn’t change how fast I get the ball out. If I need to shorten up and get the ball in right now, I’m able to shorten my release and get it to him. But if I need to throw it downfield, I’ve had a tendency of really cocking back and trying to let it go, whereas I just need to get my hip through more. That’s something I’ve been working on. But again, I don’t think it’s anything changing the throwing motion.
“I think my throwing motion’s fine. I’m just going to continue to work hard and try to be the best quarterback.”