Sam Darnold – QB
Career Stats – GP 38 / PCT 59.8 / Yards 8097 / TD 45 / INT 39
Starting off our new series on this year’s comeback player of the year candidates we start off in Carolina with their new Quarterback Sam Darnold.
Darnold comes out of New York a shell of the player that the majority of us thought he would be coming out of USC back in 2018, partly due to him not developing as fast as the Jets thought but also due to injuries and contracting mono.
One major flaw in Sam’s development was the coaching set up at the Jets under Adam Gase the so-called QB whisperer whose constant reports of unrest in the camp amongst over coaching issues couldn’t have helped.
The Jets looked as though they shut up shop midway through the season knowing that Gase was destined to be relieved of his duties which is another factor in Sam Darnolds lack of productivity.
Moving out the media frenzy that is New York to Carolina may well just be what Darnold needs to revive his NFL career, the Panthers head coach seem to have given him to keys to the starting role after letting go Teddy Bridgewater in the off season and passing up on one of the top QB’s in the draft.
Darnold is still a very talented QB but has flaws in his mechanics after struggling in New York but if Matt Rhule can iron them out he has the talent to be a top 15 passer. The Panthers are bringing together a very talented offensive roster with the likes of constant 1000 yard receiving and rushing threat and fellow comeback player candidate Christian McAffrey and his favourite pass catcher from New York Robby Anderson and the talented DJ Moore.
I can see Darnold having a similar career to Ryan Tannehill at the Tennessee Titans after having troubles when he was drafted by the Miami Dolphins, for me there is a good to great player still inside of him and whereas he may never be elite under the right supporting cast he’s a playoff caliber Quarterback.
A Comeback Player of the Year calibre season may look something like 3750 yards . 30 TD’s and 10 INT’s. His best ever stat line was 3000 19 TD’s and 13 INT’s back in 2019.