INDIANAPOLIS -- If there's any tinkering to be done with Sam Darnold's throwing motion, it'll be up to the team that drafts him to do so. The former USC quarterback isn't changing anything, despite scouting concerns that his delivery can be too elongated.
"I'm not trying to change my throwing motion at all. I think I get the ball off pretty quick. There is kind of a wind-up, but I think I get it off quick and that's what matters," Darnold said.
Expected to be an early first-round draft pick, Darnold has opted out of participation in passing drills at the combine. He'll instead throw for NFL coaches and scouts at USC's pro day workout on March 21, and they'll see the same delivery there that they see while studying Darnold's game film. The Trojans two-year starter said he can shorten his delivery when necessary.
NFL clubs prefer a shorter, quicker delivery in quarterbacks, in part to because a longer one can allow pass rushers a better opportunity to disrupt a throw.
"The motion I have is what got me to this point, and I really haven't gotten into trouble with it. 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 them," he said. "But if I need to throw it downfield, I've had a tendency of really cocking back and trying to let it go, where I just have to get my hip through more. That's something I've been working on, but I don't think it's changing. My throwing motion is fine."
NFL.com analyst Daniel Jeremiah named Darnold's release and measurables as one of the key questions entering the combine.