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Report: Sam Darnold Won't Throw at Scouting Combine Ahead of 2018 NFL Draft

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistFebruary 27, 2018

ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 29: Sam Darnold #14 of the USC Trojans looks to throw against the Ohio State Buckeyes in the first half of the 82nd Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic between USC and Ohio State at AT&T Stadium on December 29, 2017 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)
Ron Jenkins/Getty Images

Former USC quarterback Sam Darnold will reportedly only take part in athletic testing and interviews during the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis this week.

On Tuesday, Adam Schefter‏ of ESPN reported Darnold, a likely top-10 selection in the 2018 draft, won't throw during the combine but plans to do so at the Trojans' pro day March 21.

While it may lead some to question his competitiveness, it's a smart business decision.

Throwing at the combine presents little upside. Quarterbacks are trying to make a connection with wide receivers they may have never worked with on plays that feature no defense. They get little credit for completions, but a series of misses could hurt their stock.

Waiting until his pro day, which will include plays scripted by the USC staff to highlight his strengths with targets he can practice alongside beforehand, is the safer approach for a top prospect.

It does represent a change of heart, however, after he previously stated in early February he planned to throw at the combine.

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Meanwhile, Darnold said back in December he doesn't have a preference for where he lands, per ESPN.

"Whenever I come out to go to the NFL, I think I'd be honored to play for any team," he said. "It's been a dream of mine for such a long time to play in the NFL. Any team that would want to give me that opportunity to be a part of their organization, it would mean the world to me."

Darnold is likely in competition with Josh Rosen (UCLA), Mason Rudolph (Oklahoma State), Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma), Lamar Jackson (Louisville) and Josh Allen (Wyoming) to become the first quarterback off the board as part of a loaded class at the position.

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