No surprise with QB Sam Darnold, the consensus favorite to be the #1 pick at this year’s draft, set to workout for the first time for pro scouts after he sat out the positional drills at the combine, there was an almost who’s who of NFL personnel people in attendance. Cleveland, which has the #1 pick and are generally considered to be the most likely landing spot for Danold, for example, were out in force with a big contingent led by owner Jimmy Haslam, G.M. John Dorsey and head coach Hue Jackson. In fact, Haslam reportedly spent at least a portion of the working out sitting with Darnold’s parents. Now that’s getting up close and personal. At the same time, the Giants, who have the second pick this year, also had a big group in L.A. including head coach Pat Shumer, assistant G.M. Kevin Abrams, director of college scouting Chris Mara and QB coach Mike Shula, while the other New York team, which moved up from the 6th to the 3rd spot in the draft ostenisbly to target a QB, were there with G.M. Mike Maccagnan and head coach Todd Bowles as was Denver with G.M. John Elway and head coach Vance Joseph. Other G.M.s who have been spotted in the crowd at the USC pro day include Marty Hurney of Carolina, John Schneider of Seattle and Jon Robinson of Tennessee who is there with head coach Mike Vrabel. Meanwhile, Buffalo is represented by director of college scouting Terrance Gray, while Arizona has QB-coach Byron Leftwich on the scene, as are both LA Charger co-ordinators.
And by all accounts, Darnold did not disappoint. Throwing in what appeared to be a monsoon at times, Darnold went through a scripted 60-70 pass workout during which he showed off a live arm, nice touch and exceptional athleticism for a QB. The buzz around the USC facility today was that the choice for Cleveland, which has the #1 pick at the 2018 draft, is down to Darnold and Josh Allen of Wyoming who will be working out at his pro day on Friday, with the USC star the easy betting favorite. On the other hand, it may have been something of a disappointing day for RB Ronald Jones. who had to pull out at the combine after tweaking a hammy on his 40 run. Unfortunately, Jones wasn’t able to run again today, although most teams know he’s fast. Jones, though, also struggled in some of the passing drills which he was hoping to ace.