Former Pac-12 Linebacker Says Sam Darnold Almost Better Under Pressure

Christian Sam played against both Sam Darnold and Josh Rosen and offered his thoughts on each

The DA Show
April 19, 2018 - 1:04 pm

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Sam Darnold and Josh Rosen are two of the top quarterback prospects in this year’s NFL Draft. In fact, they could be the first two quarterbacks – if not the first two picks – off the board.

Which one is better, you ask? Well, instead of dissecting their film to try to find the answer, why not ask someone who’s played against both? That’s what CBS Sports Radio did Thursday.

“Josh Rosen, our whole game plan was to try to get pressure on him,” Arizona State linebacker prospect Christian Sam said on The DA Show. “When he gets pressured, I don’t think he’s good – as opposed to Sam Darnold. When he gets pressured, he’s almost better than when he’s not pressured. That’s something you got to know when you’re playing quarterbacks like that.”

Arizona State lost to USC 48-17 last October and lost to UCLA 44-37 last November. Darnold was 19-of-35 for 266 yards and three touchdowns in USC’s win, while Rosen was 25-of-45 for 381 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He also ran four times for 13 yards and a score.

“Sam Darnold, if he (needs) to get it done, he’s going to get it done,” Sam said. “He’s going to make the throw, he’s going to get that run for the first down. Josh Rosen is more of a pocket passer. He doesn’t want to see pressures. He wants a clean pocket. They’re both great quarterbacks and they’ll go really high in this draft and go on to do great things.”

Sam, meanwhile, is an intriguing prospect in his own right and has met with the Patriots, Chiefs, Texans, Rams, and Cardinals, among others.

Sam believes that playing against elite quarterbacks in the Pac-12 has prepared him for the NFL.

“I feel like there’s some great quarterbacks in the NFL, but I was able to play some pretty good ones in college,” he said. “In the NFL, it’s different. There’s some great, elite quarterbacks in the NFL. I don’t think that what I’ve seen is like that, but I feel like it’s helped me prepare for that when that time comes for me.”