Yogi Roth Says Josh Rosen Is A Safer Bet Than Sam Darnold

"I think both of them are franchise quarterbacks," Roth said. "Sam's ceiling is insane."

The DA Show
April 06, 2018 - 12:31 pm

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With the NFL Draft still a couple of weeks away, it remains to be seen which Pac-12 quarterback – USC's Sam Darnold or UCLA's Josh Rosen – will be first off the board. For many, there’s a sense that Darnold is the safer pick but that Rosen has the higher ceiling.

Pac-12 Network analyst Yogi Roth, however, believes the opposite.

“I think it’s the other way,” Roth said on The DA Show. “I think Josh is probably more ready today. You look at the three offenses he ran, what he had called in the huddle, the type of changes he had to make. I think Sam’s ceiling is insane. I think both of them are franchise quarterbacks. I know we do this all the time, but I think they’re going to be like Jameis (Winston) and Marcus (Mariota) when they came out. They’re going to be faces of the NFL. 

“After that, you get into the nitty gritty,” Roth continued. “I think Josh today would probably be able to come in day one. I think Sam, Day 30, is going to be a freak. I think they’re both going to be big-time players.”

Which is why neither will last long April 27.

“I think what Sam does that’s so unique is his second- and third-platform throws – basically when the pocket gets a little dirty, a little muddy – he’s as good as I’ve seen in my time covering the game,” Roth said. “You turn on the film of Baker Mayfield and you’re amazed by some of the plays he makes, but he’s not 6-3, 230. That’s Sam. And he’s just getting going. He’s not even 21 yet. Let that settle for a second. He’s just coming into his body, coming into his voice – I love everything about him.”

Roth hosted a weekly podcast, "Season of Sam," with Darnold this past season. Roth has been around a lot of college players over the last two decades. Darnold might be his favorite.

“I got to literally sit by him and watch him learn every week and truly seek out questions to high-performing environments,” Roth said. “I got to be around both of them as learners, and I think they’re both going to thrive when they get in. I think Josh right now would probably be a hair ahead of him, but I would flip a coin if I were those two. I think it would come down to personality traits and who fits your staff, your environment, your community. I think (Sam is) similar to Josh (in that) he’s a seeker. On the field, I think he completes more throws than most guys would attempt. His confidence in his ability to make throws and anticipate throws and see them is like a basketball player.

“To me, he’s the point guard that doesn’t make the assist; he sees the pass before the assist gets made,” Roth continued. “It’s like he’s crossing guys over when he climbs the pocket and moves – he just gains so much ground. He’s so unique making off-platform throws. He’s done it throughout his career. He’s extremely intelligent when you sit down and study football with him. I really think he’s a seeker. He’s a guy who has that lean-in quality that’s beautiful. He really is trying to do everything he can to get better. Like I said, he’s one of my favorite players, if not my favorite guy, in my 18 years around this game.”