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NBC's Chris Simms Strongly Believes Sam Darnold can be a Franchise QB

The Carolina Panthers are hoping Chris Simms is right about Sam Darnold.

The question remains whether or not Sam Darnold can still be a franchise quarterback in the NFL. We all know how bad of a situation he was in with the New York Jets and now, for the first time in his young career, he has an opportunity to really succeed. 

Even wide receiver Robby Anderson, Darnold's former Jet teammate, noticed a different aura coming from Sam during the team's minicamp. 

"When I walked in the building, I see like a new energy out of him [Darnold]. Like a glow that I didn't really see in New York. I can view a difference in him so far," Anderson said. "I think the New York system was a little more complex and had a lot of nuances and things that made it more difficult for everybody. Not just him. Not just me. But I think this system is a little bit more graspable."

With a less complex offense and a plethora of weapons on the Panthers' offense, there's no reason to believe that we should see Darnold set some career highs across the board. One NFL analyst that is still very high on Darnold is NBC's, Chris Simms. During his quarterback countdown, Simms went into great detail as to why he believes Darnold can still be a very successful quarterback in the league.

"I'm excited about Sam Darnold. We're going to get answers about Sam Darnold this year. When I went back and watched him, there's still plenty to like. Let's not be unrealistic. What did we really expect from Sam Darnold in that offense? That's the first thing I want to tell people that want to go 'You have him at 19? Did you see their offense or their record last year?' Okay, well where did it go wrong? Was it throwing to Braxton Berrios as your main target? Or throwing to Chris Hogan who is playing lacrosse and he was your main target for a few weeks? Like, come on. If you're surrounded by s--t, you're going to look like s--t every now and then. That is the problem with Sam Darnold. They [New York] never gave him support. But Darnold, to me, still has all of the physical attributes to be a big-time, franchise quarterback. I see it. I don't care about the results and the stats and the wins. I can see it. He is awesome in the pocket. He scrambles within the pocket which is rare. It's almost like Big Ben back in his prime where he used to just move around the pocket. Sam Darnold has a little of everything to his football game. We just haven't been able to see it because they don't support him. He hasn't had that. But you heard me say, quick release, phenomenal intermediate thrower. I thought he got better at deep ball throwing last year. I think he is really damn good in the pocket. Like really damn good. He's tough. He can throw under pressure. Now, we're going to see some pieces around him to really prove my point. At least that's what I hope we see because he was given no f---ing chance with the Jets the last few years."

It's really hard to argue any of what Simms stated. It would have been hard for even some of the very best quarterbacks in the league to go into that situation in New York and find success, let alone for a young quarterback to do it. In Simms' top 40 NFL QB countdown, Darnold checks in at No. 19 which is four spots higher than what Simms rated him a year ago. 


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