Ian Rapoport Skeptical of Any Hype Surrounding Known Offseason All-Star Sam Darnold

Sam Darnold, Minnesota Vikings
Photo: Will Hall - KARE11 (@WillHallKARE11 - X)Credit: Photo: Will Hall - KARE11 (@WillHallKARE11 - X)

The Minnesota Vikings signed Sam Darnold this offseason before they drafted J.J. McCarthy with the 10th overall pick. Who starts and when is yet to be determined, but there is some thought that Darnold’s offseason performance might be something of a mirage.

Realistically, Kevin O’Connell is looking to help develop his new rookie quarterback into a sustainable foundational piece for the franchise. What J.J. McCarthy does this season is not as important has his long-term future.

Ian Rapoport questions Sam Darnold reports coming out of Minnesota Vikings offseason workouts

That’s why many believe the Vikings’ QB1 job is Sam Darnold’s to lose, even if their rookie does impress early. KOC would love if Sam Darnold could give JJ additional time to sit, learn and grow.

But not so fast, warns one of the top insiders in all of sports, Ian Rapoport (NFL Network), who has serious questions about optimistic reports coming out of TCO Performance Center early this summer.

“We don’t always get quarterback competitions… and this is a real one. The fact that Sam Darnold is in there. I have also heard he has looked good, he is going to look good. Something he has done his entire career, when it’s the spring, when it’s the preseason or when he has been unbothered, he has looked excellent.

It’s really a matter of when he gets in games, is he the same quarterback when it doesn’t all go perfectly? I wouldn’t be surprised if Darnold takes the first snap and kind of continues to roll with it. It’s just a matter of how long can he roll with it with J.J. McCarthy sitting there waiting, with all the talent that he has.”

Ian Rapoport on the Minnesota Vikings legitimate QB competition

Related: Will Justin Jefferson Show Up For Any Minnesota Vikings Offseason Workouts?

Rapoport hits on arguably the loudest consensus that has followed Darnold throughout the entirety of his career. As an NFL quarterback on game days, he hasn’t found shred of success. But, he is a former top-3 pick for a reason and reports out of offseason workouts is that Sam can still sling it around the practice field with the best of them.

Will J.J. McCarthy Push Sam Darnold?

What we will quickly find out, is whether or not Darnold can change his narrative once there is real NFL pressure in his face and on his shoulders. Has been held back by lackluster organizations and rosters lacking talent.

He wasn’t drafted into a good situation with the New York Jets, and the Carolina Panthers didn’t present him with a team that could realistically succeed either.

For the first time in his career, Darnold will get a chance to start on an offense that has legitimate building blocks around him and talent everywhere. How he harnesses that remains to be seen

Related: J.J. McCarthy Isn’t Even the Minnesota Vikings’ Backup Right Now

J.J. McCarthy starting Week 1 still remains something of an underdog scenario, even if the sportsbooks currently say otherwise. But as Rapoport also notes, the talent in J.J. is real and his development could take off at any time.

McCarthy is a competitor and, most of all, a winner. No doubt he will be doing everything within his power to push Sam for his QB1 duties. It will be on the 26-year-old Darnold to show he’s more than just a practice darling.

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