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When the Carolina Panthers traded for quarterback Sam Darnold, they believed they were trading for an untapped resource. The handling of the 2017 third overall selection was thought to be largely botched by the New York Jets, and head coach Matt Rhule sees an opportunity there.

So, what is there to tap into? As an athlete, at least according to his Relative Athletic Score, perhaps not too much.

Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb)

Darnold is, by this particular evaluation, an okay athlete. What you see highlighted in yellow, specifically in the top two categories, indicates he has decent size and speed.

Those two areas are obviously of some noted importance at the quarterback position. Darnold’s 6-foot-3, 221-pound frame and capable legs are what many teams look for in their quarterbacks, especially when durability and the dexterity to run are more vital than ever in today’s widening offenses.

While he’s not particularly explosive, as shown by his poor vertical and broad jumps, the most critical subcategory of the “explosion” and “agility” marks is the one Darnold tested nicely in. His 6.96-second 3-cone drill grades him out very-much above average, which illustrates his fluidity and quickness. For quarterbacks, those two athletic traits can translate into how well they move in the pocket.

Overall, Darnold is not an especially bad athlete, nor is he really a plus one. In fact he’s actually not as good of an athlete as his predecessor, nor the guy Carolina could’ve put under center with the eighth overall pick in the draft.

Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb)

Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb)

So, considering how much the current regime values athletic testing, there must be another fancy Darnold is tickling. Is it his ripe age of 24? Is it the arm talent that was regularly on display at the college level?

Whatever it is, the Panthers are in on this gamble, even if nearly every number on paper for Darnold since hitting the pros hasn’t exactly been pretty.

(Hey. Speaking of “pretty,” wanna see something just for kicks . . . ?)

Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb)