Analyst Makes Bold Sam Darnold Claim With 49ers: ‘I’m Not Kidding’

Sam Darnold

Getty Sam Darnold on January 8, 2023 in New Orleans.

This is the time of year for dark horse early Most Valuable Player candidates in the NFL, and the San Francisco 49ers have a representative listed by radio personality and analyst Adam Schein on Wednesday, June 14.

But it’s not Brock Purdy. Nor is it Trey Lance. It’s also not even Christian McCaffrey as he enters his first full regular season slate with the Niners. Schein has Sam Darnold, the current projected No. 3 QB for S.F., as his dark horse MVP pick from the Niners.

Why Schein Believes Darnold is the Candidate

For starters, Schein wrote how he’s not fully convinced that Purdy is completely healthy from his ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) surgery — ruling him out of his personal MVP race.

“I know we’re hearing a lot of good news around Brock Purdy’s rehab process, and that’s great. But the guy underwent elbow surgery on his throwing arm a few months ago, so until I see it, I have trouble just accepting that everything is hunky-dory and the former seventh-round selection will pick up right where he left off last January,” Schein wrote.

While Schein made no mention of Lance, it’s still worth noting that Lance is also making his comeback from his broken ankle he sustained in Week 2 of the 2022 regular season. Lance has recently been seen throwing the football around with members of the first team during 49rs minicamp.

But still, Schein is on board with believing Darnold will emerge as QB1 for the 49ers — and end his season in the running for MVP for the first time in his career.

“With Darnold in the starting lineup, I firmly believe Kyle Shanahan’s 49ers can win 11-to-13 games and be bona fide Super Bowl contenders. I touched on this a couple weeks ago, and I’m not kidding. So let’s ride!” Schein said.

Not the First Time Schein Made a Big & Bold Darnold Prediction

In tracing back to May 31 before minicamps across the league, Schein back then became a staunch believer in the former No. 3 overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft. Despite enduring a career that’s seen the injuries mount plus losing his starting position with the New York Jets then briefly the Carolina Panthers, Schein liked the situation Darnold was walking into.

So much so, that he gave this No. 1 bold prediction involving Darnold — he’s the one who guides the 49ers to a Super Bowl victory over the first team that took him in, the Jets.

“The 49ers are the best roster in the NFL, 2-53. They just need to find that No. 1. Who’s poised to man the game’s most important position for San Francisco? Well, Brock Purdy is currently recovering from major elbow surgery, while Trey Lance is still struggling with the forward pass. So, in the moment, that leaves Sam Darnold as ‘The Guy.’ And I see that as a golden opportunity,” Schein wrote.

Schein includes how he always loved Darnold’s abilities at quarterback but felt he was dealt “a raw hand” at his previous stops and how “I always wanted to see what Darnold could do with better support.”

Darnold is now in a room with high Super Bowl expectations but an abundance of talent surrounding him. Having Kyle Shanahan in his corner is another reason why Schein is high on Darnold.

“I think Darnold has a real chance to take this opportunity and run with it. Therefore, there’s a realistic chance I ultimately pick the Niners to win the whole damn thing with my official predictions in September,” Schein said.

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