Will former USC QB Sam Darnold be the first player taken in the 2018 NFL Draft? Is he worthy of that draft position? That is what many NFL draft analyst will be asking themselves over the next two months.
Darnold is battling with crosstown rival Josh Rosen, Wyoming QB Josh Allen and Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield to be the top ranked QB in the 2018 class. It seems as though the battle is really between the two Los Angeles signal-callers. In terms of where Darnold ranks among all players in this year’s draft, it seems the USC QB has some serious competition.
According to The MMQB’s Big Board, Darnold is the No. 6 prospect in the 2018 NFL Draft:
He had some growing pains in his first full year as a starter—he saw a lot of new looks from opposing defenses, and took some time to adjust. That, combined with mechanical corrections needed for a loopy delivery, could result in a redshirt year in 2018. But few doubt Darnold’s ability to learn at the next level, and his ability to make plays late in the down give him franchise QB potential.
Darnold is not the top ranked prospect, that would be Penn State RB Saquon Barkley. However, he is the top ranked QB according to The MMQB, just ahead of Rosen, who is ranked No. 9.
Darnold led the Trojans to an 11-2 record this season and captured the Pac-12 Championship. The redshirt sophomore completed 63.7 percent of his passes for 3,787 yards and 26 TDs. He also threw 12 interceptions and led the Pac-12 with 19 turnovers.
Despite some poor games and decision making that left scouts questioning his abilities, Darnold was still named first-team All-Pac-12. He has proven himself to be a special player and will likely be a top-5 pick in the draft.
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