The University of Southern California’s quarterback Sam Darnold has been touted as the top quarterback in this upcoming draft class. There will be NFL factors impacting his decision.
Sam Darnold entered the 2017 college football at the helm of a high-powered USC offense and a Heisman contender. He’s also being praised as a potential franchise quarterback at the NFL level. The redshirt sophomore is debating on whether to enter the NFL draft or stay at USC for one more season.
That massive decision will involve plenty of factors for the young quarterback. One factor is apparently whether the Cleveland Browns have the top pick in the draft.
According to Albert Breer of NFL Network (via Nick Camino’s Twitter), the USC signal caller is willing to stay in school should Cleveland earn the top pick in the draft. Breer discussed this on Colin Cowherd’s radio show according to Camino.
Some draft analysts have cooled on Darnold throughout this season. He has struggled with turnovers, amassing 10 interceptions through nine games. Darnold only threw nine interceptions in the 10 games he played a year ago. All of his statistics are down this season.
The chances are high that Daronld returns, just as the chances are high that the Cleveland Browns end up with the first overall pick. Cleveland is currently winless, joining the San Francisco 49ers as the only teams in the NFL without a win this season.
With the 49ers trading for Jimmy Garroppolo on Tuesday, they’ve essentially taken themselves out of the quarterback market next year. Cleveland invested a second-round pick on their current starter DeShone Kizer a year ago. A regime change this offseason could leave that job up for grabs next year, an almost certainty given the current state of affairs in that front office.
Draft analyst question whether Darnold is not only the top pick but even the top quarterback in the class. There is plenty of competition all across college football. He’s smart to weigh his options and may be best served staying in school regardless of who holds that top pick.