Once again the Cleveland Browns hold the top pick in this year’s draft. Sam Darnold would be the perfect addition with that pick.
A year ago the Cleveland Browns were atop the NFL Draft, holding the cards with the number one pick. There was a clear-cut, no-brainer, top overall prospect. Cleveland did the smart thing and took the generational pass-rusher in Myles Garrett with that first pick.
Now they are back on the clock with the first pick of 2018, this time with a clear direction. The Browns must use this selection to take a quarterback. Quarterbacks have been the talk of this class for over a year. There is a very strong chance that four of them go in the top five picks. It all kicks off with Cleveland. Sam Darnold, the star quarterback out of USC, is the perfect match.
As a prospect, Darnold is not on the level of former No. 1 pick Andrew Luck but he is closer than some are giving him credit for. At USC, Darnold was surrounded with elite talent and he maximized those talents. He can make all the throws from various platforms. Where other quarterbacks struggle, when plays break down, that is where Darnold shines. Despite his struggles with turnovers, NFL coaching can mold him into a high-end player.
There are other quarterbacks in this class who may be more accurate like Josh Rosen. Others who were more of a playmaker like Baker Mayfield or Lamar Jackson. There will also be some who will scream for the arm talent and size of Josh Allen. Those other four quarterbacks in this class all have talent and will likely be first-round picks, but Darnold is a cut above.
Most of all Darnold has the ability to change the culture in Cleveland. A new front office is now in place and ready to take this team out of the basement and into relevance once again. In addition the signing of Tyrod Taylor and Drew Stanton will help Darnold with the transition into the professional game. Neither will keep the talented rookie off the field at some point in his first season.
Cleveland needs to trust the tape and take Darnold. He is an elite quarterback prospect, with all the tools to succeed at the next level. His talent can elevate this young roster into a threat given the talent they are developing around him.