2018 NFL Draft: What would happen if Sam Darnold were to stay at USC?

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Heading into the 2017 NFL regular season, many considered the 2018 NFL Draft’s quarterback class to be one of the best in recent memory. Josh Rosen, Sam Darnold and Josh Allen were all viewed as potential top-five picks, while players like Luke Falk and Mason Rudolph figured to be in the discussion to go in the first round, as well.

Fast forward a few months, though, and there is less certainty about this year’s incoming quarterback group.

Out of the five aforementioned quarterbacks, three of them – Darnold, Allen and Falk – all failed to live up to their expectations. Rosen didn’t hurt his draft stock, but he wasn’t great to the point where he would be viewed as the bonafide top quarterback. Baker Mayfield and Lamar Jackson have risen up draft boards since then, but even they have their doubters. Some view Mayfield as a short, arrogant and cocky player whose attitude will cause him to flop in the NFL. Some also view Jackson as more of a run-first quarterback, while others still think that he should play wide receiver at the professional level.

Needless to say, this quarterback group is unpredictable. With no consensus top guy in the class, the 2018 NFL Draft appears as if it will be completely wide open. It is likely that at least two quarterbacks will go off the board within the top 10 picks, as four of the teams that are currently projected to pick there have a need at the position. One of those teams, the Cleveland Browns, will likely have two top-10 picks, with one of them presumably being the first overall selection.

The question is: which quarterbacks will be picked?

If the draft were today, then odds are both Rosen and Darnold would go off the board in that range. It all depends on how highly NFL teams view this year’s class, but those two have been projected to go that high the most.

That is, if Sam Darnold even declares for the NFL Draft.

Rumors have been speculating that Darnold, who is only a redshirt sophomore, may be considering staying at USC to improve his draft stock for next season. Some have pointed out that Cleveland’s having the first overall pick may also have some impact on his decision.

If this proves to be true, then the entire draft will be shaken up. These are a few of the things that could transpire as a result of Darnold staying in school.

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