Last Updated: 2018-01-04
The battle for the No. 1 Draft pick in the 2018 NFL Draft just got a lot more interesting on Wednesday night. UCLA Bruins’ quarterback Josh Rosen decided to forego his final season of college to declare for the draft. Meanwhile, crosstown rival, Sam Darnold from the USC Trojans also decided to leave college early. Although they both entered college in the same year, Darnold had two years of eligibility remaining.
In three seasons, Rosen appeared in 30 games with the Bruins. He completed 711-of-1169 passes for 9,301 yards, 59 touchdowns and 26 interceptions. Rosen completed just over 60 percent of his pass attempts during his career, and produced a season high 62.5 percent in 2017.
From the outset of the season, it seemed like this would be his final season with the Bruins. Furthermore, the Bruins fired head coach Jim Mora Jr. prior to the end of the season. With the hiring of Chip Kelly, everybody knew it was time for the Bruins to go in a new direction.
As for the Trojans, it seems like there was unfinished business. Interestingly enough, Darnold appeared in 27 games. Therefore, he almost has as much playing experience as Rosen. Darnold also had more success than Rosen in his short stint with the Trojans. Still, they had visions of a national championship, yet came up short in the biggest games of 2017. Now, Darnold might be taken No. 1 overall in 2018 NFL Draft. He completed 549-of-846 pass attempts for 7,229 yards, 57 touchdowns and 22 interceptions. Darnold was magnificent when he caught fire. However, he threw too many interceptions (13) during the 2017 season.
Both players have physical gifts to play the position. Yet, they do it in different ways. Rosen might have the best pure passing ability in the NFL Draft. As for Darnold, he is a mobile threat that can extend plays. It will be interesting to see if he throws at the NFL combine. More importantly, it will be an intriguing process when it comes to the Cleveland Browns.
The Browns have 2 of the top 4 picks. They need to use both to increase the talent on the roster. They also need to find a quarterback to lead the organization into the future. However, they just used a first round draft pick on Deshone Kizer last season. To be clear, Kizer could have performed the same numbers as Rosen and Darnold in college this season. Both quarterbacks could have performed in a similar fashion with the Browns this year. As a result, the organization has to figure out which quarterback, if any, to take in the spring.
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