Football fans and pundits alike have spent a majority of the winter wondering how the first two selections of the 2018 NFL Draft will play out.
With less than a month to go until the clock starts, the overwhelming consensus will be that the Cleveland Browns and New York Giants will select a quarterback with the first two selections.
Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen shot up as a favorite for the Browns, who hold the No. 1 pick, thanks to an impressive showing at his pro day on Mar. 23. However, he is just one of four quarterbacks that could be taken in the top 10 alongside USC’s Sam Darnold, UCLA’s Josh Rosen and Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield.
Should the Browns take Allen, the Giants pick at No. 2 now seems to be clear.
Darnold has long been considered one of the crown jewels of this year’s draft after a successful 2016 freshman season with the Trojans in which he passed for over 3,000 yards with 31 touchdowns and just nine interceptions.
While his passing numbers increased, his efficiency took a hit in 2017 as his completion percentage dropped four points while throwing 26 touchdowns to 13 interceptions.
His turnover issues and poise in the pocket were called into question at times, but a sterling performance in his pro day at USC in a torrential downpour stifled plenty of those concerns.
It looks to be enough to sway the Giants to take Darnold as a possible successor to Eli Manning, who is still slated to be the team’s No. 1 quarterback at the start of the 2018 season. Davis Webb, taken in the third round last year out of Cal, has also been considered a long-term option depending on his development.
The choosing of Darnold would mean New York would pass on Penn State running back Saquon Barkley, considered the most electrifying talent available in the draft. Considering the New York Jets will also take a quarterback at No. 3, Barkley could very well fall to the Browns at No. 4.