— The Sports Xchange —
Who’s No. 1?
That’s the question now for NFL scouts after UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen and USC counterpart Sam Darnold announced Wednesday that they will skip their final college seasons to enter the 2018 draft.
NFLDraftScout’s Rob Rang and others predict the dynamic duo to go 1-2 on the first day of the draft to the Cleveland Browns and the New York Giants.
Both declared their intentions on social media. Rosen offered a written statement on Twitter and Darnold used video on Instagram.
In three seasons as UCLA’s starting quarterback, Rosen passed for 9,301 yards and 59 touchdowns with 26 interceptions while playing in 30 games.
This past season, Rosen passed for 3,754 yards and 26 touchdowns with 10 interceptions as UCLA finished with a disappointing 6-7 record. He did not play in the Bruins’ 35-17 Cactus Bowl loss to Kansas State while recovering from a concussion.
“I wish we had won more games, but friendships were forged and memories were made that will last a lifetime,” Rosen said on Twitter.
Rosen said he discussed his intentions with new UCLA coach Chip Kelly. ESPN reported last week that Rosen did not want to be drafted by the Cleveland Browns, who have the No. 1 pick.
In Rosen’s announcement, he also tried to appease his mother.
“P.S.: Mom — I promise I will come back and finish my degree.”
Darnold thanked USC coach Clay Helton for “trusting in a kid from San Clemente High School with such little game tape and for giving me the opportunity and chance to start.”
Darnold passed for more yards than Rosen this season, throwing for 4,143, but he was plagued by 13 interceptions and eight lost fumbles during an 11-3 season that ended with USC losing to Ohio State in the Cotton Bowl.
Darnold had a 20-4 record as USC’s starter.
NFLDraftScout.com wrote: “To be clear, Darnold has his warts — an elongated throwing motion is the biggest concern — but he is accurate (including on the move), athletic and tough.”
As for Rosen, Rang wrote: “It is hard not to be reminded of Jay Cutler when watching Rosen. Each can make circus throws few other quarterbacks would even attempt, showing not only exceptional arm talent but a sharp mind for picking apart defenses. Neither, however, possesses ideal intangibles as the face of the franchise and therefore come with a clear ‘buyer beware’ element.”