Darnold is one of the top quarterback prospects in this year's draft.

By Daniel Rapaport
January 03, 2018

USC quarterback Sam Darnold has officially declared for the NFL draft. 

"After talking to my immediate family, very close friends, and many people who have helped me throughout my life, I have made the decision to declare for the 2018 NFL draft," Darnold said in a video posted to his Instagram account on Wednesday.  

Darnold, a redshirt sophomore, is considered to be one of the top quarterback prospects for this year's draft along with UCLA's Josh Rosen, Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield and Wyoming's Josh Allen. 

Darnold entered the season as a Heisman front-runner and the consensus number one draft prospect, but he struggled with turnovers from the beginning of the season on. Darnold threw for 4,143 yards and 26 touchdowns but threw 13 interceptions and lost eight fumbles, the most fumbles lost by any player in the country. In USC's 24-7 loss to Ohio State in the Cotton Bowl, Darnold threw pick-six and lost two fumbles. 

Still, Darnold is extremely talented and flashes game-changing potential. He has an NFL-ready arm and is excellent outside the pocket, as he possesses good speed and throws well on the run. At 6'4'', 220 pounds, he also has ideal size for the position. It is for those reasons that he's still in the running to be selected by the Browns with the first overall pick. Rumors circulated that he might return to school in order to avoid being taken by Cleveland, but Darnold said in the lead-up to the Cotton Bowl that he'd have no problem playing for the franchise. 

Darnold finishes his USC career with a 20-4 record. He took over as the starter last season after three games, and lost his first start before leading USC to a nine-game winning streak that included a thrilling win over Penn State in the Rose Bowl. 

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