NFL executives tab USC’s Sam Darnold as best quarterback of class

By Nick Shook
Pac-12 DieHards
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The lead-up to the start of football season is a good time for NFL teams to rank their top college prospects.

NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah dialed up his league connections for their opinions on this year’s quarterback class. The results were resounding.

Jeremiah polled five current league executives, and four of them ranked USC’s Sam Darnold as the best quarterback of the bunch. Only one executive looked elsewhere, opting to tab Wyoming’s Josh Allen as his top prospect, while another left room for Allen to make a push while choosing Darnold as of now.

“Darnold. He’s a leader of men,” Jeremiah’s third anonymous executive said of the USC passer. “He elevates his teammates and makes his coaches look brilliant. Even the equipment guy and the trainer improve with a guy like this around.”

Jeremiah concluded by also choosing Darnold as his top quarterback, while offering the chance for things to change “quickly.”

It’s been nothing but roses for the Trojans since Darnold rose to the starting role and propelled USC to a strong finish last season, including a thrilling Rose Bowl victory over Penn State. The Darnold-led Trojans have since garnered a No. 4 national preseason ranking in the first iteration of the Amway Coaches Poll.

Should he live up to the hype, the quarterback will be looking at another memorable season in Los Angeles and a first-round projection in the upcoming NFL draft.


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