Here's who the ESPN NFL Draft analyst likes to go No. 1 next year.
Mel Kiper likes a Pac-12 quarterback to go No. 1 overall in the 2018 NFL Draft.
The ESPN NFL Draft analyst released his big board for next year's draft earlier this week and Sam Darnold, USC's star quarterback, holds the top spot.
Kiper loves Darnold's prototypical size, decision making and his accuracy.
Darnold has everything NFL teams want in a starter. He has a big frame (6-foot-4, 225 pounds), makes quick decisions and is an accurate and natural passer. He completed 67.2 percent of his passes last season and ranked second in the nation in Total QBR (86.8). He does have an unorthodox, long delivery, however, that will have to be retooled. And the third-year sophomore has only started 10 games.
Darnold also has the No. 1 spot on Todd McShay's projected first round for 2018.
Take all of this with some skepticism, though. Chad Kelly and Brad Kaaya were both getting some No. 1 love at this time a year ago. Neither of them went high in the 2017 NFL Draft.