ESPN analyst Mel Kiper Jr. has always been supportive of Sam Darnold. Though he hasn’t lived up to expectations in New York, the 23-year-old quarterback might be a change of scenery away from discovering his true potential.
With the NFL Draft a little over a month away, ESPN’s crew for Get Up discussed a fun hypothetical regarding where Darnold would rank compared to the quarterback prospects in this year’s class.
Kiper shocked the rest of the panel by stating that Darnold would be the second-best quarterback available in this year’s draft, coming in just behind Clemson phenom Trevor Lawrence.
“There’s a quarterback out there that’s better than any of the quarterbacks in this draft, except for Trevor Lawrence, and that’s Sam Darnold,” Kiper said.
That’s a fairly bold claim by Kiper considering this NFL Draft features Justin Fields, Trevor Lawrence, Trey Lance, Mac Jones and Zach Wilson.
"There's a quarterback out there [that's available] that's better than any of the QBs in this draft, except for Trevor Lawrence— and that's Sam Darnold."
— Get Up (@GetUpESPN) March 24, 2021
Kiper then said that the Seattle Seahawks should consider targeting Darnold if they really want to move on from Russell Wilson. That just goes to show how much he believes in the USC product.
“If I were Pete Carroll with a USC connection, I’m looking at the Jets and Sam Darnold. If you’re going to move Russell Wilson and I can get Sam Darnold, I can live with that.”
The Jets haven’t revealed their plans for Darnold yet. Corey Davis is under the belief that Darnold will start for the team this fall, but it’s possible general manager Joe Douglas takes a quarterback with the second overall pick.