The USC–UCLA rivalry game on Saturday certainly lived up to the hype, Trojans’ Sam Darnold and Bruins’ Josh Rosen impressive quarterback duel was the center of attention to NFL scouts, revealing there is serious depth at the QB position this year.
Darnold, No. 1 ranked NFL Draft prospect, just nearly edged the Bruins in a one possession game 28-23. While Darnold came up the win, Rosen was the more impressive QB with 421 passing yards and three touchdowns.
Rosen’s heroics Saturday reiterated why he is a top-five pick, refusing to back down from an early deficit in the first half. His command and demeanor in the huddle, show that he is a polished quarterback and is ready to lead at the next level.
The intense rivalry game was a battle of momentum, and both frontrunners refused to be succumbed by all of the possession changes.
The USC quarterback prodigy played well enough to keep his No. 11 Trojans alive, throwing for 264 yds. and rushing for one touchdown. Darnold still awed scouts with his athleticism, being able to extend plays and throw tight-window passes.
While the So Cal stars are projected to be the top quarterbacks in the draft, there is still a flurry of talent this year at the well respected decision – and it starts with Baker Mayfield. Oh, yeah there is also the reigning Heisman: Lamar Jackson.
Though Jackson has yet to help make his Louisville Cardinals playoff worthy, he still has been labeled, ‘the best show in college football’. He certainly put up Heisman numbers last season, racking up over 5,114 total yards with 51 touchdowns, and somehow is well on his way to repeating these unreal stats.
Jackson is currently leading with over 41 touchdowns responsible for, right on track to his similar historic season last year. If the Louisville had been higher ranked or played better this season, the Cardinals’ Phenom could seriously be in the Heisman mix again.
Baker Mayfield and his Oklahoma Sooners have taken the college football world by storm early this year with a 10-1 record, dominating the Big 12 Conference. This year’s Heisman favorite has had multiple games with at least two touchdowns and 300, 400 yards passing.
Speaking of Oklahoma, there also is a very talented player named Mason Rudolph. Rudolph, the 6’5’’ QB, has been a threat for the Oklahoma State Cowboys for quite some time.
Recognizing the talent early on, prospects began to see the poise and arm talent Rudolph had even starting out as a freshman in 2014. Now as a Senior, he will be even more of a highly sought draft acquisition for his growth and maturation.
Rudolph is yet another example of a polished QB that is NFL ready. The only real concerns about this talented class is, will they decide to go the 2018 draft?
While it may be time for more than others, the 2018 QB tandem is an extremely loaded one, and many NFL teams would kill to acquire their services.
Photo cred: Eric Chan from Hollywood, United States (DSC_2057) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons