Sam Darnold and Josh Rosen have gotten most of the buzz as the two best quarterbacks in the upcoming NFL Draft, but one expert does not expect either player to be the first player off the board in April.
In fact, ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. doesn’t even expect Darnold or Rosen to be the first player taken at their position. In his first official mock draft of the year, Kiper predicted that the Cleveland Browns will select Wyoming’s Josh Allen with the top overall pick.
And so it begins…. pic.twitter.com/WgkNpnMBIR
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 18, 2018
Kiper explained why he believes Allen is a better NFL prospect than Rosen or Darnold:
I’ve gone back and forth a few times on Josh Rosen, Sam Darnold and Allen, but I just moved Allen up to my No. 1 quarterback. His numbers aren’t impressive, I know. But the NFL is all about projection, and he has a high ceiling. Coaches want to work with the 6-foot-5 Allen because he has all of the tools. I said last month that he is one of my favorite prospects in this class. The other top quarterbacks have warts, and there is no slam-dunk No. 1 prospect, which makes it a fun class.
Allen appeared in 11 games this season, throwing for 1,812 yards, 16 touchdowns and six interceptions. While his stats were nowhere near as impressive as Rosen’s or Darnold’s and he faced lesser competition, Allen is not going to be evaluated based on numbers alone.
Allen previously said that it would be his dream to play for a different team picking in the top 10, but that door has been slammed shot. Kiper is not the first veteran member of the media to predict that the Browns will take Allen, so his stock is clearly on the rise.