The 2017 NFL draft is just a few weeks away, but that hasn’t stopped several NFL teams from taking some of the top quarterbacks available.
The latest has USC quarterback Marcus Mariot and receiver Jaron Bryant at the top of the list.
As it stands, there are nine quarterbacks on the board in the first round of the draft, with USC’s Jaron B. Brown, who was projected to be a second-round pick, the first of those players.
But USC also has five other quarterbacks, including the first-round selection in this year’s draft, Ohio State’s Connor Cook.
Cook and B.J. Daniels are expected to go in the top two, and while Cook could be a bit more talented than Daniels, it’s likely Cook will go first overall because of his pedigree.
Cook also has the best arm in the class, and that’s what he will need to be successful.
Bryant is projected to go the other way, but he’s already had a lot of success in college and should have the chance to compete with Cook and Mariota for a spot.
The rest of the class is a bit mixed, with four quarterbacks projected to come in at the second or third round, and five projected to fall in the fourth or fifth round.
The top three quarterbacks in the draft are USC’s Sam Darnold, USC’s Tyrod Taylor, and Ohio State ‘s Cardale Jones.
Darnold is the first QB drafted by USC in 2019, but USC hasn’t had a quarterback drafted since the 2011 draft.
That year, the Trojians lost starter Garrett Grayson to graduation, and he was replaced by Jake Coker, who had been a top-10 pick the year before.
Darnolds injury has left a void on the offensive line and the Trods have been without an experienced starter for two years.
Taylor, the No. 5 overall pick, is also projected to have a solid draft and could be the best player available.
USC’s Taylor has been a true star in the Pac-12, having started all 13 games in 2019.
He was a two-time first-team All-Pac-12 pick and a four-time All-American.
The Trojays lack of a true leader is something he has worked on as a senior, and Taylor is the perfect fit for his skill set.
Bryant is projected as a fifth-round choice, but the Trodons have had a difficult time keeping their quarterback under wraps.
Bryant has been one of the most productive players in the country, rushing for 1,500 yards and nine touchdowns.
He’s been the heart and soul of the Trogars offense in the red zone and he should have a chance to contribute on special teams.
While the top three QBs are projected to land in the same rounds, it seems like there are some teams that have their eye on a different quarterback in the second round.
Ohio State will have to find a quarterback to replace the departed Garrett Grayson, and they could use someone to step in for J.T. Barrett.
There is also a possibility that Clemson’s Malik Zaire could land in their lap.
The Tigers also have some offensive talent on the roster that could make a transition a bit easier, but they are still a long way from the caliber of offense that they had last season.
As for the other teams, the Eagles have been able to take some of these quarterbacks and develop them into quality contributors.
That includes running back Chris Ivory, who ran for 1.6 yards per carry last season at Clemson and could fit perfectly into Chip Kelly’s offense.
The Eagles also have an opportunity to add another quarterback in this round with the sixth pick, where Notre Dame’s DeShone Kizer could go.
Kizer was a third-team all-American in 2019 and had a solid year in 2019 with 1,858 yards, 11 touchdowns, and four interceptions.