Sam Darnold Reportedly 'Leaning Toward' Declaring for 2018 NFL Draft

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistOctober 1, 2017

BERKELEY, CA - SEPTEMBER 23: Quarterback Sam Darnold #14 of the USC Trojans passes against the California Golden Bears during the second quarter at California Memorial Stadium on September 23, 2017 in Berkeley, California. The USC Trojans defeated the California Golden Bears 30-20. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
Jason O. Watson/Getty Images

The USC Trojans are only five games into the 2017 season, but starting quarterback Sam Darnold may have already decided his future for next year.

The MMQB's Albert Breer told The Big Lead's Jason McIntyre that Darnold is considering leaving USC and entering the 2018 NFL draft.

Few would be surprised if Darnold's redshirt sophomore year was his last at USC. Bleacher Report's Matt Miller ranked Darnold No. 1 overall on his most recent big board.

Some New York Jets fans have already created custom jerseys in preparation for his potential arrival in the Big Apple:

Darnold threw for 3,086 yards, 31 touchdowns and nine interceptions last year.

His numbers have taken a slight step backward in 2017, largely a result of his poor performance in USC's 30-27 defeat to Washington State on Friday. Darnold went 15-of-19 for 164 yards and one interception.

He has 1,389 yards, nine touchdowns and eight interceptions through the air, while his 64.6 percent completion rate is down a few percentage points from last season (67.2 percent).

While the Trojans' upset loss will have put a dent in Darnold's Heisman Trophy campaign, it likely will have done little to hurt his NFL draft stock.