UCLA Football: Josh Rosen leads Sam Darnold in NFL Draft race

(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

UCLA football‘s starting quarterback Josh Rosen is having a big season with the Bruins and he could end up being the first passer taken in the 2018 NFL Draft.

The UCLA Bruins had an up and down season to kick off the 2017 campaign. A 35-point comeback win over the Texas A&M Aggies highlights the highest point of the year so far. Two consecutive losses to the Memphis Tigers and Stanford Cardinal were the low point.

However, junior quarterback Josh Rosen continues to put up huge numbers as he’s now only five touchdowns away from tying his career-high in one season. Rosen tossed 17 touchdowns through five games with 2,135 passing yards. He’s added another touchdown on the ground this year.

The huge numbers that Rosen is posting has only led UCLA to a 3-2 (1-1 PAC-12) record. Yet, somehow the Bruins are still alive in the race for the PAC-12 South. UCLA’s only PAC-12 loss was against an opponent from the North division.

More: 5 Pac-12 teams on upset alert in Week 6

Meanwhile, USC quarterback Sam Darnold is not having the year that many thought he would. Hailed as the savior of USC football by some, Darnold tossed nine touchdowns and also eight interceptions this season. That’s not the type of production that a first round NFL Draft pick at quarterback puts up.

Darnold hasn’t excelled in the spotlight this year. In USC’s matchup against the Texas Longhorns and Washington State Cougars, Darnold threw just as many interceptions as touchdowns. Complaints about the USC receiving corps don’t justify the struggles. USC’s loss to Wazzu in Week 5 directly falls on Darnold’s shoulders. He threw for less than 170 yards and did not toss a single touchdown as the Trojans were upset in Pullman, WA.

Rosen played well in the spotlight against Texas A&M and Stanford. The two picks that Rosen threw against Stanford could be a point of concern. However, he still threw for nearly 500 yards and three touchdowns in that game.

Next: Latest 2018 NFL Mock Draft after Week 5

Darnold and Rosen were considered two of the top quarterbacks in the 2018 NFL Draft class entering the season. However, things are starting to unravel for Darnold as he could begin to fall down NFL Draft boards very soon. Rosen still looks like a top 5 pick.