The good, bad and ugly from the top seven 2018 NFL QB prospects

Darnold falls, Rosen rises on Kiper's latest Big Board (1:35)

Mel Kiper joins SportsCenter and explains why he dropped USC's Sam Darnold to fifth on the Big Board and why he rated UCLA's Josh Rosen as the top quarterback. (1:35)

The hype for the quarterback class in the 2018 NFL draft has been off the charts. ESPN draft experts Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay each have three quarterbacks ranked among their top six prospects overall, and there are a few other signal-callers on the fringe of the first-round discussion.

With Josh Rosen and Sam Darnold squaring off this weekend (8 p.m. ET on ABC), let's take the pulse of the class and evaluate what I've seen on tape for seven of the top prospects -- both the positives and negatives. I'm also including Josh Allen, Baker Mayfield, Mason Rudolph, Lamar Jackson and Luke Falk here.

Though we don't know which of these QBs will be in the draft -- this list includes five underclassmen, and the deadline for underclassmen to declare for the draft is Jan. 15 -- we have seen enough from all of them on tape to make an early opinion. It's important to note, however, that a lot could change before the draft in April. The order below is based on Kiper's latest QB ranking:


Darnold threads the needle for 3rd TD pass

Sam Darnold fires a perfect strike to Tyler Vaughns for a 19-yard touchdown. Also on the play, Dasmond Tautalatasi is ejected for targeting.

Josh Rosen, UCLA Bruins

Junior | 28 starts | Kiper's QB ranking: No. 1

The good: Rosen is the most gifted passer of this group. I could go all the way back to his freshman tape to see that. He can make every throw in the book. There's natural arm talent here for a prospect with the frame (6-foot-4, 218 pounds) and pocket ability to fit a pro scheme on the first day of camp. Plus, Rosen has been asked to carry the load for a UCLA team that lacks a defensive identity. It's squarely on the arm of Rosen to lead this program, just as he did during the epic Week 1 comeback win over Texas A&M. Drive the team down the field and deliver a dime on a back-shoulder fade in the final minute (see above). That still jumps out to me. Put the ball in Rosen's hands and go get a win. That's leadership on the field.