Brian Losness-USA TODAY Sports

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.

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.

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QUIZ: Name every quarterback drafted No. 1 overall in the NFL Draft

Going back to 1944, 31 quarterbacks have been selected first overall in the NFL draft.

How many can you name?

Clue: Year of draft

Score:
0/31
Time:
6:00
1944
Angelo Bertelli
1946
Frank Dancewicz
1948
Harry Gilmer
1952
Bill Wade
1954
Bobby Garrett
1955
George Shaw
1958
King Hill
1959
Randy Duncan
1963
Terry Baker
1970
Terry Bradshaw
1971
Jim Plunkett
1975
Steve Bartkowski
1983
John Elway
1987
Vinny Testaverde
1989
Troy Aikman
1990
Jeff George
1993
Drew Bledsoe
1998
Peyton Manning
1999
Tim Couch
2001
Michael Vick
2002
David Carr
2003
Carson Palmer
2004
Eli Manning
2005
Alex Smith
2007
JaMarcus Russell
2009
Matthew Stafford
2010
Sam Bradford
2011
Cam Newton
2012
Andrew Luck
2015
Jameis Winston
2016
Jared Goff

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.

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