2. Sam Darnold
This would be an interesting one since it once seemed as though Sam Darnold was destined to be the Browns quarterback of the future. When coming out of USC, Darnold was seen as the favorite to be the No. 1 pick overall. Many believed Cleveland was sold on him but in the end, they went with Baker Mayfield. Darnold then landed with the New York Jets as the No. 3 overall selection.
While Mayfield didn't last more than four seasons, his tenure was better than what Darnold showed in New York. In three years, he led them to a 13-25 record with 45 touchdowns and 39 picks. He then headed to Carolina and was a teammate of Mayfield's in 2022. In two years with the Panthers, Darnold made 17 starts and was 8-9.
Carolina moved on from all their quarterbacks and instead took Bryce Young (over C.J. Stroud for some reason) and they took a major step backward. They finished with the worst record in the league while Darnold landed with the San Francisco 49ers — who are headed to the NFC Championship Game.
Darnold didn't get much playing time for the Niners as the No. 2 behind Purdy and they lost his lone start in Week 18. He still wasn't awful and completed 60.9 percent of his attempts for 297 yards with two touchdowns and a pick. Like Drew Lock, Darnold isn't a franchise quarterback but he's a solid backup and could run Kevin Stefanki's offense if needed.