Is USC QB Darnold slipping? … We won’t know for sure whether it simply represents a bunch of guys getting up on the wrong side of the bed, but there are a number of media analyses out there this day which are not kind to the draft fortunes of Southern Cal QB Sam Darnold. Darnold has long been considered to be almost a lock to be chosen first overall at next week’s draft by Cleveland, but there have been recent rumblings that the Browns may could still be looking at several top QBs. Indeed, as reported earlier today, Browns’ head coach Hue Jackson was quoted earlier today saying that all four of this year’s top prospects at the position are still in the mix. At the same time, there has been a spate of recent articles critical of Darnold’s game. Indeed,, former NFL scout Dan Shonka, now of Ourlads Scouting Services, went so far as to compare Darnold to a ‘cow on ice’ in an interview with the New York Post. Shonka went on to say that Darnold’s “footwork is all over the place. His feet in the pocket are embarrassing.” Meanwhile, Louis Riddick of ESPN, a former long-time NFL personnel exec is currently arguing that in his mind UCLA’s Josh Rosen and Baker Mayfield of Oklahoma are the top QB prospects in this year’s draft class rather than Darnold. And Pete Prisco of CBS Sports, for example, has Darnold headlining his annual list of players that he feels will likely be drafted far earlier than they should. And the criticisms of Darnold are all pretty much the same; while he is a dynamic player in the mold of Hall-of-Famer Brett Favre who makes plays you just can’t teach, his mechanics are all over the place such that the team that drafts him may be forced to break his game and literally rebuild his delivery from scratch. Of course, there are plenty of people who still like Darnold’s potential. New Orleans’ head coach Sean Payton, who knows something about good QBs, was quoted earlier this week in an interview with SI.com that Darnold was this year’s top QB prospect, although Payton also added that he didn’t think any of this year’s candidates at the position necessarily were elite prospects. We’ll know for sure in just over 8 days.