When asked Wednesday how he would look in a Browns uniform, Darnold told reporters that he doesn't prefer any team, saying he would be "honored to play for any [NFL] team."
Darnold, a redshirt sophomore, is widely projected as a first-round pick, although he has not publicly stated whether he will enter the 2018 draft or return to USC.
"Whenever I come out to go to the NFL, I think I'd be honored to play for any team," Darnold said Wednesday, two days before USC faces Ohio State in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic. "It's been a dream of mine for such a long time to play in the NFL. Any team that would want to give me that opportunity to be a part of their organization, it would mean the world to me."
Darnold's comments came after UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen, also a projected first-round pick, said Saturday he would "rather be a lower pick at the right team than a higher one at the wrong team."
League sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter this past weekend that Rosen, a junior, would be hesitant to declare for the 2018 draft if he knew that the Browns would select him with the No. 1 overall pick. Rosen would prefer to play for the Giants, who currently are projected to pick second, over the winless Browns, sources told Schefter.
Darnold recently was ranked as the fifth-best draft prospect, one spot behind Rosen, by ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. and was slotted as the No. 1 overall pick to Cleveland in a mock draft earlier this month by ESPN's Todd McShay.
Darnold denied a rumor last month that he might return to USC if Cleveland has the first pick, saying he "didn't say anything about the Browns ... I've never said anything bad about [an NFL] team."
Darnold says he'll play for any team, even the Browns
USC quarterback Sam Darnold isn't worried about what jersey he'll be wearing, he just wants to play on Sundays.
Darnold keeps hype machine rolling
Sam Darnold's sophomore season has helped put him as No. 5 on Mel Kiper Jr.'s latest Big Board.