There is a very real chance that when all is said and done on draft weekend in late April that Josh Rosen will be the headliner as the top overall pick. There is plenty of reason to have belief in that pick and his ability to perform to that level. However, at the same time, some of the things that make Rosen so great also get him into trouble. Can the team drafting the UCLA gun slinger deal with the Pros and Cons of drafting Josh Rosen?
If there is one major positive with Josh Rosen, it is arm talent. Rosen can straight up sling it. What is impressive about Rosen is that he not only has deep field arm strength, but deep field accuracy.
Below is a pass over 20 yards in the air with perfect placement. He knows the cornerback is playing to the inside and puts the ball on the outside, where his receiver has plenty of space to make a clean catch.
This is an NFL throw from his own end zone. He drops a dime over the linebacker and in between the safety to his tight end.
That is how you drop the ball in a bucket.
This ball travels over 40 yards in the air. However notice how it still leading the receiver away from the safety. It is not the most accurate pass, hardly anyone is pinpoint over 40 yards. However, it is in the right location, and his receiver adds to the great pass making it a highlight one.
Rosen is going to get knocked for being over confident and believing in himself too much. This is going to cost him (you will see below). However, it is tough to disrespect the self-belief when he makes a pass that wows you seemingly every game, if not once per half. Three defenders are in the area of the receiver below, but a dart, and an accurate mid-range pass fits in the window perfectly. He fits passes between multiple defenders so often that you want to forgive him for the reckless decisions. This is a common occurrence with Josh Rosen.
Third down, and two defenders in the area is not a great bet, but one Rosen can win with his talent. He scanned the field and knew that was the pass he had to make. Rosen puts the ball in the perfect spot away from both defenders and ahead of his receiver for a first down.
How Josh Rosen adjusts to the speed of the NFL and the pressure of defensive lineman and linebackers will be a potentially frustrating transition. Rosen has the huge arm, and the belief that he can make every pass on the field. While he may be able to do that, that same belief helps show him his limitations on a football field.
This is just a poor decision. Rosen stands firm and does not even act like he notices the blitz coming in off of the edge. However, he assumes his wide receiver does and is running a hot route. He is not, Rosen throws it anyways due to the pressure that he did not adjust to, and there is a fourth quarter interception in the red zone.
Another episode of when self-belief goes wrong. Rosen extends the play, and he keeps his eyes down field. This is good. Then, he decided to throw the ball across his body, leaning backwards towards a group of defenders. Nobody can make this throw.
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The most frustrating thing? He has a receiver wide open for about the same gain of yards without any of the degree of difficulty. He didn’t even look that way.
Below is not only a poor decision, but a bad throw as well. He does not notice the safety at all, who is coming across the field, following Rosen. He throws the ball into double coverage and he throws the ball short. That is an easy pick in college and will get the media ready move on from him in the NFL.
On top of some of his poor decision making comes trouble finding the blitz. This is third down. He has to know the pressure is coming. However, he acts nonchalant, waits until the last minute and has to throw the ball away. You can see on second glance that there is plenty of room to step up and to the right in the pocket. However, Rosen just stands in, stares down one read and let’s the pressure get to him.
Washington throws a stunt at Rosen and the UCLA offensive line gets worked over. While it is tough to blame Rosen for the quick pressure, he has to recognize where it is coming from. He didn’t sense the pressure up the middle, and his reactionary instincts pushed him into more pressure.
This is a three-man rush against Hawaii. This cannot result in an easy sack. He has plenty of room to move around and extend the play, but does not.
Josh Rosen is going to be an NFL quarterback. He has the chance to be a starter for years. The question with him is how high is his ceiling? Is he worthy of the number one pick? Was Matthew Stafford worthy of the number one pick? Arguments for yes and no can be had.
There have been comparisons of Josh Rosen to Eli Manning in the media recently. This stems from Manning pushing himself down from San Diego to New York, along with rumors that Rosen may pull the same move with the Cleveland Browns at pick number one.
However, on the field you get an Eli Manning vibe watching him play too. The ability to stand in and hurl a pass into coverage and allow his receiver to catch a ball on his helmet in the Super Bowl comes with Eli being Eli and the occasional six interception game. You either love it or you hate it. That will probably be the vibe around Rosen as draft talk heats up, and we will see which team is willing to bet on the pros that come with the cons of drafting Josh Rosen.
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