Name: Josh Rosen
Weight: 218 pounds
Projected Round: 1 (Top Five)
Rosen may get the title as the best passer in the 2018 NFL Draft. He has all the traits that a team would want from a quarterback. His mechanics are very clean. His throwing motion and follow-through are very smooth and is repeatable. The clean mechanics allow him to deliver throws accurately and quickly.
Rosen also keeps a strong base when setting up to throw. His footwork is very, very clean for a college quarterback. Can credit his great footwork from being a talented tennis player. His feet never get wild, even when he is moving around the pocket. He rarely throws off his back foot in the pocket.
Rosen is very confident in the pocket. He is not afraid of pressure and will accurately deliver throws with pressure in his face. He is not frantic in the pocket and he trusts his linemen, allowing him to keep going through his progressions. But when pressure does get to him on the edges, he confidently climbs the pocket.
Rosen has an excellent feel for how to deliver a ball. He does a great job of delivering throws with touch when needed, but can sling a ball to his receiver in the short to intermediate range. He excels at delivering passes to the back shoulder of his receiver. Rosen is also able to throw his receivers open, putting the ball in spots where only his receivers can catch the pass.
Although Rosen has great height for a quarterback, he has a thin frame. With such a thin frame, there is cause for concern for injuries. And Rosen has suffered his fair share of injuries. In 2016, Rosen missed the last six games of UCLA’s season after suffering a shoulder surgery, and later having surgery on it. He also missed time in 2017 because of concussion symptoms.
Rosen is the definition of a pocket passer. Although he has good footwork, he does not have the mobility to extend plays out of the pocket. He can be too confident in the pocket instead of scrambling, which leads to trouble when pressure gets to him.
Rosen does not have the best arm strength, and it could be considered below-average for a quarterback coming out of college. Because of his lack of arm strength, he struggles with his deep ball accuracy. His long throws tend to hang in the air, as he struggles to deliver the ball on a rope. His lack of arm strength also does not let him challenge defenders. If he does attempt to challenge defenders, he is forced to attempt to try and put extra zip on the pass, which hurts his accuracy.
A lot of Rosen’s interceptions are caused by his decision-making. Rosen tries to put his team on his back and will make poor choices with throws. He will try to take too much from a defense, forcing passes into windows that are not there. He also does not throw the ball away as often as he should.
The biggest concern regarding Rosen is his attitude. Although he has a competitive nature, it can rub people the wrong way. There have been coaches that have come out and said that Rosen does not want to be coached and is uncoachable. His attitude will turn off some teams, but some will like a quarterback that has some arrogance to him.
Fit with the Cleveland Browns
The Browns have not had a quarterback that has the talent of Rosen. He would become the most polished quarterback the team has had since the team returned in 1999. But the Browns could be one team that Rosen’s attitude frightens them. Although Rosen did not come out and directly say that did not want to play for the Browns, he hinted towards it. Rosen said in December that he would “rather be a lower pick at the right team than a higher pick at the wrong team.”
If Rosen’s attitude is not a problem for John Dorsey and the Browns, he would instantly become the best quarterback on the Browns roster. Unlike DeShone Kizer, Rosen does not need a lot of work to be an NFL starter. He can slot in as the starting quarterback day one.
His accuracy would be a huge plus for a team that did not give their receivers enough chances in 2017. With a solid offensive line in front of him, Rosen would have a clean pocket to operate in, not needing to rely on mobility. Todd Haley has excelled with a pocket passing quarterback in Ben Roethlisberger, and he could do the same with Rosen.
But Rosen’s arm strength could be a problem in Cleveland. With the strong winds off Lake Erie blowing into FirstEnergy Stadium, Rosen’s deep throws could hang in the air for a long time. The Browns need a quarterback that can throw a ball that can cut through the wind, but Rosen does not have that arm strength.
If the Browns feel that adding weight to Rosen’s thin frame can improve his arm strength, he might be the right quarterback for Cleveland. He does not have the mechanical issues that many college quarterbacks need help with. He may not have as high of a ceiling as the other quarterbacks in this draft, but he is the most likely to have success in his rookie season.