Editor’s Note: To help you dominate your rookie drafts, this series will feature a look at the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of over 40 dynasty rookie draft prospects and run all through the month of May and even into June. We’ll cover all the premier prospects but also give you critical information on some of the lesser known talents. All of these rookie updates will be loaded into our ever-evolving 2018 Rookie Draft Guide – the ultimate resource for dynasty enthusiasts all over the world.
Name: Josh Rosen
Pro Team: Arizona Cardinals
College team: UCLA
Draft Pick: Round one, tenth overall
- Height: 6’4”
- Weight: 226 pounds
- Hand Size: 9 7/8”
- Arm Length: 31 3/4”
- Bench Press: N/A
- 40 Yard Dash: 4.92
- 20 Yard Shuttle: 4.28
- 60 Yard Shuttle: N/A
- 3 Cone: 7.09
- Broad Jump: 111 inches (9 feet, 3 inches)
- Vertical Jump: 31 inches
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- 2017: 11 games, 3,670 yards, 60% completion percentage, 23 TD, 11 INT
- 2016: 6 games, 1,915 yards, 59.3% completion percentage, 10 TD, 5 INT
- 2015: 13 games, 3,717 yards, 62.5% completion percentage, 26 TD, 10 INT
- 5 Star Recruit (number 11 overall, number 1 quarterback) out of St. John Bosco High School in California
Rosen has always been considered the “Chosen One” since high school. He has the ideal frame for a quarterback, and is used to handling the pressure of the spotlight. As a passer, Rosen is extremely accurate and excels on short and intermediate throws. His play action ability is particularly excellent, and this will be something that I expect to become a staple of the Cardinals’ offense.
Another trait that will help Rosen in Arizona is his pocket presence. He has a knack for climbing the pocket, stepping up, and making a tough throw when pressured, without getting knocked off his platform. His above average footwork is something that helps him do this.
On the field, Rosen doesn’t have a ton of flaws. You’d like his arm strength to be a little bit better, but you can certainly live with it. He’s a little too confident in himself sometimes, forcing the ball into tight windows or not knowing when to throw the ball away. While I appreciate an aggressive and confident quarterback, you also have to have the awareness to do this at the next level.
Rosen isn’t exactly a dual-threat, as he only ran a 4.92 forty at the combine and has -154 career rushing yards (this takes into account sacks, and while UCLA had a bad offensive line this still isn’t any good). Lastly, according to NFL.com he “completed just 42.4 percent of his throws when forced to move”, showing that throwing on the run may be a concern for him as well.
However, these on-field concerns aren’t my biggest worry with Rosen. He has a lengthy injury history (courtesy of Sports Injury Predictor):
- Missed the final six games of the 2016 season with a “soft tissue” right shoulder injury. Had surgery on shoulder a week later
- Sustained a concussion on October 28th of this season, missed one game
- Under a month later sustained another concussion and missed the team’s bowl game
Many scouts also have concerns about Rosen’s personality and love of the game. He’s clashed with Trent Dilfer at the Elite 11, Jim Mora questioned his concentration and focus, and anonymous scouts have questioned his fit in the locker room. He’s had hot tubs in his dorm, lives in a frat house, has made open political statements condemning the president, and has said that football and school don’t go together.
Personally, I don’t view these as major flaws or weaknesses, that’s just his personality. I don’t think someone should be penalized for being curious or asking why, but some scouts seem to think that. While he was considered at least a top three quarterback by almost everyone, and the top quarterback by many, he slipped to fourth of the quarterbacks drafted and tenth overall. The locker room dynamics of Rosen are certainly something that needs to be considered when drafting him.
Rosen’s immediate opportunity is unclear. The Cardinals signed Sam Bradford to a two-year deal. It’s unlikely that they’ll release him next year, as even if they release him his cap hit will still be well over $15 million. If he is still on the roster he’ll have a $25 million cap hit. Paying a player that kind of money, at any point in his contract, means he is going to be playing. I’d expect Bradford to open the year, eventually ceding way to Rosen through injury or being outplayed.
Once he gets his chance, Rosen has some intriguing weapons around him. Star running back David Johnson should be able to take some of the load off him early on, and having such an effective running back will help with the play action game that Rosen excels at. Johnson is also a tremendous receiver, and pairing him with Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk is certainly appealing for any quarterback. Outside of those three, Chad Williams and J.J. Nelson provide deep threats, while Brice Butler brings imposing size and untapped upside.
As I mentioned above, Bradford is currently the main threat to Rosen. His salary means that he will be starting for at least part of the season, which may hurt Rosen’s value a bit. However, I don’t view Bradford as Rosen’s biggest threat. That would be his offensive line. As I mentioned above, Rosen already has a bit of an injury history coming into the league.
Ideally, if you draft a quarterback with that history, you’d have a stellar offensive line to protect him, but that is not the case at all with Arizona. While they did sign Justin Pugh to improve it a bit, the rest of the line is filled with question marks. Andre Smith and Mike Iupati both look to be over the hill and ineffective, AQ Shipley is a journeyman with some of the shortest arms of any lineman, and DJ Humphries hasn’t looked like the first round pick he was drafted as in his first two years.
I can already see Rosen absorbing crushing hits or being forced to scramble out of the pocket, not throwing the ball away, and ending up injuring his shoulder or head as a result. At that point, it’s likely the Mike Glennon show in Arizona and the Cardinals are again picking near the top of the draft.
As I’ve already mentioned, expect Rosen to sit for the first few games of the season before taking over the starting job by midseason. However, Sam Bradford isn’t a bad quarterback and if he manages to stay healthy I wouldn’t be shocked to see him sit for the entire year, which would likely send his value plummeting.
If he can stay healthy, I can easily see Rosen having multiple QB1 seasons. I had him as the QB2 coming into the NFL draft, and he has all the tools to live up to that ranking. Assuming Arizona can shore up their line a bit and add another weapon, he’ll be in an exciting young offense. He’s the type of player who can turn a franchise around and is someone that I would be looking to build around if I was a team.
His natural ability as a passer is pretty tantalizing, and I’d be willing to put aside his injury history and supposed “character concerns” to have him lead my team. I think the fact that he’s such a good intermediate thrower, which is quickly becoming the most important area for quarterbacks, will serve him well at the next level.
The comparison I’ve seen thrown around a lot for Rosen is Eli Manning, and I completely agree with it. Eli was seen by some as a little bit of a difficult personality by forcing himself to New York, and is an aggressive, risk-taking quarterback just like Rosen. Both are extremely polished and pro-ready passers who appeared to be able to make every throw that an NFL team would require of them. I see no reason why Rosen can’t match the type of career that Manning has had.
Projected Rookie Draft Range
Our Rookie ADP currently has the top four quarterbacks going within six picks of each other, starting at pick 19 with Baker Mayfield. Rosen comes in behind Lamar Jackson with an ADP of 22, but if you feel strongly about Rosen I wouldn’t hesitate to grab him in the mid second round. He likely won’t be there by the next time you pick, and you wouldn’t want to pass up on someone who can be your QB1 for years.
Personally where I would take any quarterback would depend on the construct of my team, how old my current QB1 is etc. In a vacuum, I would take Mayfield and Jackson before Rosen, and wouldn’t take any before late round two in a one-quarterback league. Players such as Michael Gallup, James Washington, Dante Pettis, Anthony Miller, and even Mike Gesicki are going right before them and will likely have well-defined roles and a path to targets in year one, which should only boost their dynasty value and help them see more targets in the future.
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