After the 2017 season, the consensus among scouts was that quarterbacks Sam Darnold of USC and Josh Rosen of UCLA would be the consensus top two picks in the 2018 NFL draft. Here we are, just about 24 hours before the draft in Arlington and now its believed that Rosen could slip while other quarterbacks such as Josh Allen and Baker Mayfield go in the top 5. What exactly has changed? The stigma from the media and the teams that might be buying into it. What are the knocks on Josh Rosen? They are leadership abilities, size, and injury history while in college.
The first one is very important in the NFL, without you being able to command your team every Sunday, you have no chance of being a franchise quarterback at the next level. The question we have to ask ourselves is why does the media consider Rosen unable to lead though? Is it because he asks questions (he’s smart) and wants to know reasons for some things? Is it because football has a shelf life and therefore isn’t the most important thing in the world to him? Is it because his family is rich so he has something to fall back on after football? By all accounts Rosen is a brilliant individual who sees the game better than any quarterback in this draft class. Has the world become so scared of “millennials” that they would steer clear of them at every turn, especially on the football field? Is that what the world is becoming today? Rosen’s former coaches have raved about his ability to lead his teammates and by all accounts was a fantastic teammate.
The next one is size, we’ve heard it for months and months on end that Josh Allen is a “freak” and he has the prototypical build that scouts look for in a QB or that Baker Mayfield is only 6 feet tall and too short to be a successful QB and that Darnold has no questions about his size. Did you ever really look at the differences between Sam Darnold and Josh Rosen though? The “freak” that people call Josh Allen is 6 feet 5 inches tall and 240 pounds, but what about Sam Darnold who has the size but Josh Rosen doesn’t? Believe it or not, Darnold is 6’3″ 220 while Josh Rosen the one that is questioned about his size is 6’4″ 218 pounds, and their hand size is also pretty much a wash there as well. Is it because Rosen is two pounds less than Darnold he doesn’t have the size that Darnold does?
The last one is his injury history in college where he’s suffered a few concussions. First, let me ask you, name a quarterback in any level that hasn’t suffered some kind of concussion in college. Josh Allen the “freak” has had a broken clavicle in his collegiate career, you know the same injury that Tony Romo suffered and was pretty much never the same player again? Baker Mayfield has also experienced two (that are documented) concussions in college but yet the knock on him is his height in the NFL but not his durability? Does there not seem like there’s some kind of bias against Rosen because he’s a smart guy who likes to ask questions and perhaps because he’s a “millennial” that today supposedly don’t have the same worth ethic?
There are no questions around the league or media about Rosen’s talent. They all say he’s the most pro ready quarterback in the NFL draft. They also say he’s the most polished passer coming out of college since Andrew Luck. They say there’s nothing wrong with his footwork and throwing motion that he could step into a NFL team Week 1. So while there are some concerns against Josh Rosen that I have outlined here, there are different concerns with the other quarterbacks in this draft. For instance, the concern in Josh Allen is that he hasn’t had a better than 57% completion percentage in any part of his playing career. The concern in Sam Darnold is that he has been a turnover machine throughout his collegiate career and doesn’t have the footwork or throwing motion at the moment to be a NFL quarterback right away. There are flaws in absolutely every quarterback in this draft class yet Rosen seems to be the one targeted the most when I read mock drafts and scouting reports, and articles about the draft class. Ask yourself this question, if all the quarterbacks have flaws in this draft class, doesn’t it makes sense to take the quarterback that most scouts believe has the most talent in this draft class? That by all accounts is Josh Rosen.