2018 NFL Draft Scouting Report
Prospect: Josh Rosen
Ht: 6'4" Wt: 220
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Last year in the season opener against Texas A&M, I remember telling a friend that we may be watching back-to-back first overall picks with Myles Garrett trying to get his hands on Rosen. Unfortunately for the California native, he spent that afternoon running for his life, which became the theme for his injury-shortened sophomore year. While scouting his six games from last season, I found myself frustrated because he wasn't getting the time to showcase his skills in the pro-system Jim Mora Jr. implements. As a result, Mora started to limit the offense to more quick screens and three-step drops, and it masked the potential of Rosen. Still, in the times where he did get time and wasn't limited by the game plan, he proved that he belongs in the conversation with Sam Darnold of USC and Josh Allen of Wyoming as a candidate for the first-overall selection in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Prior to scouting Rosen, I'd heard comparisons of his game to Eli Manning, and now I understand them. Like Manning, Rosen has an effortless approach in not only his throwing motion but also his footwork when dropping back and maneuvering in the pocket. He is not the athlete that Darnold or Allen are, but in the pocket, he is equally, if not more, effective. Rosen's feet are nimble, and he doesn't over-complicate his footwork. He keeps them active while staying on balance. He keeps his eyes down the field despite the constant duress he was under last year, and he naturally feels the pressure while doing so. Still, his elite quality is his throwing motion. It is short, compact, and more importantly effortless. It looks like he is just playing catch with a guy ten yards away, but the ball explodes off his fingertips. Rosen throws a pretty spiral and may be the most naturally-accurate passer in this class. He also shows anticipation with his passes and has an advanced understanding of ball placement.
Now although I consider him to an extremely gifted passer, I still have my fair share of concerns with Rosen's game. For starters, let's go back to the Eli Manning comparison. While he may have a lot of the skills of Manning, Rosen is also a limited athlete like him. He may show poise in the pocket, but he doesn't have the ability to extend plays like some of the more mobile quarterbacks. Rosen can make throws on the run, but if the defense is bearing down on him, his calm demeanor is not the same. I also get a little worried about the decision making when he knows his team needs a play. Like most quarterbacks with a gifted arm on a less-than-stellar team, he sometimes puts all the responsibility on himself to make plays. That is just not smart. It is tough for a competitor like him to concede a play, or rely on less-qualified teammates to make one, but sometimes that is the best decision. This is why most teams run the ball on third down with 12-15 yards to go so often. As opposed to letting the quarterback's competitive nature take over, they protect him from himself with a run play. Considering that he has a tendency to occasionally make those poor decisions and the talent around him isn't likely to improve in his third year, I have my worries.
There are also some issues away from the field that need to be addressed. While he seems to have command of the huddle during the game, there have been rumors of an "entitlement" issue that brings Johnny Manziel to mind. Some feel he could dedicate himself more to his craft, while others cite maturity issues such as vandalizing a neighbor's yard, and even getting in trouble for having a hot tub in his dorm room. Unfortunately for Rosen in the NFL, playboys don't make good quarterbacks. Neither do politicians, which Rosen has shown the propensity to be on social media. After seeing how Colin Kaepernick's career has taken a turn for the worse following his political gestures, one would think that it might not be a good idea to start a career with those distractions. I am not saying the man can't have an opinion or have fun as a young adult, but broadcasting it all over social media is a troubling trend that many millennials struggle with in the professional world. I understand he is not a professional yet, but when a team is considering investing millions of dollars in making him the face of their franchise next April, it is something they will want to investigate.
Rosen could add some bulk to his frame, but outside of that, he has prototypical size. He has plenty of experience under center and uses play-action fakes. He is also asked to scan the full field when going through his progressions (when his offensive line can protect him). He has started every game that he has been healthy enough to play in since coming to UCLA, but he did miss his last six games in 2016 because of a shoulder injury. A healthy third year would be beneficial to him remaining in the conversation for the top pick overall.
Compares to (Current NFL Player): Eli Manning (New York Giants)
- Naturally accuracy
- Prototypical size
- Smooth, effortless throwing motion
- Terrific arm strength
- Starter his whole career
- Displays NFL quarterback traits (Anticipation, Ball Placement, Reads full field, Maneuvers in pocket without dropping his eyes, Plays under center)
- Not the best athlete
- Occasionally becomes a gun-slinger
- Issues away from the field that need to be addressed
- Slightly slender build with a shoulder injury on his record
|Video Courtesy of CobraFilms|
1)   Quarterback Josh Rosen returns to UCLA football healthy and refocused   - Los Angeles Daily News |
2)   NFLJosh Rosen | The return of a golden boy QB prospectC   - FoxSports.com |
3)   UCLA Football: Is Josh Rosen a sure-fire franchise quarterback?
- Saturday Blitz |
4)   Josh Rosen Twitter|
5)   Josh Rosen Instagram|