Scouting Profile: Quarterback Josh Rosen

by Mike Tagliere | @MikeTagliereNFL | Featured Writer
Apr 13, 2018

Of the quarterbacks entering the 2018 NFL Draft, UCLA’s Josh Rosen might be the most polished

Josh Rosen, UCLA

Height: 6’4″
Weight: 226 pounds
40-yard dash: 4.92 seconds
Hand Size: 9.8 inches

When looking for the prototypical franchise quarterback in this draft, look no further than Rosen. He’s got great height, a solid arm, intelligence is off-the-charts, etc. There are some questions about him off-the-field, but we don’t discuss those here because some things may be fabricated, and we really don’t know him as a person. As a quarterback, he may come with the least amount of risk in this draft.

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While at UCLA, Rosen threw for over 3,600 yards twice while throwing for at least 23 touchdowns in two-of-three seasons. He failed to reach those marks in his sophomore season because he suffered a shoulder injury which shortened his season. He didn’t post the video game numbers that Baker Mayfield did, but his offense also wasn’t considered as passer-friendly as Mayfield’s.

Arm Strength/Throwing Motion: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Watching Rosen, his mechanics are exactly the way you’d teach them if you had a young kid who wants to become a quarterback. He almost always steps into his throws and you’ll rarely see him throw with his feet not set. He throws with an over-the-top motion and rarely shows inconsistency in his delivery. His arm is capable of making most throws, though he doesn’t have too much zip on the ball. The knock on him here is that he’s very much a rhythm thrower and doesn’t throw with much velocity while rolling to either one of his sides.

Accuracy: 3.0 out of 5 stars
This comes back to him being a quarterback who throws in rhythm and will look bad when he’s forced out of his comfort zone. If you allow him to take his three-step drop and let him bounce in the pocket, he’s going to carve you up. If you flush him out of the pocket and get him on the move, he’s simply average. It’s why you saw his completion percentage continually in-between 56-62 percent (8-of-11 games). The majority of attempts are thrown from a semi-clean pocket, so he still gets an above average grade.

Mobility: 2.0 out of 5 stars
You could argue that Rosen was better than the average quarterback when it comes to mobility back in the 1990’s, but in today’s game, he’s slightly below average. When quarterbacks come out of college, most have more pep in their step than they will 5-10 years down the road. While he can escape some pressure at this point in his career, he won’t be known as a mobile quarterback. He’s a former tennis player, which lets him show off some quick, solid footwork, but when he has a defender behind him in pursuit, it’s going to be best for him to slide. It’s not as if he’s Peyton Manning when it comes to mobility, but he might max out around 150 rushing yards per season.

Pocket Awareness: 3.0 out of 5 stars
When doing these scouting profiles, it gives me a chance to go back and watch the player a bit more closely than when I did prior to the NFL Combine. Rosen is someone whose pocket awareness isn’t quite as good as I thought upon further viewing. He’ll often wait too long to respond to pressure and get sacked, or he’ll start seeing some ghosts and get happy feet. It’s what happens once he starts to feel pressure, where he’ll stand upright at the start of the game, but if the opponent hits him early, he’ll start to get a little antsy. You’ll also see him pat the ball an awful lot, which can take split-seconds off his release and result in a sack at times. There are most definitely things to work on with the pocket passer.

Vision/Decision Making: 3.0 out of 5 stars
Another area of his game that has some very questionable things, as Rosen looks confident in most of his throws, but should he? There are times where I’ll watch him completely miss a safety over the middle of the field while his pass-catcher is running a deep post, which means that safety should have been his No. 1 concern. He seems to go through his progressions well, but it’s a rare sighting when you see one of his receivers catch the ball without a defender on their back. Some of this can be attributed his wide receivers and the offensive scheme, but after watching over half-a-dozen games, Rosen puts himself or his teammates in bad situations. I’m not completely deterred by this part of his game, as he does process things well at times, but he’s also not as great with his decision-making as some have labeled him.

Anticipation: 3.0 out of 5 stars
Rosen isn’t the type of quarterback who’ll throw a ball before his wide receiver gets out of his break, but would rather wait and see what the defense gives him. It’s almost as-if he’s a game-manager type of quarterback who can throw the deep ball if the defense loads the box and plays man coverage on the outside. Rosen’s accuracy will let him down at times, which may make his anticipation seem worse than it is, because Rosen often knows where the ball needs to be. This is such a tough category to grade when offensive schemes vary so much, but from what I’ve seen, his anticipation isn’t anything special.

Potential Landing Spot
He’s the type of quarterback that someone like John Elway would probably appreciate as a fellow pocket-passer. We also found out that Case Keenum‘s contract is for just two years, which is hardly a commitment. I’m expecting the Broncos to take advantage of their top-five pick and select Rosen. Should they decide to pass on him at No. 5, I’d expect some other team to trade up into the top-10 to select him. The Bears and 49ers are teams who are reportedly okay with moving back, so maybe the Patriots trade their two first-round picks to move up and snag Rosen to be Tom Brady‘s eventual replacement.

NFL Comparison
This was one of the easier comparisons to make for me, as Rosen reminds me of Matt Ryan. He doesn’t have elite arm-strength, but his arm is good enough to make throws down the field. He’s the traditional, stand-tall pocket quarterback who doesn’t offer much mobility. I think Ryan’s anticipation is better than Rosen’s at this point, but that’s something that can be coached up over the years. Rosen should be a starter in the league for quite some time, and a solid one, though I don’t think he’ll ever be considered one of the elites of this generation or anything.

Don’t miss the other Scouting Profiles on top prospects below:
Saquon Barkley (RB – Penn State)
Derrius Guice (RB – LSU)
Ronald Jones (RB – USC)
Sony Michel (RB – Georgia)
Nick Chubb (RB – Georgia)
Royce Freeman (RB – Oregon)
Rashaad Penny (RB – San Diego State)
Kerryon Johnson (RB – Auburn)
John Kelly (RB – Tennessee)
Kalen Ballage (RB – Arizona State)
Calvin Ridley (WR – Alabama)
James Washington (WR – Oklahoma State)
Courtland Sutton (WR – Southern Methodist)
Michael Gallup (WR – Colorado State)
D.J. Moore (WR – Maryland)
Christian Kirk (WR – Texas A&M)
Anthony Miller (WR – Memphis)
Equanimeous St. Brown (WR – Notre Dame)
Daesean Hamilton (WR – Penn State)
Dante Pettis (WR – Washington)
Keke Coutee (WR – Texas Tech)
Auden Tate (WR – Florida State)
Baker Mayfield (QB – Oklahoma)

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Mike Tagliere is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Mike, check out his archive and follow him @MikeTagliereNFL.

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