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Josh Rosen: the case for and against

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Here’s why the Bills should, or shouldn’t, consider drafting the passer from UCLA

Known for eliciting some steaming hot takes in this year’s NFL draft season, the consensus on UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen nonetheless seems to be that he will be a top-ten pick on April 28th. The Buffalo Bills are hosting Rosen on a pre-draft visit today. What will they see when they evaluate the outspoken passer?

Background

After leading his high school team to a state championship, Rosen decided to stay close to home and committed to UCLA. After an impressive summer of practice, Rosen was named the starting quarterback of the team, making him the freshman to ever start opening weekend for the Bruins. After a stellar freshman campaign where he earned Pac-12 Freshman of the Year honors, hopes were high for Rosen in 2016. Unfortunately, Rosen only made it through six games that season after injuring his shoulder against Arizona State. After a lengthy rehabilitation, Rosen started 2017 as sort of the forgotten man of the quarterback class. Although he led the nation in passing yards and passing touchdowns after five games, he sustained concussions first against Washington and again in UCLA’s finale against UC Berkley. Rosen announced that he would enter the draft on January 3rd, the same day as fellow California quarterback Sam Darnold.

The case for Rosen

The most pro-ready quarterback in the class, Rosen’s consistent mechanics allow him to deliver the same type of catchable ball on virtually every throw. His feet are in line with his eyes which allows him to throw a consistent spiral, with the right amount of touch. As with Josh Allen, Rosen has significant experience in a system that features pro-style reads and formations. Rosen often throws with anticipation and is able to lead receivers into the open areas of the field on short and intermediate throws. Rosen sports above-average measurables with 6’4”, 226 pounds with 9 7/8 inch hands. He frequently displayed the courage to stand in the pocket and get pounded while delivering the ball.

Rosen clearly has the intelligence, accuracy, and arm strength to work in most systems, although Brian Daboll’s Erhardt-Perkins (E-P) passing offense in particular would fit him like a glove. Rosen’s lack of mobility wouldn’t allow Daboll to run some of his zone-read looks, but his passing talent would more than make up for that deficiency.

The case against Rosen

Rosen’s injury history is extensive and he was never able to finish a college season completely healthy. Not the most mobile player, Rosen will need to develop his pocket presence and footwork if he wants to avoid big hits. Rosen is an inconsistent deep ball thrower. On tape, some of his deep passes tend to flutter. Throughout the 2017 season, Rosen was overly aggressive and pressing too much. In games against Texas A&M, Stanford, and Arizona he threw several ill-advised throws that could have been intercepted.

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