UCLA’s Josh Rosen is one of the biggest names heading into the 2018 NFL Draft later this month. Along with Josh Allen, Sam Darnold, and Baker Mayfield, Rosen has long been in the mix to be a top-five pick since the start of this past college football season.
In 2017, he completed 63 percent of his passes for over 3,700 yards, 26 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions. It’s why he’s considered one of the potential franchise quarterbacks up for grabs in the draft.
NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah released 10 pieces of intel leading up to the NFL Draft that he’s gathered from sources. One of them included the idea Rosen is the quarterback most likely to slide in the draft. It could create another moment of a quarterback sitting around awkwardly on draft night, like Aaron Rodgers, Brady Quinn, and Johnny Manziel did in years past.
When I bring up this topic with personnel executives, Rosen is the one they point to as the most likely slider of the group. I personally believe Rosen is the second-best quarterback in the draft class behind Darnold, but the former Bruins QB might fall out of the top 10. Why? Part of it comes back to the durability concerns for Rosen that we’ve heard about throughout the process. We’ll continue to hear people question his intangibles as a leader, but that’s far less of a concern than the fact that he missed half his sophomore year with a shoulder injury and suffered two concussions last season.
Rosen looks like an NFL quarterback at 6’4, 226 pounds, has a good arm, and seems to be a smart guy — which for some reason is a problem for some people. Other unreasonable concerns with him is he’s a millennial. Seriously.
But the biggest concern with Rosen, as Jeremiah mentioned, are his two concussions and shoulder injuries.
Which teams could actually draft him?
In SB Nation’s mock draft database, Rosen is most often mocked to the Jets at No. 3. In Dan Kadar’s latest mock for SB Nation, Rosen goes No. 5 to Denver, while Allen, Darnold, and Mayfield are Nos. 1 through 3, respectively.
Jeremiah noted that the belief is there will be three quarterbacks selected in the top five, and they’ll be Darnold, Allen, and Mayfield. If Rosen falls out of the top 10 entirely, that’s where things get interesting since the Colts, Buccaneers, Bears, 49ers, and Raiders all have their quarterbacks of the future.
11. Miami Dolphins
This could easily be a landing spot for Rosen. Ryan Tannehill’s had some injuries the past couple of seasons, and even when healthy hasn’t been all that convincing as far as being a franchise QB goes. Oh, and Brock Osweiler is his backup right now, too.
12. Buffalo Bills
Rosen would be a nice plan B to AJ McCarron here. The Bills dumped Tyrod Taylor this offseason, and their backup to McCarron right now is Mr. Five Interceptions on 14 Passes himself, Nathan Peterman. The Bills traded up for this pick, and it could very well likely be because they feel a potential franchise QB like Rosen would be there.
Washington finally moved on from Kirk Cousins, and ended up getting Alex Smith, who is going to be 34 next season. Taking a shot on Rosen, assuming Smith’s dump-off game doesn’t go so well in Washington, isn’t a bad idea. But it’s also not like Washington to make smart moves.
Aaron Rodgers is still Aaron Rodgers. He’s 34 years old, and assuming he stays relatively healthy, could have another 4-5 years in him. But the whole “put a quarterback behind your future Hall of Famer” has worked for the Packers in the past (see: Rodgers/Brett Favre). So it wouldn’t hurt to try here.
They’re paying injury-plagued Sam Bradford $20 million this season. Taking Rosen would be a great idea.
16. Baltimore Ravens
Joe Flacco’s eliteness has worn off, and they just signed Robert Griffin III as their backup. Again, not a bad idea to select Rosen, who could sit at least a year behind Flacco.
It seems that if Rosen were to fall here, the Chargers could scoop him up, despite having needs on the offensive line and on the interior defensive line. Though Jeremiah also wrote they could look to the second round instead for Rivers’ replacement. But Rosen falling this far would be surprising, and there are worse quarterbacks to learn from than Philip Rivers.
What are the odds that Rosen slides?
Chance he falls outside of the top 10: 5/10. Assuming Rosen is not taken in the top five, it seems pretty likely he could very well slip outside of the top 10. Picks six through 10 have quarterbacks in Andrew Luck, Jameis Winston, Mitchell Trubisky, Jimmy Garoppolo, and Derek Carr — guys who don’t exactly need to be replaced at this moment in time, or in the near future.
How far from there Rosen could fall is a guessing game. Any of the teams from 11 to 17 could take him, but it also wouldn’t be surprising to see any of them pass on him, sending him into a deeper slide. That is of course, unless a team decides to trade up for him, such as the New England Patriots:
So there’s noise that Josh Rosen might drop in the draft. I’m not one for starting wild draft rumors but if Rosen drops past 5…. No one needs a QB till 11. I think the Patriots would seriously consider moving up for Rosen. Yes or No? Rosen would be an excellent fit in NE— Geoff Schwartz (@geoffschwartz) April 19, 2018
But beyond that point, you start running into teams that already have franchise quarterbacks. If it gets worse than that, we could have another Sad Green Room Prospect situation on our hands.