Best Scheme Fit: Rhythm/timing-based
offense willing to use a lot of play-action; Rosen executes the
play-action pass better than most college prospects. Note: All times listed in parentheses
in strengths/weaknesses section reflect the start time on video
- via Draft Breakdown - that displays that skill/trait.
Effortless throwing motion and excellent mechanics; displays
exceptional balance and generally moves around in the pocket
on a need-to basis without drifting into pressure.
Seamlessly moves through his progressions inside the pocket.
Possesses the accuracy to throw his receiver open/understands
the importance of ball placement; throws the back-shoulder as
well as any quarterback in this class. (0:11, 0:41, 2:19, 5:38, 6:32, 9:10, 9:55)
Can move the chains with his feet but will not scare defenses
with his running ability. (7:33,
7:49, 11:30, 13:04)
How many of his "bad decisions" and injury issues were a
result of the situations UCLA's poor running game and miserable
defense put him in?
While there appears to be no problems with him off the field per
se, Rosen could supposedly be difficult to coach, may
lack passion for the game and/or may lack leadership
qualities. Some NFL decision-makers reportedly also don't like
the fact he comes from an upper-class family and doesn't "need"
football. What seems hard to believe is that any "spoiled
brat" would have worked at his craft long enough to master
tedious fundamentals such as footwork, put the necessary work
in to come back from season-ending shoulder surgery or return
from the first of his two concussions in 2017 after one week if
he didn't love the game. The fact Rosen is so fundamentally sound
despite his late transition from tennis to football tells me pretty
much everything I need to know about his work ethic. As far as
"leadership qualities" and passion are concerned, he
seemed to have plenty of both leading UCLA back from a 44-10 deficit
late in the third quarter in the season opener. On more than one
occasion, Rosen has spoken his mind about something he was passionate
about … is that what will make him hard to coach? Part of
the responsibility of being a quarterback (or a good leader, for
that matter) is having the guts to say the unpopular/uncomfortable
thing and speak your mind. That is a quality talent evaluators
should want in quarterback prospects.
Evaluating Rosen solely on his 2017 tape may not be fair to him
either. He was pressured on 30 percent of his drop-backs and receivers
were charged with 43 drops, per Pro Football Focus. While he may
not have a cannon attached to his right shoulder, his arm strength
woes have been vastly overstated. His arm strength (which is an
overrated quarterback trait anyway) is easily good enough when
his feet are set, as NFL teams rarely need their quarterback to
throw more than 50 yards in the air anyway. If there is one time
when arm strength is an issue for him, it is when he is asked
to throw intermediate to deep passes on the run. Unlike some of
the other top-flight quarterback prospects in this draft, Rosen
operates best within the structure of the play and suffers once
it breaks down.
Rosen lacks the upside of some of his other highly ranked classmates
since he is so refined in most of the areas he needs to succeed
at the next level and doesn't have a lot of control over improving
the areas that are his biggest weaknesses (mobility, off-platform
throws, etc.). Like most young quarterbacks entering the league,
he needs to understand the defense is going to win on occasion
and live to fight another down. He appears to be a student of
the game, so if he simply cuts down the number of times he forces
the action, he is going to be a solid NFL starter at the very
least and the least likely quarterback prospect to bust. To what
degree he can become a top-flight signal-caller will obviously
depend on scheme fit and how quickly he can correct/mask his aforementioned
issues. Find an offense/scheme that can protect him
and give him two capable pass-catchers, and he should light it
up. Put it all together and Rosen can be considered
a plug-and-play quarterback; he is the most ready of this year's
crop of quarterbacks to start right away.
Doug Orth has written for FF
Today since 2006 and been featured in USA Today’s Fantasy
Football Preview magazine since 2010. He hosted USA Today’s
hour-long, pre-kickoff fantasy football internet chat every Sunday
in 2012-13 and appears as a guest analyst on a number of national
sports radio shows, including Sirius XM’s “Fantasy Drive”.
Doug is also a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association.