Cleveland Browns should seriously consider Josh Rosen
The Cleveland Browns are in need of a quarterback, so why is UCLA’s Josh Rosen not being discussed as the No. 1 selection in the 2018 NFL Draft?
The Cleveland Browns have been waiting for the opportunity to select their franchise quarterback for quite some time. They could have done so last year, of course, but defensive end Myles Garrett made it pretty easy to pass on a quarterback with the No. 1 overall selection in 2017.
However, the 2018 NFL Draft is near and the Browns, who remain unwatchable largely due to the inability to find success at the quarterback position, once again hold the No. 1 pick.
This year’s quarterback class is talented, with several names being mentioned for the Browns, including USC’s Sam Darnold and Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield. But why does UCLA’s Josh Rosen not pop into the conversation as much as the other quarterbacks?
It’s a question that is quite intriguing and without an easy answer. Although, just because the national media and Twitter don’t mention the Browns drafting Rosen with the first overall pick, doesn’t mean they aren’t considering it. Because there is no doubt they are.
The favorite at this point is Darnold, with Mayfield and even Wyoming’s Josh Allen having had their names linked to the Browns. Despite this, Rosen very well may be the best quarterback out of the bunch.
The UCLA standout quarterback measured at 6-foot-4 and 226 pounds, with a hand size of 9 7/8 inches, at the NFL Scouting Combine. That is impressive for a prospect considered “too skinny” to succeed in the AFC North. For perspective, Darnold measured in at 6-foot-3 and 221-pounds and is considered to have prototypical size needed to play the position. It’s funny, however, that Rosen, who is heavier, taller and tested better athletically, has his size questioned.
While Darnold elected not to throw at the Combine, Rosen did and he displayed a beautiful touch on his deep balls despite not having his best day. And yes, Rosen’s deep ball throws were, in fact, better than Allen’s, which were floating all over social media.
The Browns have named Tyrod Taylor as the starter for 2018, but he only has one year left on his current contract. That allows the team to start Taylor while grooming whomever they deem worthy of the No. 1 pick in their rookie season. This is contrary to last season, when the team fed second-round pick DeShone Kizer to the wolves.
Darnold is frequently pegged as the top choice in most mock drafts – however his throwing motion and footwork present problems. Many consider Darnold to have the highest potential of the quarterback class. Yet, this does not mean he is the best at his position entering the draft. However, as stated earlier, the Browns could view this as an opportunity to let him learn from the bench behind Taylor in 2018.
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But the Browns need to take a quarterback with the top overall selection in the draft and the best quarterback should be that pick. Rosen has a beautiful touch on his passes, and his ability to slice and dice a defense should not be overlooked.
The knocks on Rosen revolve around a lingering concussion issue and a right shoulder injury. How he tests out medically could have his draft stock soar or sink – potentially locking him up as the No. 1 pick if all goes well. To clarify, Rosen’s surgery on his shoulder was considered “minor” as there was no nerve damage and only a soft-tissue problem.
His statistics in his junior season signify the shoulder concerns were a bit overblown. Rosen broke UCLA’s record for passing yards in a single season (3,756 yards), and had personal bests with a 62 percent completion percentage, while throwing for 26 touchdowns and only 10 interceptions. Safe to say Rosen’s shoulder held up fine for most of his final season as a Bruin.
His pocket presence is also elite and he is the purest out of the top five prospects. Although scouts do worry about his inability to stretch broken plays as, once he is on the move, Rosen tends to make mistakes. But those mistakes disappear when in the comfort of his own pocket.
Considering the on-field limitations of the other top quarterback prospects in this draft, Rosen clearly has the most going for him entering the NFL. He is mechanically sound and has fantastic arm strength. If he can limit his injury concerns, he figures to be an All-Pro caliber quarterback.
It is smokescreen season in the NFL, and despite the lack of mock drafts pegging Rosen as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft – it realistically means nothing. Browns general manager John Dorsey and company will do their due diligence on all the prospects, including Rosen.
If they are comfortable with the health of his shoulder and his concussions, the Browns will absolutely consider him with the first pick.
Next: Could Mason Rudolph answer Browns QB question?
It’s always a fun debate as to who is the top quarterback in the draft each year. The 2018 quarterback class is no different, but Rosen seemingly is the best passer in this class and the Browns must seriously consider him with the No. 1 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.