I woke up early this morning and glanced at the clock behind my bed. The clock notified me it was only 7:26AM and since I’m off from work on Wednesdays, I decided to try and fall back asleep. This is the time when the mind wanders as you try and hypnotize yourself to fall back asleep. Damn the football side of my brain, because now I’m starting to really think about Josh Rosen and if he’s worth not only the Dolphins interest, but my interest as well. I tried to remain as unbiased as I possibly could, and think of the positives and potential positives of Josh Rosen on the Miami Dolphins.
Last year the Dolphins held the #11 pick and there was just the usual speculation of the Dolphins possibly taking a QB, nothing overwhelming in that direction. At this juncture, Ryan Tannehill was mostly recovered from his ACL tear and there was optimism that Tannehill could return to the form of the 2016 season where he played his best football as a Miami Dolphin. As it turns out, 4 QB’s were chosen before the Dolphins picked at #11. Baker Mayfield went #1 to the Cleveland Browns, Sam Darnold went #3 to the NY Jets, Josh Allen went #7 to the Buffalo Bills and then 1 pick before Miami was on the clock, the Arizona Cardinals traded to the #10 spot from #15 to choose Josh Rosen. The Cardinals traded their #15 pick as well as their 3rd RD pick (#79) and their 5th RD pick (#152) to move up 5 spots to get Rosen. Why did the Cardinals trade up to #10? The Buccaneers weren’t taking a QB, they have Jameis Winston. The Redskins just acquired Alex Smith so they weren’t looking for a QB. The Saints have Drew Brees and also weren’t taking a QB. The Raiders had Derek Carr so they weren’t taking a QB. Of course they may have felt that another team might move up, or they may have thought the Miami Dolphins would have selected Josh Rosen if he fell to them.
This whole scenario is somewhat important when trying to gauge both the Dolphins interest and the value of Josh Rosen. Numerous reports came out after the draft that the Dolphins had no interest in Josh Rosen, but is that entirely true? Is it possible that they just said that to calm the fan base that so desperately wanted a new QB and felt that Tannehill wasn’t the answer? If the Cardinals hadn’t traded up in front of the Dolphins, would the Dolphins have selected Josh Rosen as their new QB? I don’t know and neither do you but I’m sure Chris Grier knows. It’s a little amusing that this article itself was spawned from a report about Kyler Murray that Charlie Casserly released about how poorly Murray fared in team interviews. I don’t know the veracity of that report, yet another report from Daniel Jeremiah indicated that the Cardinals were just thrilled with Murray in their interview. If that’s the case, then it’s safe to assume that Kliff Kingsbury and the Arizona Cardinals want Kyler Murray and will take him with their #1 pick, which of course then makes last years #10 pick, Josh Rosen, expendable.
So what about Josh Rosen? He played on an awful team and to be fair, Steve Wilkes, a first time HC was fired after just one season. That’s a rarity in the NFL. Byron Leftwich, a 1st time Offensive Coordinator and Mike McCoy shared that post. David Johnson made his return from a broken wrist that forced him to miss 15 games of the ’17 season. David Johnson had a down year from the monster seasons he previously put up. He didn’t even break the 1000 yard mark rushing, averaging a paltry 3.6 YPC. He did score 10 TD’s, 7 rushing, 3 receiving, but Johnson had over 300 total touches, so 10 TD’s is basically a TD every 30 touches. The receiving corps was led by future HOF WR Larry Fitzgerald, and then not much else. Rookie WR Christian Kirk, Chad Williams, Trent Sherfield and J.J. Nelson. I mean, besides Fitz and Kirk, what else is there? At TE it was a combo of Jermaine Gresham and Ricky Seals-Jones, and the 2 TE’s combined for 43 receptions and less than 400 yards. My question is, was this all Josh Rosen’s fault, or was he playing on a really poor team with an unprepared first time HC that got fired after 1 season?
During draft time last year, the knocks on Rosen were that he wasn’t always coachable, and some even questioned his heart, as to whether he was fully committed to the game because he came from a wealthy family and he didn’t need to play football. As far as talent was concerned, I recall many experts stating that Josh Rosen was the most NFL ready QB of the group. He had full understanding of his offense and was very intelligent and could quickly digest and comprehend any NFL offense. He played in 30 games for UCLA completing just over 60% of his passes with 59 TD’s and 26 INT’s. Not great by any means.
One impressive stat that stands out to me was Rosen completed 63% of his passes in 2017 for UCLA while being blitzed. He possesses excellent footwork and throwing mechanics. In 2017, his receivers dropped 31 passes which of course negatively impacted his completion %. He has excellent touch on his passes and also throws receivers open, and also stands strong in the pocket. The negatives are he has a slight frame and is an injury concern. His arm talent and arm strength are below average. He only completed 42% of his passes when throwing on the run. He sounds like the Anti-Tannehill. He does all the things Tannehill can’t do, and none of the things Tannehill can.
I didn’t write this article to make a case for the Dolphins to trade for Josh Rosen. I wrote it to give a little information and background in order to be objective about the possibility. I really don’t believe that Rosen is an NFL failure. His below average arm would have to be in the right system, but we’ve seen a QB with a below average arm and lots of intelligence succeed right here in Miami when Chad Pennington was here. Tom Brady himself was considered to have a below average arm, and the fact that most of his throws are short crossers adds to the credibility of that, although I believe that Tom Brady works so hard, his arm is probably better now than when he was drafted. I reiterate, we don’t know if Rosen is available, but if he is, keep an open mind.