The Rosen One – Arizona Cardinals Select Josh Rosen

The first night of the 2018 NFL Draft was as hectic and exciting as always, for once including the Arizona Cardinals as they traded up into the Top 10 to select UCLA Quarterback Josh Rosen with the 10th overall selection.

The Arizona Cardinals need for a long-term answer at the quarterback position has been hanging over the franchise for a very long time; after the franchise made their first pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, hopefully, it will be a very long time before those questions crop up once again.

After seeing Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold and Josh Allen drafted to Cleveland, New York Jets and Buffalo Bills respectively, Josh Rosen tumbled out of the top 5 of the draft and right into the waiting laps of the Arizona Cardinals.

By virtue of a trade with the Oakland Raiders – having picked up Jared Veldheer and Carson Palmer in the past for minimal outlay – and the sending of relative pittance their way, the Arizona Cardinals were able to leap above the Miami Dolphins to ensure Josh Rosen didn’t fall out of the Top 10 of the 2018 NFL Draft.

Reports from Miami reporters afterwards appeared to suggest that they had no interest in making Josh Rosen their Quarterback of the Future had he been available at 11 for them to select – however, last year Steve Keim saw the Arizona Cardinals taken aback by the trades of the Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans to allow them to draft Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson respectively.

Clearly they didn’t want lightning to strike twice and so a trade was engineered with the Oakland Raiders – trading pick 10 for pick 15, pick 79 (in the 3rd round) and the Cardinals’ 5th round selection ensured that they were able to get their guy and give the Arizona Cardinals franchise a potential future at the position for years and years.

How did Josh Rosen fall to Number 10 though?  Seen by many as the top, most natural and NFL-ready signal caller in the whole 2018 NFL Draft, how could he see three supposed inferior prospects get their names called by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell before him?

Supposed concerns over his millennial character appeared to be one reason behind the slide, however, both Steve Keim and Steve Wilks appeared to be non-fussed about those when they addressed the selection very shortly after making the pick. His outspoken nature apparently one of the traits that endeared him to the likes of Steve Wilks and Steve Keim.

Having met with him multiple times in the process leading up to the 2018 NFL Draft, the Arizona Cardinals decision-makers were unanimous in deciding that Josh Rosen would be the selection.

A 5-star talent back in 2015 – ranked as one of the top talents in the entire country, both as a quarterback and overall player – Josh Rosen committed to UCLA and, with Brett Hundley having left for the NFL, he immediately joined the competition to start for the Bruins; eventually beating out Jerry Neuheisel for the starters job as a true freshman, Rosen had a solid campaign – throwing for 3,670 yards with 23 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.

His sophomore season was cut short when he injured his throwing shoulder vs. the Arizona State Sun Devils yet still amassed 1,915 yards with 10 touchdowns and 5 interceptions in just 6 games of the season. Respectable numbers considering the situation.

Josh Rosen returned for his junior season in 2017, kicking off the season with one of the greatest comebacks in college football history – facing a 44-10 deficit in the third quarter, Rosen and UCLA rallied to a 45-44 victory behind his 35/39, 491 yards and 4 touchdown stat line. Well worth the watch on YouTube.

The 2017 season ended up being a record-breaking one for Josh Rosen as he surpassed the single-season passing record – that was held by Brett Hundley – after passing for 3,756 yards and 26 touchdowns, 10 interceptions. A concussion robbed him of a chance to sign off his UCLA career with a Bowl Game win and it was in January 2018 that he announced he would forego his senior year and enter the 2018 NFL Draft.

Not known for his athletic ability – running a 4.92 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine showcasing exactly that – Josh Rosen isn’t a Quarterback who’s going to win games with his legs.

However, he is one of (if not, the) most polished and NFL-ready players at the position in the entire draft class. He doesn’t have amazing arm strength and there are apparent ‘durability concerns’ due to a couple of injuries he’s suffered in college, but there is a lot to like about Rosen and the prospect of him being the answer long-term for the Arizona Cardinals.

It’s also a rarity in that the NFL media have been quick to praise the selection of Josh Rosen as ‘one of the best of the round’ and ‘A/A+ grades’ aplenty – praise for the Arizona Cardinals, embrace it whilst you can.

For now, though, attention switches to Day 2 of the 2018 NFL Draft. With one selection in the second round and now one in the third thanks to the trade to pick up Josh Rosen, who will be joining the UCLA alumni in the desert?

Tom’s Thoughts

As one of my Fave Five, it’s fair to say I’m elated with the Arizona Cardinals’ selection of Josh Rosen – definitely made staying up until stupid’o’clock to see it happen live. Rated him as the top quarterback in the 2018 NFL Draft class and was surprised to even see us have a shot to draft him, but I definitely don’t have anything bad to say about the selection.

I don’t even mind that we gave up a couple of picks to select him – beats being beaten by another team like we were last year with Mahomes and Watson. Rosen is probably better than those two anyway, so I guess the disappointment has now gone away.

Just need to know what number he’ll be wearing and I’ll be getting my Josh Rosen jersey sorted.

It’s good to have a franchise quarterback we shouldn’t need to replace in a long, long time.


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