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The Rise and Fall of QB Josh Rosen

Image Credit: (Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)

Written by: Nicholas Mullick Linkedin:

Twitter: @nicholasmullick

In the NFL the expectation for a player to be drafted in the 1st round is to be a part of that team for multiple years, as a strong player in the league. Especially when they are playing the quarterback position. However, one QB that has one of the most bizarre and stunning careers in the NFL is Josh Rosen. He has been on 6 different teams in a total of 5 seasons. So I thought why not take a look at Rosen's football career including his rise and fall?

College Career

Josh Rosen was a highly rated 5-star high school recruit and had many universities interested. Rosen ultimately chose UCLA as at the time QB Brett Hundley declared for the NFL draft and UCLA needed a QB. Rosen became that guy as he won the competition against Jerry Neuheisel. As a freshman, he played very well as he had 3,670 passing yards, 23 touchdowns, 11 interceptions, and completed 60% of his passes. He was named the Pac-12 Freshman Offensive Player of the Year and was a Freshman All-American. There was a lot of hype that Rosen could again improve the next season. Well, in 2016 he did not do great but had his season shortened due to a shoulder injury. But 2017 was his best season with UCLA and his career. He finished the year with 3,756 passing yards, 26 touchdowns, 10 interceptions, and completed 62.5% of his passes. He would have had a stronger season if he did not suffer a concussion at the end of the season.

After this season he decided to declare for the NFL Draft along with QBs Sam Darnold, Baker Mayfield, Lamar Jackson, and Josh Allen. Now when looking at their college career originally, I was not a big fan of Rosen and often had him ranked as the 4th/5th best QB from the class. I did not think he had the best awareness, accuracy, arm strength, and athleticism, and could not adapt well to pressure. There were also field concerns regarding Rosen as well. But he was a solid prospect and now it's time to go into the 2018 NFL Draft.

The 2018 NFL Draft

This was a big draft for teams that desperately needed a QB as 5 of them were projected to go in the 1st round. Of course, one of those teams was the Arizona Cardinals who needed to replace Carson Palmer, who announced his retirement due to the number of injuries that took a toll on him. Along with Drew Stanton, Blaine Gabbert, and Matt Barkley departing as well, Arizona needed to get a new quarterback. In order for Arizona to get their guy, the Cardinals needed to make a trade. So Arizona made a deal trading their 1st overall pick (15th Overall), a 3rd round pick (79th Overall), and 5th round pick (152nd Overall) to the Oakland Raiders in exchange for the 10th overall pick, which they used to select QB Josh Rosen. If you want to know what the Raiders picks turned into, well the 15th pick became OT Kolten Miller, the 79th pick was DE/EDGE Rasheem Green, and the 152nd pick became CB Dane Cruikshank.

Arizona Cardinals

Now Josh Rosen did not start right away as the Cardinals signed Sam Bradford to a 1-year deal worth 20 million dollars. Which was a questionable signing because Bradford can barely stay healthy, but it could be a solid move for Rosen to learn behind him. Well, let's just say Bradford did not work out at all and was so terrible at QB that the Cardinals decided to cut him in the middle of the season. Now, I have looked back at Josh Rosen's career in Arizona and I got to say, he made some terrible throws in his rookie season. I may be in the Minority here, but I feel his career with Arizona truly came to an end in that Denver Broncos game. He made some horrendous throws, looked lost behind the pocket, and easily crumbled under pressure. He finished that game with 194 passing yards, 1 touchdown, 3 interceptions, and completed 53.8% of his passes. That is not all he also fumbled the ball 3 times and lost two of them. That game to me did not seal his career right away, but he never really recovered after that game and performed consistently excluding one game against the 49ers.

Arizona finished the season with a 3-13 season and secured the 1st Overall pick in the 2019 NFL Season. There were many including myself thinking they would go after Nick Bosa as their defense was not good last season. Well then came news where Arizona decided to fire Steve Wilks after coaching the Arizona Cardinals for one season. When a coach is fired after one season you know that somebody messed up and the season was a complete disaster on and off the field. Once Arizona got rid of him and hired Kliff Kingsbury as the new head coach and all of a sudden there were reports of Arizona shopping Rosen. Which never made sense, even though they had the 1st pick. But Kyler Murray was rising as a prospect and was the clear number 1 quarterback in the NFL. Even Kingsbury himself was super high on him leading up to the draft.

So with the 1st overall pick, the Cardinals decided to select QB Kyler Murray. I was super shocked at first, but looking back the signs were clearly there as Kingsbury was not a fan of Rosen and wanted Murray as the QB. It was badly received as Arizona traded up in the 2018 NFL Draft in order to select Rosen and many, including myself, called it poor asset management. With the selection of Kyler Murray, it was clear that the Cardinals had to move on from him and they had to make a trade.

Miami Dolphins

Well, the team that came calling was the Miami Dolphins who needed a new QB after trading Ryan Tannehill to the Tennessee Titans. So the Dolphins made an offer the Cardinals could not pass up. The Dolphins decided to make the move by acquiring QB Josh Rosen from the Arizona Cardinals in exchange for a 2019 2nd Round pick and a 2020 5th Round pick. If you want to know what the picks became, the 2nd round pick was used to select WR Andy Isabella and the 5th round pick was reacquired by Miami in the Kenyan Drake trade. The pick ultimately was traded to the 49ers for Matt Brieda and it was utilized for OT Colton McKivitz.

With a change of scenery maybe Rosen would have gone into a better situation. Well, that is not the case with Rosen as he was joining a team that was openly tanking. There was a feeling that he was unwanted as the organization wanted Tua on their team more than Rosen. But he was given a chance to start and potentially could change their minds. Well, it did not work out and he looked like he had gotten worse as the starter in Miami. Then again like I said he really did not have much to work with. He started 3 games and finished the year with a 53.2 completion percentage, 567 passing yards, 1 touchdown, 5 interceptions, 13 rushing yards, and a fumble. He got benched and largely was the backup for Ryan Fitzpatrick for the rest of the season.

It was a predictable disastrous season and it was clear the Dolphins were tanking in order to get a high pick and select their QB of the future. They selected Tua Tagovailoa 5th overall in the 2020 NFL Draft. With the Dolphins drafting Tua Tagovailoa, the Dolphins decided just to cut ties with Rosen as they failed to find a trade partner. People started feeling bad as Rosen was a part of two bad situations where the team he was on didn’t really want him long-term. But, it's a stunning fall from grace as Rosen went from a Top 10 pick in the NFL Draft, to a potential face of the franchise of two franchises, to out of a job and not being wanted on any team

Tampa Bay Buccaneers & San Francisco 49ers

Normally I would separate both, but I decided to group his tenure with the Buccaneers and 49ers. He spent a portion of the 2020 season on the Buccaneers practice squad as many thought that he could develop with proper coaching. He did not play a snap in Tampa as the San Francisco 49ers came calling and decided to pick him up on the practice squad. But let's be real, the only reason the 49ers did this was due to Jimmy Garoppollo and Nick Mullens getting injured and Josh Johnson was on the Covid List. Rosen did not play a game with the 49ers and once they selected QB Trey Lance, he was immediately released.

Atlanta Falcons

After a brief stint with the 49ers and Buccaneers, many thought that this would be the end of Rosen. Well, the Atlanta Falcons decided to take a chance as 2021 was a year for Atlanta to deal with a year of bad contracts. Along with AJ McCarron being out for the season, the Falcons needed another quarterback. He did not perform in a lot of games, but in the snaps, he took last season, he did not impress at all. He has a season where he completed 2 of 11 passes for 19 yards and threw 2 interceptions. This was not a great season and unsurprisingly he did not sign another deal with Atlanta.

New Beginnings with the Cleveland Browns

So with Josh Rosen still a free agent many, including myself, thought that Rosen was not going to get another chance in the NFL. Well, the Cleveland Browns came calling and signed him to another one-year prove-it deal. The Browns brought him in after the team traded Baker Mayfield to Carolina and Deshaun Watson will be getting suspended soon. I don’t think he will start as it is clear Jacoby Brissett will be the starter, but he will battle for the backup spot against Josh Dobbs. I wish him luck as I would love to see anybody succeed, but if he fails, this could be his last shot in the NFL.



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