After two horrendous years in the NFL, Josh Rosen has once again seen his team take another QB with their first pick in the draft. While no one will argue that he has been playing behind two genuinely awful offensive lines, is he really an NFL bust entering his third year in the league?
Just 25 months after the Arizona Cardinals traded up for him, and 13 months after the Miami Dolphins traded second and fifth rounders for him, is it really possible the former UCLA Bruin is on his way out of the league?
Josh Rosen was the second best QB in the 2018 draft
Heading into the 2018 draft, many analysts had Josh Rosen as the second-best QB on the board behind Sam Darnold. While Baker Mayfield would end up going number one overall, Rosen slid to tenth, where the Arizona Cardinals selected him.
Expected to sit behind Sam Bradford for a season, Rosen was thrust into the starting job just four games into the season. While he did OK, there was very little sign of that QB that was so highly touted. Save his game against the Seahawks, there really wasn’t much to get excited about.
But statistically, he was right up there between Sam Darnold and Josh Allen in 2018. Mayfield was streets ahead. Fast forward 12 months and Darnold is looking good, if seeing ghosts sometimes, Josh Allen has been to the playoffs, even if his accuracy is still questionable, and Mayfield has hit some hurdles with the massive egos in his offence.
Josh Rosen, on the other hand, couldn’t beat out Ryan Fitzpatrick, and when he was handed the reigns three weeks in, visibly lost his confidence with each drop back, until he was mercifully hooked in the second half against the Redskins.
But is he really a bust? I have argued here, that Rosen isn’t done in the NFL but that he probably needs to adjust his expectations to being a back up. Definitely in the short-run, and maybe even long term.
Zac Shomler over at Strong Opinion Sports has a slightly harsher take on Josh Rosen’s future:
Now I love Zac’s work, but I’m not 100% on board with the Josh Rosen is a bust narrative. However, he does make a compelling argument that no one will take a shot on Rosen as a potential starter right now.
I totally agree that Rosen’s best bet is as a backup to rebuild his career, and as previously stated I think his best situation, if the staff still believe in him, is likely in Miami. Whether that becomes untenable going forward really does depend on Rosen himself.
Assuming Josh can buckle down and continue the hard work he seems to have done in year one in Miami, I see no reason for the Dolphins to jettison him just yet.
It is incumbent on Josh, however, that he accepts his new reality of backup. His time may come if he continues to grind, but he has to accept that if he wants to stay in the league for now.
There can be no doubt that Rosen possesses the throwing ability to play in the league. But his waning confidence, and limited mobility have been major determinants in the horrific start to his NFL career.
That said, maybe Rosen’s top-10 draft status earns him that least wanted badge of a bust in just his third season in the league.