Mark Schofield revisits Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen in this RSP NFL Lens at Matt Waldman’s Rookie Scouting Portfolio
My first piece for the Rookie Scouting Portfolio was a long and winding road, covering Josh Rosen, Tom Brady and even the Barenaked Ladies. Despite the long journey and windup, the point that was eventually made was that while Rosen might not be the most athletic, dangerous athlete with his legs, he is not a statue in the pocket.
There is a path that Rosen can follow to becoming a capable, even mobile, quarterback in the NFL. That path is following the Brady model. Brady is so adept at using his feet to move, slide and create space, and that ability more than anything else is what has allowed him to continue a high level of play into his early 40s.
Rosen made his first NFL start last Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks. The numbers were somewhat rudimentary, as he completed 15 of 27 passes for 180 yards and a touchdown, but they fail to tell a complete story.
Rosen made a number of high-level, precision throws in this game, some of which were dropped, and he also showed impressive processing speed, particularly on his touchdown pass. But this 3rd and 5 play from late in the first half, which likely will be an afterthought when the season comes to an end, is an example of Rosen’s footwork translating to the NFL level:
While the first two plays, from his UCLA days, are examples of reaction time and footwork, the play from last Sunday is a glimpse of Rosen using his feet in the pocket to extend, all while he is making reads and a very impressive leverage throw.
The crisp passes and precision accuracy he displayed against the Seahawks are drawing most of the attention, but this play shows that the footwork component to his game – which was a question mark during his pre-draft process for some – is beginning to translate.
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