Is There a Saving Grace for Josh Rosen?

Once a top quarterback prospect, Josh Rosen is now a leading candidate for the biggest draft bust in recent memory.

Taken 10th overall back in 2018, the former UCLA Bruin has yet to play in a situation where he was ever wanted––definitely never in a situation where he was set up for success. Even though his two seasons as a pro haven’t been successful, it’s hard to look at any of his failures and pin it 100 percent on him.

He was thrown to the wolves in Week 3 of the 2018 season against the NFL’s best defense in the Chicago Bears. While it was just for 13 snaps, Rosen wasn’t exactly put in the best position to see immediate success––but it bought him the role of starting quarterback for the remainder of the season.

In 14 games (13 starts), the Cardinals quarterback completed just 55.2 percent of his passes for 2,278 yards and an 11 to 14 touchdown-to-interception ratio. He also got sacked 45 times (10.3 percent of his dropbacks) and saw his receivers drop 26 passes for the season.

To make matters worse, head coach Steve Wilks was then replaced with Kliff Kingsbury––who made it adamant that he wanted the Heisman trophy-winning Kyler Murray at No. 1 overall.

He was then selected, and the writing was soon placed on the wall for Rosen’s departure.

Next stop: Miami.

With the Dolphins, Rosen showed flashes of why he was a 10th overall pick, as well as flashes of the quarterback Arizona gave up on after 13 starts. It wasn’t all bad, but it was seldom any good for the UCLA product. He played just six games, starting three, and saw the same problems he faced in Arizona: drop-happy receivers, a spotty offensive line, and a coaching staff that made it clear early on that they didn’t see him as their future; already expressing an interest in Alabama’s signal-caller, Tua Tagovailoa.

Through all the uncertainty, it was a rough go of things for Rosen. Sixteen sacks (12.8 percent of dropbacks), a completion rate of 53.2 percent, and throwing just one touchdown to five interceptions.

He also twice lost the starting quarterback competition to veteran journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Now that the Dolphins have their supposed future in Tagovailoa, as well as an expressed interest in reuniting with Fitzpatrick for another year, it seems all but certain that the pride of Torrance, Calif. will be on his third team in three years.

But who would want the potentially damaged goods of a former college phenom turned NFL bust? And what situation may be his saving grace?

Pittsburgh Steelers

Going to a starting situation would likely result in another subpar season for the young quarterback. That wouldn’t be the case in the Steel City, as everyone expects Ben Roethlisberger to be ready to go after undergoing elbow surgery.

Rosen gets the chance to learn behind a future Hall of Famer, as well as benefit from a good offensive line and solid receiving corps should he be sprung into action.

Just sit back and watch. Maybe take a few notes here and there. Something that Rosen likely should’ve gotten in Arizona, but instead was forced into NFL action prematurely. Could it be his saving grace? Time will tell.

New York Jets

Going from one AFC East team to another seems unlikely for Rosen, especially one that already features a quarterback that was in his class. However, if there’s one thing the New York Jets showed us last year is that they suffered greatly from Sam Darnold’s absence.

You can’t predict injury, but that’s why you take precautions. They cannot afford to have another backup situation with Luke Falk, Trevor Siemian, and others of the like.

Rosen, on the other hand, gets a legitimate shot to prove himself in training camp––either securing a roster spot or getting traded to his fourth team at the end. Regardless, he likely needs a year behind a highly-talented quarterback to best develop him.

Tennessee Titans

Yes, Ryan Tannehill was on another planet in 2019. Yes, it made for an eventual significant pay-day as well. However, this is the same man who only put together one injury-shortened season with a record above .500.

Not to say he will undoubtedly revert back to the mean in 2020, but you have to have an insurance policy if you’re the Titans. Marcus Mariota left you for the Raiders this offseason, leaving Logan Woodside and Cole McDonald as their backup quarterbacks.

Bringing in Rosen, from a purely upside perspective, makes the absolute most sense for the Titans behind Tannehill. He provides a fresh body, a pretty good arm, and decent footwork in the pocket. Getting to play behind Taylor Lewan and Dennis Kelly should also help him stay upright, which he couldn’t do in Arizona or Miami.

Detroit Lions

The Lions, to at least my surprise, never looked into drafting a quarterback this season. With rumors that they could be looking to move on from Matthew Stafford, as well as a likely rebuild, it just seemed all but inevitable.

If the latter is true, however, bringing in a young quarterback like Josh Rosen could be good for them moving forward.

His offensive line wouldn’t be the best, but he’d be getting serious help from a receiving corps full of proven pass-catchers. Guys like Danny Amendola, Marvin Jones Jr., and Kenny Golladay each would pass for Rosen’s most talented, reliable receiver outside of Larry Fitzgerald.

Josh Rosen has seemingly been set up to fail at the NFL level. With a truly make-or-break season coming up in 2020, he needs to shine, or else his days in the league may be numbered.

The man once dubbed “Chosen Rosen” will now be waiting on an opportunity to finally prove he can play at this level.

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