Like any player trapped in the lengthy cycle of pre-draft analysis and overanalysis, UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen has had his game dissected, his traits as a teammate evaluated, his political views and family background picked through.
With the NFL Draft days away, the noise is intensifying that Rosen is "falling" and might not be selected as highly as initially figured. At one point, he and USC quarterback Sam Darnold figured to be the first two players selected. Still, it seems hard to fathom that Rosen will be available if the Buffalo Bills remain at No. 12 in Round 1 on Thursday night.
Rosen was among four quarterbacks that the Bills brought to Orchard Park for a top-30 visit and Bills' officials also conducted a private workout with him in Los Angeles.
Former UCLA coach Jim Mora raised eyebrows when he said USC's Sam Darnold would be a better fit for the Cleveland Browns at No. 1 and noted that Rosen is a millennial who "needs to be challenged intellectually so he doesn’t get bored.’’ Mora then said his comments were misconstrued.
On Sunday, Mora tweeted, "Those that question (Josh Rosen) and his toughs, competitiveness and love of the game are so far off anything I’ve seen in 6+ years knowing this man. He’s the real deal, he has it all, he will be a great one, he will win championships. I’ve had the amazing fortune of being around 24 members of the Pro Football HOF, I believe we may see Josh Rosen enshrined one day. A lot of work to do, a lot of games/championships to win, but he has the qualities to do it. Good luck my friend!"
Rosen has largely been off social media recently, but retweeted Mora's comments Sunday.
So what to make of the Rosen conundrum? Here are five draft analysts with their take on Rosen:
Mike Mayock, NFL Network: "He's the best pure thrower, best pure passer I've seen in several years. I mean, he's on balance on every throw. He's accurate, short, intermediate and deep. The problem I have with him is there is a durability issue. The shoulder issue in '16, two concussions in '17, and when you combine that with an inability to escape from the pocket, I'm concerned. I'm concerned whether or not he can play enough games to make a significant dent in the NFL. So I love his talent, but I'm very worried about his ability to survive."
Louis Riddick, ESPN, former NFL GM: “He is smooth as silk in the pocket pre-snap, in the pocket, post-snap. How he moves defenders with his eyes, how he moves defenders with pump fakes, how he buys time within the pocket a la Tom Brady. I’m not comparing him to Tom Brady. I’m saying those are the kinds of things he survives with. He is not the kind of guy who is going to get out of the perimeter and be a dual run-pass threat. When you watch how he deals with football, he does it a very high level, which leads me to believe he has a very high football IQ. He’s someone who I do not disparage him for all his outside interests and all the other things he has going on in his life. I want to know more about him.