Should New York Giants Pursue Josh Rosen?
With the New York Giants having no playoff plans this year, all eyes are focused on the NFL Draft this upcoming April. With a plethora of options the team could take, one college athlete appears to have made his choice, and that is UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen.
Adam Schefter of ESPN reported Sunday morning that Josh Rosen is hesitant to declare for the draft, as the Cleveland Browns hold the first overall pick. In this same report, Schefter states that Rosen would prefer to play for the Giants. The junior quarterback has until Jan. 15 to declare for the NFL Draft, so the countdown begins as of Christmas Eve.
It’s An Eli Manning Situation All Over Again
Rosen is taking the same entry path into the NFL as New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning made. In 2004, the San Diego Chargers held the No. 1 pick, and Manning told the team that he had no plans to play for them. He even went as far as to say that he would sit out that entire season. The Chargers did end up drafting Manning, but was traded later in the night to the Giants, in exchange for Philip Rivers.
With Cleveland’s notorious reputation of mediocrity, Rosen appears hesitant of his long-term future if he were drafted by Cleveland. Who knows if this situation will be exactly like that of 2004, but it is shaping up that way.
Rosen has chosen to sit out the Cactus Bowl against Kansas State, appearing to prevent risk of injury before the draft. When asked about this, the junior quarterback mentioned that Leonard Fournette and Christian McCaffrey skipped their bowl games as well before declaring for the NFL. Despite Schefter’s report that came a day later, it appears the plan is for Rosen to enter the draft process.
In a loaded quarterback class in this upcoming draft, Rosen has been called the most polished of the quarterbacks. Standing at six-feet-four and weighing 218 pounds, has been viewed as a pure passer, with a pretty good deep ball, and footwork in the pocket. Not only that, but he has shown the grit to lead the Bruins to victory. Just look at the fake spike touchdown pass he threw in the first game of the season to defeat Texas A&M.
In his junior season, Rosen has completed 282-of-451 pass attempts for 3,717 yards, 26 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions. The UCLA product produced the best quarterback rating in college football, posting a 146.3 rating.
The hype entering the season surrounded Sam Darnold of USC, and which team would “tank” their season for him. Four months later, Darnold has not declared for the draft as of yet, and is still a raw prospect. That could take some time for him to ease into the NFL style of play.
Rosen has some flaws that come with him. He does have an injury history, mostly notably suffering two concussions this past season, the second coming at the end of November. What has come into question as well is his personality traits. Back in August, the UCLA quarterback said, “school and football don’t go together,” as well as, ” human beings don’t belong in school with our schedules.” What probably hurt him more is that he hinted Alabama would not be the successful, powerhouse team that it is if the SAT requirements were raised.
These comments certainly raised a few eyebrows. However, it is not uncommon for NFL Draft prospects to be outspoken. Teams want to look at his play on the field. If he can play, then that’s what matters for team owners, general managers, and head coaches.
Case for the Giants
Rosen has shown the poise and footwork in the pocket, the accuracy to pass the ball down the field. What is most notable is that Rosen has the career stats after losing three starters on the offensive line in his sophomore season, something that the Giants are all too familiar with. One disadvantage is that Rosen is not the most mobile of quarterbacks, as compared to Baker Mayfield or Lamar Jackson.
If the Giants were to draft Rosen, (whether by staying put at their position, or negotiating a trade with Cleveland), think of the possibilities. Rosen has the likes of Odell Beckham Jr, Sterling Shepard, and Evan Engram at his disposal.
The NFC East booming with young quarterbacks, such as Carson Wentz, Dak Prescott, and Kirk Cousins. The Giants learned that they will have to get their young signal caller in the very near future.
Manning is 36 years old, with uncertainty of how much longer he will play in the league. New York will have to find his eventual successor, and it is unknown if Davis Webb is a part of the future, as he has yet to see regular season action. However, if Rosen blows away NFL scouts at the combine, the Giants may have no choice but to take him.
Let’s remember though, it all depends on the new Giants regime. Plans are contingent around the new general manager and head coach will have their preferences in a quarterback.
With the NFL Draft four months away, so much can change in the quarterback landscape. At this current time, it appears on paper that Rosen to the Giants is a fit. However, the Cleveland Browns will play a major factor in the next couple of months.