May 122012
 

 

Quarterback

Arizona State

6-7 242

Draft board overall prospect rank: #32

Draft board overall quarterback rank: #3

Overall rating: 81 (Borderline 1st/2nd rounder)

40 time: 4.84

Games watched: Arizona State/MissouriUSC/Arizona StateBoise State/Arizona State

Positives

·         Big frame (6-7 242)

·         Mobile for his size

·         Quick release for his size

·         Huge arm

·         Can make all the throws

·         Above average deep accuracy

·         Productive in 2011 with mediocre supporting cast (63.2%, 7.8 YPA, 26:13 TD:INT)

·         Poised in the pocket

·         Succeeded in spite of offensive line (28 sacks last season)

·         Impressive footwork for an inexperienced quarterback

·         A ton of developmental talent

·         Pro style experience

·         Signature win against USC

Negatives

·         Only 16 starts

·         6-7 record as a junior, including 5 straight losses to end season

·         Quit on a crumbling program by leaving early?

·         Leadership?

·         Still raw

·         Still needs work on accuracy, footwork, decision making

·         Never had elite production

·         A bit inconsistent in 2011

NFL Comparison: Joe Flacco/Philip Rivers

Osweiler is similar to both Flacco and Rivers in that he is a big quarterback with a great arm. I think as an NFL player, he’ll be inferior to Rivers and superior to Flacco, who is still a bit of a question mark heading into year 5. He’s actually taller than both Flacco and Rivers and while he doesn’t quite have Flacco’s arm strength (few do), he’s got a quicker and more fluid release than both Rivers and Flacco and he’s more athletic.

On the field this season, he always stood out to me even though I was never spotlighting him. I was very impressed with his poise, his arm strength, and his deep accuracy, in addition to his surprisingly quick delivery, his surprisingly smooth footwork, and his surprising athleticism. He looked like an NFL quarterback out there running a Pro Style offense and frequently made beautiful throws on 15-18+ yard routes. Outside of Robert Griffin, I wasn’t impressed with anyone’s deep throwing ability more than I was with Osweiler.

I had him on my watch list to be a high 1st round pick in 2013, but he made a surprise declare as a junior with a mere 16 career starts. That decision was a head scratching one and brought up questions about his leadership and maturity. It appeared as if he was quitting on a crumbling Arizona State program that was rampant with immaturity (not just Vontaze Burfict) and lost 5 straight to end the season. Once a Pac-12 south favorite, especially after a big win over USC, Arizona State finished 6-7 and fired their Head Coach.

Had Osweiler returned for his senior season with a better coaching staff and with some of the bad apples on the team, and added another 13 starts of experience, improved on some things (accuracy, footwork, decision making, leadership), improved on his statistical production, and his win-loss record, he would have been able to distance himself from Arizona State’s rough 2011 season. There would be fewer questions about his maturity, experience and he probably would have been less raw. In that case, he probably would have gotten a high to mid first round grade from me (and I don’t give those often).

However, since he didn’t do that, I have a borderline first round grade on him. That’s still higher than most, but it’s not as high as it could be. He can affect his stock with a good (or bad) Pro Day in a few days. How he performs on his Pro Day could be the difference between the 2nd and 3rd/4th round for him. I think there’s enough developmental talent that I would use a 2nd rounder on him. I think he’s a more polished prospect than Ryan Tannehill or Brandon Weeden (even before you consider his age).

 

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