The matches between quarterbacks and their new teams were not pretty to start the 2018 NFL Draft.
At No. 1, Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns. Oh boy.
At No. 3, Sam Darnold and the New York Jets. Yikes
At No. 7, Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills. What could go wrong?
It’s typical for good quarterback prospects to inherit crappy rosters. The picture is truly grim for every one of those quarterbacks. Admittedly, the Browns look talented on paper, but they’re the Browns.
At No. 10, Josh Rosen and the Arizona Cardinals? That makes a lot of sense. That looks like a very successful pairing. It came together perfectly for both parties. Rosen is set up to realize his potential.
Just like Rosen can feel good about where he landed, the Cardinals can feel good about how they landed Rosen. They gave up their No. 15 pick, a third-rounder and a fifth-rounder to get the No. 10 pick, where they got Rosen. That’s a great value if Rosen turns out to be the best quarterback in this year’s draft.
And we may not have to wait long to see Rosen. Sam Bradford’s health is always a concern — Rosen could start as soon as Week 1.
Larry Fitzgerald is an ideal veteran with which Rosen will begin to build rapport. Rosen, who is thought to be cocky to a fault, may just get humbled by Fitzgerald’s presence. The receiver should do wonders in helping Rosen acclimate properly to stardom and, most important, into a leadership position in a pro franchise. And it goes without saying (but I’ll say it): Fitzgerald is also a great target for Rosen to get comfortable on the field.
Then there’s David Johnson, who is one of the NFL’s most dangerous weapons at running back. Johnson will be Rosen’s safety net. He’ll also be Rosen’s home run threat. When Rosen does get the starting job, Johnson will draw a great deal of defensive attention. Play action will be Rosen’s friend. Eight-man boxes (to defend Johnson) may also be Rosen’s friend.
Just like any situation, it’s not perfect. Offensive coordinator Mike McCoy is fresh off a disastrous season as the Denver Broncos offensive coordinator. The Cardinals’ offensive line also allowed the the third most sacks in 2017 (52). And Steven Wilks is a first-year head coach. If Rosen does get snippy or negative, how will Wilks handle any attitude issues?
But I’m not so sure Rosen will be a handful.
His teammates in Arizona will probably be pleasantly surprised. In his pre-draft interviews, he has seemed like a heady, opinionated kid. But he hasn’t come off as a jerk. Starting as a backup, Rosen may get the chance to watch and learn how to win over a locker room behind Bradford, a former No. 1 overall pick.
Rosen should have an excellent support system in Arizona on and off the field. He may be a top 10 pick, but his situation is worlds better than the other quarterbacks that went before him.