The Good on Brock Osweiler, QB, Arizona State:
Osweiler is a big, strong quarterback. At 6-foot-8 and 240 pounds, he should measure out nicely across the board at the combine. While tall quarterbacks may not be as desirable as they have been in the past, his size certainly won’t hurt him. Many other tall quarterbacks struggle with agility and poor footwork. This is definitely not the case for Osweiler. He can move very well in the pocket and possesses strong footwork. While he will never win any footraces against Robert Griffin III, he can move well enough in the pocket and will be able to at the next level.
What makes Osweiler intriguing is his arm strength. While we have been touting Griffin’s arm strength since September, we truly believe that Osweiler has the strongest arm in the draft. While this is not an indicator of how a quarterback is going to perform at the next level, teams and scouts alike will become enamored with his arm at the NFL Combine. He can make any throw, short or long, and generally possesses good accuracy on those throws. We say generally, because like many young strong armed quarterbacks, there are indeed times when he forces the ball into coverage, which will kill him early in his career in the NFL. Still, his raw ability is going to take him a long way if he’s willing to refine his game.
The Bad on Osweiler
He’s raw; very raw. He only has one year of starting under his belt, and while his stats were good, they weren’t great. Playing in a quarterback-friendly conference in the Pac-12, and a passer friendly offense, we see Osweiler struggling to make an initial transition into the NFL. He’s got to learn how to run an offense under center, something he’s never done, and something we believe will be a significant issue for him early on. As we stated earlier as well, Osweiler will often force the ball into coverage and may struggle a bit reading defenses. When he didn’t see the play in front of him he just seemed to throw it to where his top wide receiver, Gerrell Robinson, might be. It worked, somewhat, in college, but it won’t in the pros. He truly needs to study the game and work as a third quarterback behind an experienced starter and a apable backup. We feel that if a team trusts him as a backup, he will struggle mightily on his first taste of action. We also feel that he may not be able to overcome those early struggles.
What Do We Really Think?
There’s no question about it. This kid is a project. He’s not going to be Andrew Luck and come right in to the NFL and start. He needs the right system to come up under, and preferably underneath a veteran quarterback who will give him the time he needs to develop as a player.
There have been many parallels drawn between Osweiler and
Ryan Mallett, and we think those comparisons are extremely apt. Both are big and strong armed, both struggled at times with accuracy, and both came from non-NFL style offenses. However, Osweiler is more mobile, has a better head on his shoulders, and shows better ability to read defenses than Mallett. Of course, Mallett had some significant off-the-field baggage, something that Osweiler does not. That will help him. No matter what happened to Mallett before the draft, he landed in an absolutely ideal spot for him, getting to work behind Tom Brady, and learn from the best in the business.
Osweiler needs the same chance. He would have been an ideal fit for the Indianapolis Colts if Peyton Manning were able to stay healthy, and groom Osweiler that way. We all would have been saved this current drama. However, that is the type of situation that Osweiler needs. What is out there like that? Well, with all of the quarterback turnover lately, it is tough to tell, but someone will inevitably take that chance. Look for that team to make a move for him sometime early on Day 3 after lesser prospects like Kirk Cousins, Nick Foles and Brandon Weeden are off the board.