Nine players went ahead of Josh Rosen in the 2018 NFL Draft. The UCLA quarterback famously claimed he would be better than all of them.
“Nine mistakes were made ahead of me,” Rosen said. “And I will make sure over the next decade or so that they will know that they made a mistake.”
Three and a half years later, it’s looking like selecting Rosen in the top 10 was the mistake. He is moving onto his fifth team in four years and is running out of chances to prove himself at the NFL level.
The Falcons are the latest to give Rosen a chance, as they will have him compete for the backup job behind Matt Ryan. Previously, that had belonged to AJ McCarron, but the veteran tore his ACL in the second preseason game. Atlanta needed an experienced player to join the fold with only undrafted rookie Feleipe Franks behind Ryan.
Can Rosen finally live up to his potential? We’ll know soon enough, but so far during his career, he hasn’t been able to stick anywhere.
Josh Rosen draft
Rosen was selected 10th overall in the 2018 NFL Draft by the Cardinals. Arizona traded up to select him, making him the fourth quarterback off the board and final pick of a star-studded top 10.
That said, Rosen was not happy about slipping to the final pick of the top 10.
“I was pretty pissed off when I fell,” he said, per NFL.com. “One, two and three went by and it just kind of was a blur after that.”
While Rosen was hoping to prove that the nine players picked ahead of him were mistakes, he did little to make that happen in his stint with the Cardinals. He started 13 games as a rookie in Arizona and compiled a 3-10 record while completing 55.2 percent of his passes for 2,278 yards, 11 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.
Because of their poor 2018 season, the Cardinals landed the No. 1 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. Speculation began swirling that Kyler Murray was the apple of new coach Kilff Kingsbury’s eye, but the coach denied it.
“Our feelings toward Josh haven’t waned or changed,” Kingsbury said, per Cardinals.com. “I get that we have the first pick and there are going to be a million scenarios, and over the next three months they are going to come up. But Josh is our guy.”
Of course, that turned out to be a smokescreen. The Cardinals selected Murray with the first overall pick and just a day later, they traded Rosen. The move came exactly a year after trading up to get him in the 2018 draft.
Josh Rosen Dolphins trade
The draft-pick-rich Dolphins sent a late second-round pick and a fifth-round pick in the 2019 draft to the Cardinals in exchange for Rosen.
“Very rarely do you get a second chance to make a first impression, so [I’m] trying to get off [on] the right foot with all these guys here,” Rosen said after being traded.
Once again, things didn’t go as planned. Rosen started three games for the Dolphins while competing with Ryan Fitzpatrick for playing time. The Dolphins went 0-3 in Rosen’s starts and his numbers — 53.2 completion percentage, 567 passing yards, one TD and five interceptions — were worse than his rookie season.
The Dolphins ended up with a top-five pick in the 2020 NFL Draft and spent it on Tua Tagovailoa. They kept Rosen around to compete for a third-string job behind Fitzpatrick and Tagovailoa, but they ultimately tried — and failed — to trade him before the 2020 season. So, they cut him.
Before releasing Rosen, Dolphins coach Brian Flores called him “immensely talented,” but acknowledged that trading for him didn’t work out as planned.
“You don’t hit on every player. On every trade. On every draft pick. Show me a team that’s hit on every one. And I’ll applaud that team,” Flores said, per ESPN.com. “So I’m not saying there is any regrets. In the moment, we felt that was the best move for the Dolphins. So it didn’t work out. We’ve moved on from Josh. And we’ll leave it at that.”
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Did Josh Rosen win a Super Bowl ring?
Rosen landed on his feet after his release and joined the Buccaneers’ practice squad. He spent a majority of the 2020 season there learning under Tom Brady, Blaine Gabbert and Ryan Griffin. Rosen described learning from Brady as “a privilege.”
However, late in the season, Rosen was granted an opportunity to join the 49ers’ active roster. So, on December 23, he signed with San Francisco.
The Buccaneers went on to win the Super Bowl. However, Rosen didn’t receive a Super Bowl ring. Had he remained with the Buccaneers’ practice squad through the Super Bowl, he would’ve gotten one. That said, when active roster spots open up, NFL players tend to take them, so he can hardly be blamed for his decision to pursue a spot on the 49ers’ 53-man roster.
2021 STANDARD FANTASY RANKINGS:
Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | Kicker | Top 200
Josh Rosen with the 49ers
Rosen joined the 49ers with both Jimmy Garoppolo and Nick Mullens sidelined by injuries and practice squad quarterback Josh Johnson dealing with COVID-19. He was active for two games as the backup to CJ Beathard, but he didn’t play.
Rosen competed with Nate Sudfeld for the third-string quarterback behind Garoppolo and Trey Lance during the 2021 offseason. However, he was frustrated by his lack of reps. As a result, the 49ers waived him.
Now, Rosen should get more reps as he battles Franks for the Falcons’ backup job. But as he joins his fifth team in four years since joining the league, his time to make an impact is running out.
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