Has there ever been a quarterback taken in the Top 10 of the NFL Draft who has been given less of a chance to succeed than Josh Rosen?
In 2018, he was drafted by an Arizona Cardinals team with an inept offensive coordinator who led his team to a dead last finish in total offense and an offensive line that tied for the third most sacks allowed. Rejected by his new head coach Kliff Kingsbury who preferred a more mobile Kyler Murray to run his Air Raid offense, Rosen was traded to the Miami Dolphins for the 2019 season.
Arguably, he was thrust into an even worse situation. The Dolphins are in full tank mode as they are trading away some of their best players to stockpile draft picks. They are also greatly diminishing their chances of winning, which in turn will help them secure the highest possible pick in the 2020 draft with their own 1st round pick.
And who will they take with their pick? Probably one of the highly touted QBs of the 2020 draft class. Most analysts think that is Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa. Hence the trending hastag #TankforTua that accompanies many tweets related to the Dolphins.
Josh Rosen just can’t get a break. But his misfortune just might be a buying opportunity for dynasty fantasy football players, particularly in Superflex and 2QB leagues. In most 2018 dynasty rookie drafts in those leagues, Rosen easily went in the first round. But according to the Dynasty Trade Calculator, in 12 team Superflex leagues Rosen is currently valued at 8.6 and the 2020 1.12 is at 13. In other words, dynasty players might be able to get him for just a 2nd today.
At the start of the 2019 season, they probably could have made this trade happen easily when Rosen was passed over as the Miami starter in favor of journeyman QB Ryan Fitzpatrick. But the Dolphins decided to give Rosen his chance and see what they have in the young signal caller by giving him the start against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 3.
I’m here to suggest to dynasty players that the window for making this trade isn’t closed yet. If they do make it, it could pay off big for them if not this season then the next.
First of all, there’s no doubt in my mind that the Dolphins are looking hard at a QB with their first pick. But they have competition if Tua is their man. The Jets, Bengals, Steelers, and Broncos share the worst record in the NFL with the Dolphins, and all of them except the Jets could conceivably take Tua. Even if they did, there are a few other QBs in the 2020 draft class with the potential to be franchise QBs, so the odds are good that Rosen will be on the move again for the 2020 season.
Where could he end up? Wherever he ends up, it most likely will be a team in need of a franchise QB. Think of the teams that have QBs near the end of their careers. How does Rosen on the Saints sound? The Steelers? The Chargers? And the juiciest of them all, the Patriots? What about teams that have questions marks at the QB position? The starters in Tampa Bay,
Cincinatti, Denver, Chicago, and Carolina have QBs who are struggling or just mediocre and could be pushed aside.
Perhaps those teams address the position in the draft, but if they don’t there could be an opening for a QB who hasn’t been given a fair shot and was taken in the Top 10 of the NFL Draft just 3 years prior.
And let’s not overlook the possibility that the Dolphins don’t get their man at QB in the draft, so they decide to roll with Rosen. It’s unlikely I know, but it’s possible. And if the Dolphins use their plethora of picks to build around Rosen, that would give him a better chance to succeed than he’s ever had.
But does Rosen have the talent to succeed? Among the 2018 dynasty Superflex rookie class, I had Rosen ranked behind Mayfield and essentially tied for 2nd with Sam Darnold. I liked his pocket presence, his mechanics, his mental processing, and, for the most part, his accuracy. I had questions about his arm strength and his leadership. I didn’t think he played all that great with the Cardinals, but I also don’t think it was the best situation in which he could be evaluated.
Watching him play against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 3, however, reignited my interest in him and gave me the idea for this dynasty buy low article. Besides the numerous teams he could end up playing for, I thought that his first start of the 2019 season provided ample evidence that Josh Rosen still has the potential to succeed in the NFL and become a legitimate dynasty asset and fantasy producer.
In the first half of the game, Rosen went 11/22/156 yards, 0 TDs, 0 INTs. He led the offense to 6 first half points. But his performance was much better than the box score indicates. First of all, many of the attributes that made him a Top 10 pick were on full display. He showed great pocket poise and made subtle adjustments to elude pressure. He also threw with touch and accuracy. His first half stat line and team offensive production would have been much more impressive if only his coaches and teammates had performed better.
Several coaching decisions and player miscues undermined Rosen. At the end of the 1st quarter, he had driven his team down to the Dallas 8-yard line. His coaches proceeded to call 3 straight run plays, and their lack of creativity resulted in the team settling for a field goal. In the 2nd quarter, Rosen had driven his team into the red zone again, and threw a beautiful pass on 3rd & 4 to Preston Williams down the right sideline in the end zone. The ball was punched out at the last second by the corner, but Williams appeared to have control for a couple of steps. The call could have gone either way as the announcers and many people on Twitter believed, but the Dolphins coaches didn’t even bother to challenge the call.
In the final 2 minutes of the half, Rosen got his team into the red zone yet again. But then Davante Parker had a horrible drop on a crossing route that he might have taken into the end zone. Then on the next play, Kenyan Drake lost a fumble. All in all, Rosen could have taken his team into the locker room at least tied as 22.5 point dogs and against one of the best teams in the NFL.
The second half of the game was another story. He went 7/17/44 yards, 0 TDs, 0 INTs and 0 points. Some of this performance was on Rosen whose pocket poise faltered as he took 3 sacks and didn’t get rid of the ball as fast as he should have. His accuracy also declined a bit with several throws off target. But it also was attributable to the Dallas defense making their adjustments, getting better coverage on his WRs and bringing more pressure.
Another troubling issue was his demeanor. I noticed a couple of times getting frustrated, including after a false start penalty on his offensive line. This reaction is the kind of leadership issue that draft scouts were wary of and he will need to improve upon if he wants to become another team’s franchise QB.
Opportunities around the league and Rosen’s first half flash with an inferior supporting cast and against a tough Dallas team suggest that Rosen might be worth the investment. Dynasty players wouldn’t have to give up much for a QB who could pay big dividends somewhere down the line. But the time to act might be now in case Rosen continues to display the attributes and potential that made him a Top 10 NFL Draft pick and 1st round Dynasty Superflex rookie pick.