In 2018, The Cardinals used the 10th pick on UCLA’s Josh Rosen. Seen by some as the most “pro ready” Quarterback in the draft, he was slated to sit behind then starter Sam Bradford. Just two games into the season, Rosen took the field, Bradford was benched and soon cut. While the season was still an epic 3-13 disaster, what happened next no one could’ve seen coming.
Not only would the Cardinals fire first year head coach Steve Wilks, but they’d make it known that drafting another Quarterback wasn’t out of the equation. The following weeks included the hiring of Kliff Kingsbury and the drafting of Kyler Murray. Just like that, the Josh Rosen era ended in Arizona with a trade to Miami.
Since then, Rosen was cut by Miami and now sits in limbo on the Bucs practice squad. It’s only year three, and Rosen’s career looks as ugly as this interception by Russell Wilson.
It’s gotten to the point where, when mentioning Quarterbacks from the 2018 draft, Pro Football Focus doesn’t even remember he exists.
Which class of 2018 QB would you pick first? 🤔 pic.twitter.com/Urs6RfZzv2— PFF (@PFF) December 8, 2020
While it’s all fun and games to laugh at Josh Rosen, the reality is that he was never given a chance to succeed. The Cardinals were horrid, and the Dolphins weren’t much better. Given that Rosen wasn’t mobile to begin with, putting him behind bad offensive lines with limited skill position players was a recipe for disaster. However, the NFL has put young Quarterbacks on notice. Be competitive, or get benched.
Second year Quarterback Dwayne Haskins was benched just four games into the 2020 NFL season. While it had more to do with than just his play, which wasn’t very good to begin with, it was still shocking to see the 15th overall pick get benched after his 11th career start.
This brought on a lot of comparisons to Josh Allen’s early career passing stats. In Josh Allen’s rookie year, he started 11 games, and played in 12. In two two seasons, Haskins has started 11 games, and played in 13. Keep in mind that Allen has had a much better, more consistent coaching staff and roster compared to Haskins.
Allen’s Stats: 2,074 yards, 6.5 yards-per-attempt, 52.8% completion, 10 touchdowns, 12 interceptions, 67.9 rating
Haskins Stats: 2,304 yards, 6.6 yards-per-attempt, 59.6% completion, 11 touchdowns, 10 interceptions, 78.2 rating
Josh Allen, now in year three, has the Bills at 9-3, he’s a top five MVP candidate, and is the seventh ranked Quarterback by Pro Football Focus. The Bills had every reason to move off of him after year two, and yet they didn’t. Granted, Allen is more of a dual threat than Haskins has ever even dreamed of being, but the question still remains. Did Washington give up on Haskins too soon?
The former sixth overall pick has had a turnover plagued, up and down career thus far. After a relatively impressive rookie season, the Giants replaced their head coach and their offensive coordinator. Daniel Jones would not only have to brave a pandemic, but an entirely new system with no OTA’s or preseason.
Jump ahead midway through the season, the Giants sat at 1-7, and the noise to move off of Daniel Jones grew louder. While it’s obvious that Jones has struggled with ball security, his talent is undeniable both running and passing.
DANIEL JONES 80 YARDS BEFORE THE TURF MONSTER STRIKESpic.twitter.com/IZdOlqFBjC— PFF (@PFF) October 23, 2020
Passer rating on 20+ yard throws:— PFF (@PFF) December 5, 2020
1. Daniel Jones – 143.1
2. Kyler Murray – 129.2 pic.twitter.com/XO8YJrbTSL
Since the Giants recent winning streak began, Daniel Jones turnovers have drastically fallen. As it stands right now, Pro Football Focus has Jones ranked as the 11th best Quarterback in the NFL. Given what I’ve seen from Giants head coach Joe Judge, I believe that if the Giants nail this upcoming draft, free agency, and Jones continues to develop, they’ll be a real playoff contender next season.
“Tanking for Tua” was the slogan coined by any and all Dolphins fans in 2019. Fast forward a season later, at 3-3, the Dolphins made Tua their starter in what was rumored to be an “audition”. While head coach Brian Flores disputed this notion, it was utterly bizarre to see Tua benched against the Broncos citing it was the “best move at that point of the game”.
The best way to truly develop and see how big of a pair your young Quarterback has, is to have them in real game pressure situations. Not take them out when the going gets tough. And while Tua has remained the starter, I question exactly how committed Brian Flores is to him.
With the emergence of both Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert, Tua has clearly looked the least impressive of the three. If Tua doesn’t end this season on a positive note, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Dolphins looked at other options.
Why Is This the Cardinals Fault?
When the Cardinals got rid of Josh Rosen in the fashion they did, teams across the league realized something. You can admit your fault on a high pick at Quarterback early, draft a replacement, and be better off for it immediately. Kyler Murray and Kliff Kingsbury instantly turned the Cardinals into a fun, competitive team. Something they never once looked like under Steve Wilks and Josh Rosen.
Not everyone can hit the ground running like Patrick Mahomes in his first year as a starter, but with Quarterbacks like Russell Wilson, Deshaun Watson, Lamar jackson and even rookie sensation Justin Herbert, they’ve made it very difficult to be a young “struggling” Quarterback. Josh Rosen was given one of the worst rosters in the NFL, and couldn’t do much. Kyler Murray with (basically) the same roster was competitive week after week.
Maybe it’s the system, maybe it’s the coaching staff, maybe it’s all that and more. The fact of the matter is that just because a Quarterback hasn’t shown greatness in year one or two, doesn’t mean that they should be replaced. Current Quarterbacks like Kirk Cousins, Josh Allen, Ryan Tannehill, and Jared Goff are proof of this.
Don’t get me wrong, if you have the chance to draft a “generational talent”, you do it. If you give a Quarterback all the weapons in the world and they can’t make it work, look elsewhere. That’s practical logic. What isn’t practical logic however, is giving a Quarterback two years or less to figure out the NFL. Especially if the situation isn’t adequate.