04/30/2012 - The Broncos appear determined to give quarterback Brock Osweiler every chance to succeed. First, there's the plan to provide Osweiler with a multi-year apprenticeship behind Peyton Manning. Although the health of Manning's neck remains the question mark that hovers over the Broncos' prospects this year, a successful return without a recurrence of neck trouble likely means a three-year run as starting quarterback, since his 2013 and 2014 salaries are guaranteed if he is still on the roster next March. Before selecting Osweiler, executive VP John Elway wanted to make sure the quarterback knew a long apprenticeship might await him. "When we went and talked to Brock, I said, 'Brock, are you fine sitting on the bench for three, four or five years, because Peyton's going to be the guy?'" Elway recalled. Osweiler's answer -- which came during a thorough, day-long meeting that included a throwing session and conversations with Elway, John Fox and general manager Brian Xanders -- was what Elway wanted to hear, and the Broncos used their 57th pick on him. "I know I need to continue to progress as a quarterback," Osweiler said. "I think Denver is a perfect situation for me to do that." That situation was helped by the fact that the Broncos only added one rookie receiver: Osweiler's favorite target at ASU, Gerell Robinson, who caught 77 catches for 1,397 yards and seven touchdowns for the Sun Devils last year. Robinson was one of 12 undrafted free-agent pickups made on April 28. - The Sports Xchange
Brock Osweiler may have surprised scouts with his decision to leave Arizona State after his junior season but considering the relative lack of top-flight talent following Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III in the 2012 draft, it may prove to be a decision that scouts ultimately are thankful for his making.
Possessing a unique combination of size, arm strength, accuracy and surprising athleticism, Osweiler is one of the more talented quarterback prospects available in the 2012 draft. He remains very much a work in progress, however, having only started 15 collegiate games.
Osweiler signed with Arizona State as a highly touted prep prospect. His size and athleticism intrigued coaches from all over the country (Alabama, Florida State, Tennessee, among them) including basketball coaches. Once in Tempe, Osweiler worked his way up the depth chart to become the first ASU freshman quarterback to start a game since Jake Plummer (1993). Though he flashed talent in that start (Oregon), Osweiler only completed 43.6% of his passes overall for 249 yards and two touchdowns against two interceptions for the year.
Osweiler lost out to former Georgia Tech and Michigan quarterback Steven Threet for the starting position in 2010 but saw action in six games, leading ASU to a comeback win over UCLA and a win over rival Arizona in his only start of the season. Osweiler completed 56.9% of his passes in 2010 for 797 yards and five touchdowns. He did not throw an interception.
The lanky Arizona State quarterback had shown talent and grit in his first two seasons with the program but few expected him to emerge as one of the top quarterbacks in the country in 2011. Osweiler, however, showed an immediate comfort level with ASU's new spread offense re-writing the ASU record book by completing 63.2% of his passes for 4,036 yards and 26 touchdowns (against 13 interceptions). His play helped lead Arizona State to a berth against Boise State in the Las Vegas Bowl, ASU's first bowl appearance since 2007. Though the Sun Devils lost, Osweiler completed 30 of 47 pass attempts for 395 yards and two touchdowns with an interception.
NFL scouts will certainly have to be cautious when projecting Osweiler's rapid development into the NFL. With only one season as the starter and having played that season in a relatively simple offense, Osweiler is clearly a project. He does, however, possess the athletic tools to work with and has been recognized throughout his career as a hard worker. Given time to acclimate, he could emerge as a legitimate starting caliber NFL quarterback and one who perhaps could be found at a palatable point in the draft.
Accuracy: Good accuracy overall, including excellent accuracy on short timing routes to backs and receivers, placing the ball slightly in front to lead receivers to potential yardage gained after the catch. Flashes good anticipation and is willing to release passes before the receiver has made his break. Good zip and ball placement on the quick slant. Good touch down the seam and on post-corner, flag routes to attack the defense vertically and horizontally. Good accuracy and zip on crossing routes over the middle. Not often asked to roll out and throw on the move in this offense but demonstrates the ability to do so, especially when rolling to his right.
Arm Strength: Possesses a strong right arm and is capable of making every NFL throw easily. Can drive the deep out to the sideline from the opposite hash and has no problem threading the needle between closing defenders. Easily zips to all areas of the field, demonstrating very good touch on underneath routes to running backs and receivers, as well as down the sideline on deep passes.
Setup/Release: Efficient set up and a quick release. Typically releases passes with a 3/4 delivery that almost shot-puts the ball and doesn't take advantage of his natural height advantage. Can drop down even lower with his delivery to complete passes around defenders. Also has a tendency to throw off his back foot when being pressured, leading to some passes drifting high and/or wide.
Reading Defenses: Excellent height to see over the defense. Wasn't asked to make many pre-snap reads in this offense. Too often stares down his primary target. Demonstrated improved ability to manipulate the defense with his eyes in 2011 though he remains under-developed in this area and does telegraph his throws.
On The Move: Surprisingly athletic considering his size. Committed to Gonzaga on a basketball scholarship as a sophomore in high school and only agreed to switch to Arizona State a year later when the Sun Devils agreed to let him play both sports. He briefly considered joining the ASU basketball team in 2010 but never played for the Sun Devils... Good balance and overall manueverability despite his height and can throw accurately on the move. Though significantly more athletic than his height would indicate, has only average straight-line speed and is easily caught from behind.
Intangibles: Has only 15 career starts and played in just 25 games, overall. Took the vast majority of snaps out of the shotgun in 2011 and will need to make the adjustment to dropping back from center -- not a unsubstantial requirement considering Osweiler's height. Courageous in the pocket. Willing to take the hit to complete the pass. Has been known as a hard worker throughout his career. Graduated high school early to join the team for spring practices in May of 2009... Earned the team's Hard Hat Award for his work in the off-season conditioning program in 2010... Named a team captain in 2011... Cited the loss of offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone (whom Osweiler credited with his development) as a primary reason why he elected to leave school after his junior season. Mazzone was among those fired along with head coach Dennis Erickson following the 2011 season... May be just scratching the surface of his potential...