|Osweiler was impressive at his pro day but is that enough to put him into the first round? (US PRESSWIRE)|
It all started with NFL.com's Gil Brandt, who wrote Friday that Arizona State quarterback Brock Osweiler may have catapulted himself into the first round of the NFL Draft with his pro day performance. At 6-7, Osweiler is a former basketball player with rare athleticism, but the NFL scrap heap of broken dreams and unfulfilled promises are filled with physical specimens.
"Based on Friday’s workout, I think Osweiler vaulted himself into the first round on draft day," Brandt wrote. "He will likely work out for a number of teams; there is a lot of excitement surrounding him. His showing Friday was somewhat surprising; I think he exceeded the expectations of everybody in attendance."
Everyone agrees that Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III and Ryan Tannehill are the draft's top three quarterbacks. But no one has Osweiler No. 4. NFLDraftScout.com's Rob Rang has Brandon Weeden and Kirk Cousins ranked above Osweiler, whom he projects as a third-round pick.
Former NFL general manager Charley Casserly was asked about Brandt's assessment during an appearance on NFL Network's "Path to the Draft."
"I’m not sure what that means, to be honest with you," Casserly said of Brandt’s first-round projection (via PFT.com). "I haven’t studied this guy yet but I interviewed nine teams about him. Eight of them had him rated in the fourth round. The workout doesn’t change the rating on the tape. The other team had him rated in the second. Issues about the guy concerning decision making, accuracy, takes too many sacks, questionable instincts. All of those things, to me, are things you see on tape, not in the workout. I’m going to take what those teams said and stick with that."
NFL Films' Greg Cosell, who watches more film than anyone not employed by an NFL team, also doesn't consider Osweiler's shorts and t-shirts workout suddenly indicative of first-round talent.
Someone said Osweiler could get into 1st rd. Absolutely not 1st rd QB re: on tape. Needed functional space to step into throws. Big concern.— Greg Cosell (@gregcosell) March 31, 2012
Cosell echoed his Twitter skepticism on the Shutdown Corner podcast with Doug Farrar (via ArizonaSports.com):
"I thought he had a tendency to push the ball," Cosell said. "I thought his arm angle was low on his delivery. I thought he over-strided a lot, which even lowered his arm angle more. I thought he did not drive the ball. And I even made a note that he did not have a strong arm -- he needed functional space. I didn't think he was highly accurate.
"You can tell that in the games that I watched, I wasn't a big fan," Cosell continued. "To me, he was a 7-on-7 passer. If he had a comfortable pocket and a defined read, he could make the throw. In fact, I made a note to myself that there were similarities with Charlie Whitehurst when he came out of Clemson."
Charlie Whitehurst, it should be noted, was a third-round pick who is best suited as a backup. The problem, of course, is that NFL success is contingent on having a franchise quarterback. Teams without them can't compete which, invariably, leads to draft-day reaches because demand annually outstrips supply. Look no further than last year when the Titans drafted Jake Locker at No. 8, the Jags took Blaine Gabbert at No. 10 and the Vikings grabbed Christian Ponder at No. 12.
Could Osweiler go in the first round? Sure (Tim Tebow was a first-rounder, after all). Should he go in the first round? That's a different question and as it stands, most draft experts think he's no better than a third or fourth-round pick.
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