Scheme versatility; can fit West Coast or pro-style offense
Opens up mismatches for teammates with dual-threat nature
Needs to improve decision-making
Telegraphs some throws
Summary: Osweiler is one of the most unique prospects in the 2012 NFL Draft. When he enters the NFL, he will be one of the tallest quarterbacks in league history. While Osweiler is extremely tall, he is surprisingly athletic. He has very unique physical combination of a strong arm and good mobility despite his size. He is a raw prospect, but definitely an interesting athlete who could be worth developing.
As a junior in 2011, Osweiler completed 63 percent of his passes for 4,036 yards with 26 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. He also ran for 298 yards and three touchdowns. His stats this season set the school records for yards, completions and attempts. Osweiler played well against USC and Boise State, the two best defenses he battled. He then decided to enter the NFL after the Sun Devils switched coaching staffs.
With a three-quarter delivery, Osweiler has a strong arm and can make all the throws. He can fire the ball on deep out routes and push the ball deep down the sidelines. Osweiler has decent accuracy, but definitely has room for growth. All of that could come as he improves his footwork and gains experience. He will need a lot of work learning NFL defenses and has to get quicker at working through his progressions. His anticipation is significantly lacking, and he telegraphs throws at times. His height gives him an advantage to have good field vision once he learns more football.
Perhaps the most unique trait about Osweiler is his mobility. The former basketball player is quick and athletic. He is able to avoid sacks and can pick up yards on the ground. He also throws the ball well while on the move. Many would think that Osweiler would be a statue in the pocket, but that is definitely not the case. The mobility will be a nice asset for him in the NFL.
Osweiler has real arm strength and the gun to be a starting quarterback in the NFL. He is very raw and needs some work. If he goes to a good coaching staff that can develop him for a few years, he could turn into a starter. If Osweiler had returned to Arizona State and had a good season featuring some improvements, he could have been in contention to be a first-round pick in 2013. Right now, he looks like a second-day pick and the fifth-rated quarterback.
Player Comparison: Josh Freeman. The closest player to Osweiler's physical skill set is the Bucs' young starter. Freeman (6-6, 250) is an inch shorter than Osweiler and bit heavier. Osweiler could be more athletic and quicker than Freeman, but Freeman definitely has a stronger arm. People forget how raw a quarterback Freeman was when he entered the NFL, and the former Bucs staff did a good job of developing him to achieve some early success in his career. Osweiler is raw as well and needs to be coached up. I'm not confident that Osweiler will reach Freeman's level as an NFL quarterback, but his physical skill set compares closer to Freeman over any other quarterback.
NFL Matches: Cleveland, Miami, Buffalo, Denver, Kansas City, Green Bay
It wouldn't be surprising if Osweiler went to a surprise team; there are many potential landing spots for him on the second day of the draft. The Browns should replace Colt McCoy, but may not go that route with a high draft pick. Instead, they could target a player like Osweiler to learn behind McCoy while they develop Osweiler into a starter.
The Dolphins also could target Osweiler as a developmental quarterback. Miami could let him sit behind their veteran quarterbacks for a year before turning it over to him in 2013. Denver needs a young backup/understudy behind Peyton Manning, and reportedly the Broncos brass is very interested in Osweiler.
Kansas City needs a long-term quarterback, and Osweiler could be an option to develop while Matt Cassel finishes out his career. The Bills could do the same thing with Osweiler learning behind Ryan Fitzpatrick. Green Bay needs a backup quarterback after losing Matt Flynn. If Osweiler falls to the end of the third round, he could be a nice pickup for the Packers.
Osweiler has taken pre-draft visits to the Cardinals, Bills, Broncos, Chiefs and Dolphins.
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