2012 NFL Draft: 4 Realistic Expectations for Arizona State QB Brock Osweiler

Matt Madsen@mmadsen5Correspondent IIApril 2, 2012

2012 NFL Draft: 4 Realistic Expectations for Arizona State QB Brock Osweiler

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    Arizona State's Brock Osweiler isn't going to be drafted in the first round. NFL teams know better than that.

    He's going to be seen as a project by almost every NFL team, and that alone will have them steer clear of him through the first couple rounds.

    Of course, every team has different needs and different talent evaluators, so that could lead to a surprise reach for the 6'7" gunslinger.

    But don't count on it.

    If anything, it might turn out worse than projected.

    Brock Osweiler needs to temper his expectations going into draft day.

He's Not Going in the First Round

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    At one point during the draft process, Brock Osweiler was considered by many, including Mel Kipe,r Jr., to be the third-best quarterback prospect in this year's class.

    Not anymore.

    His relative drop in stock hasn't had much to do with what he's done since then. Rather, it's mostly based on what he didn't do in college.

    He didn't play enough games. He didn't perform at an elite level consistently. He displays a rather odd throwing motion.

    In short, time was Osweiler's undoing.

    Teams were able to look at the tape and realize how many "ifs" were a part of his game. They saw him throw plenty of great passes, followed by more than a few "yeah, but" decisions.

    Ryan Tannehill was the primary beneficiary of Osweiler's drop, and it's starting to look like he may become a top-10 pick.

    Based on the unpredictability of the draft, Osweiler could potentially creep into the first round, but he can't realistically expect it.

He's Going to Be a Backup Quarterback

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    I can't tell you where he's going to be drafted, but I can tell you right now he's not going to be a starter on day one.

    He might not even be the backup.

    Obviously, the NFL is a very tough industry to break into. Teams are more likely to look at guys that have been around and competed in the league at some point than they are to trust a rookie.

    That means Brock Osweiler will be fighting for a backup role in the NFL. Considering his youth and relative potential, he will probably have a decent advantage over his competition. Depending on where he lands, there's a realistic chance he could win the backup spot.

    However, barring an injury to the starter, Osweiler isn't going to see any meaningful game action next season.

He May Never Be an NFL Starter

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    History doesn't exactly favor guys like Brock Osweiler.

    You don't see a lot of guys with wacky throwing motions.

    You don't see a lot of 6'7" quarterbacks.

    You don't see mid-round quarterbacks starting in the NFL.

    Of the 32 teams in the league, 21 of the projected starters for next season were drafted in the first round.  Only five projected starters were taken between Rounds 2 and 5.

    Of course that's no damning stat, but it doesn't instill confidence, either.

    Fortunately for the former Sun Devil, he has plenty of advocates. After Arizona State's pro day, many scouts had him leaping up draft boards. He impressed enough to receive an invitation to the draft in New York City.

    He hasn't decided whether or not he'll attend yet, but it matters little.

    According to NBC Sports, eight of nine teams surveyed by longtime personnel man Charley Casserly graded Osweiler as a fourth-round pick. The ninth graded him as a second-rounder.

    Unless he wants to sit in the green room for days, he should stay home with his family.

His Day Will Come

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    Like Tony Romo, Tom Brady and Matt Cassel before him, Brock Osweiler will get a chance.

    That is, if he works hard and gets a little lucky.

    Hang around long enough in the NFL and the day will likely come when you have a chance to put yourself out there.

    The day when everybody's eyes are on you, and you have one chance to hold their attention, to convince them you could be "the guy."

    And when that day comes, Osweiler had better be ready. Because when you aren't drafted to be that guy, the NFL is quick to give up on you. Teams, GMs and coaches don't stick with mid-round pick quarterbacks unless said quarterback is winning games.

    It's hard enough to get the coaches to like you even when you do win games.

    Just ask John Skelton.

    Be persistent, be confident and, most of all, be ready.

    That's all he can do now.