Brock Osweiler’s junior season, his only season as a starting quarterback at Arizona State, was a tale of two very different halves.
The first half of the went very well: the Sun Devils won five of their first six games, and Osweiler put up very efficient numbers in each of those victories.
In the second half of the season, however, when Arizona State lost six of their final seven games, Osweiler’s completion percentage and QB rating suffered, and his interception totals went up.
Much like his up-and-down season, there are many great aspects but also great concerns surrounding Osweiler as a prospect in the 2012 NFL draft. Through the following slides, both sides of Osweiler’s draft outlook are touched upon.
Osweiler has ideal size for a quarterback, at 6’7’’ and around 240 pounds. He is also athletic for his size and has a strong arm, making him close to a physical prototype for the position.
Osweiler’s height is a big advantage, as it enhances his ability to see over linemen and the entire field. While he did not run a fast 40 at his pro day (low 4.9s), he remains a good athlete for his size.
The Montana native does not have a rocket arm, but he possesses more than enough arm strength to make any NFL throw.
Osweiler has displayed the ability to do great things under center, but has yet to do demonstrate it on a consistent basis.
While the former Sun Devil often has very good accuracy on difficult throws, he also sometimes misses easy completions in the flats. Osweiler is also mistake-prone. He often makes poor decisions by throwing into double coverage.
Although Osweiler threw no interceptions in six games last season, he also threw for multiple interceptions in five games. Osweiler also had four games with a completion percentage under 60 percent.
In making the jump to the next level, where NFL defensive backs will capitalize upon the littlest of mistakes, Osweiler must become a more consistent signal-caller.
Again, Osweiler has a strong arm, and has displayed the ability to make throws 20-30 yards downfield and accurately find his targets.
If he can do that on a consistent basis at the next level, he has the potential to be very successful.
As previously mentioned, he only started one season at Arizona State before making the surprising decision to declare for the 2012 NFL draft.
As a result, Osweiler will enter the league as an unpolished product, who really should have stayed in school to continue working on his game.
Osweiler’s inexperience really showed in the second half of the season. As the Sun Devils' season started to fall apart, his performance really dropped off and was unable to turn the season around. If he allows the same as a starter in the NFL, he could find himself permanently benched.
Any team who drafts Osweiler should make him a developmental project, going in with the expectation that he will need two or three years to polish his game before he is ready for any considerable action and games.
With his great size, Osweiler is a large target for pass-rushers to find. Fortunately, he has good pocket presence and does a good job of escaping to avoid sacks.
While Osweiler does not have the athleticism to be much of a threat on the run at the next level, he has shown that he will not falter under defensive pressure, which is often a severe downfall for top quarterback prospects.
Osweiler’s ability to elude sacks, and to keep a play alive even as it looks to be breaking down, are important strengths.
While the 6'7" QB threw for 4,036 yards in 2011, a large amount of that total came on yards after the catch.
Many of the passes were simple screens and check-downs, with his receivers doing the majority of the work.
Osweiler showed the ability to make impressive downfield throws, and he was tested in this area, but he has little experience working with an NFL route tree.
He will have to prove that he can make the challenging throws and complex decisions that are an absolute must in the NFL.
After the top quarterback prospects in the 2012 draft class, Brock Osweiler has the most upside of any other signal-caller in the draft. That said, he is far from ready to contribute at the NFL level, and should have returned to school for his senior season.
The former basketball player has prototypical size, a strong arm, and has displayed the ability to make very accurate downfield passes. That said, his inconsistency and mistakes are a concern, while his inexperience makes him a risky selection.
Osweiler will most likely be a second- or third-round selection based on his potential, but given that he is a raw talent whose game needs significant development, he has most value as a fourth-round selection.
Osweiler’s Grade: Round 4 or 5
Positional Rank: No. 7
Overall Rank: No. 117