And at the number 8 spot on my list is….
#8- UCLA’s Josh Rosen- Coming out of high school, Josh Rosen was the number one QB in the Class of 2015. At 6’4″, it seemed as if Rosen was playing a man playing against boys. In high school, he showed great arm talent. He could make every throw and could read defenses like an open book. The most overlooked part of his game is his athleticism. As a kid, he was a very good tennis player and that gave him great footwork. He won’t scramble too much but, he will definitely extend the play from the pocket and make the proper throw. Ever since Rosen signed his letter of intent, he was UCLA’s golden arm. And for the most part he lived up to the bill. He came in his first year and won the starting position making him the first freshman starting QB in Bruin history. In his first season, Rosen threw for over 3600 yards, threw 23 touchdowns and threw 11 interceptions. Rosen’s season started off on fire winning his first four games. His first game showed the nation why Josh Rosen was coveted in the first place.
His three best games were his season opener against Virginia, his game at Arizona, and then his matchup against Jared Goff and the California Bears. Against Virginia, in his first college game ever, he went out there and put on a clinic. He completed 80% of his passes on 35 throws, threw 351 yards, threw 3 passing touchdowns, and no interceptions. He also posted his season’s best passer rating of 192.5 and a QBR of 90.8. Most importantly on that day he got his first college win. On his first snap, he went deep. It was a perfect play action, the defense bit and Kenneth Walker III got open but dropped the sure TD pass. Rosen stayed poised and continued to show of his talents. In this game Rosen got his nickname, Chosen Rosen.
In week four, Rosen experienced his first PAC 12 road game when he played Arizona. It went well. He won the game 56-30. In this game, he posted his season’s best QBR of 96.9. You can also throw in two passing touchdowns and one score on the ground for the talented freshman. What shines brightest about this game was how poised Rosen was. He had just lost his best player on defense and offense in Myles Jack and he came off two horrible games against UNLV and BYU. He went into this game poised as if those two previous games were blur and that week when his team needed him most he delivered. You usual don’t see intangibles like that from a true freshman QB, but that’s why his nickname is Chosen Rosen because he is not like other true freshman QBs. His first half was so great he didn’t need much in the second half. By halftime, he threw for 212 yards on 13 of 17 passes and threw two touchdowns. But after this game, UCLA went on a two game losing streak and on October 22nd to stop the losing streak he would have to beat Jared Goff, the future first number one pick of the 2016 NFL Draft.
It was a showdown between the future and present great PAC 12 QBs when Jared Goff and Josh Rosen faced off. The youngster came out victorious to the tune of 40-24. He went 72.3% on 47 passes, threw a season high 399 yards and 3 touchdowns. He also posted a QBR of 86.1. On this night, Rosen threw for more yards, and had a higher QBR than Goff while also getting the win. He also posted a new school-record of 34 passes completed in one game.
In his first year, Rosen had his ups and downs and that is expected from a freshman QB, but for the most part he showed many signs to believe he is the man for the job at UCLA. He went 8-5 in first year and I expected him to post more wins, yards, touchdowns, and less bad games and less interceptions. A QB of Rosen’s talents matched with a coach like Jim Mora, he will continue to grow as a QB. I could see Rosen and the Bruins posting no less than 10 wins this year and maybe even an appearance in the PAC 12 championship game all because the growth of Josh “Chosen” Rosen.