Broncos Draft Prospects - QB Brock Osweiler

Quarterback Brock Osweiler of the Arizona St. Sun Devils throws a pass during a game against the Arizona Wildcats at Sun Devil Stadium on November 19, 2011. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The Denver Broncos have started their list of Draft prospects to invite for a visit to Dove Valley. Per the Collective Bargaining Agreement, each NFL team is allowed 30 visits. The very first player on the slate will be Arizona St. Quarterback Brock Osweiler. It looks like he will come in next week. Let's dive in and see what the Broncos brass might see in this kid.

Brock Osweiler was born in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho 21 years ago on November 22, 1990. After lettering in both football and basketball at Flathead High school in Kalispell, Montana, he was recruited by Gonzaga to play basketball. The 6-8, 240 pounder had a change of heart and decided to pursue football and signed on with Arizona St. He was a 3-year letterman at ASU, but has only one season as the starter, declaring for the 2012 NFL Draft as a Junior.

Last season as the Sun Devils starting Quarterback, Brock set a slew of ASU records in passing. He became the first QB in the school's history to throw for over 4,000 yards, finishing the season with 4,036. He also set new records for completions (326) and attempts (516) and threw for 26 touchdowns, the 4th most in school history. Osweiler completed 63.2% of his passing, setting a new school record for completion percentage. He threw for a career high 487 yards against Arizona, tying a school record with his 63 pass attempts and had six 300-yard passing games on the season, including four over 350 yards. Brock threw for three touchdowns on three separate occasions (Missouri, at Utah and Cal).

Brock played in six games as a true freshman in 2009 (1 start). He became the first true freshman to start a game for the Sun Devils since Jake Plummer in 1993. He finished the season completing 24 of 55 passes for 249 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. As a sophomore in 2010 he again played in six games, with one start. For the season he completed 62 of 109 passes for 797 yards, five touchdowns and no interceptions.

Scouting Reports


Overview
Possessing a unique combination of size, arm strength, accuracy and surprising athleticism, Osweiler is one of the more talented quarterback prospects available in the 2012 draft. He remains very much a work in progress, however, having only started 15 collegiate games.

Osweiler signed with Arizona State as a highly touted prep prospect. His size and athleticism intrigued coaches from all over the country (Alabama, Florida State, Tennessee, among them) including basketball coaches. Once in Tempe, Osweiler worked his way up the depth chart to become the first ASU freshman quarterback to start a game since Jake Plummer (1993). Though he flashed talent in that start (Oregon), Osweiler only completed 43.6% of his passes overall for 249 yards and two touchdowns against two interceptions for the year.

Osweiler lost out to former Georgia Tech and Michigan quarterback Steven Threet for the starting position in 2010 but saw action in six games, leading ASU to a comeback win over UCLA and a win over rival Arizona in his only start of the season. Osweiler completed 56.9% of his passes in 2010 for 797 yards and five touchdowns. He did not throw an interception.

The lanky Arizona State quarterback had shown talent and grit in his first two seasons with the program but few expected him to emerge as one of the top quarterbacks in the country in 2011. Osweiler, however, showed an immediate comfort level with ASU's new spread offense re-writing the ASU record book by completing 63.2% of his passes for 4,036 yards and 26 touchdowns (against 13 interceptions). His play helped lead Arizona State to a berth against Boise State in the Las Vegas Bowl, ASU's first bowl appearance since 2007. Though the Sun Devils lost, Osweiler completed 30 of 47 pass attempts for 395 yards and two touchdowns with an interception.

NFL scouts will certainly have to be cautious when projecting Osweiler's rapid development into the NFL. With only one season as the starter and having played that season in a relatively simple offense, Osweiler is clearly a project. He does, however, possess the athletic tools to work with and has been recognized throughout his career as a hard worker. Given time to acclimate, he could emerge as a legitimate starting caliber NFL quarterback and one who perhaps could be found at a palatable point in the draft.

Analysis

Accuracy: Good accuracy overall, including excellent accuracy on short timing routes to backs and receivers, placing the ball slightly in front to lead receivers to potential yardage gained after the catch. Flashes good anticipation and is willing to release passes before the receiver has made his break. Good zip and ball placement on the quick slant. Good touch down the seam and on post-corner, flag routes to attack the defense vertically and horizontally. Good accuracy and zip on crossing routes over the middle. Not often asked to roll out and throw on the move in this offense but demonstrates the ability to do so, especially when rolling to his right.

Arm Strength: Possesses a strong right arm and is capable of making every NFL throw easily. Can drive the deep out to the sideline from the opposite hash and has no problem threading the needle between closing defenders. Easily zips to all areas of the field, demonstrating very good touch on underneath routes to running backs and receivers, as well as down the sideline on deep passes.

Setup/Release: Efficient set up and a quick release. Typically releases passes with a 3/4 delivery that almost shot-puts the ball and doesn't take advantage of his natural height advantage. Can drop down even lower with his delivery to complete passes around defenders. Also has a tendency to throw off his back foot when being pressured, leading to some passes drifting high and/or wide.

Reading Defenses: Excellent height to see over the defense. Wasn't asked to make many pre-snap reads in this offense. Too often stares down his primary target. Demonstrated improved ability to manipulate the defense with his eyes in 2011 though he remains under-developed in this area and does telegraph his throws.

On The Move: Surprisingly athletic considering his size. Committed to Gonzaga on a basketball scholarship as a sophomore in high school and only agreed to switch to Arizona State a year later when the Sun Devils agreed to let him play both sports. He briefly considered joining the ASU basketball team in 2010 but never played for the Sun Devils … Good balance and overall maneuverability despite his height and can throw accurately on the move. Though significantly more athletic than his height would indicate, has only average straight-line speed and is easily caught from behind.

Intangibles: Has only 15 career starts and played in just 25 games, overall. Took the vast majority of snaps out of the shotgun in 2011 and will need to make the adjustment to dropping back from center -- not a unsubstantial requirement considering Osweiler's height. Courageous in the pocket. Willing to take the hit to complete the pass. Has been known as a hard worker throughout his career. Graduated high school early to join the team for spring practices in May of 2009 … Earned the team's Hard Hat Award for his work in the off-season conditioning program in 2010 … Named a team captain in 2011 … Cited the loss of offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone (whom Osweiler credited with his development) as a primary reason why he elected to leave school after his junior season. Mazzone was among those fired along with head coach Dennis Erickson following the 2011 season … May be just scratching the surface of his potential …

--Rob Rang

COMBINE PROFILE

OVERVIEW

Osweiler is an intriguing early-entry prospect out of Arizona State. He started for Dennis Erickson's Sun Devils for just two years before opting to leave a year of eligibility on the table with the mass exodus of both the ASU coaching staff and a solid group of senior starters. A good athlete for the position, Osweiler was originally signed on to play basketball at Gonzaga before opting to play football at ASU. He has the arm strength to be a first-day pick but hasn't shown the consistency that is characteristic of guys who deserve first-round money.

STRENGTHS

Osweiler has a very deliberate, quick-twitched setup which he employs on a consistent basis. His athletic ability allows him to play the position naturally and with ease. He slings the ball naturally, as well, and even though he pats the ball before throwing, his release is so compact and effective he isn't hindered by this habit in the slightest. His shining asset is his arm strength; he can hit nearly any NFL-caliber throw at this point in his career. He is a good leader and looks in control in the huddle and on the field. He is above average from an accuracy standpoint, and he really has a good grasp on when to add touch to the ball or to zip it. He has the pocket presence of a first-day pick and doesn't go down easily. He is good to extend plays with his feet.

WEAKNESSES

Osweiler had on-the-field judgment issues throughout his career at ASU and isn't reliable to protect the ball from turnovers. It seems as if he starts to get rolling in a game, and the more confidence he builds, the more of a gun-slinger mentality he adopts. This severely hinders his play. When under control, early in the game, he is athletic, accurate, and a good game manager. He will need to learn to hone in some of the competitive traits that have helped lead him to success up to this point. He is likely a developmental prospect who could struggle if forced to play early on.

Pro Day


Osweiler displayed his skillset on Friday March 30th at ASU's Verde Dickey Dome Field. Among those attending were Jake Plummer, Omar Bolden, Eddie Elder and Dennis Erickson. Representatives from 23 NFL teams were there, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, Browns QB coach Mark Whipple and representatives from the Miami Dolphins were among those in attendance. Osweiler opted not to work out at Arizona State’s pro day earlier in the month for the same reason he did not participate at the Combine, because of a mid-foot sprain in his left foot at the Las Vegas Bowl in December that took two full months to heal. Brock ran two 40-yard dashes, both in the low 4.9 second range and showed good mobility.

He moved very well in pocket mobility drills, showing excellent footwork and coordination that drew praise from scouts. He also showed off an improved throwing motion. The scripted throwing session was run by Noel Mazzone, who recently left the Arizona State coaching staff to become an assistant at UCLA. Osweiler threw 72 passes, with seven hitting the ground. The seven misses were not, however, an indicator of wildness; his accuracy was very good. He presented himself very well, which is important for a quarterback, and interacted well with his receivers. Despite his height, he is very flexible and has a solid throwing platform. Mazzone has worked with him to correct a tendency to drop his elbow. Before, he had a three-quarters motion which some people were concerned about, but he threw with an over-the-top motion that he looked fluid and comfortable with.

He was accurate on the short routes and consistently hit receivers in stride. On the intermediate routes, he still looked very good. Last season Osweiler had a tendency to occasionally throw a high sailing ball, but nothing the receivers couldn't catch. Most every pass was a nice, tight spiral. He had some trouble on the deeper throws though. Brock has a very pretty deep ball, but will overthrow it more than occasionally. He'll need to lock in that deep accuracy, but his arm strength was very good. During the goal line drills, Osweiler showed a nice touch on the ball including a nice back shoulder touchdown to Mike Willie.



Early Decision

Brock Osweiler may have surprised scouts with his decision to leave Arizona State after his junior season but considering the relative lack of top-flight talent following Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III in the 2012 draft, it may prove to be a decision that scouts ultimately are thankful for his making. He brings incredible size and tremendous athleticism to the position. Brock is a playmaking threat in and out of the pocket and is more mobile than his size would indicate. His career at ASU spans 25 career games, including 15 as the starter. He has thrown for 5,082 yards and 33 touchdowns in his college career. His other measurables include a 4.85 40-Time, 33 7/8 inch arm length and 9 7/8 inch hands.

So where in the draft does Osweiler fit? Most draft projections have Osweiler being taken in either the 2nd or 3rd round.

Here is a video from Path to the Draft that includes Mike Mayock's take.

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic spoke to "a couple of scouts" at the Arizona State Pro Day and they pegged Osweiler as a 3rd-round prospect who could rise into round two.

Gil Brandt was impressed with Osweiler, claiming he wowed NFL scouts and coaches at his pro day, launching himself into 1st-round consideration.

NFL Films guru Greg Cosell isn't a big fan and compared Osweiler to Charlie Whitehurst coming out of Clemson.

The Kansas City Chiefs, Dolphins and Bills are also scheduling visits with Osweiler. Seattle and Cleveland may have an interest as well. He is projected to go anywhere from the 2nd to the 4th round but is likely to land somewhere in the middle 3rd. The general feeling on him is that he has a lot of talent and upside but that he is still raw and will require some coaching.


With his height and new delivery, knocking down balls at the line of scrimmage will be difficult. But for all of the many great things he displayed, he clearly has a lot of work to do. A couple of months ago, Osweiler was fixed as a 4th round raw prospect. Now the talk is pushing him up to the 1st. While the 2nd round may be a bit optimistic, he appears to be at least in the 3rd round discussion.

For the Broncos to select him, Brock would need to fall to the 4th round. He is definitely a project with some upside. He is tall and strong enough. Mobility is not an issue, but like most young Quarterbacks, his decision-making must improve. The great part is that he's only 21. A two to three year internship under the tutelage of Peyton Manning could help this kid mature. The fact that he IS a project leads me to believe the Denver Broncos will not draft him higher than the 4th round. And since they have two selections in that round (#108 and #120), that is where I see Osweiler fitting with Denver.

Go Broncos!

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