Unlike Sam Darnold, there’s a real chance UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen winds up being on the board when the 49ers hold their first draft pick.
Rosen is currently ranked the No. 12 overall prospect in the 2018 draft, per CBS Sports. This ranking will change, of course, but him being slotted here means he’s a real possibility for San Francisco’s first pick.
Even if the Niners perform relatively well, record-wise.
Compared to Darnold, Rosen’s throwing motion is very fluid. He looks the part of a natural pocket passer, and his ability to hit on the short-to-intermediate range is solid enough.
Critics might be concerned about his 59.7 collegiate-career completion percentage, but Rosen hasn’t exactly had the best supporting cast of receivers the last two years. It’s hard to pin that number on him alone.
Instead, consider the intangibles:
Rosen’s throwing motion looks good, and he takes far less time delivering the ball than Darnold. And it’s also worth pointing out how comfortable Rosen looks within the pocket. That’s a plus.
But Rosen loses with his tendency to be reckless with the ball. You can see an example of that right at the beginning of the above clip. Check out his throw at the 3:15 mark of the video as well.
It’s easy to see why Rosen might not be a top-five target, but there’s enough upside to warrant a pick within the top 10.