Josh Rosen | FINAL EXAM With Steve Fairchild

Football lifer Steve Fairchild has been involved in coaching for over the past 35 years, as head coach of Colorado State (2008-2011), Virginia offensive coordinator (2013-2015), San Diego Chargers Senior Offensive Assistant (2012), Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator (2006-2007), St. Louis Rams offensive coordinator (2003-2005), Buffalo Bills running back coach (2001-2002) and numerous other coaching positions, which began during his time at San Diego Mesa Community College as offensive coordinator in 1982. Along the way, he has coached high-profile quarterbacks such as Marc Bulger, JP Losman and Dan McGwire. This season, Fairchild returns for a second stint in The Spring League, featuring Johnny Manziel, where he’ll be serving as head coach/offensive coordinator. Over the years, coach Fairchild has developed his own in-depth grading system which entails 15 different categories that projects how successful a quarterback prospect will be when transitioning from college to the pros. Each category is given a score from 1-10 based on film study of five-to-six games, with ten being the highest score (exceptional/elite) and one being the lowest (poor/inadequate). Coach Fairchild has agreed to put the top quarterback prospects in the 2018 NFL Draft through his ‘FINAL EXAM’ in an exclusive NFL Draft Bible series, which includes an overall grade (maximum of 150) and projection for each top signal-caller. This is the fourth part of a six-part series, featuring the top signal-callers in the 2018 NFL Draft. The third ranked quarterback prospect, according to Fairchild, is Josh Rosen of UCLA.



School: UCLA | Hometown: Manhattan Beach, CA | Number: #3 | Date of Birth: 02/10/97 | Height: 6040 | Weight: 226 | Hand: 0978 | Arm: 3134 | Forty: 4.92 | Vertical: 31” | Broad: 9-3 | Shuttle: 4.28 | L-Drill: 7.09 | Year: Junior | Twitter: @josh3rosen


The hype surrounding Josh Rosen at UCLA was nearly impossible to live up to but Josh Rosen did a great job fitting the bill as ‘The Golden Boy of Westwood.’ He burst onto the scene as Pac-12 Conference Freshman All-American and Offensive Player of the Year. He would be dubbed ‘Chosen Rosen’ by Sports Illustrated and go on to finish with 9,341 career passing yards in 30 games played, breaking Brett Hundley’s single-season school record for passing yards in 2017 with 3,756. However, multiple concussions causing him to miss numerous games, including this year’s Cactus Bowl, in addition to some of his off-field antics, have raised some red flags amongst NFL talent evaluators. Rosen has also responded to barbs made by his former head coach Jim Mora Jr. on his social media accounts, which has added even more intrigue surrounding him leading up to the 2018 NFL Draft.


Size & Athletic Ability

Rosen possesses prototypical size, which allows him to operate in the pocket efficiently. He sees the field well, even when the pocket is being pushed; this may reflect a lack of commitment in the weight room. However, he doesn’t have a big, solid build despite his weight. Rosen does move well for his size and shows enough top-end speed to escape and create. He isn’t an elite athlete but has some suddenness and change of direction that helps his game when he leaves the pocket. He looks like an NFL quarterback, has the stature to function in the pocket and moves well enough to escape and create at the next level. GRADE:  8.0

Statistics & Production

During his three-year career, Rosen attempted 1170 passes– most of which were in the pocket. HIs career 60.9% completion percentage was affected by execution around him to some degree; there were games with dropped balls and poor pass protection. He owns an efficient touchdown/interception ratio (59/26). Rosen played in different offensive systems for different coordinators, however for the majority of his career, he was the focal point of the offense. The 2017 season featured him in a true NFL style offense. GRADE: 7.5

Arm Ability & Throwing Mechanics

The Bruins signal-caller demonstrates an extremely quick and effortless delivery. There is no wasted motion when he throws the football, he always appears to be balanced and aligned. Rosen has the arm strength to make every throw needed, as he can make throws in a confined space and is not a long strider for a 6-4 quarterback. Most importantly, he can deliver quickly and throw accurately with minimal or no lower body mechanics which translates well to the NFL game. GRADE: 9.0


Rosen has quick feet, a smooth drop, he stays balanced and doesn’t over-extend, which are all positive attributes. He drops back well, both from the shotgun and under center. He sets up with a sound base, with excellent ball position and alignment. He has the athletic ability and quick feet that allow him to change his position and target alignment inside the pocket. He can do this with subtle movement, as well as drastic non-scramble movements. At times, Rosen gets his base too wide and over-extends his throwing position, as this effects his throwing and accuracy. Generally, this occurs when he has multiple shifts in his position/alignment. His overall demeanor and body mechanics are very calm and he has no wasted motion when operating from the pocket. GRADE: 8.5

Quick Game Performance/Accuracy (Three-Step)

This was a big part of the UCLA Offense through-out Rosen’s career. He operates this scheme and tempo very efficiently. His quick delivery and ability to process suits him well for this type of concept. He’s equally effective under center and in the shotgun with these concepts. Rosen shows the ability to get to a variety of options in a very quick manner when throwing these patterns (i.e. spacing and empty concepts). He also shows the ability to work very quick through progressions both left to right/right to left. He sometimes puts too much pace on the ball and anticipates very quickly, which can lead to some difficult catches for inside receivers to make. GRADE: 8.5

Quick Game Performance/Accuracy (Five-Step)

His quick game throws are made with great accuracy and timing, both inside (TE routes over the middle) and outside (to wide outs). Rosen shows a keen sense for timing, anticipation and accuracy, as these areas are a strong point of his overall game. He can make these throws on time as well as using pocket movement to create inside windows. Rosen can get fundamentally off when he changes his target line quickly and widens his base. He struggles at times with seams throws. GRADE: 8.0

Intermediate Throw Performance/Accuracy (Seven-Step)

Rosen shows great ability to make the 16-20-yard throws downfield. He does this both off drop back and play action type schemes. He shows the ability to execute on off-pocket movement and with defenders around him as well. The Bruins inability to protect the quarterback limited this type of concept this past season. GRADE: 8.0

Deep Ball Performance/Accuracy (35+ Yards)

Deep ball throws were inconsistent this past season. He certainly demonstrated the ability to throw the deep ball well, however his consistency lacked. Often this was due to him not putting enough air on the ball or a stubbornness to always give his receiver a play on the ball whether the receiver was open or not. GRADE: 7.0


He sees the field well and has no problem pulling the trigger on throws. He often displays an “arrogance” that he can fit the ball into any window the defense presents. Rosen often anticipates and throws with timing. He is very aggressive given his receivers limited skill-sets. He is constantly putting pressure on the receiver to be at the spot and on time because the ball is leaving his hand as soon as he feels the window. While this will translate well at the next level, he’ll need to be a better decision-maker. This is also a trait that did not serve him well in combine drills, as he was throwing with a variety of different receivers. He appears to have the ability to process quickly and with people around him. GRADE: 8.5

Designed Movement Throws

Rosen is a good enough athlete to make quick-sprint and naked throws on the run. He only did this to the right side this past season but there is no reason to believe that this wouldn’t translate to the left. GRADE: 7.5

Pocket Demeanor & Movement

Pocket demeanor is a great strength. Rosen has a strong feel and way of moving around the pocket. He keeps his eyes downfield and demonstrates the ability to make subtle, in addition to drastic moves in the pocket without giving up on the route concept too early. He can make throws off a variety of different movements and platforms. He can also throw without maintaining perfect balance and/or alignment. Rosen makes a lot of different throws with minimal space in the pocket, as he is a very compact quarterback. He shows the ability to extend plays both in and out of the pocket. GRADE: 8.0

Unique Throws

Rosen shows the ability to throw a variety of unique throws with accuracy that include halfback and wide out screens, slot bubbles and receiver smokes. He does this with a quick delivery and touch. He operated a few RPO concepts and shows the ability to site-adjust off corner pressure. GRADE: 8.0

Poise & Performance In Critical Situations

He shows the ability to operate and make smart decisions in the two-minute offense. He also shows good football awareness in the four-minute offense. Rosen shows poise when backed up and is a highly efficient Red Zone quarterback due to his ability to deliver the football quickly and into tight windows. His offensive design was a benefit in this area but aggressive decision-making may have to be toned down at the next level. He possesses an aggressive mentality during third down situations. Once again, the Bruins offensive system was beneficial for his development in this situation—the offensive scheme helped prepare him for NFL situational football. GRADE: 8.5


He’s a very aggressive quarterback in terms of decision-making. He feels he can make every throw, all the time. Rosen does show the ability on some of the deeper concepts to check the ball down. This served him well and he can probably develop the right balance between “gunslinger’ and “check-down,” as his career progresses at the next level. It’s better to have a quarterback that you need to tone down, rather than a quarterback that will not pull the trigger when trying to develop quickly at the NFL level. GRADE: 7.5

Ability To Scramble/Extend Plays

Rosen can escape the pocket and extend plays both to his right and to his left. He can make these plays both throwing on the run and radically setting and throwing. The negative part of his game is that, the longer he extends plays, he worse his judgement becomes. GRADE: 8.0


This prospect is a very talented thrower, with an extremely quick and effortless delivery. He can make every throw in terms of arm strength and accuracy that is required by a NFL caliber quarterback. Rosen can make throws with defenders around him and with very limited room in the pocket. He played well when the situational pressure was on, or when the defense pressured him, as long as his protection held up. While he isn’t an exceptional athlete, Rosen moves well enough to function at the NFL level. He has an aggressive mindset but the question still remains as to whether this can be coached or if he can improve as a decision-maker. He possesses ideal size but lacks bulk on his frame, which means durability could be an issue at the next level. Most importantly are the off the field distractions. Rosen needs to prove to NFL organizations that he is committed to the process of being a great NFL quarterback and will not get sidetracked. Some evaluators are concerned if he has the “competitive nature” and “desire” to be the best. His ability and production has been there at the college level when healthy but only he knows if the franchise NFL quarterback job description is for him. Rosen should be an early first-round draft pick, perhaps a top five overall selection in the 2018 NFL draft. OVERALL GRADE: 120.5