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What they’re saying about the Cardinals’ selection of Josh Rosen

UCLA's Josh Rosen, right, gestures next to commissioner Roger Goodell after being selected by the Arizona Cardinals during the first round of the NFL football draft, Thursday, April 26, 2018, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

For much of his tenure as general manager of the Arizona Cardinals, people have been wondering when Steve Keim would draft the franchise’s quarterback of the future.

That seemed like a very good possibility in 2017, but the Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans swooped in ahead of the Cardinals with draft-day trades to nab Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson, respectively.

People can finally stop asking that question about when. Keim engineered a trade with the Oakland Raiders to move up from 15th to 10th (giving up only a third-rounder and fifth-rounder) in Thursday night’s first round and selected quarterback Josh Rosen of UCLA, whom many people believe is the best pure passer in this year’s class.

Here’s a small sampling of some of the expert analysis on Keim’s maneuver and selection.

Mel Kiper Jr. – ESPN Draft analyst

I know UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen has durability concerns, and he has battled some injuries. There also are questions — fair or not — about his leadership skills. Does he have that extra intangible to be the great quarterback he is capable of being? On the field, he’s NFL-ready. He makes throws few quarterbacks can. And people forget that Rosen outplayed Sam Darnold when USC and UCLA met late last season. Rosen is a good player, and he’s going to be motivated. I wouldn’t be shocked if he played early for Arizona, which has Sam Bradford and Mike Glennon signed to short-term deals.

Plus, the Cardinals jumped two spots to get in front of the Dolphins to take Rosen and only gave up extra third- and fifth-round picks.

Bill Barnwell – ESPN.com

Cardinals’ GM Steve Keim missed out on Patrick Mahomes when the Chiefs traded up last year, so it’s no surprise that he made a move of his own this year. He also got himself a great deal in the process, given that he actually turned a profit on the Johnson chart and paid less than either the Bills or Ravens did on the dollar by the Stuart model. It’s surprising that the Raiders weren’t able to scare the Cardinals into giving up the 46th pick with the threat of the Dolphins lurking at 11. Alternately, 15 and the Cardinals’ two third-round picks at 79 and 97 would have been a reasonable ask, given that it would have cost $1.04 on the dollar by the Johnson model.

Peter King – The MMQB on SI.com

Kudos to GM Steve Keim for knowing he had to get a young, developmental quarterback, and getting the fourth passer picked, UCLA’s Josh Rosen, by trading up from 15 to 10 with Oakland. Amazingly, Keim didn’t have to give next year’s first-rounder or this year’s second to get the deal done. “There’s always pressure to find the young quarterback,” Keim told me near midnight Thursday, “but if you trade away so many picks that you can’t solve your other problems, it’s really too much of a sacrifice to do.”

Andy Benoit – SI.com

The Cardinals reportedly decided near draft time that they wouldn’t be trading up for a quarterback, but that was before they knew the most polished QB in this draft would still be available this late in the draft. Rosen was an acute field-reader at UCLA and plays a timing-and-rhythm brand of football, which usually translates well to the pros. It’s one reason he’s known for his ability to throw receivers open. He is a great fit for offensive coordinator Mike McCoy’s multifaceted passing game.

GRADE: A-

Greg Rosenthal – NFL.com

General manager Steve Keim has admitted that he coveted Patrick Mahomes a year ago, only to be caught flat-footed when the Chiefs traded ahead of the Cards to make Mahomes their quarterback of the future. Arizona made sure that didn’t happen this time around, moving up five spots to No. 10 to draft Josh Rosen.

There was a crazy disconnect among draft analysts about Rosen. So many of them called him the best pure passer in the draft, yet few of them ranked him as the best quarterback. His timing, anticipation and ability to make plays under duress translates so well to the NFL level. Rosen is perhaps the most pro-ready quarterback in the class, though he won’t be under pressure to play right away with Sam Bradford in town. (Backup Mike Glennon, incidentally, saw a quarterback get drafted to take his job for a second straight year.) Rosen says he knows his place.

“I’m not going to come in and be an a—— and think that my s— don’t stink,” Rosen told reporters Thursday. “I understand the situation. I’m going to come in and I’m going to be respectful.”

Keim and all Cardinals fans have to be thrilled. They wound up with my favorite quarterback in this class, and it didn’t cost much to get him.

Chad Reuter – NFL.com

Gave Cardinals an ‘A’ grade for their Day 1 action – Rosen is the best pure pocket passer in the draft. The Cardinals need to protect him, but if they do, he’ll be a Pro Bowler. Giving up third- and fifth-round picks was more than reasonable for a player of his caliber.

Steven Ruiz – USA Today

The best quarterback in the draft had to wait 10 picks to hear his name called. Rosen gives the Cardinals a polished pocket passer who reads defense in an instant and throws the ball accurately. And now he’s motivated to make the nine team that passed on him regret that mistake.

GRADE: A+

Will Brinson – CBSSports.com

Not sure what trade chart Steve Keim showed to Jon Gruden when he called him up about a deal for swapping No. 15 for No. 10, but the Cards GM got a good deal on moving up to grab the last remaining quarterback of the “Big Four” when he landed Josh Rosen out of UCLA. Now technically, the Raiders didn’t get ripped off: the No. 10 pick is worth 1,300 points on the old trade value chart and Gruden and Oakland got 1,275 points in return. However, this was a situation where there was just one of the top quarterbacks on the board and they didn’t crank up the cost. The Cardinals were in a bit of desperation to land a young signal caller after missing out on Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson last year, and Rosen could be a stud. He’s considered the most “pro ready” of all the quarterbacks in this draft class, he has just has the downside of being a millennial and having battled concussions. Rosen has at least one pretty impressive quarterback in his corner.

Vinny Iyer – Sporting News

Rosen when interviewed after his selection declared that there were nine mistakes made before he went No. 10 overall to the Cardinals. With Sam Bradford and Mike Glennon as his competition, this might work out well for Rosen for both the short and long term. Still, three QBs being selected before him was total disrespect for his talent and moxie. It’s clear his personality and outspokenness scared a few teams away. It was a rough night of mixed emotions, though it wasn’t quite Aaron Rodgers in 2005 rough.

Troy Aikman – FOX NFL

“The first thing you hear when you talk about Josh Rosen is his intelligence, and I am not so sure why that’s a surprise. I mean, the kid is from UCLA for crying out loud. Of course he’s smart, but he has the highest football IQ of any of these quarterbacks going in this first round. He had three different offensive coordinators at UCLA in three years. Learning the playbook in Arizona will not be a problem for him. Mike McCoy is going to be terrific for him, allowing him to do the things that he does best and challenge him. I think Arizona is a really good fit just in terms of him being a West Coast guy and him getting to stay in that part of the country there in Arizona (and playing) indoors. I think it is going to turn out great, and I think he is going to have one heck of an NFL career.”

David Shaw – Stanford head coach on FOX NFL Draft coverage

“This is the most natural passer to come out since Andrew Luck. He makes the wild throws effortlessly. He has got to learn how to get the ball out of his hands a little bit quicker, know when the play is over, throw the ball away, but I’ll tell you now, when it comes to standing in one place and throwing the ball directly to a receiver, this is the best guy to come out (of the draft) since Andrew Luck.”

Louis Riddick – ESPN NFL Front Office Insider

I like Josh Rosen. I thought he was going to be off the board much sooner than this. He can sling it. He can play. This is a situation here (in Arizona) where a young quarterback will very much benefit from going to a place like this. The (Cardinals) quarterback room (with Sam Bradford and Mike Glennon) has been constructed in such a way that players just learn differently from other players than they do from coaches. They want a guy with a high football IQ, a guy who can do a lot of work at the line of scrimmage and get them in the plays that keep him out of harms way. I think Josh Rosen is tailor-made to do that.

Kirk Herbstreit – ESPN college football analyst

What’s amazing about Josh Rosen is of all these quarterbacks, the guy who’s coming out who’s probably the most ready as far as fundamentals in the college game are concerned, it’s him. The thing with him is when the pocket is clean – which how often is the pocket clean in the NFL? – he’s going to make every read. He’s going to make every throw.

Trent Dilfer – Former NFL QB

(The Cardinals) just won the draft. Repeat this sound in six years when Josh is taking you to a Super Bowl or gone to multiple Pro Bowls. You guys just did something that doesn’t happen very often. At No. 10 you got a franchise guy that can carry the weight of a city, a franchise. He’ll do everything that’s asked of him and more and he’s got so much hunger and a burning desire in him. I think you’re looking at really kinda the next Aaron Rodgers-type player in the NFL. He’s that kind of talent.

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