So Osweiler’s leaving- – why all the hate?
After a few days of speculation, it became official on
Friday — Brock Osweiler is leaving Arizona State a year
early to enter the NFL Draft.
Is it the right move? Nobody knows for sure.
“It was an exceptionally difficult decision to make, but
having spoken to my family and close friends it became
clear to me that this is the next path I must take to
advance my personal and professional career,” Osweiler
said in a statement issued on Friday.
This should be a difficult decision, because Osweiler is
definitely not a clear-cut high-round draft pick.
We know that Osweiler leaves Tempe as the only Sun Devil
quarterback to throw for more than 4,000 yards in a
season. We know he was the tallest QB in FBS in 2011
(Thanks, Joe Tessitore). And we know that he established
a new record for saying the word ‘shoot’ in press
conference settings that will never be approached by
another collegiate athlete.(Example: “Shoot, they returned
a kickoff? Now it’s our turn to go out and score.”)
But that’s all we know. Osweiler has only 15 collegiate
starts under his belt and a little more than a year ago,
was the 2nd string quarterback who was tinkering with the
idea of playing basketball for Herb Sendek.
But when presented with an opportunity to play, Osweiler
made the most of it, throwing for 647 yards and 5
touchdowns while displaying strong leadership skills in
wins over UCLA and Arizona. That leadership and
confidence was prominently displayed during ASU’s 6-2
start this season.
But leadership was lacking team-wide when things went
south for Dennis Erickson’s squad. Osweiler never strayed
that aww-shucks attitude when his team needed him to be a
vocal and emotional leader. Arizona State never pulled
out of their tailspin, losing their last 5 games,
including an embarrassing 32-point loss to Boise State in
the Maaco Bowl Las Vegas last month.
Obviously, Osweiler now has the opportunity through
individual workouts and interviews as well as scouting
combines to disprove the naysayers. That is the decision
he’s made, and I’m happy for him.
Do I think Osweiler could benefit from another year of
college football and improve his draft stock? Yes. But
maybe the thought of transitioning to a new head coach and
a third offensive coordinator in his four college seasons
was a deterrent to coming back.
What I don’t understand is the hostility from ASU fans
toward him. In monitoring the reaction to Osweiler’s
decision on social media, message boards and article
comments, many ASU fans not only question the move, but
are now spewing venom.
Most people are thinking Osweiler’s decision is not a
sound one because they’re projecting him to be a mid-to-
late round pick, and he won’t cash in on the big NFL money
if he leaves this year.
Terrell Suggs left ASU early and is universally loved by
Sun Devil Nation. Is that because he was a first round
pick? Are ASU fans become draft position snobs?
Hmm. Let’s just say that Osweiler goes in the fifth round
of the draft in April. As an example, let’s look back at
a QB that got selected in the fifth round of the 2011 NFL
Draft — Ricky Stanzi of the Kansas City Chiefs.
Stanzi, out of Iowa, went 135th overall to K.C. and got a
4-year, $2.28 millon contract to basically soak things in
this season. That’s $570,000 a year. There are not many
college kids pulling in that kind of cake one year out of
The other knock fans bring up is if Osweiler does become a
late-round pick, that he’ll waste away as a career backup
or practice player.
T.J. Yates, another 2011 fifth round pick out of North
went 17 picks after Stanzi at #152 overall to the Houston
Texans. He’s starting
a playoff game this weekend against the Cincinnati
The decision is only the first step. There’s been as many
sure-fire, can’t-miss NFL quarterbacking prospects that
have fallen flat on their faces as there have been late-
round projects who have succeeded. It’s all up to the
Brock Osweiler represented ASU well in his three years in
maroon and gold. He progressed as a football player and
seems like a pretty good person, too.
Isn’t that what college experience is supposed to be
about? And shouldn’t we be happy that Osweiler improved
himself on the campus of Arizona State?