Feb 26, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Arizona State quarterback Brock Osweiler watches during the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE
The NFL Draft season is in full swing, and former Arizona State quarterback Brock Osweiler is a man in demand.
Following his impressive Pro Day showing, Osweiler told the media that he had visits already lined up with the Broncos, Chiefs, Dolphins and Bills. More teams may schedule meetings with Osweiler in the coming weeks, as he continues his ascent up many draft boards. His appearance on Monday's episode of Jon Gruden's QB Camp on ESPN drew mostly positive reviews, and showcased some of Osweiler's intangible qualities.
While many teams may want him, he can only be drafted by one. Each offers unique benefits and challenges for Osweiler on his journey towards a starting job. Let's take a team-by-team look at which NFL team offers the best fit for Osweiler.
On Friday, a contingent from the Broncos including head coach John Fox, offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, general manager Brian Xanders and none other than John Elway came to Tempe to workout Osweiler.
The Broncos interest in Osweiler has been rumored for some time, and such a high-ranking group legitimizes those reports. Obviously, the Broncos will be Peyton Manning's team for the foreseeable future, but that should play to Osweiler's benefit.
For all his impressive physical skills, Osweiler still has but 15 college starts, and most informed opinions believe he is two to three years away from being NFL ready. It's hard to imagine a better tutor for Osweiler to learn under than a first-ballot Hall of Famer like Manning.
With Tim Tebow now a Jet, the Broncos brought in Caleb Hannie from Chicago to be the backup...which means that should Osweiler be drafted by Denver, his path to the No. 2 role should be wide open.
Possible Osweiler Picks: Round two (57th overall), Round three (87th), Round four (108th and 120th)
On Monday, Osweiler was down in Miami visiting the Dolphins.
Currently, the Dolphins' starter is Matt Moore. He threw for 2,497 yards, 16 touchdowns and nine interceptions in 2011 in his first season as Miami's starter. The performance was solid, but Moore nevertheless does not project to be a viable long-term starter. Indirectly acknowledging that fact, the team aggressively pursued Manning is in the market for a quarterback.
With the team bringing in a new coaching staff over the offseason, there is no pre-existing loyalty to Moore. With former Texas A&M head coach Mike Sherman now the team's offensive coordinator, speculation has been heavy that the Fins will take quarterback Ryan Tannehill with the eighth overall pick. However, with Tannehill now a top five possibility, the team is looking at Osweiler as Plan B.
With Moore and the recently signed David Garrard on the roster, Osweiler would likely open as the third quarterback. However, that situation could result in Osweiler seeing time sooner rather than later, and with a strong running game and offensive line, it would help ease the learning curve.
Possible Osweiler Picks: Round two (42nd overall), Round three (72nd)
Another AFC East team will also be meeting with Osweiler this month.
The Bills have a somewhat proven veteran under center in Ryan Fitzpatrick, who has posted consecutive 3,000-yard seasons. However, despite the gaudy numbers, he tossed a league-high 23 interceptions. He signed a six-year, $59-million contract before the 2011 season, yet the team can get out of the latter years of the deal with little to no consequence.
Behind the 29-year old Fitzpatrick is journeyman Tyler Thigpen, so the team is primed to take a quarterback to develop. That luxury of not having to play right away would benefit Osweiler, and the front office has begun to assemble an increasingly talented roster. By the team the Bills are ready to contend, Osweiler could find himself at the helm.
Possible Osweiler Picks: Round two (41st overall), Round three (71st), Round four (105th)
Kansas City Chiefs
Entering his fourth season as the Chiefs' starter, Matt Cassel has yet to fully prove that he is a legitimate starting quarterback. After a great 2010, he had an injury riddled and uneven season last year, and after head coach Todd Haley was fired late last year, there have been renewed questions about his future.
Behind Cassel is a depth chart that can best be described as "yuck"--Brady Quinn and Ricky Stanzi. That in itself begs for a quarterback to be taken in the draft's early rounds.
The path to playing time in Kansas City would likely be quicker than in the above-mentioned teams. The Chiefs are a run-heavy team, so the pressure won't immediately be on Osweiler should he see playing time. However, the team does have talented wide receivers in Jonathan Baldwin and Dwayne Bowe to make for some inviting targets.
Possible Osweiler Picks: Round two (44th overall), Round three (74th), Round four (107th)
With the Seahawks signing free agent Matt Flynn, it may appear that the need for a young quarterback is not present. However, Flynn has yet to prove himself as a viable starter, and his contract (three-years, $26-million) is large, but not to the point that makes him the unquestioned long-term answer.
Adding fuel to the fire is the fact that head coach Pete Carroll, general manager John Schneider and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell all were in attendance at Osweiler's Pro Day.
Like the Chiefs, the Seahawks backup situation should aid Osweiler in an early ascension, as Tarvaris Jackson has been below-average during most of his NFL career. Flynn figures to get at least two seasons to prove himself, at which time Osweiler should be able to vie for the job if Flynn fails to meet expectations.
Possible Osweiler Picks: Round two (43rd overall), Round three (73rd), Round four (106th)
In terms of the quickest route to playing time, Osweiler's best bet may be in Cleveland.
In his two seasons as the Browns' starter, Colt McCoy has a 6-15 record and a pedestrian 20-20 touchdown-to-interception ratio, hardly encouraging numbers.
While management has said mostly positive things regarding McCoy, the recent reports of the Browns trying to trade up from their current spot at No. 4 to land Robert Griffin III and most recently Tannehill indicate that the team realizes McCoy is not the long-term answer.
The Browns have the luxury of two first round picks, so should they not take Tannehill at No. 4, they could go after Osweiler later in round one at No. 22. Osweiler's short-to-intermediate accuracy figures to be a nice fit with the Browns quick passing offense.
While beating out McCoy and Seneca Wallace may not be an overwhelming challenge in his first or second year, the Browns' sub-par talent level and the relentless Steelers' and Ravens' defenses he would face four times a year do not bode well.
Possible Osweiler Picks: Round one (22nd overall), Round two (37th), Round three (67th), Round four (100th)
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What team do you think is the best fit for Osweiler?
Denver (167 votes)
Miami (14 votes)
Buffalo (11 votes)
Kansas City (13 votes)
Seattle (23 votes)
Cleveland (22 votes)
Other (tell us who in comments) (10 votes)
260 total votes