Brock Osweiler, Peyton Manning's new backup
Coming into the 2012 NFL Draft, the Arizona State Sun Devils had several prospects who were hoping to hear their name called over the weekend. Unfortunately, that was not the case.
After a quiet first round on Thursday, the hopes were high for quarterback Brock Osweiler after the Denver Broncos, one of the teams that had shown the most interest during Osweiler, traded down to get an extra second round pick. That proved to be exactly how things unfolded, as with the 57th overall pick, the Broncos anointed Osweiler as Peyton Manning's eventual heir.
The situation provides an ideal fir for Osweiler. With excellent size, arm strength and mobility, his tools are very impressive. On the flip side, he has just 15 collegiate starts on his resume, and is extremely raw. By backing up and learning from Manning (and Denver exec and legend John Elway), Osweiler will be able to develop at his own pace. [Full Osweiler Draft Profile]
A quiet third round closed out Friday, which was somewhat disappointing for cornerback Omar Bolden, who had risen up draft boards after a strong offseason of workouts and rehab had proven his ACL injury fully healed. His wait on Saturday was not very long.
With the sixth pick in the fourth round (101st), the Broncos reunited Osweiler with Bolden. Bolden's blend of excellent coverage ability, special teams skills and leadership qualities should help make an immediate impact on the Denver secondary. Like Osweiler, Bolden has an excellent mentor in future Hall of Famer Champ Bailey, and with the recently signed Tracey Porter the only other proven cornerback commodity, Bolden should contend for the nickelback role and be a dangerous kickoff returner. [Full Bolden Draft Profile]
152 picks were made from Bolden to the Colts' Mr. Irrelevant selection of Northern Illinois quarterback Chandler Harnish, and not a single one was a Sun Devil. Robinson and Gerhart were each projected as possible 6th or 7th round picks, and offensive lineman Dan Knapp had recently entered the discussion after a strong workout season.
The biggest fall is, of course, Burfict. The one time preseason All-American was once a projected Top 15 pick, but now will enter the NFL as an undrafted free agent. The report of a failed drug test at the Combine that broke on Wednesday likely was the nail in Burfict's draft coffin.
Despite the prevalent disappointment of going undrafted, all of the players listed above, as well as wide receiver Aaron Pflugrad, should receive free agent contracts in the coming days.
UPDATE: Track all of the free agent signings with our Signing Tracker.
For a full list of player draft profiles, click here.
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