When Brock Osweiler was drafted by the Denver Broncos with the 57th overall pick, he became just the third Sun Devil quarterback ever to be taken in the first two rounds of the NFL Draft. While his immediate future will be holding a clipboard and learning from Peyton Manning, his impressive physical and mental makeup gives the 6'6 7/8" quarterback an excellent chance at a bright professional future.
Whether he ultimately has a career that is more Danny White than Andrew Walter remains to be seen. The history of drafted Sun Devil signal callers in the NFL ranks is varied and covers a wide spectrum from first-round disappointment to long time journeyman to underrated star of America's Team.
1962 - Joe Zuger: Detroit Lions, 18th round (248th overall)
After a late round selection by the Lions, Zuger found success north of the border with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the CFL. He played some defensive back for a few years before moving back to quarterback in 1967, winning the Grey Cup MVP and bringing a title to Hamilton.
1969 - Ed Roseborough: St. Louis Cardinals, 14th round (357th overall)
ASU's leading passer in 1967 never saw any NFL action.
1974 - Danny White: Dallas Cowboys, 3rd round (53rd overall)
After a legendary career at ASU, White initially played in the WFL for two years before moving to the Cowboys who took him in 1974. Initially, his versatility kept him around, as he was the Cowboys' punter from 1976-1983. He made one start at quarterback in 1978, and threw just 103 passes over his first four years.
In 1980, he took over the starting job from the retiring Hall of Famer Roger Staubauch and led the Cowboys to a 12-4 record while throwing for 3,287 yards and 28 touchdowns. After a strong 1981 season, he made his only Pro Bowl in the strike-shortened 1982 season. Over those first three years as a starter, he took Dallas to the NFC Championship game each time.
White had his best season in 1983, throwing for 3,980 yards and 28 touchdowns while leading the Cowboys to another 12-4 year. The following year he was benched, but rebounded with a strong 195 campaign with another 10 wins. He retired after three more seasons of part-time play.
Career totals: 62-30-0 record, 21,959 yards passing,155 touchdowns, 132 interceptions, 81.7 passer rating. He also had a 40.2 yards-per-punt average on 610 career kicks.
1978 - Dennis Sproul: Green Bay Packers, 8th round (200th overall)
After four years as the Devils quarterback, Sprould was a late round pick by the Packers, and lasted just one season both with the team and in the NFL. Career totals: no starts, 87 yards, 0 touchdowns, 0 interceptions, 62.0 passer rating.
1980 - Mark Malone: Pittsburgh Steelers, 1st round (28th overall)
When the Steelers drafted Malone to be the heir to Terry Bradshaw, they made him the first, and to this day the only, Sun Devil quarterback to be taken in the first round.
He saw spot duty for his first three years before helping to guide the Steelers to the AFC title game in 1984 with 2,137 yards and 16 touchdowns. Malone time as the Steelers' starter reached it's peak over 1986 and 1987 when he made 26 starts. However, he was derailed by interceptions, including 19 in just 12 games in 1987.
He was traded to the Chargers the next season, went 2-6 as a starter, then had one final season with the Jets in 1989, in which he totaled 13 yards on two passes. Career totals: 23-30-0, 10,175 yards, 60 touchdowns, 81 interceptions, 61.9 passer rating.
1982 - Mike Pagel: Baltimore Colts, 4th round (84th overall)
Before No. 18 was made immortal in Indy blue by Osweiler's new tutor, another Sun Devil didn't do much with it. Malone's heir at ASU, Pagel had a four-year run as one of the Colts' flip-flopping starters before being cast to a career as a journeyman backup.
Much like the Redskins this year, the Colts took a quarterback in the top five, in this case Art Schlichter, and then added a fourth round quarterback to be the backup. However, Pagel beat out Schlichter, but went 0-8-1 during his rookie year, and 15-23 over the next three years.
He was dealt to Cleveland after 1985 and spent five years as a backup, going 2-5 as a starter. He spent his final three seasons as a Los Angeles Ram, throwing just 56 passes. Career totals: 17-36-1 record, 9,414 yards, 49 touchdowns, 63 interceptions, 63.3 passer rating.
1991 - Paul Justin: Chicago Bears, 7th round (190th overall)
Justin was drafted by the Bears late in 1991, but did not make the team. He played in the Arena and World Football Leagues before catching on with the Colts as a backup for the last three years BM (Before Manning), making seven starts. He then went on to Cincinnati, going 0-3, before closing his career in St. Louis during the dawn of the "Greatest Show on Turf" in 1999. Career totals: 3-7-0 record, 2,614 yards, eight touchdowns, 10 interceptions, 75.0 passer rating.
1997 - Jake Plummer: Arizona Cardinals, 2nd round (42nd overall)
"The Snake" gave ASU one the most magical seasons in school history in 1996, and his local legend grew further when the Cardinals took the hometown hero in the second round. Pressed into action as a rookie, he struggled but showed promise.
The next year, the brought some of that Rose Bowl magic to the Cards, posting a 9-7 record, throwing for 3,737 yards and 17 touchdowns in leading the Cardinals to their first playoff berth since 1982. He then took that legendary status to new level when he beat the Cowboys in the wild card round, it marked the first playoff win for the franchise since 1947.
Both Plummer and the team struggled over the next four years, and he left after the 2002 season to sign with the Denver Broncos. He immediately found success, going 19-8 in his first two seasons. Plummer then had his finest season as a pro in 2005, making the Pro Bowl and leading the Broncos to the AFC title game, losing to the eventual Super Bowl champion Steelers.
The next year, Plummer's play fell off, and after going 7-4, he was replaced by rookie Jay Cutler and retired after the season. Career totals: 69-67-0, 29,253 yards, 161 touchdowns, 161 interceptions, 74.6 passer rating.
2005 - Andrew Walter: Oakland Raiders, 3rd round (69th overall)
After rewriting ASU's passing record books, Walter went to the developmental black hole of the Raiders. With the powerful arm, he was natural fit for the team, but wasn't able to turn it into on-field production.
After Aaron Brooks played like...well, Aaron Brooks, Walter entered the lineup in 2006 and made eight starts. However, he had a miserable 3-13 touchdown to interception ratio and the team went just 2-6. He made one more start in 2008 which had another three interceptions and was released after the year. He spent a month with the Patriots during the 2009 offseason and was let go. Career totals: 2-7-0 record, 1,919 yards, three touchdowns, 16 interceptions, 52.6 passer rating.
2012 - Brock Osweiler: Denver Broncos, 2nd round (57th overall)
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