Arizona State might be looking for a new starting quarterback for next season, according to numerous sources. Brock Osweiler, who was the starter under center for the Sun Devils during the 2011 season, could be skipping his senior season and putting himself into April’s NFL Draft.
Devils Digest was one of the first to break the news, but Doug Haller of the Arizona Republic followed up on the report.
Sources indicate that Osweiler is indeed leaning toward that direction, but as of Thursday night, Osweiler’s father, John, said in a text message that his son is ‘going over some last-minute details” and that the family hopes to announce a decision Friday.
Devils Digest, citing an anonymous report, reported that Osweiler would announce his NFL intentions at a Friday news conference. As of Thursday night, ASU spokesman Mark Brand said no news conference has been scheduled.
During the 2011 season, Osweiler put together some monster numbers. He became the first QB in school history to pass for more than 4,000 yards. In 13 starts, the 6’8, 240-pounder completed more than 63 percent of his passes and threw for 26 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. Arguably his best game of the season game against USC where Osweiler completed 78 percent of his throws for two scores.
Osweiler’s possible departure shouldn’t be a surprise to Devils fans. At the end of the season, the junior broke down when asked about his offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone and told those in the media that he helped turn him into the quarterback that he is today. Mazzone now has the same position on Jim Mora Jr’s staff at UCLA.
Some even believed last week that Osweiler could have transferred to UCLA for his final season in order to have a reunion with his former offensive coordinator. However, Pac 12 rules state he would have to sit out a year in order to go to attend another school within the conference despite graduating in May.
There have been no word on where Osweiler could be drafted if he indeed skips his senior season and comes out a year early for the draft. If Osweiler would have stayed for 2012 and had another good year, he probably could have been drafted as high as the second round.
Osweiler though is probably weary of playing for a new head coach in Todd Graham who he has no connections. If Osweiler struggled getting out of the gates next year, Graham could turn to another quarterback on his roster and Osweiler’s draft stock would take a huge hit as a result.
Even though he may be taken later on in April’s draft, it is probably best for him if he wouldn’t take that huge risk.
If Osweiler indeed leaves, Graham is left with plenty of talent at the quarterback position. It is actually one of the few positions that former head coach Dennis Erickson recruited really well. Taylor Kelly, Mike Bercovici, Michael Eubank, Daniel Lewis and incoming freshman T.J. Millweard would be the five quarterback’s on the roster come spring practice.
Eubank is the guy that Graham is most familiar with since he recruited him heavily while he was at Pittsburgh. At 6’5, 235 pounds, he has the perfect build and arm strength to start right away in Graham’s offense.
Of course, that all hinges on Osweiler heading to the pro level. We should find out in the coming hours on what Osweiler officially decides.