Philadelphia Eagles: Josh Rosen needs to back up Carson Wentz in 2020

(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

Say what you will about Josh Rosen’s time in the NFL, but the UCLA product would be a fantastic backup for Carson Wentz and the Philadelphia Eagles in 2020.

I hate to admit it, but I was wrong.

Earlier this season, I championed the belief that the Philadelphia Eagles had won their 2018 draft-night trade with the Baltimore Ravens if for no other reason than that they acquired additional assets at very little cost to themselves.

Sure, that still holds weight, as Avonte Maddox, Dallas Goedert, and Miles Sanders for the 32nd overall pick and the 132nd overall pick is good value, but when you consider who Ozzie Newsome selected with that pick – his final first-rounder as the general manager of the Ravens – the deal quickly becomes one the team may soon wish to forget.

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You see, the Ravens used the final first-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft to select Lamar Jackson and for the moment at least, some consider him the future of the quarterback position as we know it at the helm of an absolutely unstoppable offensive attack.

Jackson is lightning fast, smart, and has a cannon for an arm. After winning a Heisman at Louisville – a school he explicitly chose to attend to learn the ins and outs of his chosen position from Bobby Petrino – It’s entirely possible the 6-foot-2 reincarnation of Michael Vick could add an MVP trophy to his case before the tender age of 25.

Now sure, there was no way of knowing this would happen when Howie Roseman effectively handed Jackson to Baltimore – though with Carson Wentz coming off a near MVP season of his own, the Birds weren’t exactly in the market for a QB – but fortunately for fans in the 215, the Eagles may have a second chance to add another top-tier talent from the 2018 NFL Draft – just not the one many fans would have liked.

You see, drafted 22 spots above Jackson was Josh Rosen out of UCLA.

Over three seasons in Westwood, Rosen threw for 9,340 yards on a 60.9 completion percentage while putting up a 59-26 touchdown to interception ratio while showing a cerebral ability to operate Jim Mora‘s pro-style offense out of the pocket. Rosen also made headlines for his play off the field, pulling off some fun college hysterics that, let’s be honest, we all wish we could have done (hot tub dorm room anyone?)

Outside of a few scouts who questioned Rosen’s ability to make plays outside of the pocket, and others who wondered if he was, get this, too smart for his own good (you have to see it to believe it), the consensus was clear: Josh Rosen had the potential to become a franchise quarterback.

And yet, one couldn’t have put Rosen in a worse situation to succeed as a young professional if they tried.

Initially drafted by the Cardinals and their awful offensive line, Rosen was traded on draft night to the Miami Dolphins after one season to make way for the Kyler Murray-era in Arizona. From here, Rosen was forced to play behind an even worse offensive line on a team that actively wants to lose to make way for a quarterback like Tua Tagovailoa, Justin Herbert, or Joe Burrow atop the 2020 NFL Draft.

By extension, that means Rosen will in all likelihood be traded yet again, and this time, it will be for far less than a second-rounder.

While there are a few logical landing spots for Rosen across the NFL, the LA Chargers, the Chicago Bears, the New England Patriots, and even the San Francisco 49ers come to mind, the Philadelphia Eagles should not hesitate to bring the still-22 year old to the City of Brotherly Love.

You see, the 2019 Eagles have one of the less attractive quarterback situations in the NFL, and with Josh McCown all but surely finished with football (as a player) once the season comes to an end, the team could once again be in the market for a reliable backup behind Wentz. Sure there’s still Nate Sudfeld, but let’s be honest, he’s never going to be Kyle Allen, Gardner Minshew, or even Mason Rudolph.

Rosen, on the other hand, is two years removed from being a top-10 pick, with some believing the former Bruin was the best quarterback available in the entire draft.

For what it’s worth, Rosen also grew up an Eagles fan, which would make a potential pairing all the sweeter.

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Look, I get it, talking about a potential March move may feel a bit premature, especially with the NFC East still up for grabs, but with the fanbase’s anti-Wentz faction growing by the day it’s never too early to think about adding another talented arm to the Birds’ QB stable – especially one on a bargain bin contract. If Josh Rosen can be had for a Day 3 draft pick, the Philadelphia Eagles shouldn’t hesitate to pull the trigger, as they are in desperate need for a long-term backup quarterback at the very least.