Josh Rosen will start Week 1 for the Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals

The Arizona Cardinals used the 10th pick of the 2018 NFL Draft to select their future franchise quarterback Josh Rosen, and he deserves to start immediately. 

Quarterback Josh Rosen was projected to be a top-five selection, but when he was still on the board at No. 10, the Cardinals were aggressive and moved five spots up to select the signal caller. He became the second quarterback selected by the Cardinals in the first round since 2006. 

While at UCLA, Rosen threw for 9,340 yards, 59 touchdowns and 26 interceptions. In his final season, he had a career high in passing yards, touchdowns and rating despite only playing in 11 games. 

Starting Rosen Week 1 would be an ideal situation for the rookie quarterback and for the Cardinals. He enters the league with a chip on his shoulder and is extremely motivated to prove that nine other NFL teams made a mistake by not drafting him. His competitiveness is contagious and that will influence the rest of the offense.    

Rosen will have the opportunity to throw to veteran wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, and being able to work with a leader like that will help his development. 

He joins a depth chart which includes Sam Bradford and Mike Glennon, two veteran quarterbacks that Arizona signed this offseason. Bradford signed a one-year deal worth $20 million, which includes $15 million guaranteed. Glennon’s deal is much less lucrative, two-years $8 million and only $4 million guaranteed. 

Bradford’s contract clearly indicates he should be the starting quarterback. If that wasn’t the case, then why invest so much money in a 30-year old? Not so fast though. 

The former 2010 first-overall draft pick has struggled to stay healthy his entire NFL career. Last year, while playing for the Vikings, he aggravated his left knee and had arthroscopic surgery. Bradford will need to prove he has learned the system and most importantly that he is healthy enough to be on the field. 

“I talked about it from day one — the best 11 are going to play. Sam (Bradford) is the starter, and when he’s healthy, he’s great,” Cardinals coach Steve Wilks said. “But everybody is competing to be out there on the field. Competition is a great thing. It makes us all better.”

Coach Wilks is clearly crediting Bradford, but isn’t hiding from the fact that in order for him to be good, he needs to be on the field. With that being said, there is uncertainty regarding how Bradford returns from injury and that is warranted. 

As for Glennon, he has had several opportunities to prove he could be a starting quarterback and has failed. His track record keeps him out of the starting competition and makes him a second or third option. 

Wilks’ high praise for the rookie quarterback already shows a glimpse of the future. 

“This guy is extremely smart,” Wilks said. “I mean, his ability to see certain things from the defense, and pick it up quickly, and execute … I don’t want to say this, but he has the mindset of a vet. The way he sees the game.” 

Rosen has the all the tools to lead the Cardinals and support from his head coach. Now, he needs to show up and prove that he is the real deal. 

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