Whether he is going to be drafted by the Cleveland Browns or not, UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen has officially declared for the NFL Draft. Rosen, who could be one of the top players selected in the upcoming NFL Draft, announced his decision to enter the NFL Draft with a released statement on his Twitter account.
Rosen completed 62.9 percent of his pass attempts this season for 3,756 yards and 26 touchdowns with 10 interceptions in 11 games for the Bruins. While the injury issues were not as damaging to his season as the 2016 season, Rosen did get banged up with a concussion in the middle of the season. That cost him one game. In a high-profile showdown against USC and Trojans quarterback Sam Darnold, Rosen passed for 421 yards and three touchdowns, although UCLA came up five points short against the eventual Pac-12 champions.
In three years at UCLA, Rosen passed for 9,341 yards and 59 touchdowns with 26 interceptions in 30 games. Rosen is expected to be one of the top quarterback prospects in the NFL Draft and could potentially be the number one draft pick. There was some question if Rosen would hold off on declaring for the draft if it meant the Browns would potentially draft him. Now, Rosen is free for the taking if Cleveland wants him. The Browns own the first and fourth overall picks in the draft. After a disappointing rookie season by former Notre Dame quarterback Deshone Kizer, the Browns going back to draft a QB would not be stunning at all.
With UCLA about to prepare for a key Pac-12 matchup on the road against Utah, the Bruins will be without starting quarterback Josh Rosen. Rosen, who is sidelined with a concussion, did not even make the trip to Salt Lake City for the game, according to reports. Previous reports suggested a hand injury suffered last week were to be the reason he would be sidelined, but Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times reported, via Twitter, a concussion was the mitigating factor.
Rosen was taken out of last week’s game against Washington with a hand injury. He was then held out of practices this week. Without Rosen, UCLA will likely move forward with Devin Modster getting first-team snaps with the offense. This season, Modster is 8-of-15 for 82 yards and a touchdown. Other backup options will include Matt Lynch and Austin Burton, both of whom made the trip for UCLA.
How long Rosen may miss remains unknown, but his absence will have an impact on UCLA’s offense just as it did a year ago.
Needing two wins just to become bowl-eligible in the final month of the season, UCLA needs to be as close to full strength as they can in order to reach the postseason. Having quarterback Josh Rosen leave Saturday’s game at Washington with a hand injury was a reason to start thinking about hitting the panic button, and a 44-23 defeat certainly did not help. But a day later, it appears the status of Rosen is to be considered a bit more fortunate than the worst-case scenario.
Bruce Feldman of Sports Illustrated reported via Twitter Rosen’s hand injury is not considered serious, which suggests Rosen may still be available for the Bruins down the stretch.
At this time, it is unknown if Rosen will miss any playing time, but the initial report from Feldman should be encouraging. Rosen has thrown for 2,713 yards and 20 touchdowns this season.
UCLA plays at Utah on Friday night this week. UCLA also hosts Arizona State, visits USC, and hosts Cal to wrap up the regular season. With four games remaining and two games back in the Pac-12 South standings in the loss column with a head-to-head tiebreaker going to Arizona, UCLA’s slim chances of winning the Pac-12 South are still there but have just about faded away.
Penn State running back Saquon Barkley was held in check for much of the afternoon on Saturday by Northwestern, but that wasn’t enough to change Barkley’s Heisman odds this week. The latest Heisman Trophy odds form Bovada held firm with the 5/4 odds placed on Barkley last week, which keeps him atop the Heisman board for now.
The most notable development in the Heisman odds this week may be the rise of Stanford running back Bryce Love. Love rocketed up the board this week by going from 14/1 odds last week to 4/1 odds this week. The only two players ahead of Love right now are Barkley and Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield. After a home loss to Iowa State, Mayfield’s Heisman odds moved from 9/4 to 13/4.
Love leads the nation with 206.67 yards per game and is the only running back in the nation to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark so far. Love leads the nation with 1,240 rushing yards, which is roughly 240 yards than the next leading running back, San Diego State’s Rashaad Penny. For reference, Barkley’s rushing total stands at 649 yards, although Barkley’s all-purpose yardage adds up to 1,302 yards, which is ahead of Love’s all-purpose yardage so far.
Last year’s Heisman Trophy winner, Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson, saw his odds dip from 10/1 to 16/1 after a road loss at NC State on Thursday night.
Coming off a monster performance against Iowa, Penn State running back Saquon Barkley is now the new leader in the clubhouse for the Heisman Trophy, according to Bovada at least.
Bovada’s weekly updated Heisman odds put Barkley atop the Heisman board with 7/4 odds. He moves ahead of Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield, USC quarterback Sam Darnold, and 2016 Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson of Louisville, and separates himself from Oklahoma State quarterback Mason Rudolph.
Barkley has rushed for 518 yards with four rushing touchdowns in the first four weeks of the season. That alone would not be worthy of such high Heisman praise, of course, but Barkley has shown how good he is by contributing to the Penn State passing game. Barkley currently leads the Big Ten with 23 receptions and a conference-leading 335 receiving yards. Barkley has also added some yards on special teams returns, although he has not broken loose for a significant kickoff return just yet.
Barkley is not the only running back moving up Bovada’s board, however. Stanford running back Bryce Love went from 66/1 up to 33/1 following a big performance against UCLA. LOve is currently the nation’s leading rusher.
Two players were dropped from the Bovada board this week. Ohio State freshman running back J.K. Dobbins went from having 25/1 odds last week to off the board this week. I’m not entirely sure why Dobbins fell off the map so quickly, but he’ll have a chance to pop back on the board in the coming weeks. LSU running back Derrius Guice also fell off the board this week after having 50/1 odds last week.