UCLA QB Josh Rosen threw about 50 passes for an estimated crowd of nearly 100 NFL coaches and scouts at UCLA's pro day Thursday, then made a declaration that one of his fellow QB draft prospects, Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield, has been fond of making this draft season: that he's the draft's most accurate passer.
"I put the ball where it needs to be, very accurately, better than everyone else," Rosen told reporters.
Among those in attendance to judge that accuracy were New York Jets GM Mike Maccagnan, Cincinnati Bengals coach Marvin Lewis, Denver Broncos GM John Elway and coach Vance Joseph, Los Angeles Chargers coach Anthony Lynn, Atlanta Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff and Cleveland Browns VP of Player Personnel Alonzo Highsmith.
Mayfield had the better career completion percentage of the two QBs by nearly an 8-point margin, but completion percentage alone doesn't tell the accuracy tale. Rosen had far less of a supporting cast, and the two played in different offensive systems. While no FBS QB had a better completion percentage than Mayfield last season (70.5), the Oklahoma QB "benefited from a spread scheme that created huge passing windows to throw to," as NFL.com draft analyst Lance Zierlein writes in his profile of Mayfield. NFL clubs had a chance to take a look at both quarterbacks this week at pro day workouts, along with Oklahoma State's Mason Rudolph. NFL Network draft expert Mike Mayock was impressed with Rosen's outdoor workout -- most pro days are held indoors -- and said he threw effectively into a heavy breeze.
"I thought he threw the ball beautifully. By the way, not a surprise," Mayock said. "The most natural thrower in the draft. Clear feet. Clear vision. He's beautiful. His issue is going to be, in my opinion, durability and the ability to survive in the NFL pocket."
Here are five other things we learned Thursday from pro day workouts around the nation:
- Rudolph's pro day workout reminded NFL Network analyst Bucky Brooks of Super Bowl-champion QB Nick Foles.
"A lot of passes ranged from zero to 20 yards, digs, skinny posts, seams, comebacks, all thrown on time. And most importantly, he threw them all on target," Brooks said. "He also put an added emphasis on the deep ball. He spent a lot of time pushing the ball downfield to James Washington and Marcel Ateman, doing a great job of dropping it in down the chute. When you think about his projection, he kind of reminds me of Nick Foles, meaning that he's going to play a small-ball game. But there are a lot of people really impressed with what he brings to the table."
- The aforementioned Washington, one of the top wide receivers in the draft, recorded a significant improvement from the combine to pro day in the vertical jump (34.5 to 39 inches).
- Former Clemson star and NFL veteran C.J. Spiller told the Tigers' pro day broadcast that Clemson's top draft prospect, WR Deon Cain, is working out with him, along with Miami Dolphins LB Stephone Anthony, a fellow former Tiger. Cain ran a 4.43 40-yard dash at the combine and reportedly stood on that time Thursday, passing on bench-press testing as well. Cain participated in every drill in Indianapolis.
- Clemson WR Ray-Ray McCloud apparently got a look at defensive back from NFL scouts Thursday. McCloud saw some action in the Clemson secondary last year, and as a prospect who lacks a true position fit at the next level, it should come as no surprise that he would provide NFL teams with a look at more than one spot.