All eyes were on quarterback Josh Rosen on Thursday afternoon.
UCLA football hosted its 2018 Pro Day at Spaulding Field. All of the players from last season’s roster who declared for the NFL draft participated, including Rosen, offensive lineman Kolton Miller, wide receiver Jordan Lasley and linebacker Kenny Young.
Rosen, a projected top-10 pick in this year’s NFL draft, worked out with the offense near the end of the day, giving scouts a chance to see one of the most highly sought-after quarterbacks in the nation. Rosen said he went through nearly all of the 55 scripted throws he prepared.
The script started with 10-yard out routes to both sidelines, and gradually developed into deeper fade and post routes down the field. Rosen struggled early throwing to his left, but tore up the right side of the field for the entirety of the workout.
“I was confident with how I threw,” Rosen said. “Receivers made some great catches, made me look good here and there, and I couldn’t have asked for a better day.”
Despite wind picking up in the hour before the workout, Rosen still managed to complete a high percentage of his passes and said the elements were not much of a factor in his few incompletions.
“If you throw a tight spiral it doesn’t matter. If it wobbles a little bit, it might change it, but like I just said, ball is ball,” Rosen said. “I’m not going to hold up Pro Day and say, ‘Hey, can we hang up for the wind a little bit?’”
A number of NFL teams were in attendance Thursday. Denver Broncos general manager John Elway, senior personnel advisor Gary Kubiak and head coach Vance Joseph were all on the sideline together watching Rosen and the offense. The Broncos own the fifth pick in the draft and are rumored to have interest in the UCLA product.
Rosen said, however, he fully understands teams will have to feel comfortable with his personality and reputation in addition to what he can do on the field.
“I’d love to get picked in the first round,” Rosen said. “I think in that round you’re investing quite a bit of money and whether it’s an issue or not, you want to know every single thing you can about a person.”
Offensive lineman Scott Quessenberry, a redshirt senior moving on to the draft, said he believes that his quarterback of the last three seasons is the best player in this year’s draft class.
“I just love the guy to death,” Quessenberry said. “I’m hoping for the best for him and I do think he is the (No. 1) overall pick.”
Quessenberry also participated in Pro Day, and said he treated it like any other practice. He added he wanted to showcase his entire skill set, for better or for worse.
“I came every day here at UCLA to work hard and get better at my craft and that’s what I was going out there to do today,” Quessenberry said. “I was going out to show off what I’m good at and what I need to work at.”
Wide receiver Jordan Lasley, a projected second- to third-round pick, ran a 4.53 40-yard dash and said his main focus at Pro Day was to prove his route running abilities to the scouts in attendance.
“I just wanted to show I can run every route in a route tree. At the combine you only run six routes or so,” Lasley said. “They have their script already, you just got to run whatever they tell you.”
Lasley’s highlight reel play of the afternoon came on a deep post route over the middle of the field during the offensive workout. One of Rosen’s passes got carried an extra few yards by the wind, but Lasley tracked it down and made an over-the-shoulder catch in the end zone, earning a nod of approval from Elway on the sideline.
Another standout performer from Pro Day was wide receiver Eldridge Massington. He recorded a team-best 4.44 40-yard dash and 35 inches vertical leap.
Other players such as Rosen, Miller, Quessenberry and Young did not participate in most drills after already completing them at the NFL Combine earlier in March.