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Greg Cosell Talks Josh Freeman

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For those of you who don't know him, Greg Cosell is the man behind the NFL Matchup Show, a Senior Producer for NFL Films and one of the authors of the book Games That Changed The Game (which I highly recommend). Cosell spends more time watching game film than probably anyone except NFL coaches. He never sugarcoats his opinions, and every time I hear him speak, I learn something new about the game and the NFL. I say all this to show you that he knows what he's talking about, and why he's worth listening to. 

Earlier today he unleashed a series of tweets about Josh Freeman, and specifically the way he viewed him coming out of college. The conventional wisdom about Freeman at the time was that Freeman was a raw prospect from a spread offense, who regularly made bad decisions, may not be a good leader and would have to adjust to the NFL because he was constantly playing from the shotgun in college. He was supposed to be the 3rd QB prospect in the class, who would be picked in the first round because there was a need for quarterbacks, as there always is. 

But that wasn't Greg Cosell's analysis of Josh Freeman, who has turned into the best quarterback of the class by now. Cosell thought Freeman was an "effortless thrower, power thrower but catachable ball" and that he had "more NFL traits than Sanchez". He praises Freeman's ability to progression read and to throw on the run, though he notes that he needed work on his recognition of defenses and anticipation throws. He still saw Matt Stafford as the best overall quarterback in the draft by a wide margin, but Freeman was clearly the second quarterback in the draft. Which makes the Jets look rather foolish for relying on the number of players at a Pro Day to decide between Sanchez and Freeman. 

For good measure, Cosell compares Freeman to Cam Newton. In terms of physical attributes the comparison makes sense, but Cosell notes that Freeman was much more refined as a passer coming out of college. It seems the college version of Freeman wasn't the raw, inaccurate player he was made out to be. Instead, he had shown many of the traits needed to succeed in the NFL. Which is why the Buccaneers traded up two spots to draft him 17th overall. The best move they've made in a long time.