Brock Osweiler: The Tall Quarterback

Story posted March 22, 2012 in


When former Arizona State quarterback, Brock Osweiler, arrived in Indianapolis for the 2012 NFL Combine, the biggest question mark for him had nothing to do with his throwing arm.

What scouts and coaches were most interested in measuring could not be improved or worsened by Osweiler’s performance. The Sun Devil’s height had those in the NFL thinking about former Seattle Seahawk Dan McGwire. McGwire is the tallest quarterback in NFL history standing at 6-foot-7. At the NFL Combine, Osweiler came in just shy of McGwire’s listed height.

Listed at 6-foot-8 on his Arizona State profile, Osweiler worried some scouts that he would be too tall to play quarterback. Precedents tend to scare those who measure athletes by stereotypes. If Osweiler measured 6-foot-8 at the Combine, he would be the tallest quarterback ever to play in the NFL. 

Osweiler fell just short, measuring in at 6-foot-6-and-7/8-inches. Despite not breaking the record for tallest quarterback, Osweiler still won over the scouts in attendance. Tall enough to scan from sideline to sideline over his future offensive linemen, Osweiler is oozing with potential.

The Kalispell, Montana native is so athletic that he originally committed to Gonzaga for basketball before switching permanently to football. The multi-sport athlete made the final decision in his junior year of high school to focus solely on the gridiron. Despite averaging 24.9 points and 14.5 rebounds per game, Osweiler viewed his potential to be higher as a quarterback. In his senior season at Flathead High School, Osweiler performed so well that he earned the honor of Gatorade Player of the Year in the state of Montana.

During that year Osweiler threw for 2,703 yards and 29 touchdowns while adding 700 yards and 13 touchdowns on the ground. The monstrous quarterback showed his ability to throw and run, a rare quality of someone standing that tall. After finishing his high school career, Osweiler wasted no time committing to the Sun Devils. He became their first offensive recruit and second overall pickup in the 2009 class.

Arizona State coveted Osweiler so much that they made him the first true freshman quarterback to start since Jake Plummer in 1993. Osweiler quickly became the "big" man on campus playing his six games his true freshman season. Although he only threw for 249 yards and completed 24 passes, Osweiler gained tremendous experience and limited his mistakes by throwing only two interceptions.

In his sophomore campaign, the hype disappeared and he remained stagnant. Appearing in six games again and starting just one for the second straight season, Osweiler continued to play minimally, completing just 22 passes. Appearing unfazed by the lack of playing time, the true sophomore threw for 797 yards and, more importantly, zero interceptions.

After displaying his safety with the football, Osweiler finally got his chance to be the starter in 2011. Starting all 13 games, Osweiler quickly took charge of the Sun Devils and cemented his place in Arizona State history. He set new school records in completions, attempts, completion percentage, and passing yards.

Osweiler become the first Sun Devil to throw for 4,000 yards, finishing the season with 4,036. He also finished the season 326-for-516, for a completion percentage of 63.2 percent. Osweiler added 26 touchdowns through the air, which was good for fourth most in school history.

After a record-setting performance in 2011, the tallest quarterback in the nation now sets his sights on the NFL. Osweiler would join Derek Anderson of the Carolina Panthers and Joe Flacco of the Baltimore Ravens as the tallest quarterbacks in the NFL. Both of those current professionals stand 6-foot-6 and are the most comparable quarterbacks for the former Sun Devil. Neither Flacco nor Anderson possesses the mobility Osweiler brings with him, giving the physically imposing quarterback another weapon in his arsenal.

Osweiler was unable to work out at the Combine due to a foot injury. Scouts were looking forward to his March 16 Pro Day at Arizona State, but he has pushed back his workout until the end of the month. That workout will be an important outing for Osweiler to display his abilities.

The potential for Brock Osweiler is sky high given his physical measurements and athletic ability. The former basketball player will have a chance to make a strong impression on scouts before the 2012 NFL Draft, where he is projected to come off the board by the end of the second day.


Jared Abbott is a junior majoring in Broadcast Journalism and Psychology and is a ComRadio News Director. To contact him, email: