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The Bears' former director of college scouting, Greg Gabriel has over 30 years of experience in NFL scouting and he'll be breaking down the top NFL prospects other NFL news each week here at Pro Football Weekly. You can follow Greg on Twitter @greggabe

Coming out of high school, Josh Rosen was supposed to be the best college quarterback since Andrew Luck. It was written that he was a legitimate Heisman Trophy candidate and probable No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft. While he has been a very good college player after two seasons at UCLA, he is hardly another Luck and isn’t even the best quarterback in the city of Los Angeles. That title goes to cross rival Sam Darnold at USC.

Rosen was an early entry at UCLA, enrolling in January 2015. Being able to play in spring practice got him a head start in his college career and he started all 13 games of his freshman season. Rosen put up good numbers, completing 292 of 487 passes for 3,670 yards, a 60-percent completion rate, 23 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. For the season, UCLA finished with an 8-5 record but they lost three of their last four games.

In 2016, Rosen started out poorly versus a strong Texas A&M team, throwing three interceptions and never seemed to get on track after that. He only played half of a season, as a shoulder injury versus Arizona State in Game Six ended his season. For the year, Rosen completed 137 of 231 throws for 1,915 yards, a 59-percent completion rate, 10 touchdowns and five interceptions.

Rosen has good size at about 6-4, 220. His speed and athleticism are good for a quarterback and he has good foot quickness. There is no problem with his arm strength, as he throws a tight ball and can easily throw the ball 55-60 yards. He is capable of making every kind of NFL throw with good velocity.

Rosen plays from both under center and the spread and shows good set up quickness. He generally shows a good ability to see the field, find the open man and get the ball of out of his hand quickly. His release is quick and he has a tight overhand delivery. While Rosen is athletic and can move around in the pocket, he doesn’t show an instinctive feel for pass rushers and he takes far too many hits.

When Rosen has a clean pocket, he is at his best. Most of his mistakes come when he is under pressure. When faced with a heavy pass rush, his decision-making goes south and he will make some misguided throws. While he is capable of extending plays with his feet, he doesn’t do it on a consistent basis.

Rosen’s accuracy and ball placement are inconsistent. When he has time, the timing of his throws is good and he shows good ball placement, but when hurried his accuracy and ball placement fall off.

Scouts who have made school calls have a bit of a problem with Rosen’s mental makeup. There are questions about his mental toughness, leadership and ability to get along with his teammates. These are all areas that a top NFL quarterback has to excel in.

Chances are this will be Rosen’s last year at UCLA and he will enter the 2018 NFL Draft. While he has the physical tools to be a very high draft choice, scouts will really dissect the mental and leadership part of his game this fall. Unless he shows drastic improvement in these intangible areas, he won’t go as high as he thinks he will. The intangibles are what separate the good from the average quarterbacks in the NFL. Does Rosen have them?

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It’s not often a special teams coordinator invokes skiing when analyzing a kicker. It’s also unusual to have a 28-year-old rookie who never played football in high school.

Meet Andy Phillips, the Bears’ undrafted rookie kicker out of Utah who was once an Olympic hopeful for downhill skiing and spent his four years of college as the old guy.

“It was fun. A lot of fun. It put me in a unique position as a kicker to be a leader of the team, which I don’t think you see very often around the US,” Phillips said last week during rookie minicamp. “It was fun just having guys come to me about other things other than sport. I’ve been married six years, I have two kids and I have a Master’s in business and information systems, so guys would ask me financial questions or girl questions or kid questions, stuff like that. It was fun to be able to give advice where I could.”

Phillips joked that he kept his beard during rookie minicamp to look his age. If only the rest of the players at Halas Hall last weekend knew about Phillips’ background, they could have left with more knowledge on married life, skiing, business or fatherhood.

When the Bears begin OTAs next week, only 15 of the 90 players will be older than Phillips, but he’ll be the one leaning on veterans to learn about life in the NFL, starting with the player he’ll be competing against to win a job, Connor Barth.

Jeff Rodgers noted that Phillips had over an 80 percent conversion rate on field goals in his four years kicking for the Utes and has a “unique profile” as a former skier.

“There’s a lot of guys that we looked at and the guys that were available, we felt that he was at the time the best guy that we could sign,” he said.

Back to that “unique profile.” Phillips served a two-year LDS mission in Norway during the Vancouver Olympics and had dreams of going to Sochi. He skied his first race at the age of 5 and “just kinda fell in love with it.”

Competing in Sochi “didn’t make a ton of sense” financially, Phillips explained.

“After the recession, the money in ski racing wasn’t there anymore. I prioritized education and family,” he said. “So that was kinda what I was after with Utah — somewhere where I could still be competitive and physically active doing something I love, but also get a good education.”

It took perseverance and, well, pestering, before he could get on the Utes’ football team. Phillips tried kicking field goals at the suggestion of a friend one Thanksgiving and then “bugged the crap” out of Utah’s special teams coordinator, sending him tapes of kicks from a local high school.

“I think I turned some heads just with my competitive nature and, obviously, from ski racing, I had a lot of discipline in the weight room,” he said. “I was really just disciplined with everything I did. Through that first year I redshirted and learned the game. They brought in a couple guys and we battled and I ended up winning the job.”

Phillips wasn’t a football fan growing up — “it was soccer and ski racing, and that was kind of it” — but now he is an NFL kicker, and he plans to use his experience on the slopes to help him in his new job.

“Of course it’s a team sport, but kicker is super-individual. Ski racing, it’s all mental,” he said. “There’s a lot more physicality to ski racing than there is to kicking. It’s all mental. If you can control your mind, you can kick for a really long time.”

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The Bears' former director of college scouting, Greg Gabriel has over 30 years of experience in NFL scouting and he breaks down the top NFL prospects and other stories around the league here at Pro Football Weekly. You can follow Greg on Twitter @greggabe

One of the more interesting names in the 2018 quarterback class will be Washington State’s fifth-year senior Luke Falk. Playing in the fast-paced Mike Leach spread, Luke’s numbers are second to none.

In 2016, he completed 443-of-633 throws for a completion percentage of 70, with 4,468 yards, 38 touchdowns and only 11 interceptions. In his first three seasons at Washington State, he has passed for 10,888 yards and 89 touchdowns, while throwing 25 interceptions and completing 68.8 percent of his throws. Those are highly impressive numbers. By the time the 2017 season is over, Falk will have thrown for over 15,000 yards and about 130 touchdowns. He will easily be the most experienced quarterback in the 2018 class. Being the most experienced doesn’t mean the best, especially when scouting QBs.

Falk has excellent height, standing about 6044. He has a lean frame though. He is listed as being about 222 but he needs to add strength and bulk to his upper body. When it is said and done, Falk should be 230-plus pounds.

Coming out of high school, Falk was not a highy recruited player. Part of the reason was because he transferred from his high school in Logan, Utah, to be closer to his quarterback guru who was in California. When he didn't like being in California, Falk transferred back to Utah and was declared ineligible for his junior season. His only offers were Cornell and Idaho. He then got a preferred walk-on offer from Washington State and chose to enroll there.

Falk is a marginally good athlete. He shows adequate quickness and speed. I don’t feel he will break 4.80 when he is timed. His foot quickness is good and he shows some maneuverability in the pocket and can extend plays to some extent. He takes a lot of hits, though, as his offensive line is just average.

Falk has a quick overhand delivery and spins the ball well with good velocity. He can make any NFL-type throw. Though NFL-type throws are not a real part of the Washington State offense, you see enough of them to know he can make those throws. He has good-to-real good overall arm strength and can easily throw the ball accurately down field 50 to 55 yards.

When he is able to set his feet, Falk shows excellent accuracy and ball placement. When hurried (and that is often), he has a tendency to throw off his back foot, and then the ball will sail on him some. When he remains true to his mechanics, he throws the ball very well.

The Washington State offense is a fast-paced spread scheme but not really a half-field offense. Falk is able to go through a minor progression and is a consistently good decision-maker. He will force some throws, but the numbers show that he does not turn the ball over that often.

Falk's biggest problem once he gets to the NFL will be adapting to NFL style offense and learning to play from under center. He holds the ball high and has a tight throwing motion. He can get the ball out of his hands quickly once he makes a decision.

Going forward, I am interested in seeing how Falk improves from the 2016 season. He has some interesting traits and a lot of playing experience. At this time, I don’t think that he is a “lock” first-round pick, but by the end of the 2017 college season, he will be in the conversation and maybe even secure himself a first-round slot. There is a lot to like about his game but Falk still needs to improve, as well as get a little bigger and stronger. Needless to say, he is a very solid prospect at this time.

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TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — The Arizona Cardinals have five quarterbacks. One of them, Carson Palmer, only stood and watched as the team went through its first offseason workout Tuesday.

At age 37, Palmer will greatly curtail his offseason throwing in hopes of preserving arm strength for his 15th NFL season.

Palmer has thrown 6,040 passes in the NFL and countless more in offseason workouts, weekly practices and simply on his own.

It's taken a toll.

Coach Bruce Arians said the ease-up was Palmer's idea. Palmer said he had to be persuaded by Arians.

"Coach is very persuasive," Palmer said. "He had very good reasons and points why. I'm going to trust his expertise and knowledge of this position because it's as good as it gets."

The plan is for Palmer to sit through six OTAs before throwing in the final three and during the entire three-day minicamp. But even those will be limited.

Palmer said he's thrown too much in the offseason for quite some time.

"I don't think I've done a good job probably the last eight or nine years," he said. "I've treated the last eight or nine years like I was 24, 25, 26. You've got to adapt and it's difficult for me to do."

He's already thrown far fewer passes than he usually would have by this time.

"March and April really is where I'm used to throwing and throwing and throwing," Palmer said. "So those throws were eliminated and (I'm) really doing everything except throwing the football ... working out, lifting, footwork, all the muscles around the shoulder, you still can work without throwing the football."

While Palmer watches, Drew Stanton and Blaine Gabbert work with the No. 1 unit. Stanton has been the backup to Palmer since Arians came to Arizona four seasons ago.

"Drew had a great day," Arians said. "Blaine jumped in there and made a mistake or two but he's only been here a day. I'm really pleased with how the quarterback work has gone."

Stanton, 33, remains firmly in the No. 2 quarterback role, with Gabbert behind him. The other two quarterbacks — Zac Dysert and rookie Trevor Knight — worked out on a second practice field.

Gabbert has had a disappointing career since being drafted in the first round by Jacksonville six years ago.

He's never run the same offense two years in a row.

In the locker room Tuesday, Gabbert quickly rattled off the names of the six offensive coordinators he's had.

"The good thing and the bad thing is this is the seventh (offense) I've had to learn in seven years," he said. "So I think I have the way to learn a system down pretty well."

Palmer said he likes the Gabbert signing.

"He's a former first-round pick and been through a lot of coordinators, been through a couple of teams," Palmer said. "Sometimes it just takes, especially at the quarterback position, the right fit, and I trust this organization's decisions and the moves they make and I'm looking forward to working with him."

Palmer had a big year in 2015, throwing for 4,671 yards and 35 touchdowns, both career highs, in leading Arizona to a 13-3 record and a spot in the NFC championship game.

But from the start last season, Palmer didn't seem to have the same velocity on the ball. He had a hard time connecting downfield, long passes that are a big part of Arians' wide-open offense.

Then in the bye week midway through the season, Arians decided Palmer would no longer practice on Wednesdays. The difference was apparent.

"I felt better," Palmer said, "not getting 200 or 300 throws between Wednesday and Friday like I was getting the first half of the season.'"

Expect him to sit out Wednesday workouts again this season, which could be Palmer's last. He said he won't know until it's over and he assesses how he feels.

For now, he's hoping all the arm rest sets him up for a strong 2017 season.

"I think it will make a big difference," Palmer said. "Like he (Arians) said, how many curls do you need to throw in March? I've thrown a lot of curls over the years. I'm looking forward to seeing the benefits of this as the season rolls on."

Notes: The Cardinals signed former NFL running back Terry Allen as part of the Bill Bidwill Coaching Fellowship, established in 2015 to help former players get started in coaching.

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FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — Two straight seasons as a 1,000-yard rusher have made Devonta Freeman a bargain as he enters the last year of his rookie contract.

For a player, that's a bad place to be. It's why Freeman is looking for an extension to his deal before the 2017 season.

Freeman said Tuesday he's confident the new deal will come. He said he will remain patient rather than consider holding out of training camp as a negotiating ploy.

"I just always wanted to be that guy that never wanted to hold out and leave my guys out there working," Freeman said. "I understand it's a business, 100 percent, but I know what I signed up for."

Freeman's current contract calls for him to earn $1,797,000 this season, the last year of his four-year, $2.7 million contract he signed as a rookie.

The Falcons, attempting to regroup after their Super Bowl loss to New England, already have re-signed cornerback Desmond Trufant to a five-year extension worth $68.75 million this offseason. They also had all their draft picks signed before last week's rookie minicamp.

Might Freeman and his agent, Kristin Campbell, could be next at the Falcons' bargaining table. Freeman said he sought advice from receiver Julio Jones on how to handle himself this offseason.

Freeman said Jones' best advice was "make sure whatever I do just make sure I come in and work. ... That's what I call my business. If I could take care of that, everything else will take care of itself."

Freeman has been remarkably consistent since coming out of Florida State, even while sharing the carries with Tevin Coleman in 2016. He rushed for 1,079 yards with 11 touchdowns last season after gaining 1,056 yards with 11 TDs in 2015.

"I want to leave a legacy," Freeman said. "Holding out, that's not going to leave a legacy. If I hold out, I'm behind. I don't want to be behind. I want to be ahead and moving forward."

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