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First Round Pick QB May Be Getting Outplayed By An Undrafted Free Agent Rookie

General view of action as wide receiver Jaron Brown #13 of the Arizona Cardinals catches a pass during the second half of the NFL game against the New York Giants.

GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 24: General view of action as wide receiver Jaron Brown #13 of the Arizona Cardinals catches a pass during the second half of the NFL game against the New York Giants at the University of Phoenix Stadium on December 24, 2017 in Glendale, Arizona. The Arizona Cardinals won 23-0. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The Arizona Cardinals are getting some surprisingly good play from a rookie quarterback on the roster. Unfortunately for the franchise, it isn't from first-rounder Josh Rosen.

The Cardinals won their preseason opener against the Los Angeles Chargers, with Rosen getting the most work behind center.

He was just 6-of-13 for 41 yards though, and did not account for a score.

Sports Illustrated's Robert Klemko checked out Cardinals camp, and while Josh Rosen struggled, rookie Chad Kanoff has been impressive.

Kanoff was undrafted out of Princeton, but it sounds like he has a puncher's chance to make the roster.

Sam Bradford got the day off as the rest of the Cardinals labored in the friendly confines of Arizona’s indoor stadium, so it was Josh Rosen’s time to shine with the ones. He did so with the benefit of a less-than-live pass rush after Saturday’s inconsistent performance behind a struggling second-string offensive line. Sorry to say, the 10th overall selection in the 2018 draft didn’t look much better against his own teammates. Part of that can be blamed on a wide receiver group without a clear No. 2 to Larry Fitzgerald, but many of Rosen’s wounds were self-inflicted. While his footwork looked solid, Rosen air-mailed several balls at the goal line and down the sidelines, and looked out of sync with route-runners.

Conversely, undrafted free agent quarterback Chad Kanoff is making the most of his opportunity under center, and seems to have a fighting chance at supplanting Mike Glennon as the No. 3 quarterback on the roster. The Princeton product’s accuracy on deep balls Monday, particularly on one bomb to Trent Sherfield, made it hard to tell who was the first-round pick and who played his college ball in the Ivy League (no offense to the Ivy League, which has much more going for it than football).

Klemko compared the two young throwers, and it doesn't sound great for Rosen here early on.

Here’s the strange thing about watching Rosen and Kanoff side by side: When Kanoff faltered, he was reserved, attentive, and quickly moved on to the next play. When Rosen tossed up a bad ball or failed in a third-down scenario, he was visibly upset, taking big swings at nothing with a cleated foot and generally looking pretty miserable. A bunch of anonymous scouts were talking about the UCLA product’s bad body language during the pre-draft process, and while you should take most of that anonymous stuff with a grain of salt, one can see here in training camp why there were concerns.

Kanoff got some work in Arizona's preseason debut. He completed 3-of-5 throws for 66 yards and a score, albeit later in the game than Rosen against lesser defensive players.

With Sam Bradford on the roster, Rosen probably wasn't going to be thrown to the wolves right away. Obviously one rough preseason games, or even a bad camp, doesn't tank a quarterback's career. It still isn't what fans want to hear, since he is the quarterback of the future for the franchise.

[Sports Illustrated]