Rosen won't say it, so others say it for him

posted by Bruce Hooley -

Josh Rosen sat out UCLA's bowl game because of a concussion, or to protect himself for the NFL Draft

There’s no such thing these days as a meaningless statement concerning the top quarterback prospects in the NFL Draft.

Anything the players say, or anything those close to them say, means something to someone regarding the mystery of which quarterback is best-suited for professional success.

So the situation is ripe for over-reaction.

Then again, splitting semantic hairs may indeed provide insight into which QB is ideal for life in the NFL, or even with one franchise versus another.

Into that stew dropped several statements over the weekend concerning UCLA’s Josh Rosen, one from him, and another from his head coach, Jim Mora Jr.

Peter King of TheMMQB.com quoted Mora saying this about Rosen:

“He needs to be challenged intellectually so he doesn’t get bored. He’s a millennial. He wants to know why. Millennials, once they know why, they’re good. Josh has a lot of interests in life. If you can hold his concentration level and focus only on football for a few years, he will set the world on fire. He has so much ability, and he’s a really good kid.” 

Rosen already has a reputation as an entitled rich kid, so his former coach’s words may not help alleviate the concern some teams have about him.

I wouldn’t refuse to draft Rosen based upon Mora’s evaluation, because if all he’s saying is that Rosen is inquisitive, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

The key will be whether Rosen is the sort that, once things are explained to him, quickly gets on board with the plan.

If so, no issue.

But if he’s the type who has an opinion that cannot be swayed, no matter what his coach, offensive coordinator or position coach tell him, that’s a huge red flag.

As with everything draft-related, the truth lies buried more between the lines than front and center.

Here’s what I think is at work with Mora going right up to the line on criticizing Rosen with the millennial comments.

It’s nothing more than a double-down on Mora going on NFL Network a week ago to say Darnold is a better fit in Cleveland than Rosen.

It’s a furtherance of Rosen hinting a few months ago that he’d rather wind up lower in the draft on the right team (hint…not Cleveland) than higher in the draft with the wrong team.

Mora is simply doing his QB’s bidding for him, trying to steer Rosen away from the Browns to a franchise the quarterback, and maybe his former coach, positions him with a greater chance of future success.

Rosen doesn’t want to come out and reinforce the narrative that he’s an entitled brat by stating openly that he has no interest in playing for the Browns.

Both Eli Manning and John Elway took that approach and it worked out for them, but Eli and Elway were both the far-and-away top quarterbacks in the draft the year they came out.

Rosen isn’t that.

So he, and whoever he puts on the case, will likely continue to talk in code until he’s off the board.

It’s pretty clear he hopes that’s not No. 1 overall to Cleveland.

PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

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