ARIZONA CARDINALS

Josh Rosen agrees with Jim Mora: Maybe it’s best he didn’t go to Browns

Apr 27, 2018, 4:04 PM
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LISTEN: Josh Rosen, New Cardinals' Quarterback

Josh Rosen’s draft stock fell for a few reasons, his outspokenness and injury history perhaps among them.

Also, oddly, was the perception that the intelligence of the Arizona Cardinals’ rookie quarterback was a bad thing.

Partially fueling that narrative was Rosen’s college coach, Jim Mora, who also insinuated to MMQB’s Peter King that Rosen would benefit from not going No. 1 overall to the Cleveland Browns.

Before Thursday’s first round of the NFL Draft, Mora said that USC quarterback Sam Darnold, who was selected third by the New York Jets, would be a better fit in Cleveland.

When Rosen played into Mora’s comments — ones that appeared to be taking air out of the quarterback’s draft stock — with a timely and cryptic tweet, it wasn’t clear whether or not he agreed with his coach.

But on Friday, a day after Rosen fell to the Cardinals, who traded up to select him with the No. 10 pick in the draft, the 21-year-old told Burns & Gambo that the fit with Arizona is certainly there.

When did he feel good about that fit?

“Kind of after I was just walking off the stage. I was just thinking, ‘Fitz is the man. This might be cool,'” Rosen said Friday of receiver Larry Fitzgerald on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.

“It’s just kind of funny how coach Mora — everyone gave my old UCLA head coach a ton of flak for saying I should go to the team for best fit. I shouldn’t go to the Browns, I should go to the Giants because they’re a better fit. Ironically, I think an even better fit is in Arizona.”

The Browns, in a way, proved Mora’s point regarding the fit issue. They selected the firey signal-caller Baker Mayfield first overall before the Giants picked running back Saquon Barkley.

A domino effect led to Rosen falling, and now he’ll play under offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, who has a history of working with franchise quarterbacks such as Philip Rivers in San Diego and Peyton Manning in Denver. Perhaps it’s that relationship, and learning from veterans Sam Bradford and Mike Glennon, that will help challenge Rosen like Mora suggested in his interview with King.

“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.” It sounded like Mora thinks Rosen would be well-served to be pushed by quarterback mentors like Shurmur (Giants) or Jeremy Bates (Jets), and to learn for a year or so from Eli Manning (Giants) or Josh McCown (Jets).

It sounded like Mora thinks Rosen would be well-served to be pushed by quarterback mentors like (Pat) Shurmur (Giants) or Jeremy Bates (Jets), and to learn for a year or so from Eli Manning (Giants) or Josh McCown (Jets).

The Cardinals grew fond of Rosen while meeting with him prior to the draft, and general manager Steve Keim said Thursday that the quarterback’s personality was a positive — not a deterrent — in picking him.

While Arizona had planned on the possibility of the UCLA product falling into their reach, Rosen admitted Friday that didn’t see himself falling to 10th overall or landing in the desert.

“Not at all,” he told Burns & Gambo. “I thought I was going one, two or three. I thought I was going Cleveland, Giants or Jets. I could not be more happy that that didn’t happened. This team has a very, very bright future ahead of them.”

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