2018 NFL Draft: Josh Rosen takes accountability, addresses criticism


UCLA Bruins quarterback and 2018 NFL Draft prospect Josh Rosen took accountability for his actions in a recent interview with ESPN The Magazine.

Despite being the most mechanically polished quarterback in the 2018 NFL Draft, UCLA Bruins star Josh Rosen has become one of the most polarizing players on the board. It has little to do with his play on the field, but it’s the situation he’s encountered nonetheless.

As Rosen prepares for the 2018 NFL Draft, he’s made it a point to confront the criticism and take accountability for what he may have done to facilitate the narrative.

Rosen has divided the NFL Draft community due to three factors more than all else: A concept of a life after football, a polarizing cockiness, and a childhood with wealth. That’s led to many questioning his passion for the sport, as well as his ability to command a locker room.

According to Sam Alipour of ESPN The Magazine, Rosen took accountability for some areas of the criticism that he’s faced for his attitude and cockiness.

"“Starting off, I was pretty arrogant. They handed an 18-year-old the keys to a D1 FBS-contending university. I blew up a little bit, said some things I didn’t mean, and that follows you. You get one chance to make a first impression. I made the wrong one.”"

Rosen can’t go back and change the first impression he made in college, but he can start off on the right foot in the NFL.

Rosen will have to earn the respect of his peers in the NFL, but he’s no different from any other quarterback in that regard. There may be more of an uphill battle to climb, but it shouldn’t take long for his teammates to learn what type of person, player, and leader he truly is.

As for how the criticism translates to his draft stock, Rosen compared himself to another California quarterback: Aaron Rodgers. Per Alipour:

"“I think if teams went back to that draft, they’d rethink some of their critiques of Rodgers. If he’s the best pure passer in the draft, the best QB, with no legitimate off-field issues, that should be your answer — that’s your QB. I think a lot of people try to add fluff on the edge to, I don’t know, justify their jobs? I can’t say that, but people make it more complicated than it needs to be.”"

Some might find these comments to be extreme, but it’s something that every evaluator of every draft in every sport can take into consideration.

Rosen certainly isn’t a perfect prospect, but he raises an excellent point: Evaluators have gone out of their way to find flaws in his game. His mechanics border on being flawless, his arm strength is NFL-caliber, and his accuracy ranks amongst the best in this draft class, if not No. 1.

That isn’t to say that he’s flawless, but many of the criticisms against him have been created to avoid the belief that he’s close to it.

Thankfully for Rosen, he’ll have a chance to silence the skeptics as soon as he’s drafted by an NFL franchise.

Rosen isn’t in a position where coaches are doubting his true position or questioning if he can play in the NFL. Instead, he’s being tasked with proving that he can command a locker room, stay healthy, and translate his abilities to the highest level.

While those may be fair concerns, every other quarterback will be tasked with answering the same questions—and Rosen has an advantage over a vast majority of quarterbacks in that regard.

Must Read: Key strengths and weaknesses for Josh Rosen

The question is: Will Josh Rosen truly silence his critics once he debuts as a professional? Or will he justify the criticism leading up to the 2018 NFL Draft?