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Weird Rosen Coverage

The NFL draft starts three weeks from Thursday and I for one, cannot wait.

April 03, 2018 - 12:53 pm

The NFL draft starts three weeks from Thursday and I for one, cannot wait. In fact, I’m more eager for the draft than the draft prospects and they’re the ones being poked and prodded and want to know where they’re going to live and work and how much they’ll be paid. And they still don’t want it as badly as I do.

I already have all those things. But still the draft can’t get here fast enough. Because, for me, it’s an end to all the pre-draft buildup. Pre-draft buildup that is always weird, and in this case, weird isn’t good. Weird with scouts and analysts throwing out really bizarre and made-up terms, like suddenness, waist-bender, and worse. You know… For the first month after the Super Bowl, it’s fine. It’s a little reminder that football still exists, there’s not a helluva lot else going on, so you’re cool with it. 

But as time drags on and every prospect has been analyzed, there are still a few weeks to the draft, and everything gets weird. And we’ve not officially reached Defcon 2 when it comes to weirdness with the recent coverage of Josh Rosen. 

First, there was everyone freaking out about his former coach Jim Mora saying that Sam Darnold was a better fit in Cleveland. And now everyone’s freaking out about Jim Mora saying that Josh Rosen is smart. He told MMQB that Rosen “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 appeared to respond on with a pair of tweets: 

The first which was “why” followed by the shrug emoji and then “hashtag why”

And the second which was “Opinions #thingspeopletaketooseriously”

And frankly, he couldn’t be more correct. Why ?  Why?  Whyyyy uhhhhhhhh? And people are taking this whole thing way too seriously. 

First off, I know that at this time of year, college coaches are usually jumping on the table for their guys, so anything that isn’t that is seen as a criticism. But are we really at the point in the draft evaluation process where saying that a guy is smart is a criticism? And are NFL coaches so weird that having a smart quarterback, a quarterback who wants to know the thought process behind every play call and every detail, would be threatening? The answer to both of those is, apparently, yes. 

Could Mora have worded his comments a little differently? Sure. But if you read a coach saying that his player is really smart and needs to be challenged intellectually, and that if he does, he will “set the world on fire,” and you read that as a reason to not draft him, then I don’t know what to tell you. And I know there are NFL people who will see those comments and will think, yeah, that’s concerning, yeah, we should steer clear of that guy. And they would be wrong. 

If you’d rather have the dumb quarterback who’s not interested in knowing why you do things, go right ahead. Draft someone dumb. All things being equal, I’ll take the smart guy. 

If you don’t want to draft Rosen, that’s fine. There may be some very good reasons for that, but the fact that he’s smart shouldn’t be one of them. Tom Brady wants to know the thought process behind every play and how’s that worked out for the Patriots? That’s not to say that Josh Rosen is the next Tom Brady. Nobody is, but to argue that being smart should be viewed as a bad thing is one of the dumbest things.   

And another thing in there that’s kind of weird – the inclusion of the term millennial. If an NFL team is threatened by that, then they are in for a very long draft. Because it’s not like Rosen is the only “millennial” in the draft. In fact, I’m pretty sure most of these guys are pretty much the same age. That’s kind of how the draft works. Not like you can be drafting a Gen-Xer in 2018. And you certainly wouldn’t want to select a baby boomer in this year’s draft. I mean, sure, if you want someone from the greatest generation on your roster, be my guest. Just don’t expect him to blaze a fast 40 time. 

In other words, the draft cannot come fast enough. That clock can’t spin fast enough and those daily calendar pages cannot fly off fast enough for me. Roll on Arlington.