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With an open mind, Josh Rosen embraces prospect of being No. 1 overall pick

Posted Mar 3, 2018

The UCLA QB shrugged off a report he wouldn't want to play for the Browns

INDIANAPOLIS — Josh Rosen is keeping an open mind as he tries to show teams why he’s the best quarterback in this year’s NFL Draft.

For starters, Rosen — the former UCLA star who’s projected to be a top 10 pick — shrugged off a report that he wouldn’t want to play the Browns following the team’s winless season, saying he’d embrace the chance to help turn around a franchise.

“I think you just have to go in there and play the game you know and play to your best capabilities. To that report, I don’t really know anything about Cleveland,” he said Friday at the league’s annual scouting combine.

“I’ve never been there. Haven’t really talked to their coaching staff yet. I have a meeting with them tonight. So, it’s impossible to formulate opinions when you haven’t really done any research on the actual place. I’m probably going to visit there, hang out with them, and whoever picks me, I’ll be excited to play for whoever wants me to.”

Rosen, who said he was set to meet with Jackson and company later that night, is among several quarterbacks the Browns could take with the first overall pick. NFL Network’s Mike Mayock described Rosen, once the nation’s best recruit coming out of high school, as the “best pure passer” in several draft classes. At the same time, Rosen will have to address concerns about his injury history (he suffered a season-ending shoulder injury in 2016) and a personality that’s drawn mixed reviews regarding his passion for the sport, among other things.

Rosen, asked about that dynamic Friday, took it in stride, saying he plans to address those kinds of questions head on.

“I think that’s why all these interviews and meetings and visits are awesome, because teams actually get to know me and they don’t have to find out through third parties,” he said. “I think that’s what I’m looking forward to most at this combine is getting to know teams and maybe not running a 4.5, but everything.”

He added: “I love football with all of my heart and soul. If I didn’t, I don’t think I would have made it through the grind of college ... I’m not playing exclusively for my own passions. I’m playing for all of my teammates. It’s cool when you can throw a touchdown at the Rose Bowl and turn to the sideline and see 120 of your best friends jumping for joy … If teams still questioned my love for the game after this week, after they actually got to know me, then it might bother me a little bit more. But I think that coaches can really see what I care about.”

So far, that approach has served Rosen well. The quarterback looked sharp during workouts Saturday afternoon and seemed to make a positive impression in his news conference with reporters.

He hopes to have that same effect with the Browns and the rest of the league as they continue their dissection of the draft’s top quarterbacks.

“The NFL is a very daunting organization. Every team you go to has its own unique set of challenges, and the Browns have a unique set of their own challenges,” he said.

“Every team has their own. Wherever I end up, I’m excited to take on those challenges and hopefully overcome some obstacles.”

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