2018 NFL Draft: Josh Rosen says he 'never said anything about' avoiding the Browns

Josh Rosen "would be hesitant to come out in next year's NFL draft" if he knew the Browns were going to take him with the first-overall pick. That's what league sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter in December. And it all seems perfectly reasonable because the Browns have won exactly one game in two NFL seasons.

But Rosen recently told NFL Network's Mike Silver that the report is patently false.

"I've never said anything about not wanting to play in Cleveland," the former UCLA quarterback said. "I don't know where that came from. There's absolutely no foundation in reality in that (report)."

Meanwhile, new Browns general manager John Dorsey last month refuted claims that he told his staff to stay away from Rosen.

"It's fake news because first off I've never talked to the kid," Dorsey said from the Senior Bowl, via Cleveland.com's Mary Kay Cabot. "I've never talked to anybody about the kid. If you remember right, I was unemployed a couple of weeks ago. I'm finally back in this thing. That's fake news to me."

The plan, according to Dorsey, is to let the pre-draft process take care of itself.

"As the combine moves along and we get closer to this process, I'll get a chance to talk with him," Dorsey said at the time. "And he'll be able to get a chance to talk with us. At the end of the day, is he a good player? Yeah. Those [erroneous reports] don't bother me. They usually take care of themselves. You know what? Let's talk like grown men and see what happens."

As it stands, in our latest CBSSports.com mock draft, we have Rosen going No. 2 to the Giants. And one of Rosen's earliest critics thinks the quarterback would be a perfect fit in the Big Apple.

Trent Dilfer, who worked with Rosen when he was a high school quarterback, initially wasn't a big fan.

"I totally think Josh is misunderstood," Dilfer told NJ.com's Ryan Dunleavy. "We were both equal a--holes. He didn't like to be coached, and I didn't like coaching guys who didn't want to be coached. It didn't go well. I liked him. I saw the genius in him. I saw the talent and the potential. I was just frustrated that he wasn't more receptive to it."

But four years later, Dilfer has changed his opinion on Rosen.

"I think Josh Rosen crushes New York," he said. "New York is sophistication. It's a lot of things, but it is very diverse. It's a lot of stimuli. That's what Josh Rosen thrives off of. He wants the energy, the stimulus, the pressure. ...

"You can't be lazy if you are coaching Josh Rosen because he is going to expect something good every day. He wants the answers. He wants to be great. Aaron Rodgers is very similar: He demands that you coach him uniquely every day."

There's a chance six quarterbacks hear their name called in Round 1 of the 2018 NFL Draft. The consensus among the mock-draft cognoscenti is that USC's Sam Darnold will be the top pick, but if the Browns fall in love with Rosen it sounds like both parties are amenable to him becoming Cleveland's latest face of the franchise.

CBS Sports Writer

Ryan Wilson has been an NFL writer for CBS Sports since June 2011, and he's covered five Super Bowls in that time. Ryan previously worked at AOL's FanHouse from start to finish, and Football Outsiders... Full Bio

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