Josh Rosen is generally considered one of the top quarterback prospects in this year's NFL draft. In three years as UCLA's starter, Rosen completed 61 percent of his passes, averaged 8.0 yards per attempt, and threw for 59 touchdowns against 26 interceptions. During his junior season, he recorded career-best marks in completion rate, yards per attempt, touchdown rate, and interception rate, and as a result, he is in the mix as one of the top picks in the first round.
Of course, Rosen has not been immune to criticism. Pretty much every top QB prospect gets criticized for something in the lead-up to the draft, and Rosen is not an exception. The strange thing about the most recent Rosen criticism, though, is that it's been coming from his former college coach, Jim Mora.
"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."
So, let's get this straight: it is a bad thing that a person needs to be intellectually challenged? That makes a ton of sense. No successful person has ever needed to be intellectually challenged.
Also, Rosen is a millennial. And that's very bad. Bad for the other players in this year's draft as well, but somehow especially bad for Rosen. Apparently, millennials want to know why. And that's bad too? (I am millennial and I have zero idea what this means. But I will not stoop so low as to generalize Baby Boomers like Jim Mora Jr.).
And oh by the way, Rosen has interests outside of football. How will he ever be successful in his day job if he has interests outside of his day job? (If you find yourself agreeing with this line of criticism, you should ask yourself -- a reader that presumably does not work in professional football -- if you are still able to be successful in your day job despite the fact that you are interested in reading articles about professional football, possibly while at your day job.)
Mora did preface all this talk by telling King that his initial assertion that Darnold would be a better fit for Cleveland emphasized the fit part, and he praised his former QB's football intelligence and overall skill set as well.
"Josh, I think, without a doubt, is the number one quarterback in the draft," Mora said. "He's a franchise-changer. He's got the ability to have an immediate impact. His arm talent, intelligence, and his ability to see the game and diagnose the game is rare. He'd come to the sidelines after a play and it was uncanny -- he could right away say exactly why he made every decision."
If only he'd stopped there.
Look, there are almost always silly criticisms of every prospect in every draft class. And there are almost always especially silly criticisms of the quarterbacks. But we don't need to continue pretending that quarterbacks being just like everyone else in the world is a bad thing. We really don't. We can accept that it's possible to be good at your job while also being interested in other things, enjoying intellectual stimulation, and, you know, being young.