Top NFL Draft prospect Josh Rosen could reportedly stay in school to avoid Browns

Things have not gone well for the Cleveland Browns over the past, oh, two decades or so. Since returning to the NFL in 1999, the Browns have yet to find a quarterback and in recent years they notably whiffed on Carson Wentz and Deshaun Watson in successive drafts. Hue Jackson has not won a game on a Sunday as Browns coach in two years and Cleveland just fired its GM midseason.

New GM John Dorsey is charged with trying to find a new quarterback and will very likely invest one of Cleveland's two top-five draft picks in a quarterback. One problem: the prospect of Cleveland wanting a quarterback might actually scare off the quarterbacks that Cleveland wants. 

According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen, considered one of the three or four top quarterbacks in the 2018 NFL Draft class, "would be hesitant to come out in next year's NFL draft" if it appears as if Cleveland is going to be set on taking him with the No. 1 pick.

Cleveland has not locked up the top overall pick yet, but would need to win out in the last two weeks and have the Giants lose out to have a shot at not earning the top pick.

Don't bank on that happening. It's much more likely that Cleveland actually ends up with the top TWO picks, courtesy of the offseason trades the Browns made with the Texans.

And Rosen would be a likely possible fit at the top of the draft. CBSSports.com NFL Draft analyst Chris Trapasso has pegged Rosen to the Browns with the top overall pick in several different in-season mock drafts this year. Before the season I pegged Rosen No. 3 to the Jets, but the point about him being a top prospect remains, and it's likely he will be in play for the top pick if he enters. 

The problem for Rosen is he may be playing a pointless game of chicken. 

He's already said he will not play in UCLA's bowl game, although it is reportedly because he is still dealing with a concussion. The presumption with Rosen skipping, for many people, is that he will not play another game of college football

Plus, the new CBA makes it extremely difficult to refuse to play for a team. Contracts are slotted and holdouts are penalized, so if you want to play for a different team, you better be willing to give up a lot of money and/or play out a string that will not end well. If the Browns want to draft you with the top pick, they can do it and not care what you think. Plus, as Schefter reported, Dorsey probably will not care what Rosen wants if he's his top prospect. 

And don't forget that the Browns are going to end up with two top-five picks in all likelihood. Good luck avoiding them. 

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Will Brinson joined CBS Sports in 2010 and enters his seventh season covering the NFL for CBS. He previously wrote for FanHouse along with myriad other Internet sites. A North Carolina native who lives... Full Bio

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