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ESPN's Todd McShay breaks down top QBs at the Combine, Josh Rosen's personality

Posted Mar 7, 2018

Josh Rosen's intelligence is a great attribute, but teams need to answer their own questions about him, ESPN NFL Draft analyst Todd McShay said Wednesday.

In his newest mock draft for ESPN, NFL Draft analyst Todd McShay picked guard Quenton Nelson to go to the Broncos, but noted that prediction could change, particularly if the Broncos don't sign a new starting quarterback in free agency.

Discussing the quarterbacks commonly in the conversation for the top 10 picks, McShay broke down each player's Combine performance for a Wednesday conference call.

"Sam Darnold didn't do much at the Combine, so I don't think anything really comes of that," McShay said. "Josh Rosen didn't have his best day throwing the ball. From varying people in the league I talked to, he didn't get any negative reports about his interviews. I got a lot of reports that said he was really good, but it's a 15-minute interview — it's tough to gleam a lot from that — and I got some that said he was OK. Nothing really negative there.

"Baker Mayfield, I thought was really consistent throwing the football and, from most people I talked to, was really good in meetings. And Josh Allen, I think of any of them, Josh Allen seemed to surprise some people with how good he was on the board and how effective he was just interacting and just getting to know him a little more. There's some people who kind of came around on him, if you will, and were impressed by what he did at night when the cameras weren't on. His throwing session was an impressive throwing session, but he couldn't have performed a whole lot better than he did on the field that day."

Recent NFL reports have discussed Rosen's personality, and how it would fit in on a football team. In Sports Illustrated's MMQB, Peter King wrote that "what I was led to believe listening to the proverbial NFL grapevine" was that Rosen is "too smart."

McShay didn't think that term was accurate, but noted that teams' understandings of his personality depends on their own viewpoints and their leadership.

"I wouldn't say 'too smart,'" McShay said. "… I think that's one of his strengths is that he's highly intelligent. I think what you've got to sift through, and some teams seem to be a little bit more concerned than others, but what you need to sift through is how does he treat his teammates? Can he be a good teammate? There's been some talk that he can be condescending when they don't run the right route or if they're not at the right place at the right time. And then he's a wise guy, too — which, again, depending on how he handles that, that can be a good thing or a bad thing. And by 'wise guy,' I mean if you tell him to adjust his footwork on this seven-step drop, he's going to ask you 'Why?' and 'What's the benefit of it?' If they're going to put in a new installation and run some different plays, he's going to want to know why and what the purpose is. "What are we trying to accomplish here?" For some coaches that's a great thing. For other coaches it becomes daunting. 'Just do your job. Just do what I say.' It's very much viewed differently through the prism that you're viewing it.

"I think the biggest thing for Rosen is to me he's the most polished pure pocket passer in this class. I think he can have a lot of NFL success. Does he want to be an NFL player? Does he want to put in the time and work? If he does, that's great. Do you like him enough that you're going to bring him in your building and he's going to make it work from a personality standpoint? That kind of varies from one organization to the next depending on who's in charge and who your leaders are. I think it's going to be really important to go to a place that's accepting and embraces who he is, rather than fighting to try to put him in a box that doesn't fit for him."