ARLINGTON, Texas — If Josh Rosen plays anywhere close to the two quarterbacks he resembles most in terms of looks, then some team is about to get a great player.
“The one I get is that I’m like a child, a mix, of Aaron Rodgers and Eli Manning,” Rosen said Wednesday after a NFL Play60 event just outside AT&T Stadium, site of this week’s NFL draft.
A cross between Rodgers and Manning on the field, and Rosen will be well on the way to a Hall of Fame career. It turns out Rodgers and Manning have been important mentors through the draft process for the UCLA quarterback.
“I’ve gotten to meet Eli a couple of times,” Rosen said. “He’s been really awesome to me. That’s probably been the coolest part about the process, is meeting a lot of cool, awesome people from all around the country.”
Rosen has spent a good deal of time meeting with Rodgers.
“He’s been an awesome mentor,” Rosen said. “He’s helped me out a lot. Shot me a good luck text last night. He’s kind of a very relaxed dude. He has a unique demeanor. I definitely want to model my moxie after him. He’s a dude with a capital D. He’s that guy.”
Rosen has been studied closely by all the top teams looking for a franchise quarterback, and that includes the Giants at No. 2 and the Jets at No. 3. He has also been linked to the Bills, who are currently at No. 12 but likely would have to move up to select Rosen.
Rosen steered clear of expressing a preference about where he might end up, and pushed back on questions about his interest in the Giants and Jets.
“Playing in New York would be awesome,” Rosen said. “Playing in any city would be awesome. It’s the NFL. It’s the highest level.”
When asked about being in the media spotlight of New York, Rosen said, “You’re just trying to catch me. Next question.”
Rosen was asked about the Jets, and again pushed back on the idea that he might have a preference about where he plays.
“You are really trying to get me to say I want to go to New York, and I’m not going to say it,” he said. “The Jets were awesome. The Giants were awesome. It was a really fun visit. It was really good time. Did them both back-to-back. Different styles. Both visits went really well.”
If he does go to the Jets, would being proclaimed a potential savior — the next Joe Namath — bother him?
“I just want to play football,” he said. “You guys can do all the cool storylines and say who wants to play there, savior this, savior that. All we’re trying to do out here is prolong our ability to play this game as long as we can. We started in grade school, and we’re trying to play as long as this game will let us play.
“I’m going to go out and play football, and you’re going to write about Josh Rosen, hopefully in whatever light you guys want to,” he said. “You can compare me to whoever you want. I promise you I’m not going to read it. I’m going to go out every Sunday and try to play as good football as I can.”
And what would it be like to be considered the player Jets fans have been waiting for? “Cool,” he said.
Rosen admits to being frustrated at the constant speculation about where he might be picked.
“You guys have got to stop asking about who’s going one, two, three. I don’t care,” he said. “I just want to play football and belong to a team and that’s all it is. I just want to play football.”
Rosen isn’t sure where he’ll be picked, just as long as he’s taken by the team that suits him best.
“My game is not to get picked as high as possible,” he said. “My game is to go to the right team. Success is long term. I’d rather have Tom Brady’s career than get picked first overall and have a four-year career. If you don’t think I’m the right fit for your team, don’t draft me. If you really don’t think I’m going to do well there, I’m not going to do well. If you think I’m going to do well in your organization, pick me because I want to do well. It’s a very common sense thing. I want to go somewhere that I think will do well and if that team thinks I’ll do well, then pick me, please.”
Rosen brushed off criticism that he’s a risk because he suffered two concussions last season.
“I passed through all the protocol,” he said. “Football’s a physical sport. Things happen. The media blows it up more than it needs to be.”
Rosen has generally enjoyed the draft process, and has taken pains not to become too involved with what people might be saying about him, especially on social media.
“I just don’t read anything,” he said. “I don’t understand why you’d get yourself worked up at 9:30 p.m. on a Tuesday because you’re on Twitter getting into an argument with someone. I’m not keeping a bank of like [Game of Thrones character] Arya hit list. I just want to go out and play football.”