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Josh Rosen shows poise in the podium pocket

The former UCLA quarterback puts on a very Eli Manning-like performance at the NFL Combine.

Josh Rosen of UCLA rolls out against Texas

Josh Rosen of UCLA rolls out against Texas A&M on Sept. 3, 2017, in Pasadena, Calif. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Sean M. Haffey

INDIANAPOLIS — Josh Rosen stood in front of a gaggle of reporters at the NFL Combine on Friday afternoon and answered all the questions with a calm, confident presence.

Sound familiar?

Rosen’s 15 minutes with reporters were very Eli Manning-like — so much so that they could prompt fans and media to call for the Giants to select him with the No. 2 overall pick in the draft.

The UCLA quarterback gave reasonable answers about why he loves football, how he’s grown as a player and why he’ll not only become the best starter but the best backup in the league. He also said he wouldn’t mind playing in cold weather, noting that his family would travel to Philadelphia to visit his grandmother every Christmas.

Then again, the Browns, with the No. 1 overall pick, had to have liked what they saw on the podium as well as on the field.

“I think I’m the best quarterback here,” Rosen said. “I think I can diagnose defenses and put the ball where it needs to be and make quick decisions. And I think we’re all competitors, and I think every other quarterback should have the same exact belief.”

There is a lot to like about Rosen, including his strong arm, pocket presence and the fact that he completed 60.9 percent of his passes in three seasons for the Bruins. He threw for 9,340 yards, 59 touchdowns and 26 interceptions.

Rosen, who hasn’t formally met with the Giants yet, had a pretty good understanding of what they have as a team.

“It’s always a benefit to have weapons everywhere,” he said. “Odell [Beckham Jr.] is an unbelievable player, Sterling Shepard also is an incredible player. I think wherever you are, it’s valuable to have some guys you can throw the ball to and put them in a bunch of places and they just go grab it, wherever they may be.”

There have been questions about Rosen’s attitude and suggestions that he doesn’t love playing football. Rosen disputes that and hopes to convey his feelings when he meets with NFL teams this weekend.

“We all work our butt off,” he said. “If we didn’t like football, no matter how talented we are, we wouldn’t be in the position that we’re in this weekend. I love football with all my heart and soul, and if I didn’t, I just don’t think I would be able to make it through the grind of college. Football is an unbelievable team sport.”

New York Sports