Everything the New England Patriots do is part of a plan, but will a trade on Tuesday set up a move to get Josh Rosen in the draft?
After a trade sending Brandin Cooks to the Los Angeles Rams on Tuesday, the New England Patriots now have two picks in each of the first two rounds of the draft later this month. That kind of draft pick ammo makes a trade up possible, and Benjamin Allbright of 104.7 FM in Denver has passed along an indication New England is interested in UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen.
Rosen is a likely top-10 pick in this year’s draft, and some analysts see him as the No. 1 quarterback in this year’s deep class. But comments from his college coach, Jim Mora, could create red flags for NFL teams and drop Rosen down the first round far further than he should be taken.
Mora mentioned how Rosen is a millennial who needs to be “challenged intellectually” and has interests outside football. Rosen has not offered canned answers when speaking publicly on certain topics, so that has been marked against him. The fact he comes from wealth has also been out there as a mark against him, in an effort to portray a lack of passion for football.
Bill Belichick demands a lot from players, so someone who needs to be “challenged intellectually” and asks questions in order to understand things shouldn’t be a concern for him. There’s a line there somewhere, as Belichick or offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels won’t want to be questioned at a lot of turns. But Rosen’s intelligence and related curiosity will be shaped into strengths within the Patriots’ structure, better than anywhere else in the NFL right now.
The Patriots will have to use their own first-round pick (No. 31) and the one they got from the Rams in the Cooks deal (No. 23) to move up and get Rosen. But that’s now firmly in play, to get Rosen or another player they covet.
The Patriots obviously don’t have anything close to a successor for Tom Brady in place. Rosen said a few months ago he’d rather go to the right team later in the first round than the wrong team with a very early pick. Based on that, a desire to play right away as a rookie can be set aside by landing in New England.