Josh Rosen did not take long to make an impression with his new teammates — even if there were a few wobbles along the way.
Rosen saw his first action with the Arizona Cardinals on Friday on the first day of the team’s rookie minicamp and provided reinforcement as to why he was taken with the 10th overall pick in last month’s NFL Draft.
“I think you can tell that he had some little jitters early on,” first-year Cardinals head coach Steve Wilks told reporters. “But he’s so confident, and you can see that as he went on with practice. He settled down a little bit, settle in. Throws were on time. The accuracy was there. Everything that we know about him, you saw later on in practice.”
Rosen, who signed a four-year contract worth $17.84 million on Thursday, initially was rated as the No. 2 college quarterback by NFLDraftScout.com senior analyst Rob Rang.
Once the former UCLA product started to slide on the opening night of the draft, Arizona made a trade with the Oakland Raiders to move up five spots and snag what the team hopes is its quarterback of the future.
“I don’t think he’s out to try and prove anything to anyone,” said Wilks, per the team’s official website while lauding Rosen’s intelligence and quick grasp of the playbook.
“The guy is extremely smart,” said Wilks. “We’ve said from day one, he’s picking up the offense. He’s doing a great job there taking control of the huddle and getting everybody aligned, identifying the Mike linebacker, etc.
“So, no questions about that from a standpoint of his leadership.”
The 6-foot-4, 218-pound Rosen was a three-year starter at UCLA and appeared in 30 games, completing 712 of 1,170 pass attempts for 9,340 yards and 59 touchdowns in his college career. He set UCLA records for 300-yard passing games and the most games in school history with 350-plus passing yards (10).
“It’s just nice to get out there after such a long draft process to get out and start playing football again,” said Rosen, who acknowledged he has a steep learning curve in learning the offense. “It’s a pretty big pill of a playbook to swallow.”
Rosen admitted on the night of the draft that he was peeved to fall to No. 10, particularly since a number of prognosticators considered him the most pro-ready quarterback available.
The leadership that Wilks spoke of was evident in Rosen’s remarks to the media as he assessed his first day of the minicamp.
“Going in the huddle, even if I don’t know what’s going on, at least act like I know what is going on and instill confidence,” said Rosen. “You want to walk in the huddle and have the guys follow you.
“Indecisiveness is probably the biggest cause of turnovers. You have to be confident. If you are going to make a mistake, make it full speed.”
One of the highlights from Friday was a long touchdown connection from Rosen to wide receiver Christian Kirk, the team’s second-round selection from Texas A&M.
“We always made sure when we were out there together we took reps together (at the camps),” said Kirk. “We kind of had that thing going, had that type of chemistry. He is a real accurate passer and puts it where it needs to be, so it was nothing new, really.”