Trent Dilfer talks Josh Rosen, NFL draft on Rich Eisen Show

Trent Dilfer was one of Josh Rosen‘s toughest critics early in the former UCLA quarterback’s career, but now Dilfer is signing Rosen’s praises.

On the Rich Eisen Show on Wednesday, Dilfer compared Rosen to some of the elite quarterbacks of this generation. The former-NFL-quarterback-turned-ESPN-analyst said Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers are “not always the best people to be around,” but “they demand the best from the people around them because they want to be great.”

“I think Josh has that in him,” Dilfer said.

Dilfer, who coached a 17-year-old Rosen at the Elite 11 in 2014, was tough on the former St. John Bosco recruit. He said Rosen was entitled and uncoachable when he came to the camp. But when Rosen served as a counselor this past summer, Dilfer was swayed by the UCLA junior’s humility to return and work with the next generation of prospects.

“He’s intellectual. He’s got conviction. He’s not going to be wishy-washy on stuff,” Dilfer said, “and he’s going to demand that his coaches give him the best stuff because he wants to be the best.”

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UCLA links: What happened in 2017 and what’s next for UCLA football

UCLA Bruins quarterback Josh Rosen (3) walks off the field as the USC Trojans defeated the UCLA Bruins 28-23 during a NCAA college football game at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

It started with an epic comeback. It ended with a coaching change.

The 2017 season was disappointing for UCLA, but it gave the Bruins the top coach on the market. The team returned from winter break on Monday and met with Chip Kelly, officially beginning a new era in Westwood.

Here’s a look back at what happened in 2017 for the Bruins and what Kelly has to work with in 2018.

Other links:

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Bovada’s early odds for 2019 national championship game

New UCLA head football coach Chip Kelly speaks during a news conference on the UCLA campus at Pauley Pavilion, Monday, Nov. 27, 2017. (Hans Gutknecht/Los Angeles Daily News via AP)

The 2017 college football season just ended Monday with Alabama’s epic overtime victory over Georgia (you may have heard about it) and Las Vegas oddsmaker Bovada quickly turned its attention to the 2018 season.

Bovada set UCLA’s odds to win the 2019 College Football Playoff National Championship in the first year of the Chip Kelly era at 75/1.

Alabama is the early favorite at 11/4, followed by Clemson (6/1) and Georgia and Ohio State (both 15/2).

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UCLA in the NFL: Wildcard weekend

Former UCLA linebacker Myles Jack had six tackles, including one sack, in his playoff debut as the Jacksonville Jaguars knocked off the Buffalo Bills 10-7 in the AFC Wildcard Game on Sunday.

Jack’s third sack of the year came on a big third down in the fourth quarter of the defensive battle.

Former UCLA tight end Marcedes Lewis had three catches on three targets for 17 yards for the Jaguars, who will play at Pittsburgh on Sunday in the divisional round at 10:05 a.m. PT.

On other UCLA Bruins in action this past weekend:

  • Defensive end Takkarist McKinley had three tackles, including one sack, in Atlanta’s 26-13 win over the Rams. The Falcons play Philadelphia in the divisional round on Saturday at 1:35 p.m. ET.
  • Linebacker Jayon Brown had three tackles in Tennessee’s 22-21 win over Kansas City. The Titans play New England on Saturday at 5:15 p.m. PT next.
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Austin Roberts declares for NFL draft

UCLA’s tight ends group got a little less crowded on Saturday as redshirt junior Austin Roberts declared for the NFL draft.

The Bruins are expected to get tight end Caleb Wilson back from injury next year and add transfer Devin Asiasi, who sat out last year due to NCAA transfer rules. They also have redshirt freshman Jordan Wilson and freshmen Moses Robinson-Carr and Jimmy Jaggers in a stacked tight ends rotation. Robinson-Carr played mostly on special teams this year while Jaggers redshirted.

More on Roberts’ decision (and UCLA’s recruiting class after the addition of offensive lineman Chris Murray)

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