(JTA) — The Arizona Cardinals chose UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen as the 10th overall pick in the National Football League draft.
Rosen became the first Jewish first-round pick since Harris Barton was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in 1989, according to blogger Ron Kaplan.
Characteristically outspoken, Rosen said he was angry that he wasn’t chosen among the first three picks. “I thought I should’ve been picked at 1, 2 or 3,” he told reporters Thursday. “I dropped and I was pissed. I was really, really angry. I wasn’t really showing it.”
Nevertheless, Rosen seemed pleased to become a Cardinal. “I thought I was going to have to put on a face and try and fake happiness. But for some reason, right when I got that call, that’s not what happened. I got really happy and really motivated,” he said.
Rosen’s personality threatened to overshadow his talent in the weeks leading up to the draft, with some commentators wondering if he might be too “intellectual” and “affluent” to perform well in the NFL. That in turn led others to suggest that such assessments were coded anti-Semitism.
Earlier this week he told the league’s online magazine that he was motivated by the anti-Semitic slurs he often hears on the field.
A 2014 profile noted that Rosen became a bar mitzvah and attends seder every Passover, but he also celebrates Christmas and he called himself “kind of an atheist.”
The quarterback’s father is Charles Rosen, a noted orthopedic surgeon. His mother, Liz Lippincott, is Quaker and is the great-great-granddaughter of Joseph Wharton, who founded the prestigious Wharton business school at the University of Pennsylvania.