They’ll figure out real early if he wants to put in the work or not.

NFL players are smart, one NFL coach said. That’s what we mean by, ‘Does he love ball?’ Is he going to be the guy working his ass off to get better?

Rosen played at a high level at UCLA. He battled through injuries, and his work ethic was never questioned. But the knock on him, from some, has been that his expressed interests in Wall Street and things other than football might keep him from improving as a quarterback. Of course, no one said that when Andrew Luck was carting around books about the history of concrete. But, for instance, scouts did love that Carson Wentz and Mitchell Trubisky had few interests outside of football and hunting.

It’s not a new concern with Rosen. In fact, in a summer 2017 interview with B/R, he even addressed it, saying, If I didn’t love the game, I wouldn’t be out here getting my ass kicked.

Stephen was a seventh-round pick in 2014 and played in 52 games for the Vikings over the last four years. He was a starter in 2016, but moved back into a reserve role last season while appearing in 15 regular season games and one playoff contest. He had 28 tackles and a sack in those outings.

Stephen and Johnson join Jarran Reed and Nazair Jones at defensive tackle for the Seahawks. 2017 second-round pick Malik McDowell could also figure into the mix, although his health is a question mark after last year’s ATV accident.

Foster also said Payton asked to speak to Foster’s girlfriend. According to Foster, Payton asked the girlfriend, Are you going to be the guidance to be sure Reuben doesn’t get into trouble? Payton confirmed that, and said periodically over the years he asked a prospective player’s significant other if the Saints could count on her to help steer the player away from trouble.dolphins_081

‘This is the guy Dave wants’: The whispers around Giants’ No. 2 pick

The Giants remain immersed in their draft preparation, hunkered down in a meeting room at the team facility, putting the final touches on their draft board. With the No. 2-overall pick, there is not much need for hand-wringing or premature angst about who might be available for them.

We are at T-minus 12 days and counting before the first round is underway. What does The Post know? Based on what is being said, what is being heard, what can be surmised and what should be considered educated guesswork, here we go:

Although there will be more such deals to come, and it’s not a mock draft without taking those into account, here’s going through the first round as it stands now.

The Browns traded for Tyrod Taylor as their best stopgap in years, but the team also will go after its long-term franchise solution in advance of Taylor becoming a 29-year-old free agent in 2019. Although Darnold has his flaws like every talented QB in this rich class, he’s the most well-rounded prospect at the position with his arm, accuracy and athleticism.

Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier returned to his alma mater on Saturday and appeared to stand without assistance to cheers from the crowd.

The former Ohio State Buckeye visited the spring game in Columbus and was named an honorary captain.

Shazier is recovering from a spinal injury suffered in a Dec. 4 game against Cincinnati.

“Every day I’m getting a lot better and I’m able to move around more,” Shazier said to ESPN. “I’m doing a thousand times better than I was in December.”

Shazier played three seasons at OSU (2011-2013) before being drafted by the Steelers with the 15th pick of the first round in the 2014 NFL Draft .

The Saints were a good pass-rushing team last season in terms of sacks (42), but it was pretty much done by committee beyond the dominance of Cameron Jordan. They need another dangerous edge rusher and have looked closely at the versatile Key right in their own backyard. With Key available, he becomes an easy pick over a tight end.dolphins_101

Former Steelers standout LB James Harrison retires

Longtime Steelers standout linebacker James Harrison, who’ll turn 40 on May 4, announced his retirement via social media early Monday.

He previously announced his retirement four years ago, only to return.

Seattle is looking at the top quarterbacks in this draft as well as the top defenders, but it’s hard to imagine them passing on offensive line early. It’s too much of a need, and O’Neill can play left or right tackle.

Sutton and the Cowboys have been linked together for a while, and with Dez Bryant gone, the pairing makes more sense than ever. Sutton needs refinement, but he has No. 1 receiver potential.

The Lions’ running game last year was atrocious. While they could add a top rusher like Derrius Guice, they’d be wise to focus on their offensive line first and foremost. They can then look to the middle rounds for a runner who can take advantage of the improved blocking.

While the Steelers are putting off their latest round of Le’Veon Bell negotiations until after the draft, the running back specified the offer he received last year.

Bell said the Steelers offered him a deal at last July’s deadline that averaged $13.3MM per year, Jeremy Fowler of reports. This differs slightly from the reports that emerged indicating Bell turned down a deal that would have paid him $30MM over the first two years.

After adding an offensive tackle with their earlier first-round pick, the Patriots addressing their secondary would be wise. Reid can play either safety spot and slide into a nickel cornerback role, all long-term needs for New England.

Isaiah Wynn, OL, Georgia: The current starting guard options on Detroit’s roster are uninspiring, which makes the position a priority in the draft. Wynn is a versatile option, having played left tackle for the Bulldogs last season, but he’s best suited for the inside at the pro level because of his height. If the Lions place a premium on athleticism at the position, with a focus on pulling and getting to the second level, Wynn would be a good fit.dolphins_018

Dez Bryant hints that he will not sign with highest bidder

Dez Bryant may not be the same player he was three or four years ago, but he should still receive some respectable contract offers as a potential No. 1 receiver who won’t turn 30 until November. However, it seems like it will take more than just money to sign Bryant.

On Sunday, Bryant appeared to indicate that money will not be the biggest factor in his free agency decision when he retweeted the following piece of insight from Mike Fisher of 105.3 The Fan.

Harold Landry, DE, Boston College: Like Payne, the Lions should have advanced knowledge of Landry, given new defensive coordinator Paul Pasqualoni coached the Eagles’ defensive line in 2017. Landry is on the shorter side (6-foot-3), but has exceptional burst off the line and the ability to get low and bend around the edge, consistently disrupting the pocket. He might have some trouble setting an edge, but makes up for that with an extra gear on backside pursuit.

“We’re not going to sign everybody, and obviously with the salary cap there’s limitations, but I think he’s looking at every avenue to try to improve the team. Obviously time will tell. We’ve made a couple major decisions, both in terms of releasing some players or allowing players to leave in free agency, and then obviously a few signings and a trade as well. But I’m very pleased with what Brian has been doing.”

While Thompson was known for selected high-impact signings such as Charles Woodson, Gutekunst is dealing in bulk so far.

He’s signed tight end Jimmy Graham and defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson in free agency. He’s traded former first-rounder Damarious Randall to the Browns for backup quarterback DeShone Kizer, he signed Bears cornerback Kyle Fuller to an offer sheet which the teams matched thanks to the transition tag, cut wide receiver Jordy Nelson, and let safety Morgan Burnett walk in free agency to Pittsburgh.seahawks_033

The development follows months of speculation regarding Gronkowski’s desire to continue his career.

The 28-year-old addressed the topic of retirement at his post- Super Bowl press conference, telling reporters, “I’m definitely going to look at my future, for sure. I’m going to sit down the next couple of weeks and see where I’m at.”

The Raiders have been busy upgrading their defensive back seven with top free agents in linebacker Tahir Whitehead and cornerback Rashaan Melvin. Now defensive coordinator Paul Guenther, formerly of Cincinnati, can go after someone to flank Whitehead and Bruce Irvin on the weak side. Strictly playing-style speaking, Smith is a ferocious, relentless pursuit player in the vein of the Bengals’ Vontaze Burfict.

The Dolphins could go in many directions defensively, but the release of Ndamukong Suh makes tackle a monster need and lines up perfectly with Vea’s value. He’s an explosive player who can be a fixture in Miami’s line rotation for years.

Quarterback: Do we really need to go into detail here? Tyrod Taylor will be No. 29 since 1999. Drew Stanton is in, and DeShone Kizer, Cody Kessler and Kevin Hogan are out. There’s an opening for that first-round quarterback.

Secondary: The Browns added Green Bay’s Damarious Randall via trade, but the unit needs depth. Cleveland needs to find a few opportunistic defensive backs after finishing 31st in the NFL with just seven interceptions last season.

Offensive line: Hall of Fame tackle Joe Thomas retired, and that leaves a gap to fill that won’t be easy to replace.

What will be extra challenging for Keenum is working with a less talented supporting cast than the one he had with the Vikings. So the onus is on Elway to find some help for a shaky offensive line that allowed 52 sacks last season (third worst in the league) and an aging receiving corps. Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders are 30 and 31, respectively, and coming off down seasons due in large part to poor quarterback play.seahawks_088

Richie Incognito ‘done’ with football: ‘The stress is killing me’

Richie Incognito said he’s done with football.

The Bills guard told Buffalo News writer Vic Carucci that he is retiring from the sport because the stress is “killing him.”

And while doing that, feel free to further indulge the incredulity of Mike Brown, Marvin Lewis and the Cincinnati Bengals grilling a viable NFL free agent about acting appropriately and within the bounds of decency on a team that currently is paying Vontaze Burfict, Adam Jones and Joe Mixon.

The 15 years (and counting) of the Brown-Lewis management duo has not exactly exercised the stringent standards of conduct on the rest of the roster it appears to be imposing on a man who silently, publicly protested against racial injustice.

If the Bengals are drawing the line on Reid, then that line extends through all 32 teams, because this is a team that not only never draws lines, it’s not even clear they own a pen.

The Giants have narrowed their top choices for this month’s NFL Draft.

New York holds the No. 2 overall pick and intends to use the selection on USC quarterback Sam Darnold if he isn’t taken by the Browns with the No. 1 overall pick.

Wide receiver: Julian Edelman, Chris Hogan and Malcolm Mitchell are all coming off injury-marred seasons. The shot on Matthews in the slot helps restore some depth with Amendola and Cooks gone, but the Patriots should look to add a pass-catcher who can make big plays at either wideout or tight end.

The Patriots have gone from having no first-rounders in the previous two drafts to having a pair of them for the first time since 2012, when they landed Hightower and defensive end Chandler Jones. As much as the Pats need help at those positions again, the Cooks deal puts them more in the wheelhouse of early values for the offense.seahawks_122

NFL will reportedly no longer use color rush uniforms on Thursday Night Football

The NFL’s color rush uniforms will no longer cause a headache for players and fans.

According to Bill Wanger, executive vice president of programming, research and content strategy for Fox Sports, the color rush uniforms are coming to an end on “Thursday Night Football.”

Sam missed most of the 2016 season with a foot injury, but he bounced back last year with 127 tackles and 9.5 tackles for loss. The 6-2, 240-pound linebacker would be a nice late-round addition.

The Packers haven’t entered a draft the year after missing a postseason since 2008, the aftermath of Rodgers’ first season as starter. That draft landed Pro Bowlers in Jordy Nelson and Josh Sitton, along with tight end Jermichael Finley. Those pieces helped Rodgers’ career take off. Now, the Packers need to find some new pieces to give Rodgers a few more Super Bowl shots.

Foster delivered on the field, ranking second on the team with 72 tackles in 10 games as a rookie and looking like a key part of San Francisco’s defensive future.

Foster then was charged in January in Alabama with second-degree marijuana possession before the incident in February that led to the most recent charges.

The NFL has said it is looking into possible discipline for Foster for both infractions.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

No. 19: Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama or D.J. Moore, WR, Maryland or Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU

The Cowboys trust Dak Prescott to both push the ball downfield and show touch on shorter, safer throws. But the QB needs some of that burden eased with either a young wideout who can run well after the catch or a big-bodied No. 1 who can replace Bryant.seahawks_023

ESPN’s McShay: Hernandez, Nick Chubb, Holmes would earn Lions ‘A’

How can the Lions ace the NFL Draft? ESPN’s Todd McShay offers a way for the Lions to get off to a strong start in his three-round mock draft posted Tuesday (pay site).

The ESPN draft analyst cautions this isn’t a traditional mock draft, based on league rumblings, but rather who he’d pick for each team in order to merit an “A” for the first three rounds of the April 26-28 draft.

For the Lions, it starts with massive UTEP guard Will Hernandez at No. 20, followed by Georgia running back Nick Chubb in Round 2 (No. 51), and Ohio State defensive end Jalyn Holmes in the third round (No. 82).

McShay slots Michigan defensive tackle Maurice Hurst with the Atlanta Falcons at No. 26, writing “assuming his medical checks out, Hurst would be a nice fit in Atlanta to help fill some snaps the Falcons lost with Dontari Poe’s departure.”

It’s unclear if Wentz will be available to play in the preseason, though his potential presence in a game against the Patriots would certainly add more intrigue to a marquee matchup between arguably the two best teams in the NFL.

After losing to the Eagles in the NFC Championship Game, the Minnesota Vikings will get their first look at quarterback Kirk Cousins in a Week 1 road matchup against the Denver Broncos, who signed Case Keenum away from Minnesota.

Cousins joined the reigning NFC North champions after signing a historic fully guaranteed $84 million deal in March.