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Former UCLA coach Jim Mora says Browns should draft USC’s Darnold ahead of Bruins’ Rosen

USC’s Sam Darnold or UCLA’s Josh Rosen, which quarterback should the Cleveland Browns make the NFL’s No. 1 overall draft pick?

According to Rosen’s college coach, it should be Darnold.

“Nothing putting me on the spot,” former Bruins coach Jim Mora said Monday on NFL Network, when asked why he’d put Darnold first. “Because he represents kind of what Cleveland is...

“And then if I was one of the New York teams I’d take Josh Rosen like that.”

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It’s not revolutionary to suggest a team would take Darnold at the top of the draft; he’s predicted to go No. 1 in the majority of popular mock drafts. But it’s noteworthy that Mora would lean his direction.

However, after Rosen’s pro day two weeks ago, Mora lavished praise on the UCLA standout in an interview with The Times.

“I think he’ll be excellent. He’s very bright, and he’s really matured in his time at UCLA,” Mora said. “He knows what it takes to be a great player, beyond the natural ability that he’s always carried with him. Now he knows how to apply it, and he knows how to work. He’s got a very clear understanding of what it will take, and he’s certainly got a long way to go but everyone entering the NFL has a long way to go.

“I think he’ll adapt very quickly, and there’s no denying the physical ability.”

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Patriot pangs

The backdrop is different — from subzero Minnesota to the swaying palm trees of central Florida — but the feeling is the same.

Losing the Super Bowl is losing the Super Bowl.

“The fact that we lost, and the way we did, I still haven’t gotten over it,” New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft told reporters Monday on the first full day of the NFL’s annual March meetings.

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Seven weeks after the Patriots suffered a 41-33 loss to Philadelphia in Super Bowl LII, Kraft was questioned on an array of topics, including the future of All-Pro Rob Gronkowski, reports of personality clashes within the organization and coach Bill Belichick’s decision to bench starting cornerback Malcolm Butler.

“I have faith in Bill as coach,” Kraft said. “I don’t think there’s anyone [else] who has the football knowledge and expertise and understands personnel and is able to merge those. As someone privileged to own one of these teams, I encourage him to keep going with his instincts.”

Butler, who clinched the Super Bowl victory over Seattle with an interception at the goal line, has since signed with Tennessee in free agency.

“I had hoped he’d be a Patriot for all his days,” Kraft said. “He’s a great guy. I’m sorry it didn’t work out for him with us, but I’m happy he got the contract he got.”

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The interview ended on an emotional note, with Kraft discussing allowing students from Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., to use the Patriots airplane so they could attend the “March For Our Lives” in Washington, D.C., over the weekend.

“When they called and asked ‘Would you send a plane and help take the wounded kids and their families and kids who couldn’t go on a normal plane’, we didn’t hesitate a minute,” he said. “Because think of it, all of you who have kids, think about losing one of your kids. You wake up in the morning and they go to school and don’t come home at night.

“I just thought this is a way for our organization to be able to reach out to those people who are hurting bad. I can’t think of a worse, [more] unnatural thing [than] losing your child.”

We’re moving

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In a move that was long anticipated but only now official, NFL Media will be moving from Culver City to the new Inglewood stadium and entertainment district within three years.

Rams owner Stan Kroenke and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell jointly announced the news in a release Monday.

“This is a tremendous partnership that will bring new business and jobs to Inglewood and throughout Greater Los Angeles,” Kroenke said. “The NFL is the most-watched programming in the country and having NFL Media in our district is an important step in creating a global destination at the center of the world’s entertainment capital. The interest in this development and the stadium has been incredible and NFL Media’s presence will further revitalize a proud and historic part of the Los Angeles landscape.”

On the Inglewood site, where the Chargers will also play, the NFL plans to develop a 200,000-square-foot space to headquarter operations for hundreds of employees at NFL Network, NFL.com, the NFL app and NFL RedZone. The facility also will be home to NFL Media’s first outdoor studio, with space to host audiences. The NFL Media campus is expected to open by the summer 2021.

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sam.farmer@latimes.com

Follow Sam Farmer on Twitter @LATimesfarmer


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