Miami Dolphins

Is Josh Rosen, not Baker Mayfield, the true apple of Adam Gase’s eye?

UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen, right, is interviewed by NFL Network reporter Mike Mayock following UCLA's pro day for NFL draft prospects in Los Angeles on March 15.
UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen, right, is interviewed by NFL Network reporter Mike Mayock following UCLA's pro day for NFL draft prospects in Los Angeles on March 15. AP

This is the third of a 10-part series breaking down players in play for the Dolphins with the 11th overall pick.

Part 1: Minkah Fitzpatrick.

Part 2: Vita Vea.

What if this entire offseason has been one big head fake?

What if all the glowing things Dolphins coach Adam Gase said about Baker Mayfield at the owners’ meetings was misdirection, and if the meetings in Mobile, Indianapolis and Davie were all a ruse?

What if the Dolphins — and Gase in particular — actually prefer UCLA’s Josh Rosen, and are blowing more smoke than an overheated Impala?

That’s the belief of one informed source, who told us that Gase is “obsessed” with Rosen.

Odds are, we will never know for sure. Because unless the Dolphins are willing to mortgage their future and jump into the top six, there’s a good chance they won’t have the chance to take Rosen or Mayfield later this month.

There are too many teams who want quarterbacks and are better positioned to get one early than Miami.

But dare to dream right?

That’s what Todd McShay did in his latest mock draft, predicting that the Dolphins will move up from 11 to 6 and take Mayfield.

Dolphins coach Adam Gase meets with reporters at the NFL Scouting Combine.

What if McShay has the trade right but the player wrong?

The Dolphins have given all the signs that Mayfield is their top choice, but what if that is to throw everyone else off their scent? When Rosen — a three-year starter at UCLA who completed 60.9 percent of his passes for 9,340 yards, 59 touchdowns and 26 touchdowns — spoke with reporters at the Combine in February, he said he had not even met Gase at that point. And as of last week, the Dolphins did not have a South Florida visit with Rosen planned, although they had scheduled a sitdown on the West Coast.

Rosen, as we’ve already covered, has a personality that might worry some teams, but Gase loves Jay Cutler, and so maybe he feels the same way about Rosen.

Rosen’s college coach, Jim Mora, told Sports Illustrated recently that Rosen “is the No. 1 quarterback in the draft” and a “franchise-changer,” but added that whoever drafts him will need to challenge him. It’s hard to keep his attention.

Our guess is Gase would find a way.

Measurables

Height: 6-foot-4 (74th percentile among quarterbacks).

Weight: 226 pounds (66th percentile).

Wingspan: 76 1/2 inches (70th percentile).

Arm length: 31 3/4 inches (35th percentile).

Hands: 9 7/8 inches (70th percentile).

40 time: 4.92 seconds (31st percentile).

Vertical jump: 31 inches (48th percentile).

Broad jump: 111 inches (54th percentile).

3-cone drill: 7.09 seconds (51st percentile).

20-yard shuttle: 4.28 seconds (63rd percentile).

Comparisons (per MockDraftable.com): Matt Leinert (USC, 2006), Eli Manning (Ole Miss, 2004), Zach Mettenberger (LSU, 2014)

He said it

“I think I make very quick decisions, very quick and decisive decisions. I always say that I think if you can get three or four reads into your progression, you give yourself more opportunities down the field. If you’re a one-two-and-run guy and you throw the ball 40 times a game, in the NFL 30 times a game, you’re giving yourself 70-80 opportunities to get the ball down the field. If you can get into 1, 2, 3 and 4, you’re giving yourself 150-160, twice as many opportunities to get the ball down the field. That’s what I think my best attribute is. I can sit in the pocket and really pick defenses apart.” — Josh Rosen

They said it

“I think the biggest thing for Rosen is to me he’s the most polished pure pocket passer in this class. I think he can have a lot of NFL success. Does he want to be an NFL player? Does he want to put in the time and work? If he does, that’s great.” — Todd McShay, ESPN

Adam H. Beasley: 305-376-3565, @AdamHBeasley

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