As the NFL draft draws closer and the volume is turned up on whispers about where players will and won't go in the first round, I've been hearing this in recent days: UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen, one of the top four quarterbacks expected to go in the first round, might drop out of the top 10.
This barring a trade up into the top 10 by ... Buffalo, Arizona, or someone else.
And so that means Rosen, who some experts believe is the most NFL-ready quarterback in the draft, could be available when the Miami Dolphins pick at No. 11.
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The Dolphins have believed for some time that each of the top four quarterbacks would be gone by the time they went on the clock at No. 11, according to a team source.
And so that means ...
1. The Dolphins believe Rosen would be a value at No. 11 — obviously because they believed Rosen would be gone earlier.
2. The Dolphins would put their ample knowledge on Rosen to work.
You must remember that Miami had multiple visits with Rosen throughout the draft process and have spoken with former UCLA offensive coordinator and interim coach Jedd Fisch at length about Rosen.
Fisch, now an offensive assistant for the Los Angeles Rams, is a longtime friend and confidant to Dolphins head coach Adam Gase. The past couple of years, Gase has hosted Fisch at Dolphins camp and the way those visits normally go is the two men lock themselves in a film room for a day or two and talk ball.
And talk ball.
And talk ball.
They are very close.
So it stands to reason that Fisch, who coached Rosen in 2017, has told Gase all the good and bad about the prospective quarterback.
The Dolphins are comfortable they have reams of information on Rosen. So if they pick him, it's logical to believe they have a strong comfort level Rosen will be not only a good quarterback but a good NFL starter for the Dolphins in the very near future.
The Dolphins picking Josh Rosen will send a clear message they are preparing for a future without Ryan Tannehill.
If, on the other hand, the Dolphins pass on Rosen or trade the pick (obviously to a team who wants Rosen) it would suggest Miami has serious concerns about Rosen's NFL future. And that, again, because the Dolphins believe they know everything they need to know about Rosen.
So what's the issue? Why would Rosen, at 6-4 and 226 pounds and with a good arm and great intelligence, drop to No. 11 and possibly lower?
If it happens it would be because teams are concerned about his durability.
Rosen played only six games in 2016 because he had a shoulder injury.
He played in 11 games in 2017 but the finish was not good and the reason some NFL teams are concerned.
Rosen initially was injured in UCLA's game against Washington Oct. 28 when Vita Vea — yeah, this guy — sacked the quarterback. Vea's tackled left Rosen with a concussion but didn't knock him out of the game. Rosen continued playing but coaches eventually realized he was, as Rosen put it, "a little bit off," and was taken out of the game.
(A word about that: The NFL investigates teams for stuff like this. When players, especially quarterbacks, mask their concussions and teams don't immediately diagnose them, it leads to issues with the league office.)
The first concussion prohibited Rosen from finishing the game against Washington and forced him to sit out the next game against Utah. He returned for two games and then suffered a second concussion in the first half against California.
He would not play again for UCLA because the team was apparently concerned playing Rosen in the Cactus Bowl in December would expose him to a third concussion in a short amount of time — perhaps endangering Rosen's NFL future.
So that stuff is a worry for some NFL teams. It will be interesting to see how that affects Rosen's status.