Back in January, we wrote about how the Jets' 2018 offense might differ from last year's, in light of the coaching changes. We concluded that the main difference between John Morton's west coast-style offense and that of Jeremy Bates would probably be in terms of the running game, which is expected to become more of a zone-based system. At its heart, the scheme would still be a west coast style offense.
With the Jets having moved into prime position to take one of the top quarterback prospects in this year's draft, it's well worth considering how each of them might fit into the current system.
Ideally, a west coast quarterback needs to exhibit quick decision making, precise accuracy and ball security. A strong arm isn't essential - as Chad Pennington showed when running Paul Hackett's overly conservative scheme for the majority of his career.
Let's look at what each of the potential selections with the third pick brings to the table and try to assess how that fits into what we expect the 2018 Jets offense to look like.
Of all the quarterbacks likely to be selected with the third pick, Rosen is probably the closest to pro-ready and the most capable of playing in any system.
While some of the other top quarterbacks might be ill-suited towards playing in certain systems, Rosen has played in a pro-style system, which required him to sometimes take snaps from under center and gave him full responsibilities in terms of making checks at the line, setting protections and calling audibles. This likely makes him attractive to all of the quarterback-needy teams around the league. However, that doesn't mean the Jets might not see one or more of the others as a better - or at least equivalent - fit for their system.
Rosen played in three systems in three years, further preparing him for whatever NFL coaching staffs intend to do with him. In 2016, his offensive coordinator was Kennedy Polamalu, who was at USC when John Morton was their offensive coordinator. In fact, Polamalu arrived just as Bates was leaving. Obviously, the scheme he took to UCLA six years later would have its roots in the Lane Kiffin scheme that Morton's 2017 Jets offense evolved out of.
Rosen has solid technique, footwork and downfield accuracy and excels at developing chemistry with his receivers - essential given the precision in terms of accuracy and timing required to make a west coast offense successful. He's also adept at quick-release passes on run-pass option type plays - a potential staple.
Mayfield's skill-set seems ideal for a west coast offense. He's accurate, makes good decisions, spreads the ball around and can improvise if things go awry. Any quick-passing offense where the offense gets the ball out fast is also likely to suit him because it potentially mitigates his lack of size.
Despite this, his experience has actually not been in west coast-style offenses. Lincoln Riley, his offensive coordinator in 2015/2016 and head coach in 2017, was a Mike Leach disciple and Mayfield actually began his college career at Texas Tech, so spread principles were at the root of much of what his teams did offensively.
Nevertheless, they gave him more responsibility for making checks at the line in 2017 and ran some packages with west coast-style personnel and route combinations.
Allen is the player whose skill-set is least like that of a prototypical west coast quarterback, although Wyoming did operate an offense with west coast principles. He is best known for his big arm, with his weaknesses considered to be occasional erratic play and poor accuracy.
That's not to say a strong-armed quarterback can't be successful in a west coast offense. Look no further than Green Bay, where Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers excelled, for an example. The big arm could come in handy with Robby Anderson potentially being one of the league's best downfield threats.
Darnold went to USC, where their system has remnants of Kiffin's system, but has been veering away from west coast principles and more towards spread principles over the last few seasons.
Like Mayfield, Darnold didn't have any audible responsibilities until 2017, but his coaches have suggested that Darnold - who is still only 20 - is capable of learning high-level signal calling. Mayfield, in contrast, is already almost 23, only two months younger than Christian Hackenberg.
When he struggled in the middle part of last year, Darnold showed some poor mechanics and ball security, which are not ideal traits for a west coast quarterback. However, he also shows some ability to go through his progressions and take what the defense gives him.