As a Dolphin fan, for me this Divisional Sunday is about “What if?”
Besides the fact that the divisional round is great football, I find myself mired in “what if’s”, starting with the 2011 NFL Draft.
What if the Miami Dolphins had selected Colin Kaepernick instead of Mike Pouncey? There’s no doubt Mike Pouncey is the best center in the game and has been one of Miami’s most consistent players. But centers don’t score points. A first round pick on a raw talent like Kaepernick, coming out of Nevada with that pistol offense, would have been a risk. But I remember watching highlights on him leading up to the draft and couldn’t help noticing how long his strides are while on the run and his cannon for an arm.
I was convinced at that point that Chad Henne wasn’t the answer at quarterback, having witnessed his inability to take the starting job from "past his prime" Pennington.
So…what if Kaepernick became a Miami Dolphin as the 15th overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft?
Well, you would have one of the most dynamic players in the NFL at the quarterback position and a superstar in the making. And you possibly still could have picked up Pouncey in the second round.
Kaepernick is arguably the same player that Cam Newton is without the National Championship or the immaturity. (Newton 2011 1st overall pick, Kaepernick selected in the 2nd round)
If Kaepernick is the QB, Stephen Ross doesn’t get dissed by Peyton Manning in favor of John Elway and the Denver Broncos the following year.
...the Dolphins drafted ILB NaVorro Bowman instead of Jared Oderick, or Koa Misi, or John Jerry? All three players were selected ahead of Bowman in the 2010 draft. Odrick has turned into a nice player but Bowman leads the 49ers with 120 solo tackles, has 5 sacks, and 2 interceptions this year. He also earned his third consecutive AP 1st Team All-Pro honors in 2013. (Odrick and Bowman both out of Penn State)
...Joe Philbin falls short of the playoffs next year? All indications are Philbin will remain has the Dolphins head coach. But with a new GM coming to town the leash on Philbin is short, and failure to make the playoffs in 2014 will most certainly cost him his job. By that time Mike Shula, the Panthers OC, will be ready to take over this team and bring some of that Shula “mojo” back to the franchise.
...the Dolphins would have won their last two games? The Dolphins beat three of the four remaining AFC Playoff teams in the regular season. They could have been a dangerous team. Instead we’re left with a fired GM, a coach fighting for his job, and a capologist possibly making personnel decisions. Such is the power of the “W”.
Source stats: ESPN.com