The Miami Dolphins are picking at the number 11 spot in this year’s draft barring any trades occurring. Luckily for Mike Tannenbaum, Chris Greir, and Coach Gase the team has so many holes that they can probably go with the best player available in this spot and still fill a need. But before they go selecting the next great player to man the right guard position for the team, let me share with you what I think the Dolphins ought to do and why they should do it.
The Dolphins should take a quarterback with their first pick in this year’s draft. And this isn’t a knock-on Tannehill. I think Ryan is a solid quarterback who other teams would love to have, heck I’m happy he is our quarterback. But let’s face it, we still don’t know who he is. This isn’t his fault. He has played behind an underperforming offensive line for pretty much is whole career. Ryan has been sacked over 200 times in his career and that is not even counting how many times he was hit. His knee finally had enough in 2016 and it didn’t make it through training camp in 2017. Will he progress as a passer after not playing at all in 2017? Who knows? But whether he does or doesn’t, the bottom line is we need a more competent back up.
Matt Moore is probably not going to be back this year and he probably shouldn’t be. Face it, when Ryan went down the Dolphins brass panicked and overpaid for Cutler. They didn’t believe in Moore then and they don’t now. Moore seems like a great guy and is good for a game or two, but what happens if Tannehill’s knee gives out again? Plus, he is going to be 34 when the season begins this year and it is time to get younger. I wish the guy the best and I hope he gets the opportunity he has been looking for.
But the Dolphins need to draft a QB, if not in the first round, somewhere in this draft. I am not sure that there will be a round one worthy quarterback at 11 when the Dolphins pick. If they are really in love with one, then they may have to trade up to get the guy they want. However, if they choose to take a player at another position then they need to be prepared to take a quarterback later in the draft.
As a matter of fact, I think the Dolphins should take a quarterback in every draft. This league has proven over the years that if you don’t have an elite player at quarterback you’re probably going to be on the outside looking in come playoff time. Also, a draft pick is nothing more than a lottery ticket. You pick a player and you hope that he is going to be great or live up to the potential the scouts think he has. Look Tom Brady was a guy teams passed on for almost 6 rounds until the Patriots took him off the board. They won the lottery and have been living off of the winnings ever since. The draft isn’t a sure thing though. Remember when draft experts were trying to decide who was a better quarterback, a guy named Peyton Manning or Ryan Leaf?
The Dolphins should take a quarterback every year or every other year until they find one that is as good as the one they have or better. And I am not alone on this. Other people subscribe to this philosophy as well. Just look at the New England Patriots. (I know, I know, but they have dominated the sport for the past decade, so they are doing something right). Since 2002 they have drafted 8 quarterbacks. Now keep in mind they have had Brady the whole time. Some of those drafted include Jacoby Brissett, Jimmy Garoppolo, Ryan Mallett, and Matt Cassel. Not all of these guys have become elite quarterbacks (even though Jimmy G looks like the real deal), but the point is that they kept swinging for a quarterback even though they had a great one. All of those mentioned above were traded for more draft picks.
Some of you may remember Ron Wolf. He was the General Manager of the Green Bay Packers during their run with Brett Favre. His philosophy was that you could never have too many quarterbacks. “Consider that in seven out of eight drafts from 1992 to ’99, Wolf drafted a quarterback, even after Brett Favre was entrenched as the starter” (Kaplan, 2016). And there were some good arms in those picks from Mark Brunell to Aaron Brooks.
So, the Dolphins should draft a quarterback this year and every year after until they have an elite guy under center. Not necessarily in the first round, but at some point, during the draft. I mean it’s a lottery, maybe you get lucky and you hit a Brady or a Romo, or you end up getting someone that you might be able to leverage for more or better draft picks somewhere down the line.
Kaplan, E. (2016, December 7). The Way of the Wolf. Sports Illustrated. https://www.si.com/mmqb/2016/12/07/nfl-draft-2017-ron-wolf-green-bay-packers-draft-philosophy-quarterbacks-reggie-mckenzie-john-dorsey