Ryan Tannehill is either athletic and brimming with upside, or a risk so great that only the most foolish general manager who wants to vacate his office swiftly would select him in the first round, let alone with a top 10 pick.
There’s nothing in between, yet after the Manning to Miami campaign failed spectacularly and new Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin also couldn’t reel in Matt Flynn, his old backup in Green Bay, a sense of desperation could still be lingering in South Beach. Chad Henne is gone, and David Garrard was brought in to fill the hole he left on the depth chart and push Matt Moore.
Moore needed some time to settle in when he replaced the injured Henne last year, but he was impressive down the stretch, throwing 12 touchdowns and just four interceptions over the Dolphins’ final seven games. Still, he’s not the long-term answer at quarterback, and Garrard certainly isn’t either, so the perceived lack of high end, possible franchise QB talent after Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III in this year’s draft could push that sense of desperation even further in Miami.
GM Jeff Ireland may want to silence the angst of a fan base that hasn’t had a truly elite quarterback since Dan Marino left 13 years ago, causing Tannehill’s upside to make his eyes widen. We talked to Brian Miller, the lead writer at Phin Phinatic, and he thinks that even at this late date in the draft season, the Dolphins’ plans are still difficult to forecast.
1. Projections for Tannehill’s future as an NFL quarterback are widespread. If he’s there at No. 8, does he become the Dolphins’ future quarterback?
No. I don’t think the Dolphins are convinced that Tannehill is the only option. They have too many needs to simply bypass players who can make an impact now. However, if they do take Tannnehill, it’ll be based on Mike Sherman’s knowledge of him.
2. That first question may become irrelevant quickly, because if Ireland wants Tannehill, he may have to trade up. Do you think he’s worth a trade that involves Miami paying a significant price?
Absolutely not. In fact, I think you can trade down and still get him. I don’t buy Kansas City’s interest in him, nor do I buy Seattle’s. I think that you can not only have him at No. 8, but can also have him in the mid teens.
3. If Ireland either isn’t high on Tannehill or isn’t willing to trade up, he could wait and take a QB in the second round. Who do you like out in the second tier of quarterbacks?
I like Kirk Cousins and would take Brandon Weeden in the second round too. However, beyond those two, if the Dolphins haven’t found a QB they should wait until next year.
4. Adding strength to the offensive line has been another widely discussed option. Is the value right for Riley Reiff in this spot?
No. Reiff is no guarantee, and David DeCastro presents a better option for the team. I wouldn’t rule him out, even at No. 8.
5. Lastly, do you have any sleepers in mind for the mid to late rounds?
Honestly, I would have to say no. This year I have zero idea what the Dolphins are planning to do in the draft, and from what I have been told by my sources, the team is playing this very close to the hip. Anyone who thinks they know is purely guessing.