Today at fantasyppr.com, we continue our team-by-team 2012 NFL Mock Draft Profiles by focusing on the Miami Dolphins, who currently own the no.8 pick heading into the First Round of the Draft Thursday night:
Needs: QB, WR, DE, DT, S, LB.
Players Picked Previously: 3. Matt Kalil 4. Trent Richardson 5. Morris Claiborne 6. Justin Blackmon 7. Michael Floyd Potential Targets: Ryan Tannehill, Melvin Ingram, Quenton Coples, Fletcher Cox.
At the start of the 2012 NFL offseason, people in and around the Miami Dolphins organization had plenty of reasons for optimism. The team finished strong in 2011, winning six of their last nine games, following an 0-7 start, behind a strong defense and a solid running game.
Many league observers felt the Dolphins were on the rise and were just a franchise quarterback away from contending. Currently, the team has Matt Moore as the starter. Moore played well down the stretch last season and was highly efficient during the Dolphins season ending run, yet he is viewed around the league as nothing more than a spot starter.
Therefore, entering the NFL Free Agency period this offseason, many around the league believed Miami was a potential landing spot for Peyton Manning, yet we all know how that worked out, as Manning did not even consider the Dolphins a serious enough contender to visit their facilities.
After missing out on Manning, the Dolphins turned their attention to former Green Bay Packer backup quarterback Matt Flynn, who had a previous relationship with new Head Coach Joe Philbin, who served as Flynn’s offensive coordinator while the two were together in Green Bay. In the end though, the result was the same, Flynn spurned Miami’s advances in order to sign with the Seattle Seahawks.
And if missing out on Flynn wasn’t enough, the team also traded star wide receiver Brandon Marshall following another off field incident and received just two third-round picks from the Bears as compensation.
Reviewing that particular series of events can give on perspective on why Dolphins fans everywhere are pulling their hair out and calling for the head of General Manager Jeff Ireland. Consider at one time this offseason, dreams of Manning throwing to Marshall realistically danced in heads of Dolphin fans, unfortunately, those dreams have been replaced with the image of Matt Moore connecting with newly signed Legedu Naanee, which is a harsh reality check for fans, who have suffered through so much losing over the last decade.
Therefore, the Dolphins absolutely MUST make a game-changing pick with the ninth overall selection in the 2012 NFL Draft. A drastic change is needed to get the organization back on track and the only way to finalize a move forward, is by selecting Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill to be the next face of the franchise.
Tannehill is far from a sure thing but truthfully no such thing exits in the NFL Draft, it’s a high-risk, high-reward business and playing it safe all the time gets you nowhere. What we do know about Tannehill (career stats found here: http://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/pi/shareit/eLGEr) is that he has the size, arm strength, accuracy and athleticism to be a successful franchise quarterback.
The Texas A&M product simply needs developing, after starting just18 games in college, and though he did compile a 13-5 record in those starts, inexperienced quarterbacks normally struggle when they get in the NFL.
However, not all situations are the same, Aaron Rodgers was a fairly young player when he entered the draft, starting only two years at Cal. He also needed time to develop and once he got it, he was able to transform himself into arguably the best quarterback and player in the NFL.
Philbin, who worked directly with Rodgers in Green Bay, comes from an organization that makes the training and development of quarterbacks a priority, so he can be entrusted to properly develop Tannehill. Furthermore, the pre-existing relationship between Tannehill and Sherman, should make the transition even easier.
There are other players who make sense here, such as Coples or Ingram or even Cox, who each bring tremendous pass rush skills to the table, something the Dolphins need. However, the Dolphins need a franchise quarterback more and none of those players offer the ability to alter the course of the franchise quite like Tannehill.
FantasyPPR Mock Draft Prediciton: Ryan Tannehill
Again, Tannehill is far from a sure thing and some may even consider him a reach at this point, but drafting is about conviction and if the Dolphins believe Tannehill can eventually become the franchise quarterback they’ve been lacking since the days of Dan Mario, then they absolutely, must take a chance on him.