It’s unknown whether Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill will be selected with the third, fourth, fifth, sixth, or seventh choice in the 2012 NFL draft. If the converted receiver remains on the board at No. 8, it’s believed that the Dolphins will be inclined to take him.
On the surface, the decision would seem to flow from first-year offensive coordinator Mike Sherman, the architect of Tannehill’s transition to quarterback in College Station. But a league source tells PFT that the man pushing hardest for Tannehill is owner Stephen Ross.
Ross desperately wants to turn the page on yet another embarrassing offseason, which has seen the Dolphins fail to hire Jeff Fisher as coach and Peyton Manning as quarterback. They also whiffed on new coach Joe Philbin’s pupil with the Packers, Matt Flynn, even though it’s unclear whether the Dolphins decided they didn’t want Flynn or Flynn decided he didn’t want the Dolphins, or a little bit of both.
As mentioned earlier in the day, the season-ticket base has plunged to 30,000. The Dolphins need to create excitement, which in turn will sell tickets. Regardless of whether Tannehill develops into a franchise quarterback, the perception that the team finally has found a potential replacement for Dan Marino will suffice in the short term– especially since it will be the first time the Dolphins will have used a first-round pick on a quarterback since acquiring Marino in 1983.
Put simply, Ross needs to find a way for his team to stand out as it otherwise fades into the South Florida sports landscape. Tannehill will make a difference in 2012. If he fails, they’ll be no worse off in 2013 and beyond than they otherwise would have been.
That said, there’s no guarantee Ross will ultimately get his way. The story for now is that he’s pushing for Tannehill.
Usually, it’s a good idea to give the guy who signs the checks exactly what he wants.
UPDATE 10:59 p.m. ET: A “very, very, very highly placed source” with the Dolphins tells Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald that the report isn’t true. Should we have expected them to admit it?