Team needs: Miami Dolphins

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If it’s April, it must be time to pay taxes and renew the hunt for the Miami Dolphins’ next franchise quarterback. The Dolphins brought in a new coach in Joe Philbin this offseason, but Jeff Ireland remained as general manager and the team struck out in its pursuit of Peyton Manning and Matt Flynn as free agents. They aren’t going to get one of the top two quarterbacks on the board later this month and that will make this draft a loser in some eyes before the eighth pick even rolls around.

Quarterback: It would be nice to come up with another position to put at the top of the list for Miami, just so we didn’t have to take another depressing look at names like Cleo Lemon, Joey Harrington and A.J. Feeley while remind ourselves how long it has been since the Dolphins had a long-term answer at the position. As much as we’d like to do it, Matt Moore didn’t look all that bad last season, we just can’t because the Dolphins need to find their guy once and for all.

Is that guy Ryan Tannehill? They might have to trade up to get him, taking away a chance to shore up other spots for a player that has gotten some mixed appraisals as to whether or not he’s a big-time talent at the position. They could go with Brandon Weeden a little later, but trying second-round talents hasn’t worked out for them in the past.

Wide Receiver: When the Dolphins traded Brandon Marshall, it felt like a precursor to some other move. No such move followed, though, and now the team is left without playmakers on the outside. Whether they take a quarterback or not, they need someone dynamic to catch passes. Justin Blackmon or Michael Floyd could be possibilities if they make it to the Dolphins in the first round, while Reuben Randle could still be around at the top of the second round.

Pass Rushing End/Linebacker: The Dolphins haven’t made it totally clear what kind of scheme they’re going to run on defense next season, but they are going to need someone to help Cameron Wake rush the passer regardless of how they line up. A hybrid end/backer like Melvin Ingram could make the most sense for a team that is looking like a bit of a hybrid itself or they could look at Andre Branch of Clemson if they go in another direction in the first round.

Right Tackle/Right Guard: They went with Marc Colombo last year, which did not work out, and right now they don’t have a clear starter at either position. Riley Rieff of Iowa would be able to step right in as a starter at right tackle. He might not represent quite as much upside as you’d like to get from the eigth pick of the draft, though, and taking an interior lineman like Kevin Zeitler in round two could bring more value.

Safety: The Dolphins cut Yeremiah Bell and have Reshad Jones and Tyrell Johnson looking like their starters. That’s a place they can certainly stand to upgrade, although this isn’t a draft with a ton of safety talent.

With four picks in the first 73 selections, the Dolphins will have plenty of chances to add players who can help fill some of these holes. The quarterback issue looms over everything they do, though, and an aggrieved fan base won’t be placated until they address it.

49 responses to “Team needs: Miami Dolphins

  1. Most South Floridians would agree… New Owner is on top of that list. They’ll settle for an owner that can close a deal.

  2. Honestly, I think it will take Tannehill two years to get up to the level that Brandon Weeden already plays at. If neither guy is a franchise guy, spend the first round pick on a receiver that fits your system or a pass rusher, and then take Weeden later. Weeden could compete with Moore for the starting job this year. Tannehill probably couldn’t beat out Garrard right now. Taking Tannehill on potential alone is fine, but it’s not like there’s prototype QB on Miami’s roster to learn from.

  3. it’s pretty clear what they need. sure a safety and another end will help, but they need a Wide Reciever or a Quarterback. in my book, they should go WR and give Moore one last shot and then if he fails again, go to the draft next year. no QB though could do well throwing to Bess and Hartline. Miami’s WRs are poor.

  4. I am really surprised you didn’t take any cheap shots like usual when posting about the Dolphins. Great analytical article.

  5. I am still shocked that they did not sign Flynn. With Philbin there, I thought that would have been the no-brainer of free agency. The trade of Marshall was also surprising. This team has some talent and building-blocks but maybe some of the players are right, maybe guys just don’t want to go there.

  6. GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT, Josh Alper. They didn’t strike out in their pursuit of Matt Flynn. They clearly weren’t that enamored with him, and didn’t want to overpay. Philbin knows him better than anyone.

  7. Bell was cut and Marshall traded to free up cap space, especially for next year when they try to re-sign Jake Long, Cameron Wake, Sean Smith and Brian Hartline. I won’t be surprised if the Dolphins don’t miss Marshall — Bess & Hartline are better than people realize and should benefit from increased touches with the west coast offense being installed.

    I was a big Jeff Ireland detractor a couple of years ago but I like what he did in last years draft and I’m interested to see how this years draft and FA signings work out. I’ll withhold judgment on him for another year.

  8. Not getting Manning or Flynn is not striking out. It’s more like not-overpaying for a QB with a glass neck or another backup. Miami’s biggest need is coaching consistency and proper drafting. A coach that can get 11 players to execute. Draft picks that aren’t wastes of space. In other words it’s starts at the top of the office.

  9. I feel bad for the coach. His decisions will be handcuffed by ireland. And we all know how the fans feel about ireland. Let the bashing begin

  10. The question is rather Tannehill better than Barkley and will we have a snowballs chance in getting him next year, gambling is the only way this franchise can get to its glory days, they need to move to 3 and get Tannehill or continue down the road of 8-8 for a few more seasons. Parcell’s strategy got the Dolphins now where soldid is not always, risk is the only way now.

  11. Take Tannehill at 8, start him 16 and see what he does. If he flops then we should not have to move up much, or at all for Barkley or the best of Bray/Jones(if one is actually a top 5 guy).

    Worst case is Tannehill looking decent winning like 6-9 games and regressing for that point.

  12. For all the crap Ireland gets, as a scout for talent, he has been miles better than Rick Spielman ever was.

  13. Why is everyone rushing to dismiss Moore so quickly?

    Why would the Dolphins take an untested draftee over Moore, who finished 12th in the league in QB ranking?

    12 games started, completed 60.5%, 16 TDs, 2500 yards and 9 INTs playing FOR THE MIAMI DOLPHINS.

    Only 6 Wins, but a tough go on 4 of those 6 losses:

    1 loss in OT to the Broncos by a field goal.
    A loss to the Giants by a field goal.
    A loss to Dallas by 1 point.
    A loss to NE by a field goal.

    You could do much worse at QB than Matt Moore.

    Benching him would be a (typical) step in the wrong direction for the Dolphins.

  14. The smartest move the Dolphins could make would be to trade down. They have said this offseason they want to build a team thought the draft and one easy way to make that happen is getting more picks. The Dolphins could easily slide down to the bottom of the first round and acquire an extra 2nd and 4th in the process. If they were able to pull that off I would draft accordingly.

    1. Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford
    2a. Vinny Curry, OLB/DE, Marshall
    2b. Kelishi Osemele, OG, Iowa St.
    3a. Brock Osweiler, QB, Arizona St.
    3b. Marvin McNutt, WR, Iowa
    4a. Ryan Broyles, WR, Oklahoma
    4b. Coryell Judie, CB, Texas A&M
    5. Oliver Vernon, DE, Miami
    6. James Michael-Johnson, LB, Nevada
    7. Joe Long, OT, Wayne St.

  15. QB is not the highest priority. Passrush, wr, o-line are. Matt moore was more than servicable last year

  16. 49erdynasty says: Apr 13, 2012 1:23 PM

    “Most South Floridians would agree… New Owner is on top of that list. They’ll settle for an owner that can close a deal.”

    Good thing South Floridians aren’t the Dolphins’ true fan base. SF Fins fans are the WORST — this coming from a REAL Dolphins fan, who lives nowhere near SF. Teams like the Lions, Saints, Seahawks, etc. went through similar droughts, but they still filled seats on Sunday.

  17. All the hatred towards Stephen Ross is unwarranted. He made a rookie mistake and went after Harbaugh before firing Sparano. I agree that being from the business world he should have known that you either fire your manager first or make sure that your employment search is discreet. Given how well Harbaugh has done can you really blame Ross for being so enamored by him? The second reason why he draws so much hatred is because of his seemingly blind loyalty to Jeff Ireland. Miami has a plan(despite what some fans believe) and Ross is waiting until the plan is fully executed in order to judge Ireland. I think that is admirable. What Miami fans dont see is the light at the end of the tunnel. The fins have only 6 million available right now which is why they are not spending. The good news is that they have only 66 million committed to players next year and beyond. That will put them in great shape especially if they continue the model of building through the draft.

  18. For all the crap Ireland gets, as a scout for talent, he has been miles better than Rick Spielman ever was.

    …And Randy Mueller! Maybe lightyears better than Mueller.

  19. “Take Tannehill at 8, start him 16 and see what he does.”

    Even the fools who think he is worth trading up for and getting at #3 admit that there is no way he is ready to start from day 1.

  20. Get Michael Floyd in R1. Take Brandon Weeden in Rd 2. Don’t waste a 1st rounder on a QB if you can’t get Luck or Griffin.

  21. crackerdance says:
    Apr 13, 2012 2:18 PM
    49erdynasty says: Apr 13, 2012 1:23 PM

    Good thing South Floridians aren’t the Dolphins’ true fan base. SF Fins fans are the WORST — this coming from a REAL Dolphins fan, who lives nowhere near SF. Teams like the Lions, Saints, Seahawks, etc. went through similar droughts, but they still filled seats on Sunday.


    Please stop saying SF. In my mind SF = San Francisco 🙂

  22. I hope they snag Brian Quick from App State. The absolute hidden gem in the WR draft. He would be Top 2 if not had played in FCS. I hope for a Trade Down and get a few more picks. This years draft will have more 3-5 round stars than ever before. I already see About 4 Busts in the Top 10. Statistically WR is least predictable Draft position for talent. In a new West Coast, grab many Players, not a single hope Playmaker. See Packers Receivers List. Every week a different guy led in receptions.

  23. Team needs:
    #1. An OWNER that understands the sport.
    #2. A GM that is not an idiot, not anti social, actually has a plan & an eye for talent.
    #3. All position players other than a left tackle, center, punter & kicker. (reason: see #2)

  24. miami did not MISS OUT on matt flynn. they didn’t think he was worth the 10 mil seattle paid him. it’s called VALUE – philbin doesn’t think he’s a franchize qb – why pay him like one?

  25. I’m begging you Ireland, don’t trade up for Tannehill or draft him with the #8 pick. He’s not much better tan Foles, Osweiller, Cousins or Wheeden, any of which you can pick up in the 3 rd round with one of your picks. There are so many holes on this team, thanks to you, that you need an impact player to start right away at that 8 pick. Please don’t screw up another draft!

  26. .

    For a while I thought that the Dolphins would sign Patriots restricted free agent QB Brian Hoyer. Miami would have .
    had e to surrender a #2 pick.


  27. C’mon man. Alper, you seriously think Tyrell Johnson looks like the starter for the Dolphins?
    And you know this, how?
    Quit pretending to know stuff you don’t have a clue about.

  28. I believe. If u can’t get weeden in the 2nd , don’t get a qb….let moore do his thing….fix that line but in rd one take floyd from n.d …he’s a beast….we need a 1 receiver…he can fit that and heartline and bess r nasty, believe it or not I 2atched them play for yrs…they r really good….we need rg/rt. , a w.r , and maybe a t.e for offence and we would be fine ….BEILEVE IN MOORE, BUT IF IN RD 2 WEEDEN IS THERE GRAB HIM, AND FLOYD AT NUMBER 8 ….THAT’S A NO BRAINER …FIX THIS OFFENCE AROUND THE QBS WE GOT AND WATCH THEM DO THERE THING AND MAKE A PLAYOFF RUN….USE A 3RD FOR A PASS RUSHER….NO TANNNEHILL AT 8 THOUGH, DUDE IS NOT WORTH IT, WE GOT MORE Stuff TO FIXon OFFENCE RATHER THAN A QB WHO WILL SIT AND NEED TO LEAARN FOR 3 YRS

  29. No tann at 8 , we should grab floyd at 8 id weeden is there in rd 2 grab him otner than that get a rt/rg, and in the 3rd te. / passrusher / fourth te / passrusher / 5th maybe another w.r , 6th corner/saftey / 7th corner / safetey ….fix the offence first and getting tann at 8 will be a dumb move noing hell sit for 2 yrs

  30. In 2 yrs if we need a qb …sure there will be another tannehill in the draft they r allways there, weeden stats spoke for them selves ….he out beat all the top qbs this draft, 5 yrs younger and he’s looking at 1st pick this draft…but now he mature and can battle it out with gerrard and moore on day 1 of training camp… other qb should be taking this draft, moore is better than anyone else and he did good and deserves a fresh start this season, just fix the offense wholes and watch him have the best yr of his career….

  31. If we still had heene, watch n see with the coaches we have. In a w.c offence. …. he would put numbers up like no other ….that boy had talent …..just bad coaching and play calls

  32. Owners don’t need tob know football, y do people say that, the gm should run the team and the coaches should do the drafting etc. Playing callin and all that….jeff ireland should sit back and make sure joe and mike and kyle r doing what they r suppose to ….that’s how I feel, n the owner should help with money and financial stuff….to be a great owner, hire a great g.m , we got a bomb coaching staff and I really believe the phins will do just fine this yr. Look what they did last yr ….7 and 9 and could of easily been 12 and 4 ….look it up….bad play calling and a few drops from b.marsh….which im glad he’s gone, but let floyd take over that and show bmarsh what he was suppose to do.

  33. From where I sit, Miami HAS to take Tannehill if he’s at #8.

    Wait until the 2nd or 3rd? Any Dolphin fan will point out all of the 2nd round QB misery the Fins have endured.

    Your QB’s have been awful since Pittsburgh Dan.

    You really want to wait to draft a QB until Rd 2 or 3…again?

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