Would Dolphins be reaching to grab Tannehill at No. 8?


In the past six months, the Miami Dolphins have passed on (or chose not to aggressively pursue) Kyle Orton, Carson Palmer, Matt Flynn, Alex Smith and a trade that likely would've landed Robert Griffin III. In each case, the team judged the player and then refused to go beyond a perceived value.

There's nothing necessarily wrong with conducting business in this manner. The cautious approach has certainly worn the patience of the fan base, but other than RG3, do any of the above quarterbacks scream out as an egregious opportunity lost?

Miami's measured business model will be tested again as the 2012 NFL Draft approaches. The Dolphins pick eighth overall, and could have the opportunity to select Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill.

NFL Network draft analyst Charley Casserly said this of the QB, via The Miami Herald: "I don’t see Tannehill as elite. I don’t have him graded as a top-10 player.”

Tannehill is widely viewed as the third-best QB on the board after Andrew Luck and Griffin. Had Matt Barkley opted to come out of USC, Tannehill would have dropped off the medal podium altogether.

The question is obvious: If Tannehill isn't a top 10 player in this draft, would the Dolphins be overvaluing to grab the QB at No. 8?

Casserly says no.

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“Quarterbacks are drafted higher than they are rated because without a franchise QB in this league, you have little chance to be successful," he said.

“I like Tannehill’s raw skills, though he will need time to develop. I don’t see a special quarterback, but a player who can be a solid quarterback in the NFL," he went on. "In Green Bay, (new Dolphins coach) Joe Philbin developed two quarterbacks -- Aaron Rodgers and Matt Flynn -- who played very well when given the chance. But they both had time to develop. Tannehill will need time to develop.”

Dolphins owner Stephen Ross has been vocal in his search for more than a "solid" quarterback. Matt Moore and David Garrard can be "solid" on a good day. Tannehill presents the unknown.

Are the Dolphins finally going to roll the dice?