With the eighth pick in the 2012 BGN Community Mock Draft, wildcatlh selects...
Ryan Tannehill: QB, Texas A&M
Ever since Dan Marino retired, the Dolphins have lacked stability at the quarterback position. In the 12 seasons since his retirement, the Dolphins have started 16 different quarterbacks. Only twice (Jay Fiedler in 2001 and Chad Pennington in 2008) has the same quarterback started all 16 games in a season. From 2004-2009, via trade or draft, the Dolphins used five second round picks on quarterbacks, none of whom are currently on the roster. Meanwhile, they have passed up on opportunities to trade for or draft Drew Brees (both in the 2001 draft and 2006 free agency), Matt Hasslebeck, Aaron Rodgers, and Matt Ryan. This offseason alone, the Dolphins were spurned by Peyton Manning, Matt Flynn, Alex Smith, and in their attempts to trade for the opportunity to select Robert Griffin III.
The Dolphins fan base has, for lack of a better term, rebelled. While every game in 2011 "sold out", several sell-outs were due only to last-second purchases, and the Dolphins filled only 81% of the seats at Sun Life Stadium, second-worst in the league behind Cincinnati. Season ticket sales are at an all-time low. Fans also staged a protest outside of Miami Dolphins headquarters in March, leading the team to promise greater transparency and owner Stephen Ross to personally call two of the season ticket holders who took part in the protest.
More after the jump...
The Dolphins know Ryan Tannehill better than any other team in the NFL. Mike Sherman, the Dolphins' newly-hired offensive coordinator, coached Tannehill through his career at Texas A&M. Tannehill impressed at his recent pro-day, at which Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin and GM Jeff Ireland were in attendance, by throwing only 3 incompletions (two of which were drops) in 68 passes and running a 4.62 second 40-yard dash, demonstrating he has the athleticism the Dolphins need as they transition into a west-coast offense under Philbin and Sherman.
The Dolphins certainly have a need at almost every position on the field. But while Tannehill may be a bit of a reach with the #8 pick, it may be difficult for the Dolphins to look past his potential and the team's future at the position. Both quarterbacks on the roster, Matt Moore and David Garrard, have contracts that expire after the 2012 season. Neither is seen by anybody, outside of or inside of the organization, as being the team's future. Drafting Tannehill may not be a perfect move, but it's a move the Dolphins absolutely have to make.
Next on the clock will be HawaiianGreen with the Carolina Panthers.