MDD Staff Writer: Neal Driscoll
Dan Marino’s name will always enshrined into the hearts of the Miami Dolphin faithful but you might wonder why I am mentioning the name “Marino” in an article thirteen years after the hall of famer retired.
The reason is that the Miami Dolphins have not been able to find a franchise quarterback since Marino retired in 1999.
Jay Fiedler, Damon Huard, Ray Lucas, Brian Griese, Sage Rosenfels, Gus Frerotte, Joey Harrington, Daunte Culpepper, Cleo Lemon, Trent Green, John Beck, Chad Pennington, Chad Henne, Tyler Thigpen, and Matt Moore are the fifteen quarterbacks that have started for the Miami Dolphins in the post-Marino era.
The Dolphins have tried almost everything to attain their franchise signal caller, such as trading 2nd round draft selections for the likes of AJ Feely and Daunte Culpepper, selecting Chad Henne and John Beck in the 2nd round of the draft, and signing veteran free agents such as Chad Pennington, Trent Green, and Brian Griese.
The most obvious blunder was determining that Drew Brees’ shoulder was shot and instead of signing Brees as an unrestricted free agent, which would require no draft pick compensations, the Dolphins sent a 2nd round draft selection to the Vikings for Daunte Culpepper whose tenure in Miami was a disaster.
The Dolphins truly have tried almost everything except the formula that lead to them drafting Bob Griese and Dan Marino who are the best two players in the organization’s history and that formula was using a 1st round draft selection on a quarterback.
The Dolphins drafted Bob Griese with the 4th pick in the 1967 Common Draft and Marino was the 27th pick in the 1983 draft.
Out of the twelve teams in the 2012 NFL Playoffs eight of those teams have quarterbacks whom they selected in the 1st round (Stafford, A Rodgers, Tebow, Roethlisberger, M Ryan, Eli Manning, Flacco, and Al. Smith). The four teams that don’t have 1st round quarterbacks are the Patriots, Texans, Bengals, and the Saints and it’s probably worth noting that Brees was the first pick of the 2nd round.
Of the last six Super Bowls, five were won by a team with a quarterback whom they selected in the 1st round. Hopefully I have shown the importance of the quarterback position and how drafting a quarterback in round one equates to winning. I know the stories of Tom Brady and on a totally opposite spectrum Jamarcus Russell but my theory tends to be right more than it proves wrong.
The 2012 and 2013 NFL Draft Classes are loaded with potential 1st round quarterbacks. In 2012 we will see Andrew Luck (Stanford), Robert Griffin (Baylor), Ryan Tannehill (Texas A&M), Landry Jones (Oklahoma), and possibly Brandon Weeden (Oklahoma State) being selected in the 1st round. In 2013 Matt Barkley (USC), Aaron Murray (Georgia), Tyler Bray (Tennessee), and Tyler Wilson (Arkansas) all are locks to be drafted in the 1st round.
The point here is that the Dolphins will have their opportunity to draft a quarterback in round 1 and that there is a great group of NFL-ready quarterbacks with elite potential entering the league.
What do the Dolphins do from here? Do they sit on their hands on draft Landry Jones or Ryan Tannehill with the 9th pick in the 2012 draft or do they make a bold statement and trade up for Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin?
Only time will tell but it’s clear that the Dolphins need a new strategy in finding their franchise quarterback and that with the plethora of talented arms coming out of the next couple of years the time for the fish to find their quarterback is now.