Streaks have always been a big part of sports, no matter if it’s a winning streak or a losing streak. For the Miami Dolphins though, a different kind of streak could come to an end on Thursday night.
The Dolphins haven’t selected a quarterback in the 1st round of the NFL draft since 1983. Of course, we all remember that’s when they picked Dan Marino, and the rest is history.
Marino re-wrote many of the history books with his amazing career. He spoiled the South Florida fans and the entire franchise with the comfort of having a true superstar under center for so many years.
The problem is, the Dolphins have never found a legitimate replacement for him. They tried to scrap by with free agents, trades or 2nd round picks, but they never invested a 1st round pick to find his replacement.
To put it in perspective, only one other NFL team has gone longer than 1983 without selecting a QB in the 1st round. That would be the New Orleans Saints, who haven’t picked a quarterback in the 1st round since Archie Manning in 1971. Then again, unlike the Dolphins, they were wise enough to sign Drew Brees when they had the chance, so they don’t have a QB problem.
The Dolphins do, and they’ve had that problem since the day Marino retired.
In recent history, Miami passed on Matt Ryan to take offensive tackle Jake Long. While Long is having a great career, many still wonder if passing on Ryan was the right move.
This season, they were bad enough to have a Top 10 pick but not bad enough to land in the coveted spots to select Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III.
That leaves Texas A & M quarterback Ryan Tannehill as the lone possibility for the Dolphins at the 8th overall spot in the draft.
Tannehill comes will all sorts of question marks. Some scouts believe he’s a future franchise QB who just needs proper coaching, while others believe he’s a project who shouldn’t come close to being a Top 10 pick. Needless to say, when it comes to drafting a QB in the first round, it’s a total crap-shoot.
The problem is you’ll never know until you try, and the Dolphins haven’t done that since 1983.
It’s left a franchise in disarray and without an identity. More than ever, the NFL is a quarterback driven league. The Dolphins need to find that QB of the future, and at some point, they’ll finally have to invest in a 1st round guy to make it happen.
Is Tannehill the guy? I honestly don’t know. I like what I’ve seen from him. He has great size, good mobility for a big guy and a strong arm. The Dolphins should know him well. Offensive coordinator Mike Sherman was his head coach in college.
If Miami passes on him you know what Sherman really feels about his future, because the reality is, no other player expected to be available on the board at No. 8 is a “wow” type of pick. A number of guys could become defensive stars, but only Tannehill has that ability to transform the face of the franchise.
Is it finally the time to end this streak? We’ll find out soon enough. One thing we can be sure of is this team needs to do something to solve the problem. The Dolphins have seemed to be the only team in the league unaware about how important a star QB really is.