At this point, it would not be surprising if the Miami Dolphins selected a quarterback with the 11th pick in the NFL Draft.
And this is not a reflection on Adam Gase’s feelings about Ryan Tannehill.
Gase really respects and believes that Tannehill, if healthy, can do a good enough job. What does that mean? Well Tannehill has already lead Miami to the playoffs. But there’s no reason to believe he can’t win a game or two or more in the NFL playoffs.
That said, the Dolphins need to draft a quarterback. They need to add a younger quarterback. If he’s developmental that’s fine. If he pushes Tannehill immediately, that’s fine.
But let’s look at the quarterbacks the Dolphins have drafted since Dan Marino retired in 2000: Josh Heupel, 6th round, 2001; John Beck, 2nd, 2007; Chad Henne, 2nd round, 2008; Pat White, 2nd round, 2009; Ryan Tannehill, 1st round, 2012; Brandon Doughty, 7th round, 2016.
In other words, Miami has spent one first-round pick on a quarterback since Marino left (with relatively successful return) and three on second-rounders with two whiffs and one average return (Henne).
It is time. Gase is a quarterback whisperer. He’s being paid the big bucks to whisper into quarterbacks’ ears. Let him whisper.
And if he loves one of these quarterbacks — lets say Baker Mayfield, Josh Rosen or Josh Allen is available — he should make the call. And forget whisper. He should bang that table and general manager Chris Grier should listen.
Here are 5 reasons we believe Baker and Goose (Gase’s endearing nickname) would work well together:
- Confidence. Assertiveness. Swagger. Both of these men possess it. And although Tannehill’s calm and poised demeanor has its attributes, the Dolphins (especially if they lose Jarvis Landry and/or Damien Williams) could really use a bold, fiery, confident leader at the quarterback position. If not to start this year, then perhaps in 2019 or 2020. Mayfield says publicly that if anyone is going to turn around the Cleveland Browns it’s going to be him. Knowing Gase, he must grin from ear to ear when he hears stuff like that.
- Accuracy. Mayfield completed more than 70 percent of his passes as a junior and senior at Oklahoma. Despite a size that reminds one of Russell Wilson, Mayfield finds a way to give his play-makers a high percentage chance at making a play. And Mayfield is accurate on short, medium and deep passes. That’s something that can’t be caught. Like many things, it comes naturally to Mayfield.
- Arm strength. It’s plenty good enough. And don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Yes, the passing system at Oklahoma required Mayfield to throw a bunch of short passes. But, Mayfield also led the NCAA in 2017 with 11.1 yards per attempt. Not only did Mayfield post ridiculous pass efficiency ratings of 196.4 and 198.9 in his last two seasons, but he drove the ball down the field as needed.
- Mobility/Creativity. Mayfield extends plays with his feet, which can be extremely beneficial in the NFL. He may not be the magician that Johnny Manziel (must we really mention him!) was in college, but he is quick enough to make defensive coordinators think about his threat to tuck and run the football. Obviously Mayfield can also do some zone-read option. Like Tannehill, Mayfield is an effective thrower on the run. He probably even has an edge in improvisational instincts.
- It’s time. It’s time for the Dolphins to invest in another rookie quarterback with a high ceiling. It’s time for the Dolphins to do what the Patriots have done for years (despite the presence of Tom Brady) and recognize the importance of spending these draft choices on promising passers. It’s time to add a youthful challenger (and insurance policy) for Tannehill. It’s just time.