Did the Miami Dolphins really, really need to draft a quarterback?

GM Chris Grier wasn’t going to reach for a quarterback in this draft. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

DAVIE — It can be said that when the Dolphins were on the clock with the 11th overall pick, all four of the top quarterbacks were gone.

And that is true.

But if the Dolphins really, really wanted to move up for Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold, Josh Allen or Josh Rosen, of course they could have.

Miami decided it was not worth it.

And lets not forget, Miami still really, really believes in Ryan Tannehill.

And I am not here, despite my pre-draft recommendation of selecting a quarterback, to suggest that they were wrong.

“I didn’t expect Minkah (Fitzpatrick) to be there,” Miami general manager Chris Grier said Saturday, of his first-round safety from Alabama. “For me, he was probably one of the top five or six players in this draft.”

And The Daily Dolphin agrees. To land Fitzpatrick in the first round was a coup.

For Miami, this was a draft to fill needs. And though Miami did not draft a quarterback or an offensive lineman or a defensive lineman, the most important needs were fulfilled.

A tight end. Two in fact. One to catch. One to block.

Of course, Adam Gase will suggest the one who can catch (Penn State’s Mike Gesicki) can learn to block and the one who can block (Notre Dame’s Durham Smythe) is a better receiver than advertised.

That’s what organized team activity and training camp news conferences are for.

So much of what Miami did in this draft was based around the tight end position, on both sides of the ball.

So tired of watching sluggish Julius Thomas and oft-injured Jordan Cameron fail to deliver in Gase’s tight end-friendly offense, Miami did something about it. They added two really tall, athletic players from big-time programs who should both contribute immediately.

Gase wants to throw. Miami has set themselves up to throw more, and more successfully.

And so tired of observing opposing tight ends torch Miami’s defense, they added a dynamic defensive back (Fitzpatrick) and badly-needed linebacker (Jerome Baker of Ohio State) would can very capably and enthusiastically take on the assignment of Robert Gronkowski.

The Dolphins added a running back with great upside (Kalen Ballage of Arizona State), selected with the pick obtained in the Jay Ajayi trade. A blocking tight end for Jarvis Landry isn’t as enticing, but this is about winning on Sunday, not winning the draft day press conference.

Miami added players they believe can help the team be more competitive in 2018.

Not adding a defensive tackle is not ideal, but there will be some money coming after the Ndamukong Suh release become official. Not drafting any quarterback is not ideal.

But if neither Brock Osweiler nor David Fales looks decent in camp and the preseason, they can certainly a different veteran backup.

To be honest, Miami’s season goes nowhere if Tannehill doesn’t stay healthy and perform about as well as he did at the end of the 2016 season.

That seems so long ago, doesn’t it?

Since Tannehill last played, Miami’s roster has turned over.

Gone are players like: Mike Pouncey, Ajayi, Landry, Julius Thomas and Anthony Fasano.

Here now to help Tannehill, players like: Josh Sitton, Daniel Kilgore, Danny Amendola, Albert Wilson, and two rookie tight ends.

Incidentally, Miami’s plan, in part, has been to replenish a defense that gives Tannehill a better chance to run more plays. Thus, Charles Harris, Raekwon McMillan, Cordrea Tankersley, Minkah Fitzpatrick and Jerome Baker, five picks in the first three rounds of the last two drafts.

Would it have been nice to add the insurance of a young quarterback like Lamar Jackson, Mason Rudolph, Kyle Lauletta, Mike White or Luke Falk?

Well, yeah.

There were 13 quarterbacks drafted and even the Patriots got in on the action, with LSU’s Danny Etling in the seventh round.

Grier insisted Miami wasn’t going to reach for any player, including a quarterback.

So much is riding on Tannehill and the Dolphins organization is not shy to discuss it, publicly or privately.

We’ll know at the end of this season if that was the right decision.

And if, God forbid, Tannehill is injured for any length of time this season, we’ll all know pretty quickly if Miami’s backup plan was sufficient.

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