One of the fastest rising commodities in this week’s NFL Draft over the last few weeks has been Texas A&M QB Ryan Tannehill. At this time of the year, rumors and misinformation run rampant. Mike Florio at ProFootballTalk.com claims this evening that they have spoken to a source which claims that Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross is pushing hard to draft Tannehill. That’s not a stretch, given the copious amount of stories in the past few weeks linking the Dolphins to the signal caller. But, if the Dolphins make a move to select Tannehill, can he save the Miami Dolphins?
With Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III being the clear cut number one and two quarterback of this draft, Tannehill has had a meteoric rise up the charts in recent weeks. The increased interest in Tannehill has not be without criticism though. Support for the Texas A&M product is almost equally divided, but one thing is almost unanimous however, the belief that he will have to sit for a season before he is ready for the NFL.
The Miami Dolphins, once one of the elite franchises in the NFL, has fallen on hard times in recent years. Miami sports fans are a fickle bunch and the economy in the State of Florida has done little to help ticket sales. Dan Le Batard penned an opinion piece in the Miami Herald this morning claiming that it’s possible that the season ticket base of the Dolphins has dropped to 30,000, and perhaps less. The Miami Dolphins have fallen behind the Miami Heat and even the lowly Miami Marlins in fan interest and Stephen Ross has done precious little to energize the team’s fan base.
Mr. Ross might be pushing hard for the team to draft Ryan Tannehill, but what has he done in the last two seasons which would prove that he is making wise decisions with the team’s future? A series of missteps over the past two years fielding mediocre at best teams have left even the most diehard Dolphins fan jaded.
Miami is currently poised to head into 2012 with Matt Moore and David Garrard at quarterback. Moore is more along the lines of a quality backup quarterback and David Garrard is coming off back surgery. Miami traded away WR Brandon Marshall. They are entering 2012 with yet another new coaching staff. The team’s offensive coordinator, Mike Sherman, has more head coaching experience than rookie head coach Joe Philbin.
Are the Dolphins going to make an aggressive push to move into the top five picks and snag Tannehill? We won’t know that answer until Thursday night, but is that a wise move? Mike Sherman knows what Tannehill is capable of, after coaching him at Texas A&M, but after just 19 college starts, he can’t be expected to start in 2012. Would Miami surrender draft picks in order to move up and select a player in the top five and let him sit for an entire year?
With no clear consensus on Tannehill, how would this move play with the Miami fan base? Can the Dolphins survive another 6-10 or 7-9 season in 2012 and then possibly another less than average season in 2013 after Tannehill gets the starting nod? How much further would the season ticket base fall with another two years of not reaching the playoffs?
Miami could very well wind up the 2012 season dead last in the AFC East. How is that going to sit with the temperamental South Beach crowd? New England has added several player in free agency and is loaded with high draft picks. Buffalo re-signed WR Steve Johnson and landed DE Mario Williams. The New York Jets will likely be at least an 8 win team in 2012.
Stephen Ross owns the team and writes the checks, but he appears to be building a dysfunctional work environment with the Dolphins, meddling and helping to fuel skepticism surrounding the franchise. I believe the Dolphins would be best suited to pass on Ryan Tannehill this season, let Matt Moore play out the season and draft a quarterback next season. There are too many uncertainties surrounding Tannehill and the Dolphins could address other needs with the number eight pick this season.
Joe Robbie would have never allowed the Dolphins to fall into this state and Ryan Tannehill isn’t going to be the savior.