The Miami Dolphins are 0-4, and the "Suck for Luck" campaign, and its stated desire to have a bad 2011 in order to draft Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck, has fully entrenched itself in The Phinsider, and the Dolphins fan base as a whole. So, how far should the Dolphins go to land the big prize?
This is not a thread to say the team throws in the towel, and purposely lose this season. That's not fair to the players on the team (i.e., linebacker Jason Taylor, who has spent the majority of his career in Miami's mediocrity), it's not fair to the fans, and it's not fair to the NFL. The Dolphins owe it to everyone to compete every single week.
And, this is not a thread to tell you that, if the season goes bad enough to warrant the number one overall pick, that the Dolphins should or should not take Luck. If he is there, Miami needs to take him.
But, what if Miami isn't the number one pick? I don't believe this team is bad enough to fall all the way to the top draft position. So, should the Dolphins sell everything to move up to that number one pick, and Andrew Luck?
My answer is 100%, absolutely not.
The last team to sell an entire draft class for one player was the New Orleans Saints going after Ricky Williams. Last draft, the Atlanta Falcons sent their 2011 first, second, and fourth round choices, along with their 2012 first and fourth picks, to the Cleveland Browns to move up from 26 to 6 in the draft order to grab Julio Jones.
The difference between these teams and the Dolphins is, these teams felt they were close to competing for a Super Bowl; the Dolphins are in need of every draft pick they can get.
Andrew Luck has been described as a can't miss, surefire NFL quarterback. That may be true. He could be the next great quarterback. But, he could just as easily be Ryan Leaf - who had the same things said of him.
"Leaf was the right player in the right system at the right time and in the right conference. He dominated the Pac-10 as the QB of the Washington State Cougars. In his junior (and final) season, Leaf was the Pac-10 offensive player of the year (after breaking the record for the most passing TDs in a season), was a first-team All-American and finished 2nd in the nation in passing yards. He finished third in Heisman Trophy voting, losing out to Charles Woodson and Peyton Manning.
After being picked by the Chargers 2nd, and considered a player with talents equal to Manning, Leaf stated 'I'm looking forward to a 15-year career, a couple of trips to the Super Bowl and a parade through downtown San Diego.' It's tough to be mad at him after saying that."
Now, I doubt Luck is going to be Ryan Leaf, but it is a chance. And, if the Dolphins have to pay the majority of their draft picks to take that chance, I don't think it's worth it. The Dolphins have to keep those draft picks to improve the offensive line, the pass rush, and the secondary. The addition of a top of the line wide receiver is not off the table either.
Jumping up to the number one spot may be more expensive than it's worth, if the Dolphins can't find other ways to fill the other holes.
Plus, in case you haven't noticed, and going by some of the game thread comments, you may not have, current quarterback Chad Henne is developing into something. For some reason, in today's NFL, a quarterback has to immediately have an impact on the game, or else he is garbage. Henne, however, has developed, despite our criticism of him.
Henne's stats have gone up every year, across the board:
Year G GS Cmp Att Cmp% Yds TD Int Lng Y/A Y/G Rate Sk 2008 3 0 7 12 58.3 67 0 0 19 5.6 22.3 74 0 2009 14 13 274 451 60.8 2878 12 14 67 6.4 205.6 75.2 26 2010 15 14 301 490 61.4 3301 15 19 57 6.7 220.1 75.4 30 2011 4 4 64 112 57.1 868 4 4 41 7.8 217 79 11 Career 36 31 646 1065 60.7 7114 31 37 67 6.7 197.6 75.7 67
Henne is becoming an NFL starting QB. Maybe not Tom Brady or Peyton Manning, but an NFL starting QB none-the-less. At a minimum, Henne needs to remain in Miami and serve as the starter while a rookie develops behind him, or as the backup in case the rookie gets injured.
While I would love for the Dolphins to take the chance on Andrew Luck, if Miami isn't in the number one position, I am happy with Chad Henne returning next year as the starter. I don't think mortgaging the franchise for one player, no matter how good he could be, is worth it. We are already in a bad enough place. Why compound the problem for one player?