We could do this a number of ways. Below is my list in order of how I would address this problem.
1.) We could go after Peyton Manning assuming he is healthy this would be my first choice.He is proven and still has 2-3 years left. If he is healthy there are no questions about his ability. if you believe this guy won't ever be the same, you obviously believe he just woke up one day and was a franchise QB. If you are aware of the work that he put in to be one of the best of all time, you don't bet against the guy. If he does retire it will be because he wants to and not because he gave into what the naysayers were saying. If he had that kind of makeup, he never would have gotten this far in the first place. Don't be concerned about the number of surgeries.
2.) My 2nd choice would be to go after Matt Flynn BUT ONLY if Philbin really believes that he can be the answer.A lot of people take for granted that because Philbin knows him he knows he will be amazing and there are no reservations. Maybe he has seen him for years behind Rodgers and knows exactly what this kid can do... and it is not much. Maybe Philbin's advice is to stay far away from this guy and if that is that case, the argument to go get this guy is basically dead... right?
1b.) OR 2b.)
In either scenario I would move up in the 2nd round as needed to grab Ryan Tannehill.
No matter what you feel about either QB, you would be insane to bet go with just them. With Manning you have an older QB with some years left to play at a high level, but you have so much opportunity for your next QB to learn behind the smartest QB in the league right now for 2-3 years. In Matt Flynn's case, you really don't have much more to go on than 2 games. Even given Philbin's extensive experience with him, it is just too much to project how he will perform long term. You need that guy that is waiting for a chance to take over for him.... that is what good teams do.
3.) Trade the farm for the #1 pick.Whatever it takes, go get Andrew Luck. 4 first round picks is too much you say? From what I have heard about this guy he is the best QB to come out since Peyton Manning. I saw that when I watched him play. He runs the offense. I don't see any other college QB doing what he does on the field. Per my previous post, when was the last time we actually drafted a difference maker in any round? If you have an opportunity to draft a QB who could possibly be as good a Manning was for 13 seasons you go out and make it happen. Period.
4.) GO up and get RG3.This guy has a ton of raw ability. Is he a sure thing like Andrew Luck... no ... but he also has a really high ceiling. I don't see him being as good at QB as Luck as a traditional QB, but he could be the type of QB that gives defenses fits, and will keep us in every game, or at least make things really exciting. If he fails, we didn't give up as much as we would have for Luck and hopefully we can pick another franchise QB. That is after all what you do when you miss on a QB... you try again with another 1st round pick until you get that guy. When is the last time the Dolphins picked someone this physically gifted in any round of the draft?
Get Free Agents to fill the rest of the holes.
If we have a franchise QB, it will be much easier to bring in free agents.
QB-see above. We will either be carrying 2 or 3 QBs depending on if we want to go all out and go with a young guy to step in right away, or if we want to go with a vet and develop a raw QB. No reason to get rid of Moore either way since he is under contract already and probably one of the best backup QBs in the league. If some team loses a QB early in the season we might even be able to move him and get some value out of him.
RB-I like either Ronnie Brown or Peyton Hillis to compliment Reggie Bush. Both are free agents and I bet we could get a good price for both. I think Philbin could really come up with some interesting ways to use Hillis who after last season might have dimished value on the free agent market. I also wonder if Ronnie Brown might be willing to come back to the team that drafted him for a discount, now that things did not work out in Philly. A franchise QB and a new head coach might tip the scales for him. If not, it is not that big of a deal. Roll with Daniel Thomas as a backup. It is still too early to call the guy a bust. He didn't have a full offseason workout program and maybe they can work on the guy's strength so he doesn't run like a little girl. He has the size to run with power, which is why I would like to see us bring someone in to show him how it is done. I would also not be against bringing back Larry Johnson to do that. I don't think we gave him enough of a chance here. The guy ran hard before we cut him.
WR-I think if we can get someone for a good price, we pull the trigger, but I wouldn't overpay for anyone. Our WRs are plenty good enough to make plays if we have someone that can get them the ball. If we can get a guy like Vincent Jackson, DeSean Jackson, Brandon Lloyd, or Mike Wallace without breaking the bank.. do it... But with either Manning, Luck or Flynn(if Philbin wants him) are going to make even our existing receivers better. I would be ok without doing anything here.
TE-I would like to see us get a blocking/pass catching TE to go along with Fasano, but if we can't find someone that can either go for when we do have draft picks, or we can find an undrafted FA. To be honest though, when have we even thrown the ball at Mastrud? Do we know what we have in him? Clay is going to be that pass catching TE we have been wanting... I can see it. We just need to get him the ball more.
O-line-This is where it gets interesting. Our starting line next season should be Jake Long(LT), Carl Nicks(LG), Mike Pouncey(C), Richie Incognito(RG), and John Jerry(RT). Carl Nicks can pull and Incognito can't. If we get him we move Incognito over to RG--his natural position. I think Jerry has done good enough at LT this year to be given a shot to start at RT. I think he is better suited at RT then RG, which is something I have been saying since last year(1st or 2nd game). It will be easier to draw Carl Nicks if we have a franchise QB, and I don't think the Saints will be willing to pay him this year since they shelled out for Jahri Evans last year. It would not be awful if we didn't get him, we wouldn't be too bad off with Incognito at LG and Carey at RG again.
D-line-another strength of this team. We have to let Paul Soliai go though. If we are going to pay Soliai big money anyway... I would much rather have this guy: Antonio Garay
See how good he is at shedding the blocker and making the play in the backfield, instead of getting pushed back 2-3 yards and then making the play?We are talking about a difference of 3rd and 4 and 3rd and 10. That is a big deal.
Beyond that getting pushed back 2-3 yards like Soliai does means that your LBs have to learn to play around you rather than playing downhill and making plays in the backfield. I can't stress this enough but he is not as good as everyone says. Our LBs are good in spite of the fat guy in the middle more than anything he does. I would also like to point out that we ran a 4-3 40% of our snaps last year and the fat guy was not in on most of those plays.
Soliai is has reached his ceiling. He is good enough to barely allow us to run the 3-4. He will never be dominant at NT though because while he is very strong, he is not quick like an elite NT needs to be. He is slow and no one worries about him the way they do about a guy like Ngata, or Wilfork and frankly that will never change. You can't go from being a 4.7 WR and make yourself into a 4.3 WR. The same is true about a D-lineman. He is not explosive and he will never be explosive. He is good enough. But you don't pay a NT that is good enough franchise money and that is what he wants. I honestly would rather upgrade even if he comes cheap. In my opinion it is the quickest way for our defense to get better and that is even including a DE/OLB to play opposite Cameron Wake. A better NT makes the other team one dimensional and keeps the QB from drifting forward to avoid the pass rush on the outside.
If you can't get someone like that and you can sign an OLB/DE that makes more sense, go after a guy like Dontari Poe in the 1st or 2nd round, depending on how he does in the Combine. He will probably go later in the first round, so we could possibly go back and pick up some later round picks to use in other areas, like depth on the O-line, or at DB.