Love him or hate him, Ryan Tannehill's presence in Miami should take the "draft a quarterback" noose off of the team's neck for the next few years (well, we hope). As a result, the Dolphins can forget about sifting through the top four or five college signal callers each year and instead focus on the best pure talent available in the draft--the bona fide "splash" players, if you will. This how the good teams become great.
An example of why BPA is a sound approach? I thought you'd never ask. When the New York Giants went on the clock in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft, they eschewed their need for offensive linemen in favor of Nebraska cornerback Prince Amukamara, a top 10 talent who slid all the way down to the 19th pick. The selection of Amukamara at that spot was a crucial one for the Giants, as he recovered from a broken metatarsal bone just in time to help Big Blue with their serial-killer-like run all the way to Super Bowl XLVI.
Amukamara's big moment came against the Packers in the NFC Divisional Round, when he came in to relieve a banged-up Giants corner Aaron Ross and took on the unenviable task of matching up against red-hot Green Bay receiver Jordy Nelson. Fox commentators Joe Buck and Troy Aikman called out the "mismatch" immediately and predicted that Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was going to target the Giants' rookie cornerback early and often. Giants fans held their breath, and Packers fans eagerly anticipated the kill ...Except the kill never took shape. Rodgers wanted to target Amukamara, but couldn't--the rookie's coverage on Nelson was that good. And Rodgers--the best quarterback in the league--eventually stopped bothering to even look in Nelson's direction. Amukamara on that day took away a valuable part of the Packers' offense, and it helped the Giants exit Lambeau Field with a big, fat W. But what if the Giants the previous spring had stayed true to their biggest need and drafted a lineman? Would they still have won the Super Bowl? Maybe, maybe not. But it's difficult to deny Amukamara's effectiveness late last season.
Anyway, that's just one example of the BPA philosophy paying off immediate dividends. And come spring 2013, the Dolphins will likely to be in the hunt for a stud receiver (or three), safety and linebacker. But what if a can't-miss pass-rusher slips to them? Should Miami roll the dice or simply seek to address the major holes on the roster?