The Phinsider’s 30-day challenge continues today with a look at what could have been. Who is that Miami Dolphins draft pick that they did not make - and you still wish they had? I have a feeling that a lot of these answers are going to be Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, who was selected third overall in 2008 after the Dolphins selected tackle Jake Long with the first overall pick. Of course, at the time, Long was the right pick, and the debate was actually Long versus second-overall pick, defensive end Chris Long, not Jake versus Ryan, but hindsight is 20/20, and the injuries to Long have made Ryan the better player out of that Draft.
Or maybe, you will go back to the first time the Dolphins had a shot at Drew Brees. In 2001, Miami selected cornerback Jamar Fletcher with the 26th overall pick. The San Diego Chargers then selected Brees with the 32nd overall pick.
And, while the answer is probably valid, it is no fun to say something like Tom Brady, who was selected in the sixth round. No one saw Brady becoming a Hall of Fame quarterback, so that answer is not fun because all 31 teams that are not the New England Patriots will say they wish they had selected Brady in the first five rounds of the 2000 Draft.
My first answer to this was to say anyone in the 2013 Draft other than who the Dolphins selected - especially third-overall pick Dion Jordan. Miami could have grabbed Lane Johnson with that pick, a selection most people that was happening when the team jumped up to the Oakland Raiders’ pick via a trade, but instead, Miami took Jordan, who has as many career sacks as he has suspensions, and is now dealing with yet another knee surgery as a member of the Seattle Seahawks - who are looking to make the one-time athletic freak of a defensive end hybrid into a defensive tackle.
Instead, I will stay relatively recent and go with the 2012 NFL Draft. In the first round, with the eighth overall pick, the Dolphins selected Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill. That made him the third quarterback selected that year, following the Indianapolis Colts’ selection of Andrew Luck and the Washington Redskins’ pick of Robert Griffin III.
Of course, Tannehill is not the pick I would change.
It’s the second-round pick that I would adjust. Miami used the 42nd overall pick on Stanford tackle Jonathan Martin that year. A bullying scandal that led to Martin leaving the team and Richie Incognito being run out of town, later, and that pick was a complete waste. That pick was probably even worse than the Jordan pick, even including Miami giving up extra selections for Jordan. Miami lost a Pro Bowl guard - who plays the position that is a giant question mark for the team - and it can all go back to the selection of Martin.
And, sadly, I was ecstatic about getting Martin in the second round. He had been routinely projected as a first-round pick, and one that Miami would make in the first round, but the Dolphins got him as a “steal” in the second.
Five picks after Miami’s selection of Martin, the Seattle Seahawks selected linebacker Bobby Wagner. Three Pro Bowl selections, two First-Team All-Pro selections, and a Super Bowl championship later, Wagner has turned into a top linebacker in the league - a position of need for the Dolphins in 2017. At the time Martin seemed to be the right pick, but again using that hindsight grabbing Wagner to be the middle linebacker for the Dolphins’ defense would have been a much better choice.
If you haven’t seen one of our last 30-day challenge articles, it is simply our way to get to know some of your thoughts on the Miami Dolphins. We are asking a question every day for 30 days, with the goal of getting all of our readers involved in the discussion. If you haven’t ever posted a comment on the site before - now would be a great time to get in here and join us.
Your turn. Who is the player you wish Miami had drafted?