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Turtle’s Takes: Why Miami should not be afraid to draft a quarterback

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NCAA Football: Heisman Trophy Presentation Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Hey Dolphins faithful, Turtle here. I know it’s been awhile... remember me? I want to apologize for my lack of engagement, as the Miami Dolphins 2017-18 season was one of the most forgettable that I could remember. But fear not! We are officially in the post-Super Bowl times, in the dark ages where football is not played, ironically which happens to be the best time of the year for Dolphins fans. That’s right, it’s the offseason, baby! Year after year, this remains the best time for us fins fans, where the optimism is at an all-time high and we are self-proclaimed KINGS of the offseason! So, needless to say, Turtle is back. Perhaps it was watching the Patriots lose in the big game, because nothing gets me fired up quite like seeing the smug look of defeat wash upon’s Tom Brady’s glum face. Welcome to our lives you creepy son-kissing bastard.

With that said, I expect you to see a bit more of me. I plan on putting together some interesting pieces, some scolding hot takes, and enough mock drafts for you to choke on. Give the people what they want, they say! But before I begin with all that jazz, I’ve been doing some thinking and I want to express this highly-debated argument.. and I want it on record:

The Miami Dolphins should NOT be afraid to draft a Quarterback in April.

But, I digress. I hear your roars. So before I begin to explain why, I am going to treat this article as one would deal with the five steps of grief; and we can deal with this all together, as one big grieving coral and teal family.

Step 1: Denial

The Miami Dolphins are not a good football team. Period. One has to realize that and come to terms with it. We went 6-10, and there’s thousands of reasons why, but until we all can collectively admit that we are not content with our current state and record and realize that we need to make some changes, we will never see the green grass on the other side. It hurts, I know. I assure you, rip the band-aid off so we can move on.

Step 2: Anger

“Draft a QB!? How dare you, Turtle... you backstabbing son-of-a-bitch. Tannehill got hurt and our season was doomed from the start and THIS is how you throw dirt in his face! Ray Finkle must be turning over in his grave!”

Listen, I’m going to say something that you might not have known: It is possible to be a fan of Ryan Tannehill, and still approve of the possibility of drafting a Quarterback. For the sake of this argument, consider me a part of this camp. Take a deep breath. Let’s move on.

Step 3: Bargaining

Enter Jay Cutler. Jay Cutler was the perfect bargaining chip. The fact is this- if you thought the Dolphins season was essentially over when Tannehill got hurt, I hate to say it, but you were probably right. Before the season even started, fans were listening to some genius minds and their self-proclaimed ‘smoking hot’ takes like this, or this, or even this. The more you read into into the “Adam Gase connection” the more you possibly could have believed that the Jay Cutler experiment could not only work, but even be BETTER than the previous signal caller. Hell, it made sense. Gase was coming off a hell of a rookie campaign and fans were fully on board with his trust. Even I found myself guilty of having a small sense of optimism at that time. I should have known better. We all should have known better.

The situation wasn’t Jay Cutler’s fault. But he wasn’t good at football either.

Ok, cool take bro.

Step 4: Depression

I’m hoping I don’t have to go in too much detail here. Seriously, don’t make me do it. The entire 2017 season was depressing. And where are we now? Our QB hasn’t played a down since 2016. Our best offensive weapon might be leaving*. Our young promising offensive nucleus is in danger of falling apart all together and very close to pushing the hard rest button. Our “savior” coach (AKA Young Shula 2.0?) has raised some head-scratching questions if he can be that guy we desperately need him to be moving forward. Last season sucked and I think it kicked us in the teeth/nards and halted our expectations moving forward all together.

*Just yesterday, Miami placed the Franchise Tag on Jarvis Landry. His long term presence with the team is still a question mark

Step 5: Acceptance

Once we realize our predicament, and concede to being the little brother of the division for the past two decades, we may be able to figure the best way for Miami to claw out of this mess. We all realize that quarterback is the most important position in the game, and as bad as it all was last year (and don’t get me wrong, it was bad), we enter 2018 with most likely the second most promising QB position in the AFC East. We have some young talent in some decent places. We can rebound. We’re not the Browns.

So let’s begin.

Miami should look strongly at the quarterback position in a few months, even if it is at pick 11. This has very little to do with lack of faith in Tannehill. It is also completely independent of the best-player-available (BPA) approach, which continues to be my number one strategy when it comes to getting the best draft for your team. If there is a better prospect available than the top-rated QB for a position of need, Miami should look at that option first.

But since we agree that quarterback is the most important part of a team’s success, here is why Miami should look to upgrade the QB position before Week 1.

Ryan Tannehill is a high risk quarterback when it comes to injury

It almost sounds crazy when you are talking about the same tough son-of-a-bitch who we’ve watched year after year take brutal hits and hop right back up. He started his career with 4 straight years of 16-game seasons. But alas, Tannehill is now an injury risk. It’s sad, but it’s true. He will be 30 years old when the season starts and he hasn’t played an NFL down since December 11th, 2016. Eight months after he partially tore his ACL in his left knee.... he partially tore his ACL in his damn left knee. This is now unfortunately a pattern, and Ryan Tannehill, yes the tough bastard that we have all grown to know and love*, officially has a left knee problem.

Now, this is not to say that he can’t rehab and be better than ever, but a reoccurring issue like this one often continues to cause problems and Tannehill isn’t as young as he once was (that’s just science, folks!). It would be unwise to ignore a contingency plan for the most important position to your team. We all saw what happens when you sign a “mediocre” option while falsely advertising it as ‘even better than ever’. Fool me once... or something like that, right?

*love is an extremely complicated term and is up for debate

This draft class is extremely intriguing

Andrew Luck was the closest thing to an NFL ‘Lebron James’ in 2012, and while his talent is apparent, who knows what the remainder of his future (if there even is one) will be like. The 2015 QB class (with Winston and Mariota going 1 & 2) was supposedly the best QB class since 2012’s epic draft, but the “once regarded as underwhelming” 2016 class of Goff and Wentz look like they very well may end up being the better pros. The point is, you can never really tell a sure thing in the draft, especially at the Quarterback position.

That being said, this year’s QB class is as deep as any in the past and the fact that there may be at least five guys selected in the first round shows that teams are NOT overlooking the players in this year’s draft. Rosen, Darnold, Allen, Mayfield, and Jackson are names you have undoubtedly heard often, and they will only become more and more popular as April approaches. Even guys like Washington State’s Luke Falk and Oklahoma State’s Mason Rudolph could end up drafted as early as Day 1 with a strong combine showing. All it takes is a Kiper/McShay wet dream and the next day a quarterback can ride his fame to millions at the NFL. Now only if they would dream about me?!?

Either way, this is a great class to take a chance on the quarterback of your liking if he’s on the board, and Miami at 11 will more than likely have a few big time names to consider before they hand their note card to the commissioner. We all don’t want to see the Dolphins “reach” or panic, but this draft may very well fall in where the best player available may indeed be a quarterback. There are worse things than having two good quarterbacks after all, and heres why...

At the end of the day, Quarterbacks are KING of the NFL

There’s a reason the highest paid NFL player has SEVEN career starts (Garappolo has never lost an NFL game he has started in, btw). There’s a reason that the three highest paid players last year underwhelmed in 2017 (Flacco, Palmer and Cousins all did not make the playoffs). There’s a reason why guys like Chase Daniel and AJ McCarron grab headlines this time of year and will likely end up getting paid big money by some desperate team (paging Jets and Browns..).

The NFL has a quarterback problem. There is a shortage of capable QB’s. Year after year, poor front offices panic before Week 1 to please the masses by going out and overpaying at the QB position. This happens meanwhile, as earlier this month the Super Bowl MVP was Nick Foles, a backup QB who ever since coming out of Tannehill’s 2012 QB class has hopped around from team to team before his storybook reunion in Philly.

My point is, that Miami needs insurance at the Quarterback position, even if he NEVER starts a down for the Dolphins. Best case scenario for the Pro-Tannehill camp would be that #17 comes back and “finally” showcases that Pro-Bowl potential while catapulting Miami to multiple playoff appearances. Even if you have a ‘high potential’ drafted quarterback as a backup, the league has shown that you can always unload them to a QB needy team (sometimes years after they have been drafted, and sometimes with little to nor game experience) and still get top-end value for them. How many times have you seen the Browns trade a top pick for a crappy QB who everyone knows will never work out?

But, look at the flip side. What if Miami doesn’t invest seriously in the QB position ? What happens if Tannehill gets hurt, never comes back the same, or even worse, just flat out sucks... then what? Matt Moore isn’t the answer. Jay Cutler is NEVER the answer. Miami needs a young guy who is ready to play and win football games, even in the scenario where they never get that chance with this team.

So what did we learn? The Dolphins sucked last year. That had way more to do than the quarterback position, but it certainly didn’t help. Unfortunately, Tannehill is officially tagged with an injury-prone label until he can put together a healthy season or two, post-injury. What the Dolphins do have is a high draft pick in a QB rich draft class. A healthy supply of free agent QB’s might also make it a beneficial off-season to address QB position, as opposed to past years. The Dolphins shouldn’t be scared to go after a quarterback, because whether you’re a fan of Ryan Tannehill or not... they need one.

Hugs & Kisses,

Turtle

Disclaimer: I apologize to Browns fans for making fun of them during the writing of this article. This apology does not apply to Jets fans however.

Poll

Should the Dolphins be afraid to draft a QB?

This poll is closed

  • 86%
    No, pull the trigger if the best player available is a QB.
    (439 votes)
  • 13%
    Yes. This will anger Tannegod and his toe-thumbs and he will rain down fury with the power of a thousand suns.
    (66 votes)
505 votes total Vote Now