Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Miami has refused to get serious at QB
By Tim Graham
The Miami Dolphins have been a lost franchise when it comes to quarterback.
Since Dan Marino's retirement, they've drafted duds (John Beck, Pat White), passed on studs (Drew Brees, Matt Ryan) and chased scuds (Daunte Culpepper, Trent Green).
Monday on the AFC East blog, I wondered where the Dolphins would be had they chosen Ryan first overall in 2008 instead of left tackle Jake Long.
Luis DeLoureiro of NFLStatsAnalysis.net also examined the Dolphins' ongoing quarterback woes for a piece on "The Fifth Down" blog at NYTimes.com.
Chad Henne certainly hasn't looked like the answer. The Dolphins this upcoming offseason probably will resume their decade-long search for the most important player on their roster.
DeLoureiro noted the Dolphins are one of only seven NFL teams to have avoided drafting a quarterback in the first round since 1998. The others are the New England Patriots, Carolina Panthers, Dallas Cowboys, Kansas City Chiefs, New Orleans Saints and Seattle Seahawks. All except the Dolphins and Panthers have their man identified.
Counting on Tom Brady- or Tony Romo-type luck isn't a sound organizational strategy.
DeLoureiro pointed out the Dolphins have preferred to spend second-round picks on quarterbacks. They did so five straight drafts, trading for A.J. Feeley and Culpepper and then selecting Beck, Henne and White.
A dozen quarterbacks have been drafted in the second round since 2001. Henne and Jimmy Clausen are the only two starting for the teams that took them. Kordell Stewart and Jake Plummer are the only two second-round quarterbacks to have a degree of success since 1990.
For almost 20 years, Dan Marino was the face of the Dolphins. Although he didn’t win a title, he broke just about every significant single-season and career passing record. One would think that, more than anyone, the Dolphins would understand the value of a franchise quarterback. But the team has opted to avoid the risk involved with first-round quarterbacks. Unfortunately, they have also lost out on the reward that comes with first-round quarterbacks.