Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Dolphins: What if Browns take Tannehill?
By James Walker
The Cleveland Browns draft history since 1999 is one of the worst in the NFL. That is why you cannot count out any surprises at No. 4.
I don't expect Browns president Mike Holmgren and general manager Tom Heckert to take a major reach and overdraft Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill. I think Cleveland's current regime is smarter than that.
But let's say the Browns do jump off the bridge to get a quarterback. Where would that leave the Miami Dolphins, who hold the No. 8 pick? Miami desperately needs a quarterback and Tannehill is the most likely projection.
Here are four secondary option if Tannehill is off the board:
Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina
Analysis: Coples would be a good addition if he's available at No. 8. I think he's the best and most well-rounded defensive end in the draft. The Dolphins have yet to confirm they are switching to a 4-3 defense, but it appears likely under first-year defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle. Coples can set the edge and provide a solid pass rush opposite Cameron Wake.
Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa
Analysis: I am almost always against drafting someone to play right tackle in the top 10. Unlike the Bills, where I think Reiff is a better fit, Miami already has someone on the left side (Jake Long). But there is a huge gap on the right side and Reiff could fill it immediately. There's also potential for Reiff to eventually move to left tackle if negotiations for a contract extension with Long do not work out next year.
Mark Barron, S, Alabama
Analysis: No. 8 is a bit high for Barron, but the Dolphins do need help at safety. Barron is the best safety in the draft and is capable of replacing what Miami lost in leading tackler Yeremiah Bell. Perhaps trading down a few spots would be more efficient, but that's not guaranteed. Right now Miami's two starting safeties are Richard Marshall, a converted corner, and the inexperienced Reshad Jones.
Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame
Analysis: I do not see Miami drafting a receiver this high. Dolphins rookie head coach Joe Philbin says his West Coast offense doesn't need a No. 1 receiver. If Philbin feels that way, then Miami won't take a receiver at No. 8. But they do need players who can get open. Brian Hartline and Devone Bess are decent complementary players. But they are not good enough to be the focal point of the passing game. Although unlikely, Floyd is a fast-rising prospect who could help Miami.