How the No. 3 spot could be in play

March, 15, 2012
3/15/12
1:00
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We've downplayed the Minnesota Vikings' realistic chances for trading down in the draft, especially after the St. Louis Rams shipped the No. 2 pick to the Washington Redskins and ensured that the draft's top two quarterbacks would be off the board when the Vikings turn arrived at No. 3 overall.

Did we speak too soon? Peter King of Sports Illustrated tweeted an interesting scenario that merits further inspection. Here's how the dominoes would fall:
  1. Free agent quarterback Matt Flynn signs with the Seattle Seahawks. Flynn is visiting Seattle on Thursday.
  2. The Miami Dolphins, thought to be in search of a new starter, lose out on the Peyton Manning sweepstakes.
  3. The Dolphins turn their sights to the draft, where they would have no chance to select Stanford's Andrew Luck or Baylor's Robert Griffin III.
  4. Their next-highest rated quarterback is Texas A&M's Ryan Tannehill, who just so happened to be coached there by new Dolphins offensive coordinator Mike Sherman.
  5. Given the NFL's annual shortage of quarterbacks, the Dolphins grow concerned about Tannehill still being available when they draft at No. 8 overall.
  6. The Dolphins believe their chief competition for Tannehill is the Cleveland Browns at No. 4.
  7. As a result, the Dolphins offer the Vikings a deal to move up to No. 3. The Vikings move back to No. 8 and pick up multiple additional picks as a result.

Is Tannehill the third-best player in this draft? I don't think many people would tell you that. But now more than ever, quarterbacks come at a premium. I have no insight into how the Dolphins view Tannehill, but given how crazy teams get about quarterbacks this time of year, I couldn't rule out this scenario. Could you?

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