Let’s get this out of the way: The Miami Dolphins are going to draft a player in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft that they believe is the best asset to their organization. I didn’t say it would be the right choice. I didn’t even say it would be at the number 8 pick. BUT, after months of scouting and months of strategizing, the Dolphins will come out of the draft with a player they want in the 2012 draft.
The person that will make the call on the Dolphins draft choice is Jeff Ireland. Yes, he’s lucky to still have a job. BUT, he is the one with the most information on all of the players. Stephen Ross wants to sell tickets, of course. However, if he’s learned anything in his brief time as an NFL owner, it’s that winning is the only thing that will put butts in the seats. This is why I have to call into question the belief by Mike Florio and Peter King about Ross pressuring Ireland to draft Tannehill. I am not questioning 2 of the better insiders of the NFL. I’m questioning their sources that fed them the information.
Look, almost every mock draft you see has the Dolphins selecting Ryan Tannehill at pick #8 to be their quarterback of the future. The Dolphins have an obvious need at quarterback and Tannehill played for Mike Sherman at Texas A&M. The pick makes sense from that aspect. If the Dolphins, who have more information on Tannehill than anyone else in the league, think he’s worth the #8 pick in the draft, I’m fine with it. Sign me up! However, what if Jeff Ireland and his scouts don’t think Tannehill is a franchise QB? What better pre-draft smokescreen, just days before the draft, than leaking a report that Stephen Ross is pressuring Ireland to take Tannehill.
Why would the Dolphins do this if they have no interest in the player? It’s quite simple actually. Say the Dolphins have their sites set on Quinton Coples. By letting it be known that the owner is ‘pressuring’ the GM to take Tannehill, a team that wants Tannehill would need to trade up, in front of the Dolphins at 8, to select him. That means that one of the teams that could’ve taken Coples, now, cannot. With Andrew Luck, RG3, Matt Kalil, Trent Richardson, Morris Claiborne, and Justin Blackmon almost assured to be gone before the Dolphins pick, that means one less team to take the player the Dolphins want.
Let me be clear, I am by no means saying that this is definitely what happened, I’m just saying is a possibility. Maybe I’m giving the Dolphins front office too much credit. If Ross IS pressuring Ireland to pick a player, then the dysfunction in the Dolphins organization will continue. Why would Ross, a man with no background in football, scouting, etc. tell the guy he was hell bent on keeping as his GM, who to draft? It just doesn’t make sense. Ross should know better by now.
On a much less interesting, but notable point. Philip Merling, yet another failed Dolphins’ 2nd round draft pick, is about to get released by the team. Merling, for those Bill Parcells/Jeff Ireland fans, was the 32nd pick in the draft for the Dolphins a few years back….he’s registered 7 tackles in the last 2 seasons. Enough said.