2012 NFL Mock Draft: Where Do Miami Dolphins Stand on QB Ryan Tannehill?

Zach Kruse@@zachkruse2Senior Analyst IMarch 4, 2012

The connections between Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill and the Miami Dolphins are almost too obvious. 

Tannehill quarterbacked Mike Sherman's Aggies for the last two seasons, and now Sherman is back in the NFL as the Dolphins' offensive coordinator. A percentage of mock drafts have picked up on that obvious connection, placing Tannehill as the Dolphins' No. 8 overall pick in the 2012 NFL draft.

Not so fast, says Ben Volin of the Palm Beach Post. Tannehill might be the Dolphins' last resort option.

A lot of mock drafts are starting to link the Dolphins with Tannehill, the former Texas A&M quarterback, with the eighth overall pick in April’s NFL Draft. Obviously the connection makes sense—Tannehill’s head coach was Mike Sherman, now the Dolphins’ new offensive coordinator. 

But in assessing the Dolphins’ goals this offseason, the only way they end up with Tannehill at the eight spot is if they take a big swing-and-a-miss in landing a franchise quarterback.

According to Volin, the Dolphins' first options would be Peyton Manning, Matt Flynn and Robert Griffin III. If or when all three somehow find ways to escape South Beach, then the Dolphins may turn to Tannehill in April.

It's pretty easy to see why the three other quarterbacks are better options than a developmental prospect in Tannehill. 

Manning is almost certain to be released by March 8, the date when his $28 million roster bonus would be guaranteed. Miami has been a leading landing spot for Manning since the idea of his release first developed. 

Flynn, a former seventh-round pick, blossomed under the guidance of Aaron Rodgers, Tom Clements and Mike McCarthy in Green Bay. With two fantastic starts in relief of Rodgers under his belt, Flynn is likely to warrant a big salary on the open market. Oh, and you can't forget that current Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin was Flynn's only professional offensive coordinator while with the Packers.

Griffin is likely to be the No. 2 overall pick in the 2012 NFL draft, which means the Dolphins would have to orchestrate a deal to move up from No. 8 to 2. The Heisman Trophy winner might be worth any trade up.

Somewhere after Manning, Flynn and Griffin comes Tannehill.   

What about Tannehill as a developmental quarterback behind Manning or Flynn? Again, unlikely, according to Volin.

...the Dolphins need that eighth pick to draft an immediate starter—a pass-rusher, cornerback or right tackle. Signing Manning/Flynn and drafting Tannehill with the eighth pick would not be a wise use of the Dolphins’ resources, as they would be neglecting other important areas of the team. 

When the dust has settled, it's possible Tannehill will be the Dolphins' last remaining option—but don't count on it. Manning-to-Miami is very much in play, and Flynn's connections with Philbin are undeniable. A trade up to get Griffin seems about as likely as the Dolphins drafting Tannehill at No. 8 overall. 

2012 NFL Mock Draft 

1.  Indianapolis Colts – Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford

2.  Cleveland Browns – Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor (via trade with St. Louis Rams)

3.  Minnesota Vikings – Matt Kalil, OT, USC

4.  St. Louis Rams – Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State (via trade with Cleveland Browns)

5.  Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU

6. Washington Redskins – Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa 

7.  Jacksonville Jaguars – Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame

8.  Miami Dolphins – Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford

9.  Carolina Panthers – Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina

10.  Buffalo Bills – Courtney Upshaw, OLB, Alabama

11.  Kansas City Chiefs – Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama

12.  Seattle Seahawks – Michael Brockers, DT, LSU

13.  Arizona Cardinals – Melvin Ingram, DE/OLB, South Carolina

14.  Dallas Cowboys – Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama

15.  Philadelphia Eagles – Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College

16.  New York Jets – Nick Perry, OLB, USC

17.  Cincinnati Bengals – David DeCastro, OG, Stanford

18.  San Diego Chargers – Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina

19.  Chicago Bears – Mike Adams, OT, Ohio State

20.  Tennessee Titans – Cordy Glenn, OG, Georgia 

21.  Cincinnati Bengals – Lamar Miller, RB, Miami

22.  St. Louis Rams – Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama 

23.  Detroit Lions – Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina

24.  Pittsburgh Steelers – Dontari Poe, NT, Memphis

25.  Denver Broncos – Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi State

26.  Houston Texans – Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor

27.  New England Patriots – Mark Barron, S, Alabama

28.  Green Bay Packers – Whitney Mercilus, DE/OLB, Illinois

29.  Baltimore Ravens – Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin

30.  San Francisco 49ers – Mohamed Sanu, WR, Rutgers

31.  New England Patriots – Devon Still, DT, Penn State

32.  New York Giants – Dont'a Hightower, LB, Alabama


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