2012 NFL Draft: 3 Possible Quarterback Options for the Miami Dolphins

Mario CuadrosContributor IIApril 2, 2012

2012 NFL Draft: 3 Possible Quarterback Options for the Miami Dolphins

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    Most Dolphins fans expected their team to go out and sign a quarterback during free agency. There was the possibility of signing Peyton Manning and Matt Flynn, but the Dolphins came up short. 

    They will now switch gears and focus on the quarterback position through the draft. Joe Philbin has said that he will build this team through the draft and what better way to start than addressing the most important position on the team.

    This class is not one of the strongest at the position and aside from Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III, there's not much to drool about.

    However, the Dolphins do need a franchise quarterback and they need one sooner rather than later. With Matt Moore projected as the starter as of right now, the fan base is increasingly growing impatient.

    There's no quarterback outside the top two that jumps out, but Miami does have some choices with the potential of becoming something special.

    Let's look at some options the Dolphins have at the quarterback position.

Ryan Tannehill, Texas A&M

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    Some may say that he's a reach at No. 8. Others may say that given time to develop, Tannehill will prove to be a value pick. Whatever it is, if the Dolphins want to draft him, they will have to pull the trigger in the first round.

    The Dolphins are desperate for a franchise quarterback and he may turn out to be just that. He's not ready to start yet, but sitting out for a year or two will give him all the experience needed to prove he's capable of leading a team.

    Aside from his throwing ability, Tannehill also has the ability to run when the pocket collapses. He can avoid rushers and gain yards if there is nothing downfield. He has good footwork and a quick release that is vital for the west coast offense.

    He also has great arm strength and can make any throw he's asked to make. If he can improve his accuracy, he has the makings of a quarterback the Dolphins can finally count on for years to come.

    Projection: Top 20 

Brandon Weeden, Oklahoma St.

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    Brandon Weeden would probably sneak into the first round if it weren't for his age. He also fits the mold to play quarterback for a west coast offense. He has a quick release and good arm strength. 

    He will most likely be available when the Dolphins are on the clock in the second round. If they decide to go with a position other than quarterback in the first round, they should take a hard look at Weeden.

    His throws tend to get away from him at times, but he has plenty of room for improvement. He probably won't have to sit out two years or even all of his first year.

    He is more NFL-ready than Tannehill and any other quarterback ranked below him.

    The Dolphins might be hesitant to take a 28-year-old quarterback since they don't want to be looking for another one in less than 10 years. Youth is what Joe Philbin has in mind and Weeden doesn't fit the bill.

    Projection: Middle to late second round

Kirk Cousins, Michigan St.

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    Kirk Cousins is one of the safer quarterbacks in this draft. He may not wow you with his physical skills or with throws rarely seen in a college quarterback, but he will make all the safe throws to help the team win the game. 

    Cousins tends to lock into his receivers and at times fails to go through his progressions. He doesn't have great arm strength or accuracy (except for his Hail Mary against Wisconsin).

    However, what he does bring is his leadership. He will be the hardest working player on the team and will command the respect of the locker room by how hard he works and plays.

    He doesn't have the game-changing ability that Tannehill or Weeden have, but he will work his butt off to help the team win.

    Projection: Late second to early third round