This simply means the Dolphins are more likely to land an elite offensive tackle or defensive end in the first round. The caliber of available cornerbacks in the second round also rises for Miami with every field general that is selected.
It was music to the Dolphins' ears when Jason LaCanfora of CBS Sports proclaimed that Smith was a "lock to be picked in the top five."
There is a direct correlation between needing a good quarterback and losing in the NFL.
Before the free-agent signing period, almost every team selecting before the Dolphins had a questionable quarterback situation. Luckily for Miami, while the quarterback carousel has run its course, little has changed.
The Kansas City Chiefs acquired Alex Smith via trade and are now looking at four players, according to NFL.com's Albert Breer. It's almost a certainty that there isn't a quarterback in that group because Andy Reid has his guy.
Then there are the Jacksonville Jaguars. Blaine Gabbert, who has a two-season QB rating of 70.2, is not the answer. Last year, he lost his job to Chad Henne. Yes, it was that bad. Miami would be in great shape if Jacksonville drafts Smith.
The Oakland Raiders traded for Matt Flynn and while he may not be the long-term answer, he will be given a season to show what he can do. The Raiders will consider Smith if he is available, but will likely wait to draft a quarterback outside of the first round.
The Philadelphia Eagles have Michael Vick and Nick Foles, but it is not known if Chip Kelly believes in either. The Eagles will also consider Smith, if available, but will likely not select a signal-caller.
The Cleveland Browns seem prepared to give 2012 first-rounder Brandon Weeden one more season, but he will be on a short leash. They would also consider Smith, but are not expected to draft a quarterback until the later rounds.
The Arizona Cardinals recently landed Carson Palmer. This is a very-short-term solution so it is no wonder they are considering Barkley. Arizona may be hoping it can select the USC product in the second round, but this is Barkley's first legitimate opportunity to be drafted in the first round.
If the Cardinals fall in love with Barkley, Miami's chances of landing a top tackle such as Eric Fisher or Lane Johnson are increased.
I believe Geno Smith will not get past the Cardinals. If Barkley has a shot here, Smith—if available—is a definite pick.
The Buffalo Bills pick immediately after Arizona, just as they did with Kevin Kolb. The Bills signed the ex-Cardinal to a two-year contract worth up to $13 million. The Bills will not have a shot at Smith so they will wait until the second round for coverage against Kolb's imminent failure.
Then we have the New York Jets, a team with no quarterback. General manager John Idzik understands they cannot win in 2013 and may opt to patiently select the best player available in every round. How long can he wait for a quarterback? Surely, Mark Sanchez isn't starting again next season.
The Jets and their fan base need hope and Idzik's hand may be forced. Barkley is in play here, as well as Ryan Nassib, who New York loves, according to Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio.
Florida State's E.J. Manuel is ranked as the second-best quarterback in the 2013 class by NFL.com's Mike Mayock. Miami would be in heaven if Smith, Barkley, Nassib, and Manuel were drafted before their first-round selection.
Too greedy? It would also be nice if the those quarterbacks were drafted before the Dolphins' second selection at No.42 along with Tyler Wilson and Mike Glennon.
There is a good chance that many quarterbacks will have their name called during the first two days of the 2013 NFL draft. After all, no other position brings more hope to a fan base.
For the first time in over a decade, the Miami Dolphins will benefit from being one of the NFL's "haves" rather than the league's "have-nots."
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