With five games remaining in the regular season, the Miami Dolphins find themselves with a 3-8 record and no hopes of reaching the playoffs. They will fail to have a winning record for the third straight year and for the fifth time in the last six years.
The Dolphins have been itching for a franchise quarterback since Dan Marino retired following the 1999 season and have gone through 16 quarterbacks to find their man. They have gone through team rejects, second-round draft picks and sons of legends.
But what do they have to show for it?
This is exactly why the Dolphins should change their mindset and focus on the upcoming draft. They are in dire need of an elite signal-caller that can take this team from bottom-feeders to Super Bowl contenders.
There are four quarterbacks in this year's draft that have the potential to be NFL superstars in the near future, and if the Dolphins want a shot at either of these, they will have to forget about the rest of this season and try to focus on drafting one of these highly-touted prospects.
The Dolphins have enough talent to be considered a playoff contender, but have failed to live up to expectations this season. They have holes on the defense at free safety and outside linebacker opposite Cameron Wake. On offense, the Dolphins have big holes on the offensive line at guard and right tackle. The most pressing need, however, has to be at the quarterback position. With a high draft pick, the Dolphins can get their quarterback early in the first round and a right tackle early in the second round to protect their investment.
At this point in the season, the Dolphins hold the sixth spot in the draft. This position will most likely guarantee them one of the spots to draft one of these quality quarterbacks that can be the leader of the offense for years to come. Andrew Luck will most definitely be out of reach for any team picking after the Indianapolis Colts. If Miami is able to draft around the No. 5 range, they will have a shot at two other highly-regarded quarterbacks in Matt Barkley out of USC and Landry Jones out of Oklahoma.
Mel Kiper Jr. of ESPN has Landry Jones ranked slightly higher than Matt Barkley, but other draft experts believe that Barkley is more NFL ready and has a brighter future. Robert Griffin III is also a good prospect, but his skills as of right now probably grade out to be a mid-to-late first-round pick. Kiper Jr. fails to rank him in his latest big board, which ranks the top 32 college players eligible for the upcoming NFL draft.
Miami won't reach the postseason this year, or next year or the year after that if they keep signing veteran quarterbacks who haven't panned out with other teams. They will not make it if they draft quarterbacks in the second round or draft them for the sole purpose to run the wildcat (Pat White). This is Miami's biggest need, and it will have to be addressed early in the first round this year so this team can be feared like it was back in its glory years.
Miami doesn't have too many holes to fill, but the ones that do need fixing have been needing it for a while. This season is a lost cause, and the Dolphins will now have to look into the draft and build to be a playoff contender for next year.