2012 NFL Draft: Miami Dolphins Latest News, Rumors and Storylines
Miami managed to strike out on Peyton Manning, then either struck out on Matt Flynn or simply passed up on him (depending on who you ask, and that's just within the organization), then signed David Garrard to compete with Matt Moore as their starting quarterback.
So far, even though they have found some bargains (Paul Soliai's contract sticks out as one), the Dolphins' 2012 offseason is graded as a failure. However, teams primarily build through the draft, and the 2012 NFL Draft is upon us.
This 2012 draft—Ireland's second draft post-Parcells and first of the Joe Philbin era—is the chance for Miami to not only turn around the narrative of 2012 being a failure, but also to further build a team that already has a decent foundation to start with.
How will Miami accomplish both? Will Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill be the key? And if not Tannehill, who will the Dolphins look to? All questions to be answered come draft day. Here's a look at what the Dolphins could do as well as how they do it.
Latest Dolphins Draft News, Rumors and Speculation
When you think of the Dolphins 2012 offseason, the position of quarterback seems to be the main topic on everybody's mind.
As we approach draft day and with Miami having the No. 8 pick (taking them out of the Andrew Luck-Robert Griffin III sweepstakes), the main speculation has gone towards Texas A&M QB Ryan Tannehill.
Tannehill, of course, worked with Dolphins offensive coordinator Mike Sherman while Sherman was the Aggies' head coach, so there's already a feeling of familiarity there.
Also of note is the fact that general manager Jeff Ireland, head coach Joe Philbin and director of player personnel Brian Gaine were present for Tannehill's pro day, which many considered to be "impressive."
However, Tannehill isn't the only quarterback that the Dolphins have seen work out. They also have had Arizona State prospect Brock Osweiler in for a workout and attended his pro day as well. Osweiler would likely be a second-round pick for Miami.
Miami typically doesn't announce what prospects come in for a visit. However, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, the Dolphins have had or will have North Carolina defensive end Quinton Coples, Mississippi offensive tackle Bobby Massie and West Virginia linebacker Bruce Irvin; as well as guards Brandon Brooks from Miami of Ohio and Desmond Wynn from Rutgers and Montana cornerback Trumaine Johnson, a former teammate of Dolphins cornerback Jimmy Wilson.
The Dolphins have also planned on hosting Notre Dame wide receiver Michael Floyd according to Sun-Sentinel's Izzy Gould.
Latest Dolphins Trade Rumors and Speculation
When it comes to draft day trade rumors, the Dolphins are surely in the thick of things.
Miami's main priority seems to be acquiring Ryan Tannehill in the first round. However, with the Cleveland Browns choosing at No. 4, Miami might have to trade up with Minnesota in order to acquire him, a trade which the Vikings would surely welcome.
A trade with Minnesota would mean having to give up a second- and third-round pick as well as the No. 8 pick in order to acquire the Vikings' first-round pick at No. 3. While nothing has been discussed yet, if I were the Dolphins I would still steer clear of this, as Tannehill doesn't even seem like he should be the eighth pick, let alone worthy of trading up for.
However, if Tannehill winds up with the Browns or falls to Miami, I wouldn't be surprised to see them trade down in the first round and acquire him with a later pick. This would be the more prudent way to handle the first round.
Which Quarterback Will Miami Eventually Draft?
There are other positions of need for Miami in the draft, so I apologize on focusing squarely on the quarterback position.
However, it is also the most glaring need for Miami and the most discussed, which is why the first three slides have concentrated solely on the position.
For some finality, this will be the last quarterback-related slide as we attempt to answer the question of who Miami will eventually pick as their next quarterback.
While Tannehill is the first choice, Miami could also decide to pass on him to focus on other needs. In Round 2, Oklahoma State's Brandon Weeden will be a possibility. While many might be scared off by his age (28), the talent and upside that he possesses could make him a bargain pick compared to Tannehill.
The Dolphins, as mentioned before, have also hosted Arizona State's Brock Osweiler, likely a second-round pick. Also likely in the second or third rounds is Michigan State's Kirk Cousins and Wisconsin quarterback Russell Wilson.
Going further down in the draft, Boise State's Kellen Moore could also be a possibility for Miami.
But while quarterback is the most talked about position, it isn't Miami's only position of need.
How Will Cameron Wake's Contract Situation Affect the Draft?
Could this mean that Wake might hold out? As it stands, a holdout will cost Wake $30,000 a day if he is is still holding out during training camp. However, Miami might want to grab some insurance just in case Wake is too proud and Miami still doesn't have a deal done.
This is why Quinton Coples is considered such a strong possibility for Miami. However, Miami could also look into the later rounds and players such as Nebraska's Jared Crick, Marshall's Vinny Curry, or Cam Johnson from Virginia.
If Miami manages to trade down, don't be too surprised if South Carolina's Melvin Ingram is selected in the late first or early second round.
A pass-rusher was already a priority for Miami, and with Wake's holdout, it only becomes a more vital position.
Does Miami Use the Draft to Strengthen the Right Side of Their O-Line?
Miami has already taken internal steps towards strengthening the right side of their offensive line by re-signing Lydon Murtha. Murtha should be the Dolphins' starting right tackle going into next season.
However, there is still work to be done, especially when it comes to adding depth.
Miami will likely look in the mid to late rounds for depth along the offensive line. Don't expect them to reach in the first two rounds for a Riley Reiff, Jonathan Martin or even Ohio State's Mike Adams.
Also, the Dolphins will likely be looking for guards. Murtha should be the starting right tackle, but with the loss of Vernon Carey via free agency, there is a hole at the position. Again, it will likely be a hole filled either in the second wave of free agency or later on in the draft, but it is a hole that must be filled.
Could Miami Find a Safety to Replace Yeremiah Bell?
After releasing Yeremiah Bell (another controversial Jeff Ireland move), Miami now finds itself with two gaping holes at safety as opposed to one.
Because of this, the secondary will be heavily targeted in the draft.
Drafting LSU's Morris Claiborne and shifting Sean Smith into one of the safety positions would be a fantastic idea, but Miami likely doesn't look at their secondary as being as important as other positions for them in the draft this season.
Instead they will look to the later rounds, especially at Montana cornerback Trumaine Johnson, a former teammate of Jimmy Wilson's who last season recorded 54 tackles, one sack, 12 pass deflections and two interceptions. Johnson will likely be more of a developmental project but could also see some time in training camp at safety.
With Brandon Marshall Gone, Is Wide Receiver a Priority in the Draft?
I don't know how I could answer this question any better than yes, heck yes and hell yes.
As it stands, Miami's receiving corps consists of Davone Bess, Brian Hartline and Clyde Gates. Not exactly the foundation for a successful West Coast Offense.
While the WCO emphasizes short passes, a speedy and physical receiver is necessary in order to keep defenses honest. Marshall would have been perfect for that role, but he's now in Chicago, meaning Miami will have to look to the draft to find one.
It's doubtful Miami's first-round pick will be a receiver, but only because it's doubtful that Oklahoma State's Justin Blackmon will be available at No. 8.
More likely than not, Miami will either spend their second-round pick on Notre Dame's Michael Floyd or Miami's Tommy Streeter if either are available.