So you want to draft a Quarterback in the first round?

So tell me who? I have read and heard many people screaming for the Miami Dolphins to finally draft a QB in round one. In three of the last four drafts Miami has spent a second round pick drafting a QB. The debate about Henne has been and will continue to be discussed ad nauseum over the coming months. That is not what this article is about. This article is to address the people that want Miami to draft a QB in round one of the 2011 draft. 

At this point it looks as if Miami will be picking somewhere between 11 and 16, with better chances between 13 and 15. There are as many as 10 teams in the top 16 picks that could be looking at QB. Assuming they all come out there is four players that will grade out as first round picks and at the most another three that could. 

Here are my projections for the top QB’s that could be in the first round of the 2011 draft: 

Andrew Luck – The conversation of QB’s for this draft starts with Luck. He will be the number one pick in the 2011 draft if he declares. Carolina has locked up the pick, but that doesn’t mean they will pick him. Carolina invested a second and a fourth in QB’s last year and has many holes and is missing a second round pick. Unless they bring in Harbaugh, I look for them to trade this pick and if there is a new CBA before the draft or teams take a risk that there will be a rookie cap in the new CBA this would make trading that top pick much easier than in recent years. 

Cam Newton – He may or may not come out. It probably wouldn’t hurt him to stay in school, but if he is concerned about any of the off-field issues coming back to bite him next year he may elect to enter the draft this year, where he wont be the first QB taken but will be a first round pick and more than likely one of the top four QB’s off the board. I compare Newton to a young Steve Young or Donavon McNabb. Unlike other running QB’s in recent years Newton has a fluid throwing motion and is extremely accurate. He uses his legs as a weapon but is always looking downfield when he is on the move for the open receiver. Newton will be a top 15 pick and could be a top 10 pick. 

Jake Locker – If Locker would have come out last year he would have been battling Bradford for the top pick in the draft. Staying another year hurt his status a bit and while he won’t be battling Luck for the first pick he will be battling the next group of QB’s to come off the board. Locker may have the most upside of any QB in the draft and although some people see him slipping I think he will still be a top 10 and probably a top 5 pick. 

Ryan Mallett – He reminds many of Joe Flacco and he should. They are very close in physical stature and like Flacco the ball jumps out of his hand as if it was being fired not thrown. The success of Flacco may push Mallet up to be the second QB taken in the draft. He won’t push Luck for the top pick, but he will be battling Locker and Newton for the next one chosen. Like the above QB’s Mallett will be a top 15 pick and very well could be pushed into the top 10. 

After those four QB’s there is a group that falls into the late first round and second round picks. Guys like Christian Ponder, Nick Foles, and Blaine Gabbert could fall into that group. All of these guys have the talent to be franchise QB’s and in the right systems could and will be fine, but if Miami were to draft one of these guys or someone else in round two or later would fans still think Miami hasn’t addressed the issue of QB? 

Yes I said round two, and I understand Miami does not have a second round pick in the 2011 draft, but assuming all of the top fours QB’s are off the board before Miami picks in round one should they trade down and try and pick up a second round pick? 

My feelings are Miami has three options if they feel Henne is not the answer and they must take a QB early; 

1. They trade up the get one of the top four QB’s on the board. To do this they are going to have to give up draft picks and for a team that seems to have several holes this might not be the best option, but I also feel that to be a contender in the NFL you MUST have a franchise QB. If you feel one of these top four guys fit that bill and you have the opportunity to get one of them then you do it. 

2. They get lucky and one of these guys fall and lands in their lap. Heck it happened in 1983 and things worked out pretty well. There are questions on all of them that could cause them to fall a bit. Ok wait; there really are no questions on Luck, other than will he come out or not? There are enough questions on Locker, Newton and Mallett that it’s not out of the question that teams pass on them. I don’t see it happening, but stranger things have happened. 

3. They trade back into round one like last year and pick up a second round pick. At that point they could take one of the next tier QB’s either in late round one or round two and address other needs at the same time. 

Ideally option three would be the best option in my opinion, but for the right guy if you are dead set on drafting a QB early. I do not see option two happening, but as I said, stranger things have happened. 

So for all of those that want Miami to draft a QB in round one at all cost I ask you, what do you do and who do you pick?

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