It’s that time of year folks. The season is all but over with seven games remaining and the only real talk that seems to generate conversation these days is the draft. Something that is still 6 months away. Last week the Miami Dolphins moved out of the first draft slot into the second and a collective “there goes Luck” went with it. This week, the Dolphins moved out of the two spot and into the third behind the Carolina Panthers.
Some may not find this to be that big of a deal in reality it isn’t. Not yet. The truth is if the Dolphins are not drafting one they won’t have a shot at Andrew Luck and that may not be a bad thing. Luck is no more guaranteed to allow the Dolphins to draft him then he will the Colts. Besides, most fans would rather see the Dolphins win than lose. It’s a shame you have to clarify “most fans”.
The search for a franchise QB is on the forefront of every fans’ mind. It’s no longer acceptable in Miami to watch back-ups lead the team. While Matt Moore played fantastic a week ago, his spotty consistency yesterday proved that he isn’t the answer, not that another game like the Kansas City game would have proven that he was. The Dolphins lack a big time football player at the position. The fans know it and so does owner Stephen Ross. The question is where do they get one from?
Well, the draft. First round, not second or third. They need to get that guy at the top that has the pedigree to move this team out of the basement. Maybe they swing and that players turns out to be the next Ryan Leaf instead of the next Drew Brees. So be it, but you can’t hit home runs or even score runs if you are not at least swinging the bat. Miami doesn’t swing the bat. For now there are two names behind Andrew Luck. Matt Barkley of USC and Landry Jones of Ok. St. If both are in this April’s draft, only a few teams would have interest.
Consider that Cleveland, Seattle, Washington, and Denver are the primary teams that need QB’s, including our own Miami Dolphins. All of those teams will be looking to add a signal caller in the early rounds and more than likely try to get into position to get one of the top three. Each of those teams also posses a history of moving up in the draft to get who they want, Miami does not. This year Cleveland has two first picks and could easily package them to move up to get Andrew Luck or if that fails, to jump in front of any other team to get Barkely or Jones.
Carolina who sits in front of Miami will not be in play for a QB but they will be a target for a trade up and given the state of their team it’s very likely they would field offers immediately and make a move. The question would become how much do the Dolphins covet a QB? The more wins the team has the further down the order they will fall. In addition to Carolina, the Dolphins are tied with the Minnesota Vikings who should lose to Green Bay tonight, and the St. Louis Rams. Both of those teams are not in a QB hungry situation. Luck? Yes maybe but not for Barkley or Jones. The next wave of teams are the “threepeats’. Cleveland, Jacksonville, Washington, Seattle, Philly, and Arizona.
Of those six teams, Arizona, Cleveland, Seattle, and Washington would be in the market for Barkley or Jones. Yes Arizona signed Kolb in the off-season but he has generated nothing so far this season and is now injured again. Following the three win teams are the four win teams. Two games away from the Dolphins and their two win record. Those teams are the Chargers, Chiefs, Buc’s, and Broncos. Only the Broncos would likely be in the market for a first round QB.
It’s time to start factoring into the equation which teams would likely draft a QB high and which teams would likely jump over the Dolphins to get one. It will depend on who is slotted where but given the play of several teams, including the 3-5 Cleveland Browns who can’t do anything right after beating Miami could be a mover come April. It’s best to know who you should be rooting for and who you should be rooting against, especially since you know you are rooting for the Dolphins to win each week.
The ones to watch so long as Andrew Lucks’ name isn’t mentioned are Seattle, Cleveland, Washington, Denver, and possibly Arizona. If they can notch a few victories the price for trading up goes up as fast as their draft slot goes down. Just something to think about on Sundays.