Are the Miami Dolphins sticking with Matt Moore? Will the Dolphins draft a quarterback in the first round? Is David Garrard the Dolphins “guy”? Will Miami even draft a quarterback at all? These are the questions that have been running through the minds of puzzled Miami fans for the past few months. What will be the Dolphins next move after losing out on Fisher, Manning, Flynn, Winston, and many others? Losing out on Fisher is not a bad thing, Joe Philbin is better suited for the position in South Beach. Manning claims Miami was never really in the hunt for his services. Flynn, well, who would know Matt Flynn better than Joe Philbin? In my mind, Miami really didn’t miss out on much. Sure the though of Manning to Marshall, or Bush got me a little hot, but at the end of the day, it was only a fantasy.
Joe Philbin needs to decide what exactly he wants at quarterback. Not Mike Sherman. Sherman may seem a little persuaded to take Tannehill, ultimately it should be up to Philbin (obviously Ireland makes the final decision). There is quite a nice crop of potential starters, and potential franchise guys that nobody is talking about. Sure Weeden, Tannehill, and Foles (not even going to speak of RGIII and Luck) have nice upside. But, Weeden’s age is concerning. Tannehill is a converted wide receiver and is a project, but with tremendous upside. Foles is up and down. Nobody can figure out if he is a franchise guy, or a back up.
There are two guys I am high on, and a few others that should be worth a look if Philbin wants to stick with Moore or Garrard.
Kirk Cousins (Michigan State) – Kirk Cousins is a player that I really admire. He has a lot of heart, and puts his everything into every snap. He reminds me of Chad Pennington (under-rated arm strength and over the top accuracy). He has his fair share of technical throwing flaws. But, this kid can do it all. He has above average mobility out of the pocket, excellent accuracy (both dropping back and on the run), and he has the arm strength to drive the ball down the field. Although Cousins is the “game manager” type of player, what IS the issue with that? Like I have said before, San Francisco went to the NFC Championship game with a quarterback who managed their games. There is nothing wrong with being a game manager. A classic west coast type at 6’3” 214lbs., Cousins could stand to pack on some muscle to his frame, but he can immediately come in and compete for a back-up role (ATLEAST).
Comparison: Cousins is extremely similar to, as I stated above, Chad Pennington. Both have decent size and under-rated arm strength. Although I believe Pennington was more accurate when coming out, Cousins seems to have a higher ceiling than Penny did.
Grade: 2nd – 4th
Brock Osweiler (Arizona State) – Although I admire Cousins, Osweiler is the guy I have been vouching for from day one. Brock stands at a massive 6’7” 242lbs., and is actually pretty mobile for a guy of that size. There isn’t much tape of Osweiler driving the ball down field, but the offense that he played in, was primarily a dink and dunk scheme. When he does go deep, watch out. Osweiler has a CANNON! He has a natural quick release, one of the quickest in the class (which is amazing because he pats the ball before he lets it fly, and he has such long arms). He let’s some throws get away from him, but he is accurate for the most part. His short and medium accuracy are above average, which is where most of his throws were. He can’t figure out if he wants to baby it or fire it in there, which is why most analysts have questioned his accuracy. But, Osweiler is your classic “gun-slinger”. He consistently takes chances. Of course, some pay off and some do not. Although this kid only had one season under his belt (probably should have returned), he can challenge for a starting position next season immediately.
Comparison: To be honest, I see a former Dolphins quarterback when I see this kid drop back (but I won’t say it, not yet at least). Philip Rivers is someone I see comparing Brock to. They both have the gun-slinger mentality, and it either hurts them or helps them. Brock should be able to do similar things to what Philip has done in San Diego.
Grade: Late 1st – 3rd
Aaron Corp (Richmond) – Does this name sound familiar? It should. Corp originally signed with USC and competed with Matt Barkley for the starting gig during the 2009 season. Corp later lost out, after breaking his fibula, and transferred to Richmond. He’s an intriguing guy at 6’4” 215 lbs., who has loads of untapped talent. Corp has questionable size and strength, but both can be easily changed. He is a very smart guy who, like Cousins, is that game manager type. This being said, he is the classic west coast prospect who understands defensive schemes, and knows how to read and react. Corp injured his fibula at USC and during his Junior season at Richmond, he also injured his knee. These knee issues may stray teams away, but he is definitely worth a look.
Comparison: This kid has Matt Hasselback written all over him. Just by the way that he stands in the pocket, to the way he releases the ball, he is very “Hasselback-like”. Both are west coast guys, who needed time to develop their games.
Grade: 6th – 7th
Darron Thomas (Oregon) – First off, Thomas should have stayed for his senior season. Moving on, he is a proven winner. Darron has the size at 6’3” 220 lbs., unlike Kellen Moore (for all of you Kellen Moore supporters out there). Unless you have been living under a rock, we all know that Oregon has a fast offense, and Darron was the Orchestrator. He is a dual threat guy, who possesses a strong arm with questionable deep accuracy, but excellent short accuracy. Darron has the smarts to learn the quarterback position, and be successful at it. Honestly, he seems like a good fit in Miami. Ireland and Ross always promise a high octane offense, well this guy ran one for three years. He, like Cousins and Corp, is a game manager, dink and dunk type of guy. But, he can also sling it down field for a big gain occasionally. If he can develop a quick release and a better throwing motion (also better pocket presence?), he could be a starter down the road.
Comparison: Darron reminds me of a better version of a former Oregon quarterback (who I also liked), Dennis Dixon. Both ran the speedy offense at Oregon, and ran it almost to perfection. Darron seems to be more under-rated, but with more of an upside than Dennis (who was a very good back up for Pittsburgh).
Grade: 5th – 7th
Joe Philbin and the Miami Dolphins need to figure out where they want to go at quarterback. Is it Ryan Tannehill at 8? Or is it possibly one of these guys at another spot, while sticking with Matt Moore and David Garrard? Personally, I would love to see Michael Floyd with the 8th pick, and then one of these guys later on. Either way, Miami Dolphins fans are getting a quarterback! Heck, if the stars align right, we could be in position to land Barkley or Jones next year. The NFL is a confusing place, but one thing is for sure, Miami will be getting a quarterback THIS YEAR.