Dolphins Must Take Chance on Mayfield

MOBILE, AL - JANUARY 27: Baker Mayfield
MOBILE, AL - JANUARY 27: Baker Mayfield /

By taking a chance and drafting Baker Mayfield, the Dolphins could potentially resolve the one problem that has crippled the franchise for almost two decades: solid QB play.

The Miami Dolphins haven’t had consistency under center since Hall-of-Fame quarterback Dan Marino decided to hang up his cleats at the end of the 1999 season.

Since then, the Dolphins have failed at finding a quarterback who can carry a team on his shoulders the same way Marino did for 17 years.

Now, the Dolphins fear that quarterback Ryan Tannehill, the team’s 2012 first-round draft choice, is destined to become yet another failed experiment at the position that has haunted the organization for almost two decades.

After a successful 2014 campaign in which Tannehill completed over 66 percent of his throws for 4,045 yards, 27 TDs and 12 interceptions, the Dolphins rewarded him with a 6-year, $96 million contract during the offseason.

After digressing in 2015 and struggling early on in 2016 under then-rookie head coach Adam Gase, Tannehill posted career highs in completion percentage (67.1), yards per attempt (7.7) and QB rating (93.5) before going down with a season-ending knee injury in week 13 against the Arizona Cardinals.

Tannehill’s bad fortune continued into 2017 when the 29-year-old reinjured his left knee, which ended his season and, more importantly, forced the Dolphins to evaluate the quarterback position moving forward.

Tannehill’s inconsistent play, large salary and successive injuries are the main reasons why the Dolphins have shown interest in drafting a quarterback in next month’s NFL draft, particularly Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield.

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Mayfield, the 2017 Heisman Trophy winner, has hit it off with the Dolphins. According to several reports, the Dolphins like Mayfield’s skill set and came away impressed in their interview with him at the Senior Bowl in January. The Dolphins are scheduled to dine with Mayfield the night before Oklahoma’s Pro Day on March 15.

The Dolphins have let the world know that they’re interested in taking a quarterback in the upcoming NFL Draft. And Mayfield appears to meet the criteria of what Dolphins general manager Chris Grier is looking for in a quarterback.

"“We need a guy that’s kind of got a dynamic personality, and knows how to handle people, both good and bad,” Grier said, via Omar Kelly of The Sun-Sentinel. “We need a guy that’s steady. And the important thing is a guy that’s a winner, a guy that’s won in high school and the college level.”"

Mayfield is loud. He’s a player who shows emotion and plays with a chip on his shoulder. At Oklahoma, Mayfield got criticized for how he conducted himself both on and off the field.

ESPN play-by-play announcer Dave Pasch called out Mayfield for grabbing his crotch and shouting expletives at opposing players during Oklahoma’s 41-3 blowout victory over Kansas in November.

"“Now right there, that’s inappropriate, uncalled for,” Pasch said. “And that right there NFL GM’s are gonna see that and they’re going to mark it down saying, ‘that’s not what we want in the National Football League’.”"

His on-field antics against Kansas came after a video surfaced earlier that year of Mayfield being subdued by police officers in Fayetteville, Arkansas, after he tried to escape arrest following a night of partying. Mayfield was later charged with public intoxication, disorderly conduct, and fleeing and resisting arrest, according to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office. 

Despite his critics, Mayfield is not ashamed of the persona he exhibits on the football field.

"“What you see is what you get,” Mayfield said last week at the NFL Scouting Combine, via Adam Beasley of The Miami Herald. “I’m brutally honest. Some people don’t like that because it’s rare nowadays.”"

During his last two seasons at Oklahoma, Mayfield compiled a 23-4 regular season record and completed over 70 percent of his throws for 8,592 yards, 83 TDs and just 14 interceptions.

It’s clear that Mayfield, a very successful collegiate athlete with character issues, is the complete opposite of Ryan Tannehill, a mild-mannered, “yes sir, no sir” Texan.

But maybe that’s exactly what the Dolphins need. Maybe they need a player with a dynamic personality, a player who, for once, will challenge Tannehill.

"“Whatever team I go to, I’m not going to settle for a backup job,” Mayfield said at the combine. “I’ve never been like that and I never will. I’m going to push that person in front of me, and when it comes down to it, the best man is going to win.”"

It’s time for the Dolphins to invest in a young quarterback, because the player who currently holds their most important job is unreliable, expensive and unhealthy.

The Dolphins need a quarterback who barks at his receivers and isn’t afraid to butt heads with his coaches—the same way Marino did for years.

They need to step out of their comfort zone, draft a quarterback like Mayfield and accept the consequences.

“I love the game,” Mayfield said. “I want to get drafted to a team that knows exactly what they’re getting.”