Dolphins need far more than Baker Mayfield at pick 11

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 01: Quarterback Baker Mayfield
PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 01: Quarterback Baker Mayfield /

When the Miami Dolphins and the NFL start the draft the one player that eyes will be on is Baker Mayfield but Miami has a lot more need than a quarterback.

After five seasons of football the Miami Dolphins and the armchair fanbase still do not have a clear idea of who Ryan Tannehill is or will be. What we do know is that as he moves past the age of 30 his window to improve is growing smaller.

Has Tannehill reached his full NFL potential? Adam Gase had him for 13 games of those five seasons and none in 2017. Before Tannehill went down he looked like he was improving but his knee injury and re-injury and surgery, has a lot of people asking if Miami shouldn’t find his replacement now if the opportunity presents itself.

That replacement could be Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield. The only issue there is with Mayfield being a Miami Dolphins is the fact that Miami has so many other holes that need addressed and quarterback is the one questionable hole you can’t predict.

Assuming for the sake of argument that Mayfield was still on the board at 11 and the Dolphins also had several other players they like still on the board, does it make sense to take a guy who will ride the bench for the next year or two?

Baker Mayfield can play quarterback and he can play it well but here is what he can’t do.

Baker Mayfield can’t play linebacker. 

The Miami Dolphins don’t have a hole at linebacker they have a depleted unit that has as many questions as Ryan Tannehill has. Kiko Alonso is inconsistent but you know he is going to start if healthy. Raekwon McMillan is returning from his own knee injury that knocked him out of the 2017 season. Can he return with the same fire he demonstrated early in camp last year or at the college level?

Beyond those two, there is nothing. Chase Allen and Mike Hull. That’s it. Free agency is all but over and there simply is no one that will elevate that unit right now. Maybe the Dolphins feel Robert Quinn who played outside linebacker last year for the Rams can continue to do so.

More from Dolphins Draft

Baker Mayfield can’t stop the run

Without Ndamukong Suh the Dolphins have a big hole on the defensive line and Vincent Taylor, Davon Godchaux, and Jordan Phillips are not going to change that. Vita Vea or Da’Ron Payne could. Miami ranked near the bottom the last two years in stopping the run and while they improved as last season progressed there is still doubt now that Suh is gone.

There is only one other defensive lineman on the Dolphins roster and he may not make the final 53. This is an area that the Dolphins have to improve in and defensive tackle will need to be addressed in the draft.

Baker Mayfield can’t intercept passes

Minkah Fitzpatrick is the best corner prospect in this years draft and Derwin James is a hard-hitting safety that can take over a football field. Baker Mayfield can’t play that role. Miami isn’t in dire need of help at corner or safety but Adam Gase told the media that he wasn’t pleased with the play of T.J. McDonald last year. Could Miami move him up to linebacker and draft James to replace him?

It’s a possibility as many believe that McDonald has the size to play outside linebacker. If that is true and the Dolphins believe it is true the team could fill two holes with one draft pick. In the case of Fitzpatrick Miami would have a young ball hawking corner with the potential to become a shutdown corner and giving solid competition in camp.

Baker Mayfield can lead a team

The Dolphins have options and Mayfield may never be one of them. If though he is at 11 the Dolphins biggest choice will be to draft him over any of their other needs. Truth be told it is much harder to find a quarterback than it is to find any other position. Mayfield may never become a franchise quarterback but he has a leadership quality about him, an ego, that can’t be taught. He needs to make smarter decisions on and off the field and needs to mature as a person but the time he will have behind Tannehill could do him a world of good.

If all the players are on the board when Miami is on the clock, it will make for an interesting night of drama.