The Miami Dolphins quarterback options will be their first priority after trading quarterback Ryan Tannehill to the Tennessee Titans. They received a fourth-round pick and also swapped a sixth-round pick for a seventh with Tennessee. Miami originally drafted Tannehill with the eighth overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, but it simply didn’t work out. He wasn’t awful, but has had trouble staying healthy and did not have any terrific seasons.
Now, the only remaining quarterbacks on the Dolphins roster are Luke Falk and Jake Rudock. Falk was a sixth-round pick last year, drafted by (ironically) the Titans. Rudock was also a sixth-round pick in 2016 by the Detroit Lions. They wanted to sign Teddy Bridgewater, a young former Pro-Bowler, but Bridgewater decided to re-sign with the Saints. Miami has to figure out what they want to do with their quarterback situation.
So what are the Dolphins quarterback options for the 2019 NFL season?
Ride out Falk and Rudock
Rumors were swirling a month ago about the Dolphins intrigue in drafting Tua Tagovailoa in 2020. Tua is one of the most highly regarded prospects in that draft class, so they would have to have a high draft pick to take him. Having a high draft pick means having a bad record during the regular season.
Now, Falk and Rudock have not been given a chance to prove themselves in the NFL. Even though they were sixth-round picks, one of them, specifically Falk, might have slipped through the cracks and be a good player in the league. Mike Leach’s air raid system at Washington State inflated Falk’s stats. However, he was still very accurate with his throws, especially in the short and medium game. He doesn’t have a very strong arm, but he did make some nice deep throws on the run in college. It’s possible that Falk can be a good quarterback in the NFL, given the right system and coach.
Miami could play Falk this season and plan on drafting Tua with their first-round pick in the 2020 draft. Their roster is not very good outside of the secondary. If Falk plays at the level most expect of him, which is fairly poorly, they will have a very high pick and may not even have to trade up to draft Tua. If Falk shocks everyone and plays well, the Dolphins will probably still only win 6-7 games. They can play Falk for one more season and if he does not seem to have improved over the first four to five weeks, they can plan on drafting a certain highly touted quarterback in 2021.
Sign a Stopgap in Free Agency
That highly touted quarterback, who will probably enter the 2021 NFL Draft, is Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence. Lawrence helped Clemson win the National Championship this January. As a true freshman, he played lights out football against Nick Saban’s dominant Alabama defense, with 347 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. He is one of the most highly regarded draft prospects ever, in the conversation with John Elway and Andrew Luck.
If the Dolphins goal is to get Lawrence in two years, they don’t need to tank this season. They can try to win some games for their fans this year and tank next year. In that case, if they don’t believe Falk or Rudock can help them some games, signing a stopgap quarterback would be the best option. Some free agent quarterbacks currently available include Ryan Fitzpatrick and Blake Bortles. Specifically, “Fitzmagic” could be a nice addition. He seems to have a few magical performances every season.
Another quarterback currently unemployed reportedly showed interest in the Dolphins starting job today. That man is no other than Colin Kaepernick. He recently settled his collusion case against the NFL after not being in the league since the season he kneeled during the National Anthem. If Miami wants to provide a reason for Dolphins fans to come to games, Kaepernick would provide it, during pregame, the game itself and postgame. In fact, Kaepernick posted himself wearing a Dolphins cap when he was still on the San Francisco 49ers (which he obviously received flak for). He could wear a cap while actually being on the team this time.
Trade for Josh Rosen
Instead of signing a quarterback in free agency, the Dolphins could also trade for Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen. Of all their choices, this might fit their timeline the best since Rosen is entering his second season. He did not play well at all as a rookie, but that may have been due to having the worst offensive line in the league and predictable play-calling. Usually, a quarterback improves the most between his first and second seasons as he gets used to the NFL process and has a full offseason.
In fact, according to reports, Miami was thinking about drafting Rosen in the first round last year before Arizona traded up and took him one pick earlier. Miami can acquire Rosen, who the Cardinals are reportedly considering trading. They can see what he does for the next one or two seasons and if he produces with the talent that made him a first rounder. If he does, then they have their franchise quarterback. If he doesn’t, they will most likely have a top draft pick either this year or next and can take Tagovailoa or Lawrence depending on who they want.
Draft a QB in the first round
Finally, the Dolphins could always decide to draft a quarterback in the first round this season instead of waiting. Their main choices would include Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray, Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins, Missouri’s Drew Lock and Duke’s Daniel Jones. After going 7-9 last season, Miami holds the number 13 pick in the draft. At that point, Murray and Haskins will almost assuredly be off the board.
The Dolphins met with Lock earlier in the offseason and have been showing some interest in him, so he would probably be the pick at 14. But Miami might want to go get Kyler Murray, who they worked out a couple of days ago. They would have to trade up to do so, maybe all the way to number one overall if the Cardinals are willing to trade down. If they think Murray is their guy, they will trade up and take a shot at him.
Featured image from CBS Sports
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