What Does Barkley's Decision Do To Dolphins Draft Plans?

By Bill Daulton

Well, Dolphins fans can cross one college QB option off their wish list.  On Thursday, Matt Barkley announced his decision to return to USC for his senior season.  That’s good news for all fans of the Trojans….and bad news for NFL teams that had hopes of drafting a young QB in the April Draft.  Barkley will return to USC, hoping to lead the Trojans to the National Championship in 2012, compete for the Heisman Trophy, and potentially improve his draft status so that he’s selected #1 overall in the 2013 Draft (increasing his salary/bonus).

Barkley’s decision has a domino effect that will not be fully known until April.  BUT, we know a few people it will effect.  If Landry Jones and Robert Griffin III both decide to enter the drafts, it means that they will likely be selected higher than they would have been, IF Barkley had forgone his senior season.  RGIII and Jones have not yet announced their intentions, but it’s believed that RGIII will enter the draft and Jones is leaning towards returning to Oklahoma.

The domino effect will impact NFL teams that are planning on drafting a young QB.  One of those teams?  The Miami Dolphins.  It’s no secret (Suck for Luck and all) that Dolphins fans want the Dolphins to spend an early pick on a QB.  But, what if RGIII and Jones BOTH return to college?  The next best QB is Brandon Weeden, who many think is a lower 1st round or 2nd round talent. Will teams reach for him earlier in the 1st round if he’s the next best thing to Andrew Luck?

The Dolphins have a number of options, many of which will change between now and April.  One option is to trade up with whomever has the #1 pick, to select Andrew Luck.  Another option; If the Colts draft Luck and release Peyton Manning, the Dolphins could look to sign him.  If RGIII enters the draft, the Dolphins could look to trade up to the 3rd/4th pick to select him.  The Dolphins could also trade back in the 1st round, pick up another draft choice, and draft Weeden.

With the solid play of Matt Moore this season, perhaps the desperate need for a QB is not present in Miami.  While I still think it should be, you can only get a QB if he’s available…..They don’t grow on trees!  If the eligible college QBs are Luck, Weeden and others, the Dolphins options will be limited.  If that’s the case, the Dolphins will probably look to make Matt Moore their starter in 2012 and draft a QB later in the draft.  They could then focus on drafting the biggest, fattest offensive lineman with their top 10 pick.  Sorry, I couldn’t resist!  Seriously though, the Dolphins could look to address one of the other holes on their team, if the QB they want isn’t worthy of a first round pick….there are plenty of holes to fill!

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