While all of the attention in this year’s draft is focused on Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III, there are a few quarterbacks whose stock has been climbing in recent weeks. For the second year in a row, quarterbacks are in high demand, causing several NFL prospects to see their name going higher on the thousands of mock drafts that litter the web. With the Miami Dolphins among the teams looking to find their quarterback of the future, there has been much speculation about how they will use the 8th pick, with the majority of analysts believing that they will pick Ryan Tannehill, out of Texas A&M, should they chose to go another direction with that first pick, there are other quarterbacks that could become the answer the Dolphins are looking for.
Outside of Luck, Griffin, and Tannehill, the name most often heard is that of Oklahoma State‘s Brandon Weeden. A former pro baseball player, Weeden enters the draft with his age working against him. At 28, Weeden himself says that he doesn’t have much time to sit on the bench, indicating that he would be looking to start immediately upon entering the NFL. This would make the Dolphins a good fit for him since the starting job in Miami will be up for grabs. The real question would be if he would be a good fit for the Dolphins.
Weeden started for two seasons at OSU and put up nice numbers, setting school records for total yards, touchdowns, completions, attempts, and completion percentage. He played in the Big 12, which gives a decent mark by with measure his ability, and his talent should translate into success in the NFL, but if a team is looking for a quarterback that they can build a team around, then his age has to come into consideration. With the state of the Dolphins franchise right now, Weeden seems to be no better a solution than the two quarterbacks they already have in David Garrard and Matt Moore.
Another quarterback who should be available in later rounds is Michigan State‘s Kirk Cousins. Cousins also owns nearly every school record a quarterback can have and was 22-5 in his last two seasons. At 23 years old, he has the advantage over Weeden in terms of upside. Cousins has a great arm, manipulates the pocket well, and as a four year student, took advantage of all the training the collegiate level had to offer. The issue with Cousins may be in his decision making. Cousins took sacks where he shouldn’t have, questionably managed the clock at times, and gave up the ball in critical situations. All of these are problems that you do not want to see in a fourth year player, but they are all correctable.
Both Brandon Weeden and Kirk Cousins will make excellent additions to any team, although neither may be the franchise quarterback the Miami Dolphins are looking for. Still, there is always a question about any quarterback coming out of college to the pros. There is no quarterback after Luck and Griffin that is worth the 8th pick. Miami would be best served to draft talent equal to their order, become stronger in that position, and then secure one of these two quarterbacks in later rounds. Remember, not every hall of fame quarterback was drafted in the first round.