In 2008 the Miami Dolphins had the top pick in the NFL draft, and they took Jake Long to be a stud offensive lineman for them for years to come. You will recall that in the previous 2007 draft the Oakland Raiders botched their top overall pick by drafting mega-bust JaMarcus Russell who had a legendary holdout. Bill Parcells was running the Dolphins in 2008 and he instructed his staff to get a deal done with Long before the draft, or else move on to plan B, C, an so on. Parcells had a few guys he was interested in drafting, but whoever they took was going to have a deal in place as Parcells was not going to put up with the same crap that the Raiders put up with from Russell.
Long did agree to terms so he was taken first overall. The next guy on the list was perhaps Chris Long who is the St. Louis Rams defensive end that is the son Hall Of Fame member Howie Long, but it is also possible that the next guy on the list would have been the Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan. Dolfans have endured 17 different starting quarterbacks since Dan Marino retired (article on why I consider Marino the greatest quarterback ever is RIGHT HERE) so I have to wonder what may have been if Miami had landed Ryan five years ago.
Ironically Ryan is under contract with Hotlanta for at least one more season, and Chris Long inked a long extension in 2012, yet it looks like Jake Long and the Dolphins are likely to part ways (article on Jake Long’s free-agency is RIGHT HERE) leaving them with nothing to show from their top overall pick going forward.
In his five seasons Ryan has 127 touchdowns and just 60 interceptions, and in that same span Miami quarterback’s have just 85 touchdowns and 73 interceptions. Quick math tells us that is a whopping 42 more touchdowns and 13 less interceptions for Ryan. Wow. Add the fact that in 2008 Chad Pennington was excellent with 20 touchdowns and just six interceptions and we see a four year span (2009 through 2012) for Dolphins quarterbacks where they tossed 65 touchdowns and 66 interceptions (yikes).
I do not want to cry over spilled milk, but I do think this particular “what if” is interesting.
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