The Great QB Quest

It seems an awful of focus lately has been placed on the Dolphins getting their hands on Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill, whether by taking him with the eighth overall pick in the 2012 draft or by trading up to get him. But it's not like he's the only option when it comes to the Dolphins adding a rookie quarterback this spring.

For example, what if another team trades up to the third overall spot, which currently belongs to Minnesota, or to the fourth spot now belonging to Cleveland and takes Tannehill.

It has been suggested, with FOX Sports' Peter Schrager unveiling a mock draft with Kansas City trading up to No. 3 for the chance to take Tannehill.

Yes, Tannehill seems a natural for Miami because of his connection with new offensive coordinator Mike Sherman, who happened to be his head coach at Texas A&M.

But there are a couple of reasons Tannehill to the Dolphins shouldn't be considered a slam dunk and a team trading up to take him is just one of them.

Another is that the Dolphins might decide that even if Tannehill is available at No. 8, they might be better served by taking a player at a different position in the first round and going for a quarterback in the second or third round.

Remember, the Dolphins have back-to-back picks in the third round after the trade of Brandon Marshall to the Chicago Bears.

Also note that the Dolphins brought in Arizona State quarterback Brock Osweiler for an official pre-draft visit Tuesday.

The 6-foot-7 Osweiler is an intriguing prospect, but he's most definitely a project after becoming a starter at Arizona State only last season.

Osweiler probably has more upside than someone like Michigan State's Kirk Cousins, who on the other hand might be more NFL-ready than any quarterback in this draft other than Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III.

The Dolphins currently have Matt Moore, David Garrard and Pat Devlin on the roster at quarterback, and if they get a quarterback in the draft it's with an eye toward the future.

In that sense, perhaps it makes sense to take a shot with a more raw talent like Osweiler than a Cousins, who figure to become a solid NFL quarterback fairly shortly but might never become a great one.

Tannehill is somewhere between the two in that he's less of a project than Osweiler but more than Cousins. He's also got bigger upside than either, which is why he's now being touted as a potential top 10 pick.

Realistically, he probably shouldn't be ranked that high, but because quarterbacks are so hard to find, they tend to get over-valued. It's the opposite of running backs, really.

It wouldn't even be a surprise to see Tannehill get drafted before Trent Richardson even though there probably isn't a scout around who would suggest that Tannehill is a better prospect.

Here's a final thought: While not likely, it's also not impossible the Dolphins won't add a quarterback at all in the 2012 draft.

The probability, though, is that the Dolphins will add someone at some point and take a shot that they can find a quarterback of the future, whether it be Tannehill in the first round, Osweiler in the second, or somebody else.

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