2004 DRAFT PREVIEW: QUARTERBACKS

As the weekend of April 24-25 approaches, we preview the 2004 NFL draft with a series examining the top prospects at each position, how the Dolphins stands at each position and what the Dolphins might do at each position. We begin our series with a look at the quarterbacks.

The top prospects

It is considered a pretty good year at the quarterback position, and it's expected that Ole Miss' Eli Manning will be the first overall pick. With that said, though, there are some scouts who would tell you that Ben Roethlisberger from Miami of Ohio is a better prospect than Manning because he's simply a little bit better athlete. Philip Rivers from N.C. State has an unorthodox throwing motion, but he's a winner with great intangibles and will be selected in the first round. The other quarterback with a chance to go in Round 1 is J.P. Losman from Tulane, a great athlete who began his collegiate career at UCLA. Other QB prospects to keep an eye on include Cody Pickett from Washington, Josh Harris from Bowling Green, Matt Schaub from Virginia and Luke McCown from Louisiana Tech.

The Dolphins situation

The Dolphins wanted to address this position in the offseason and they did just that by sending a 2005 second-round pick to Philadelphia for former third-stringer A.J. Feeley. He will be expected to competed with four-year starter Jay Fiedler, who surprisingly was brought back after he agreed to restructure his salary. Sage Rosenfels, last year's No. 3 QB, is back as well. The other quarterback on the roster is former Dallas Cowboy Clint Stoerner, who faces long odds just to make the roster.

What the Dolphins might do

When it comes to drafting a quarterback, the answer is likely nothing at all. The Dolphins probably eliminated that as a possibility when they traded next year's No. 2 pick for Feeley. That's a big investment to make in a quarterback, and one would think it was made with the long term in mind. Should Rivers still be available at No. 20 in the first round, he might be tempting because he has been impressing scouts big time since the end of the college football season, but it's still difficult to envision the Dolphins spending any draft pick on a quarterback this year.

Next up: The running backs.


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