April is here and that means one thing in the NFL: Draft time. With the first round getting underway on the 26th, I figured today was a good day to do our first “Mock Draft Roundup” of 2012. Below are several experts’ opinions on what will happen when the Dolphins make the eighth overall selection–some you’ll like and others you won’t–but it’s a nice cross-section of what is being said about the Fins and the number-eight spot around the league:
Todd McShay, ESPN: Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M
Tannehill is still somewhat raw as a quarterback — just 19 starts after beginning his career as a wide receiver — but his athleticism and upside are impressive. He also makes better decisions than some give him credit for and he didn’t get much help in his senior year, when he was coached by new Dolphins offensive coordinator Mike Sherman.
Charley Casserly, NFL Network: Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M
Dolphins need the QB, but don’t think they have to take him here and might explore trading down and still taking Tannehill.
Omark Kelly, South Florida Sun-Sentinel: Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M
Miami hasn’t used a first round pick on a quarterback since taking Dan Marino in 1983. Texas A&M’s Ryan Tannehill has the arm strength and athleticism to make the west coast offense work.
Bucky Brooks, NFL.com: Melvin Ingram, DE, South Carolina
The Dolphins have obvious offensive needs at wide receiver and offensive tackle, but the opportunity to nab one of the draft’s top pass rushers will invigorate their defense. Ingram provides the unit with an energetic rusher with outstanding athleticism and burst, making his potential pairing with Cameron Wake a problematic combination for opponents.
Rob Rang, CBSSports.com: Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M
By essentially trading the relatively young Chad Henne (26) for David Garrard (34) as the main competition for the gritty but limited Matt Moore, the Dolphins might have announced to the league that they’re planning on taking a quarterback early in the 2012 draft. New Dolphins’ offensive coordinator Mike Sherman was Tannehill’s head coach with the Aggies. He knows better than anyone that Tannehill has all of the physical traits needed to become a franchise quarterback — but might need a year operating behind a veteran (or two) to develop after starting just 19 games at quarterback in college.
Michael Lombardi, NFL Network: Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M
Tannehill would be instantly reunited with former Texas A&M coach Mike Sherman, who’s now the Dolphins’ offensive coordinator. Miami doesn’t get Peyton Manning, but Tannehill’s an athletic QB who fits the offense well.
Chad Reuter, NFL Network: Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame
If the Dolphins can’t get Tannehill, they’ll seek a solid, physical receiver to replace Brandon Marshall. Floyd’s sub-4.5 combine 40 at nearly 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds eliminated concerns about his speed.
Mel Kiper, Jr., ESPN: Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa (not updated since 3/7)
The Dolphins will be adding a quarterback — Manning is obviously in play — and Reiff puts the finishing touches on an improved offensive line. Reiff was exceptional this past season, and given how complete he is right now, stepping in immediately on the right side shouldn’t be a problem. I’ve said that outside linebacker would make sense here, but Miami knows offensive line play will be a big part of their success in 2012, regardless of who takes the snaps. They went O-line in Round 1 last year with good results, and doubling down wouldn’t hurt them.
So there you have our first Mock Draft Roundup of 2012; be sure to check back soon for another installment with some updated projections from the world’s draft gurus.
The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed by The Finsiders Blog represent those of individual writers, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions, policies or desires of the Miami Dolphins organization, front office, coaches and executives. Writers' views are formulated independently from any inside information and/or conversation with Dolphins officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.