As we head into the homestretch to the 2021 NFL Draft, it's a good time to revisit the Miami Dolphins draft history at every position.
In this draft series, we'll break down each position with number of picks since the start of the "common draft" in 1967, first-round selections, hits and misses, and any trends that might apply.
We start with the quarterback position:
DOLPHINS QUARTERBACK DRAFT HISTORY
Number of picks: 29
Number of first-round picks: 4 (Bob Griese, 1967; Dan Marino, 1983; Ryan Tannehill, 2012; Tua Tagovailoa, 2020)
Hits: Griese, Don Strock (Round 5, 1973), Marino
Misses: Guy Benjamin (Round 2, 1978), John Beck (Round 2, 2007), Pat White (Round 2, 2009), Tannehill
Trends: The Dolphins haven't bothered drafting quarterbacks very often as a franchise, though that was more understandable when they had Griese or Marino running the offense. But it's more difficult to explain the reluctance since Marino's final season in 1999. Since the start of the new millennium, the Dolphins have drafted only seven quarterbacks and only two after the second round (Josh Heupel in Round 6 in 2001 and Brandon Doughty in Round 7 in 2016).
HOW THE DOLPHINS HAVE DONE
The selections of Griese and Marino took care of the quarterback position for about 30 years, but it's been an issue for the past 20 because it's simply not been addressed sufficiently in the draft.
Tannehill was a serviceable starter for the Dolphins, but he certainly never looked like a franchise quarterback and that's what any team should expect from an eighth overall pick. And then the problem was compounded by the Dolphins never drafting anybody to provide competition, though there was a report from Armando Salguero of The Miami Herald suggesting that Joe Philbin was pushing for the team to draft Derek Carr in 2014 before he ultimately was taken in the second round by the Raiders after Miami had selected tackle Ja'Wuan James in Round 1.
And, yes, we called Tannehill a draft miss because his production for the Dolphins was nowhere near the value of an eighth overall pick. What he's done with the Tennessee Titans a decade into his career doesn't make the pick any better from a Miami standpoint.
The Dolphins are hoping they finally got their franchise QB when they took Tua Tagovailoa fifth overall last year, but it's too early to make that determination after his pedestrian rookie season no matter how many current and former players tell us he absolutely positively will become a star in the NFL.
Without question, the Dolphins owe it to themselves to give him every opportunity to deliver, but at the same time they can't repeat the mistake they made with Tannehill of not looking for an upgrade if his best simply isn't good enough.