The last time the Miami Dolphins did anything of note in the NFL Draft, I was a freshman in high school. I remember it fondly. My dad and I went out to get wings and watch it. I was having some pretty painful back spasms, so I asked if we could go home. As we were sitting in the parking lot, Roger Goodell announced that the Dolphins had traded up to the third pick.
They took Dion Jordan.
Jordan went on to record 39 tackles and three sacks in his four-year stint with the Dolphins. He didn’t see action in two of those years.
Exciting, am I right?
Fast forward five years, and the Dolphins are in rebuilding mode. They traded away top Jay Ajayi during the season, Jarvis Landry after the season (both for fourth round picks) and released Ndamukong Suh to free up cap space. The previous model didn’t work. It’s time to try something else.
How about drafting an intriguing and controversial, yet talented and electrifying quarterback named Baker Mayfield?
Coach Adam Gase traded and released Suh and traded Landry seeking a culture change. Mayfield could be thrown in with those two when it comes to being a hothead, but there’s something different about him.
He loves the attention and knows he’s good, but unlike others with the same personality, Mayfield comes to play for his team and win for his team. The intensity of which he wants to win is matched by few things, except his work ethic.
He walked on at Texas Tech and started as a true freshman, earning Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year.
He walked again at Oklahoma and took the Sooners to the College Football Playoff in his first season.
His coach was fired and a new one was brought in. Despite this, Oklahoma was back in the CFP.
He’s also the first walk-on to win the Heisman Trophy.
The 2017 Heisman winner has had his fair share of issues when it comes to his temperament, but no more than the average NFL player. We’re just not used to seeing it from a quarterback. He’s drawn comparisons to fellow Heisman winner Johnny Manziel for his eccentricity, but again, Mayfield is different. If you want evidence, go back and read the part about his work ethic.
With the future of Ryan Tannehill uncertain, it makes sense for the Dolphins to draft a quarterback. He’ll have some time to learn the game with Tannehill as the starter in 2018 and can take over the following year.
But what about Tannehill’s contract? He’s signed through 2021. Will Mayfield wait that long?
He might not have to. Because the Dolphins freed up cap space by releasing Suh and a slew of other players, they can afford to take the hit if they choose to release Tannehill next year.
Gase has his eye on Mayfield. They met twice before the Scouting Combine and again for dinner on Tuesday night. Known as a quarterback whisperer, Mayfield could become his next project?
He made Jay Cutler good for a few years. Now imagine what could happen with someone who cares about football a tad bit more than Cutler.
Mayfield makes the team around him better, something a team treading in mediocrity for two decades needs desperately.
Miami holds the 11th pick in next month’s draft.
Let’s see what they do with it.