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Which QB To Choose?

With the 2011 NFL Draft quickly approaching, all of the Dolphins smokescreens that they are so fond of putting up, are starting to come out into the public eye.

For instance, one of the more popular topics among the South Florida media and Dolphins fans all around is the current quarterback situation.

According to multiple reports, the Dolphins have worked out several quarterbacks, mostly the ones they expect to be on the board when they are on the clock at pick #15. Among those quarterbacks are Ryan Mallett, Christian Ponder, and Andy Dalton.

The draft is next Thursday, and there is talk of the Dolphins possibly selecting anyone of these young gunners being picked by Miami in the first round. The problem with that is, do any of the above really warrant a 1st round selection, when the Dolphins have other, more pressing holes at the moment.

So let’s analyze each quarterback and see if any would indeed warrant a first round selection by the Dolphins, starting with Mallett, the superior physical talent:

Ryan Mallett has been surrounded by character concerns throughout this whole draft process. Whether it has been drug related, or questions concerning his leadership, Mallett just cannot seem to get a clean rap for his college achievements. Physically, Mallett is the most gifted quarterback in this draft, as he has the most power, velocity, and height of the group. He can make any NFL throw asked of him, with more than enough zip on it. But the questions surrounding his leadership, and his daunting lack of mobility may perhaps plummet his stock out of the first round.

Mallett reminds me somewhat of Ryan Leaf. He has all of the physical tools required to be a Pro-Bowl quarterback, but his mental makeup is just shaky enough to wonder if he can be the steady rock that an NFL team as it’s leader in order to be successful in this league.

Although Mallett has some character concerns, it would not surprise me that if he started to drop into the late 1st, early 2nd round, if the Fins would find a way to nab him if possible. But I do not expect them to select him with the 15 overall pick.

The next quarterback to examine is Christian Ponder. Ponder is compared to Dolphins QB Chad Pennington. He is smart, very accurate, played in a pro-style offense in college, and is an excellent leader, something the Dolphins regime looks in in a player. But, like CP10, he can be prone to injury, and is coming off of an arm injury that hindered his last season at Florida State.

Out of the three QB’s I’m breaking down, Ponder is my favorite. He seems to be a natural leader, and makes the best decisions. With Pennington still around the team, I would have no doubt he would be groomed well, and would be successful in the NFL. Ponder has been rated by many as high as the Dolphins pick at #15, or as low as the early 3rd round. My money is somewhere between the late first round, and mid-second round. The Dolphins like this guy, and I think they would try and trade back into the 2nd round to target him.

The last quarterback that the Dolphins have shown interest in is TCU’s Andy Dalton. Dalton can make every NFL throw required of him, with the majority of his throws being accurate. He is not going to throw the ball on a line 60-70 yards down the field, like Mallett can, or dink-and-dunk and kill you with accuracy like Ponder can, but somehow this kid gets the job done, and that intrigues the Dolphins. Somehow, someway, this kid puts everything together, and is clutch in the big games, winning every one of the bowl games that he started in during his college tenure.

Dalton was rumored to possibly be selected by the Dolphins in the first round, but that is not likely. I believe that if all three QB’s are on the board, that he would be there last option, but they would not hesitate to pull the trigger on this kid if he was the only one of the three left on the board. Dalton will take some time to addapt to the NFL speed and style, but if the Dolphins select him with a mid-round pick, they would be more than happy to develop him slowly as Chad Henne leads the Dolphins in the current day.

Overall, the Dolphins have a situation on their hands. Do they go quarterback in round one? Or do they go in another direction. Personally, my pick is the Dolphins front office taking Florida center/guard Mike Pouncey and switching him to guard. He is the best pulling guard in this draft, and at the moment, that is the most pressing need for this team.

The Dolphins could go running back in the first round, but there are plenty others that they have worked out that could work for them. Some mid-round options could be Mikel Leshoure, Taiwan Jones, or Kendall Hunter. By the time the Dolphins get back on the clock, no matter when they pick next after #15, Mark Ingram will most likely be off the board.

The draft starsts tomorrow at 8 pm eastern, and for all of the football fans out there, this is the first taste of football that we have had all off-season. Let’s enjoy this, as Fin fans usually do, in the dark on the possible selections up until the last second!

Fins Up!

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