DAVIE, Fla. - Exactly 29 years had passed since the Miami Dolphins used a first-round pick in the NFL draft on a quarterback.
The two times in franchise history the Dolphins drafted a quarterback, both men landed in the Hall of Fame.
As many have speculated for weeks, Miami tabbed Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill to help lead the Dolphins out of the darkest period in franchise history.
Tannehill, 23, comes to Miami heading into a storm of doubt.
To many, he is a consolation prize after failed pursuits of former free agent quarterbacks Peyton Manning, Matt Flynn and Alex Smith. Tannehill (6-3, 221 pounds) is widely considered a project after just 19 starts as a quarterback for the Aggies.
What Tannehill does or does not do with his opportunity will determine if the Dolphins over-drafted for the third quarterback picked in the draft.
The No. 1 overall pick was Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck to the Indianapolis Colts. The second was 2011 Heisman Trophy winning Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III to the Washington Redskins.
Washington positioned itself in March to take either Luck or Griffin by trading three first-round picks and second-round pick to the St. Louis Rams. The Dolphins also had inquired about trading for the No. 2 pick.
With Luck and Griffin gone, Tannehill was widely considered the next best available quarterback.
There was a flurry of trades in front of the Dolphins' pick, but none appeared to derail Miami's plan.
The Dolphins had other needs. They traded away leading wide receiver Brandon Marshall to the Chicago Bears at the start of free agency. They later cut leading tackler and captain, safety Yeremiah Bell.
The last time the Dolphins used first-round picks on quarterbacks, they became Hall of Famers. The first was in 1967 when the Dolphins picked Bob Griese, who led the Dolphins to two Super Bowls. The other came in 1983 with Dan Marino.
The Dolphins have had 16 starting quarterbacks since Marino's retirement after the 1999 season.
Tannehill first played wide receiver at Texas A&M under then-head coach Mike Sherman, now the Dolphins' offensive coordinator.
The pre-existing relationship between Tannehill and Sherman offers one glimmer of hope for Dolphins fans. Tannehill already is familiar with Sherman's offensive system, and will presumably pick up where he left off.
Copyright © 2012, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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