Dolphins fans know their team has the No. 8 overall pick in the draft. Good pick. Elite pick. But fans are rightly focused on what might happen at pick No. 4 before concentrating on No. 8 because many believe the draft's direction will be decided there.
Simply, the Indianapolis Colts are picking Andrew Luck at No. 1.
The Washington Redskins will pick Robert Griffin III at No. 2.
Most pundits believe the Vikings will pick USC left tackle Matt Kalil with the No. 3 pick.
The Browns, meanwhile, are the wildcard. They can trade the pick. Or they can draft. They can take a running back (Trent Richardson). They can take a receiver (Justin Blackmon). They can take a quarterback (Ryan Tannehill).
"I think the whole draft swings at number 4," ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay said this week. "I say that because the Browns really do need almost all the top prospects that will be available at that spot. They have a wide receiver need, and you've got Justin Blackmon who is most likely available to you. You've got a need for running back. You've got to upgrade that position. You look at the last couple years, Hardesty is their top back, and he can't stay healthy. He's three yards per carry in his career.
"You've got Little and Massaquoi as your top two wide receivers, and don't have a number one guy. Then quarterback maybe your third or fourth biggest need when you look at urgency. But it's still a big need, and I think everyone understands that they need ‑‑ whether it's this year or next year, got to find an upgrade over Colt McCoy moving forward for this franchise to take a giant leap."
McShay, like many of you, looks at Tannehill as a possibility and wonders if he's worthy of No. 8 or perhaps even requiring a trade-up.
"It's frustrating, I know, when you look at Tannehill and how quickly he's risen in only 19 starts, and the production isn't elite and the completion percentage and all of that, but I would have a very difficult time passing on him at that number 4 pick," he said. "I just think that he has everything you look for in a future franchise quarterback if you develop him properly and you're willing to be patient. So that's where Colt McCoy comes in to me.
"You know that you can win some games and you've got a young quarterback. Yes, Colt may be frustrated, but I know Colt well enough that he's going to do what's right for the team and handle the situation properly at least in the short term. Then maybe they can trade him and move on.
"But if you bring in Tannehill and sit him for ideally a year or the majority of the year and put him in towards the end of the year to get him some experience, I just think that you're looking at an organization that has its future franchise quarterback. Has a guy with all the physical tools, the size, arm strength, accuracy, which continues to improve. Has the right mentality, can handle pressure, and has intangibles through the roof."
McShay believes Tannehill is a bigger value than either Richardson or Blackmon.
"Richardson is going to be a phenomenal back ...," McShay said. "Blackmon, he's probably going to be in that second tier of wide receivers in the NFL, and that's great. But they don't win Super Bowls. We haven't seen Adrian Peterson win a Super Bowl. We haven't seen Andre Johnson win a Super Bowl. You have a great quarterback, you win Super Bowls; and I think Tannehill has a chance, if developed properly and patient with him, to become a great quarterback."