How much do the Dolphins need a quarterback?
The question is pertinent because, based on conversations I've had with multiple scout sources over the past several days, they expect 1. The Dolphins to take one in the draft and 2. There will be some big-name talent on the board when the Dolphins pick in the first round.
That's right, the people I talk to say at least one and perhaps a couple of the so-called first-round quarterbacks -- out of the group that includes Johnny Manziel, Blake Bortles and Teddy Bridgewater -- will be available when the Dolphins pick at No. 19 in the first round.
A pause here for perspective:
These are the same people that said weeks ago when everyone was predicting Zack Martin to the Dolphins that Martin probably would not be there at No. 19 and would require a trade up to acquire. Since then, multiple reports have emerged that Martin, a clean and experienced prospect, will probably be gone when Miami picks. Hmmm.
Secondly, and before everyone goes into a frenzied conversation about the Dolphins wanting to replace Ryan Tannehill ... that's not the idea. Tannehill is this team's starter and I doubt that's going to change regardless of what quarterback the Dolphins add.
But adding a quarterback at some point in the coming draft is a smart idea because the quarterback room could use some infusion of youth and potential. Matt Moore, 30 in August, is the backup but he's in the final year of his contract so what about next year? Are the Dolphins going to invest $4-$5 million next year to have him ride the pine again? Pat Devlin is third string but he's mounted no challenge to either Tannehill or Moore in three years with the team and he's an unrestricted free agent next year as well. So the Dolphins are going to commit to him perpetually?
You'll remember last season it was something of a 50-50 proposition when Devlin made the team on the final cut coming out of training camp.
So the Dolphins can use more competition and some fresh blood at the QB position.
But would that interest rise to the level of a first-day pick if Johnny Football or Bortles or Bridgewater are sitting there at No. 19?
Only general manager Dennis Hickey and a short list of other Dolphins folks may know the answer to that. (For whatever reason I don't quite understand, they're not telling me).
Personally, I don't think Bortles will be there. I do think there's a very, very good chance either Manziel or Bridgewater or both will be there.
My opinion ... the Dolphins would pass on Bridgewater and I would agree. I simply do not see him as a first-round QB. I see him as a second-day quarterback based on his smarts, and toughness. But I don't see a strong arm, I don't see great accuracy and I don't see a prototype body built to carry 225 pounds.
The former Heismann Trophy winner, meanwhile, is another story. I love this kid. I think he's a winner. I think he's a playmaker. I think Johnny Manziel will be a shorter, more slightly built Colin Kaepernick at some point.
I think he needs to sit for a while and learn and fix some mechanical issues.
But I think when he gets on the field and gets experience, good things are going to happen for his team.
Is that worth a first-round pick to a team that has a quarterback and so many other needs -- right tackle, guard, middle linebacker, cornerback, running back, maybe wide receiver?
We may see on May 8.