Let me take you back to 2008: It was a simpler time... 'The Dark Knight' was hitting theaters in the Summer, the Carolina Panthers had renewed hope Jake Delhomme would come back from his elbow injury and the lowly 1-15 Miami Dolphins were sitting where we are now, holding the #1 overall pick in a draft that didn't scream "Here is the #1 pick!".
Like some current Carolina Panthers' fans the 2008 Miami Dolphins had a QB they believed needed another chance too... 2007 second round pick John Beck out of BYU who the Dolphins took with the 40th overall pick. The 6'2" Beck had a scouting report that should sound quite familiar: astoundingly accurate, but a less than ideal size and less than ideal arm strength. He had a very rough rookie season where he played in six games, starting four. He finished completing 56% of his passes, 1 TD and 3 INT with a QB rating of 62.0.
Any of this sounding familiar? It should
Bill Parcells was in charge of the Dolphins for the 2008 draft, and unfortunately wasn't a draft with a standout #1 overall pick. Many said the Dolphins should take LSU defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey, who was hailed as the 'Next Warren Sapp' but Miami had reservations about taking a DT overall given the fact they had numerous needs.
We'll continue this tale... after the jump
The 2008 draft has almost every element the 2011 draft had:
- Two defensive tackles who had very close grades (Glenn Dorsey/Sedrick Ellis vs. Nick Fairley/Marcell Dareus)
- The double-digit sack DE who had a vast improvement in his final year (Chris Long vs. Da'Quan Bowers)
- The athletic monster who had scouts drooling after the combine (Vernon Ghoulston vs. Patrick Peterson)
And then we reach the quarterback position. There was a guy in that draft too... he was considered to have good size and a smart head on his shoulders, but there were questions about his abilities in the vertical passing game. Definitely not considered to be a top prospect, and leading up to the draft most scouts had him going somewhere between the 5th and 12th picks; his name was Matt Ryan (graded at an equivalent 84/100 by TFY Draft Preview).
The Miami Dolphins were trying feverishly to trade out of the #1 overall pick given there were so many questions about the first round and were hoping that someone would fall in love with Glenn Dorsey enough to trade up, but alas that never happened. Afraid of striking out the Dolphins decided to go for the 'safe' pick and select Michigan LT Jake Long- and they have had astounding dividends with their all-pro LT, with no concerns about the position for years to come.
Meanwhile the Atlanta Falcons selected Matt Ryan #3 overall, and since have been to the playoffs two times in three years, while Miami has once in the same time period. Ryan was graded at 84/100, Blaine Gabbert currently has an equivalent 85/100 from Draft Board Insiders.
Just some food for thought.