Reporting Tim Kephart
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LOS ANGELES (CBSMiami.com) – A simple announcement on the West Coast has changed the landscape of the NFL Draft and possibly the future of the Miami Dolphins.
University of Southern California quarterback Matt Barkley announced Thursday that he will be returning to school for his senior season and a chance to pursue the Heisman Trophy and a BCS championship.
For Miami, it means the quality quarterbacks at the top of the NFL Draft will be whittled down to just two, Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III. Luck is guaranteed to go to the Indianapolis Colts to be the heir apparent to Peyton Manning.
That leaves Griffin as a likely top five pick with multiple teams with quarterback problems, including the Miami Dolphins, looking to take a franchise quarterback in the draft.
Currently, the teams in front of the Dolphins in terms of draft order are: the Redskins, Browns, Jaguars, Buccaneers, Vikings, Rams, and Colts. Out of those teams, the Redskins, Browns, Jaguars and possibly Vikings need a quarterback.
The Jaguars and Vikings both took a quarterback early in the 2011 NFL Draft, but the Jaguars may be ready to move on from Blaine Gabbert after a horrible season by the former Missouri Tiger.
The Browns may be out of the hunt for a quarterback if they are sold on Colt McCoy. If they are, then they will look elsewhere other than quarterback. The Redskins will definitely look for a quarterback to take the team into the future.
So, in order for the Dolphins to find their quarterback of the future in this draft; they will have to sacrifice multiple draft picks or draft picks and players to get that elusive franchise quarterback.
However, this can all change depending on if the Dolphins can lose their final two games and hope other teams at 4-10 can win out to boost the Fins’ draft position.
While the Fins don’t have much to play for other than pride, in the grand scheme of the franchise; they have plenty to lose for in the last two weeks of the regular season.