NEW YORK (CBSMiami) – With just a few hours left until the Miami Dolphins go on the clock in the 2012 NFL Draft, the question on most minds is will the Dolphins go for potential and draft quarterback Ryan Tannehill; or go for instant impact and draft a player at another position.

ESPN’s Mel Kiper, Jr. and Todd McShay both have said for the last few weeks that Tannehill was bound for Miami with the eighth overall pick. While the Dolphins spent the earlier part of the week denying that owner Stephen Ross was not influencing the decision, they have never denied interest in Tannehill.

“No surprises here, I’ve said before I think Tannehill has been a little overhyped by the draft process, but I agree with colleague Todd McShay that the upside is undeniable,” Kiper said on ESPN.com. “This really is the best setting for Tannehill too.”

But Fins fans will have to be willing to wait with Tannehill. He will likely need a full season in a backup role adjusting to the speed of the NFL before he can ever step under center for the Dolphins. Philbin was responsible for tutoring Aaron Rodgers for three seasons before he took over, and that’s worked out pretty well for the Green Bay Packers.

Of course the Dolphins could go in a completely different direction and draft a pass rusher who could make an immediate impact. Pass rushers including North Carolina defensive end Quinton Coples, South Carolina defensive end Melvin Ingram, or they could go completely in a different direction.

McShay posted his final seven round mock draft late Thursday morning and it looked promising for the Dolphins. McShay said the Dolphins draft would go like this:

  1. Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M
  2. Alshon Jeffrey, WR, South Carolina
  3. Zebrie Sanders, T, Florida State
    Ronnell Lewis, OLB, Oklahoma
  4. Jonathan Massaquoi, DE, Troy
  5. Kelcie McCray, S, Arkansas State
  6. Pat Edwards, WR, Houston
  7. Jacquies Smith, DE, Missouri

If that came to fruition, the Dolphins would solve the quarterback, wide receiver, and right tackle position with their first three picks. That would be enough to make any Dolphins fan jump for joy. Massaquoi would add defensive end depth along with Smith, while McCray would do the same at safety.

The catch could be the second round pick. There were two Alshon Jeffrey’s during his playing time in South Carolina. There was the Alshon Jeffrey as a freshman and sophomore who looked like a dominant number one receiver, and then there was the overweight Jeffrey as a junior whose numbers diminished as South Carolina moved to a power running attack due to bad quarterback play.

If the Dolphins could recapture the Jeffrey of his sophomore year as a second-round pick, Fins fans would soon be saying Brandon Marshall-who?

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