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One of the biggest mysteries of the upcoming NFL Draft is how many picks will pass before Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill is selected as the likely third passer taken. One thing is becoming immediately clear: if he is available when the Miami Dolphins make the eighth pick of the draft, team owner Stephen Ross would really love to have him.
ProFootballTalk reported Sunday evening that Ross is "the man pushing hardest for Tannehill" in Dolphins camp. Very much wishing to make the Miami fan-base forget that he was unsuccessful at luring either of the two top free agent quarterbacks (Peyton Manning and Matt Flynn) to South Florida last month, Ross wants to do something to create a buzz in an increasingly crowded local market.
The Heat are poised to make another run at an NBA title, the Marlins have an exciting team in a new stadium, even the Panthers are in the playoffs in 2012. The Dolphins are no longer in danger of becoming irrelevant in South Florida - they are most assuredly that.
Drafting Tannehill would not undo any of the poor decisions that got the Dolphins into this mess in the first place, but it would at least be a start. Ross can send a signal that the team is dead serious about vanquishing the ghost of Marino by drafting Tannehill.
We interrupt this piece for the necessary disclaimer: There is no guarantee that Tannehill can actually succeed in the NFL, much less Miami. But desperate times call for desperate measures, like drafting a quarterback who was playing wide receiver as recently as 2010.
It is no guarantee that Tannehill will be on the board when the Dolphins make their pick. Cleveland could also be angling to draft fourth pick.
Time for yet another disclaimer: The Miami Herald reported later Sunday night that PFT's report was not true. Both outlets have their own unnamed sources to fall back on, so either could be correct. As the draft draws near, teams frequently float conflicting reports in hopes that none of their competitors can decipher their true intentions. It's the world's most baffling game of poker, the NFL Draft.
Luckily for the everyone not employed by an NFL team, the draft will kick off on Thursday night, so Dolphins fans only have to suffer through four more days of competing rumors before they can return to their normally-scheduled routine of losing interest in the Miami Dolphins.