A month after reports surfaced that the Miami Dolphins were exploring the possibility of selecting reigning Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton in April's NFL Draft, the Dolphins appear to be casting a wider net. The team will reportedly hold a number of private workouts with some of the top quarterback prospects in the draft, including Jake Locker, Christian Ponder, Colin Kaepernick, and the aforementioned Newton.
The Dolphins will take a close look at a wide range of signal-callers, ranging from first-round prospects like Locker and Newton to potential late-round picks like Nathan Enderle of the University of Idaho, the Sun-Sentinel reported. The team is still finalizing workout appointments, but could work out at least five quarterbacks before the draft.
The team underwent a similar process in 2008, when General Manager Jeff Ireland and coach Tony Sparano scouted a number of quarterbacks before drafting current starter Chad Henne in the second round of the draft.
Dolphins fans are hoping the team will find more success with whoever they draft in 2011. Chad Henne is clearly no Jay Fiedler, but he is looking less and less like the next Dan Marino.
The Dolphins face a pair of significant obstacles in selecting a top-tier quarterback. Miami has the 15th pick in the first round of the draft, meaning both Newton and Locker could be taken by the time they make their first pick.
The Dolphins are also without a second round pick this year, having traded it to Denver for Brandon Marshall in 2010. Miami could try to trade its first round pick for a lower first round pick and a second round pick, but at this point it is difficult to tell whether they will receive any trade interest by the time the draft begins on April 28.
Kaepernick and Ponder are both expected to be drafted by the end of the second round, as are TCU's Andy Dalton and Arkansas' Ryan Mallett.
With over a month to go before the NFL Draft, the Dolphins have plenty of time to scout the incoming quarterback class. Whether they will be in a position to draft the quarterback of their choice remains a question.
David Hill is a Miami native who used to be able to name every quarterback who has started for the Dolphins since Dan Marino retired. He has since lost count.