The NFL draft is here. Dolphins fans are anticipating the next big move for Chris Grier and the rest of the Dolphins brass. It’s a  time of dreams, risks, and rewards. What should the Dolphins do with the 51st and 84th pick? One strategy that has been steadily gaining attention is the idea of drafting a quarterback even when a team already boasts a franchise QB on their roster. I know what you’re going to say, “But the Dolphins have already come out and said Tua Tagovailoa is “the guy.”  So at first blush, this may seem counterintuitive to take a QB. Why take the chance of damaging Tua’s confidence?  Upon closer inspection of this strategy, it’s a daring move that just might change everything for the Dolphins.  So let’s dive into this controversial strategy that should have you both intrigued and curious.

You have a well-established franchise quarterback, think Aaron Rodgers or Tom Brady, and your team is a perennial playoff contender. But what if – just what if – you had another stud in the stable waiting in the wings?  Think of the possibilities. A fresh arm to throw defenses off balances, a spark to ignite the competitive fire in your starter, or even an insurance policy against injury. Intriguing, isn’t it? Let’s explore this further with some relevant examples and stats.

Now before you scoff at the idea, allow me to jog your memory with the 2017 Kansas City Chiefs; they already had Alex Smith, a solid and reliable QB leading their offense. Nevertheless, they traded up to snatch Patrick Mahomes with the 10th overall pick. It seemed like a headscratcher at the time but look at the results. After sitting behind Smith for a year, Mahomes exploded onto the scene in 2018, winning the MVP and eventually leading the Chiefs to a Super Bowl victory in the 2019 season. Not too shabby, huh?

Let’s take a stroll down memory lane and visit the 2005 Green Bay Packers. The pack already had the legendary Brett Favre, but they went ahead and drafted Aaron Rodgers in the first round. We all know how that turned out. Rogers would eventually lead Green Bay to another Super Bowl title and become one of the most dominant QBs of his generation. The point is having an ace up your sleeve can pay off handsomely.

Now I know what you’re thinking:  “But what about the stats?” Well, worry not, dear reader. I’ve got you covered. Let’s start with the 2020 season when the Philadelphia Eagles drafted Jalen Hurts in the second round despite having Carson Wentz. While at the time the decision raised eyebrows, Hurts managed to complete 52% of his passes for 1,061 yards and six touchdowns in just four starts. Meanwhile, his performance improved dramatically, took his team to the Super Bowl in 2022, and got himself a nice with 180 million guaranteed. Coincidence? I think not.

It’s true that the Dolphins have not had success with this strategy. But they haven’t really tried lately, either. SI columnist Omar Kelly wrote:

The last time the Dolphins hedged their bets at the quarterback position was during the 2007, 2008 and 2009 drafts. During that stretch, Miami selected BYU quarterback John Beck in the second round. The next year Parcells took over as the franchise’s top executive and picked Michigan quarterback Chad Henne in the second round, and followed it up in 2009 by taking West Virginia’s Pat White in the second round.

Drafting another franchise quarterback not only provides your team with an invaluable contingency plan but also lights a fire under your starter. Competition breeds excellence, and nothing motivates a player more than knowing their potential successor is breathing down their neck. According to Omar Kelly, “The mistake Miami made, and keeps making, is they didn’t keep picking quarterbacks during the Henne and Ryan Tannehill eras.”

So what’s the takeaway here? While it may seem like a gamble, drafting a talented quarterback when you already have a franchise QB you can be a game-changer. It’s a bold strategy that has the potential to create dynasties or at the very least, secure your team’s future success. After all, the NFL is a game of inches, and sometimes it’s unorthodox moves that propel the team to greatness. As we approach the NFL draft, remember that fortune favors the bold, and then the high-stakes world of professional football, a little audacity just might be the ticket to success