The Miami Dolphins have the No. 8 overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft. It’s unlikely the team will take a quarterback this year in the first round. However, Miami would be wise to take a developmental player at the position later in the draft.
This year’s draft class is deep with quarterback talent beyond the first round. Here are some prospects the Dolphins should consider later in the draft:
1. Connor Cook
School: Michigan State
2015 stats: 3,131 yards, 24 touchdowns, seven interceptions
Early projections: Round 2-3
Analysis: Cook would be an ideal project for Miami or another team to take in the second or third round. He has the measurables and plenty of starting experience against quality competition. But for one reason or another, Cook was never able to put it all together consistently at Michigan State. Right now Cook is viewed by many as the No. 3 quarterback in this year’s class behind sure first-rounders Jared Goff of Cal and Paxton Lynch of Memphis. Cook is a player who could eventually pay dividends if he sits a year or two to learn the NFL game. Don’t be surprised if Cook moves into the late first round for a quarterback-hungry team if he has a strong showing during the combine and pre-draft process.
No. 2: Carson Wentz
School: North Dakota State
2015 stats: 1,651 yards, 17 touchdowns, four interceptions
Early projections: Round 2-3
Analysis: Wentz is a hot name in scouting circles. He is a small-school product from North Dakota State but has a lot of physical traits that teams look for. Making the jump in competition is always a concern, especially at quarterback. Wentz will have a big opportunity to prove himself next week at the Senior Bowl, where he will practice and play against top prospects from major schools. I definitely will be keeping an eye on him next week in Mobile, Ala.
No. 3: Christian Hackenberg
School: Penn State
2015 stats: 2,525 yards, 16 touchdowns, six
Early projections: Round 3-4
Analysis: For the record, I’m not high on Hackenberg. I thought he was a product of great coaching his freshman year under Bill O’Brien, who left for the Houston Texans, and was vastly overrated early in his career. Some scouts viewed him as a future top-10 pick. But Hackenberg showed his deficiencies during the 2014 and 2015 seasons without the tutelage of O’Brien. With that said, Hackenberg wouldn’t be a bad option for a team to take a flier on and try to develop. His pre-draft stock currently is where it should be in the third or fourth round.
No. 4: Dak Prescott
School: Mississippi State
2015 stats: 3,793 yards, 29 touchdowns, five interceptions
Early projections: Round 4-5
Analysis: Prescott is an interesting quarterback prospect in the later rounds. He is tough and has strong running ability at the position. But Prescott also continues to improve as a passer. He’s probably not NFL ready this year. But the Dolphins or another team could see value in Prescott as a sleeper developmental project, especially if he’s available in the fourth round or later.