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The Dolphins, Tannehill, and the eighth overall pick

Texas A&M v Kansas State

MANHATTAN, KS - NOVEMBER 12: Quarterback Ryan Tannehill #17 of the Texas A&M Aggies hands the ball off against the Kansas State Wildcats during the second half on November 12, 2011 at Bill Snyder Family Stadium in Manhattan, Kansas. (Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images)

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The Miami Dolphins haven’t had a franchise quarterback since 1999, the final year of Dan Marino’s Hall-of-Fame career. Since then, they’ve invested five second-round picks in the quest to find one -- via trades for A.J. Feeley and Daunte Culpepper, and by putting the names “John Beck” and “Chad Henne” and “Pat White” on their round two draft cards.

More recently, they’ve swung and missed on Peyton Manning. And either they decided they didn’t want Matt Flynn, or Matt Flynn decided he didn’t want them.

But whether players with options will opt to go to Miami doesn’t matter on draft day -- unless a player is willing to sit out an entire season and re-enter the draft the following year.

Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald explores the question of whether the Dolphins should use the eighth overall pick in the 2012 draft to acquire Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who played for new offensive coordinator Mike Sherman at College Station. Salguero explores the question from the perspective of whether investing the No. 8 selection on Tannehill represents the kind of “overpaying” in which the Dolphins typically decline to engage when they have a chance to make the kind of big splash that owner Stephen Ross supposedly wants to make.

Of course, with the ongoing proliferation of the passing game placing an even greater premium on quarterbacks and with the top two in the 2012 draft pool already spoken for, someone could leapfrog the Dolphins at No. 8.

And so the bigger question isn’t whether the Dolphins will “overpay” by taking Tannehill with the eighth pick, but whether they’ll “overpay” by giving up even more to ensure that they’ll get him.