Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Miami Dolphins Draft Needs

Unlike some people, we at the MSD say it's NEVER too early to talk draft ...
So ...

What are the Dolphins draft needs? Here’s how I rank ‘em along with a one word description of each position along with a blurb of why the team needs to address that particular position. I also give a list of potential suitors for each position. These rankings don’t mean I think the Dolphins need to necessarily address these positions in order (if WR Calvin Johnson is still available at No. 9 you take him over, say, CB Derell Revis). It’s just how I see the more pressing needs. You still draft the best player ranked on your board.

1. Secondary/Corner Back: Terrible. Biggest need by far. The jury is still out on last year’s first rounder, Jason Allen. So far he has sucked beyond belief. The other members of the secondary were mediocre at best (except for maybe Yeremiah Bell). Thanks Nick, you truly are a secondary guru!
POTENTIAL PICKS: Leon Hall, Darrel Revis, LaRon Landry, Aaron Ross

2. Wide Receiver: Mediocre. Chambers is a No. 2 WR. Booker is old. Welker is a slot/No. 3. Conclusion: This team has no legitimate number one receiver and needs one desperately. Speed, big play-making abilities and someone who can CATCH THE DAMN BALL!!!
POTENTIAL PICKS: Calvin Johnson, Ted Ginn Jr., Dwayne Jarrett

3. Quarterback: Terrible/Unknown. HUGE question mark heading into 2007. Culpepper’s knee and state of mind is a tremendous concern. Harrington is Harrington. And Lemon is an x-factor but still largely unproven. The most important position in all of football, as far as I’m concerned, is the quarterback. And it has been neglected for an entire decade!
POTENTIAL PICKS: Brady Quinn, JaMarcus Russell, Drew Stanton, Kevin Kolb, Trent Edwards

4. Offensive Line: Putrid. Yes Culpepper is to blame for a lot of the sacks he took. Yes the line played a little better once Harrington stepped in. But this group is still very much in the crapper. 2006 rankings: 13th in yards per rush, 18th in sacks-allowed per pass play (21 sacks allowed in the first four games, 32 total). It’s tough to see them spending their first round pick on an O-lineman. But they must, for the love of all that is good and decent, address this unit in the draft.
POTENTIAL PICKS: Joe Thomas, Levi Brown, Joe Staley, Marshal Yanda

5. Defensive Line: Old. It’s a talented line but it’s aging rapidly. Very rapidly. They need a young defensive tackle and quick.
POTENTIAL PICKS: Amobi Okoye, Alan Branch, Jamaal Anderson, Gaines Adams

6. Outside Linebacker: Deficient. Channing Crowder has been okay so far. But just okay. Derrick Pope, Donnie Spragan and Akbar Gbaja-Biamila are not the answer. The position needs more speed and youth.
POTENTIAL PICKS: Paul Posluszny, Lawrence Timmons, Michael Okwo, Patrick Willis

There you go. The six positions that the Dolphins HAVE to address in this year’s draft. Trouble is they only have one first round pick (No. 9). Randy Mueller is going to have to work some magic and have a bit of luck in the later rounds. But it can be done. The Dolphins can fill every need in this draft. Not that every pick will be a homerun or even a single (why am I using baseball terminology?). But the potential is there.

In the coming weeks, I’ll post more MSD scouting reports and mock drafts. A lot can and will change between now, the NFL combine and Draft Day. I’ll spot-light individual prospects and give some combine notes when I watch the combine on TV (I have the NFL Network here at work! Yay-ya!).

Go Fins!

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Thanks Dude.
Nice work dude.
you are somewhat correct and somewhat over reacting
Thanks Dude! I am so horrible at preparing for and breaking down the draft. You have done a great job the last few days. Hopefully I will be fully schooled in the draft before the Dolphins make there first pick. Keep up the good work!
Right on. I think this team has tons of holes to fill and the list you have here is pretty much on target. Obviously, I see some positions in more need than others but it's a start. I also plan to post my own list of prospects as NY and Doug have been doing in the other post.
If we can re-sign Vonnie Holliday, we'll be solid on the D-line. Sure we could use more youth and anyone we can get that will make JT even better, I'm all for it. But I think we should be ok on DL. We do need to address the OL, DB and WR first and foremost.
I agree with dave, that the O-Line needs need to be addressed immediately. I know we're aging on Defense but I think we got at least an inch more breathing room (thanks to our Defensive Player of the year and Zach)but we have to get some youth there, youth that's ready to step up immediately.

Like I said before, no matter how good of a QB we get, it doesn't amount to a hill of beans if he's on his back or if the pockets always collapsing before he can make a sound decision. This will be especially critical for a rookie unless he's the second coming of "The Great One."

I hear you guys as far as the D-Line is concerned. But consider this: Keith Traylor, Vonnie Holliday, and Jeff Zgonina are not only aging, their all unrestricted free agents. That’s three starting interior linemen that we could potentially lose to age and free agency. We’re fine with Jason. But the rest of the line is really up in the air. I agree that the O-line is a position we must address. But outside of Joe Thomas, I don’t think any other O-lineman is worth the No. 9 pick. Levi Brown? Maybe. But he doesn’t do it for me the way Joe T. does. I’d take Gaines or Okoeye before I’d take Levi.

That’s my two cents.
Nice eval. I'd order it differently:

1. OL has been neglected longer than QB. Hauck worked miracles with the unit last year to get it to mediocre, and if they could open some holes it would transform the offense.

2. CB: When Saban arrived, it was the best unit in the NFL. He personally destroyed it. I would not agree that the "jury is out" on Jason Allen, given that he couldn't even play his way into the dime package last year. He's a bust.

3. WR: "Mediocre" is too kind. Chris Chambers is arguably the worst #1 WR in the NFL.

4. QB: Yes, if Quinn is available, grab him. But improvement in the OL and WR position will make anybody at this position better.

My thought on DT is that it can be more easily addressed via free agency than the other positions. Good, older DTs seem to be affordable and available most years, which you can't say about the OL or CB positions.
Nice points, Seamus.
I agree with you, Dude. It'd be nice to have Quinn in the team, but he won't be available at Dolphins' turn in the first round.

I'd go for a very good D-lineman as my first choice, and seek actively for a CB in free agency. I hear there will be at least a couple of them available. Second draft pick? I'd make it a QB. Heck, damn Tom Brady came in what, the fifth round? There's got to be some talent at second round.

Anyway, great post! Keep up the good work.

Eduardo, Dolphin Fan from Mexico
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