Friday, March 09, 2007

Alan Branch Is The New Brady Quinn

We’re about seven weeks from the draft and already “expert” mocks are being altered. Again. With the combine behind us and individual pro days being held this month and with all the off-season moves, the mock-drafts will change more often than Tom Brady knocks people up.

The majority of the first batch of mock drafts had Brady Quinn falling to the Dolphins at 9. Since then, however, much has changed. I’ve made no secret of my desire for us to get Quinn. There’s a lot of debate on whether or not he’s going to be a star, an average player, or a bust. Some say he’s a poor man’s Peyton Manning. Others say he’s a rich man’s Joey Harrington. I think he’s the best quarterback in this class. And I think he’s a guy you want to build a franchise around. And I think this team will go nowhere until they find a long-term solution at QB. But several things are hindering Quinn from becoming a Dolphin.

First, there was his pro day. It went very well. There’s also the fact that the Browns recently signed Jamal Lewis, which might get them out of the running for RB Adrian Peterson, whom many had going to Cleveland at 3. Quinn is from Ohio and has said that he’d like to be a Brown. Then there’s Detroit. No one knows what the hell Matt Millen is capable of. But the Lions have said they like Quinn (they hold the second overall pick). The Texans have all but given up on David Carr and have also said they’d draft Quinn should he fall to 8 (one pick before ours).

This sucks more than Paris Hilton at an all night party at Mansion.

So ... now the flavor of the week comes in the form of Michigan DT Alan Branch. The majority of the latest mock-drafts have the Fins taking Branch at 9.

Branch is considered by most to be the premier defensive tackle in the draft. At 6’6, 324 lbs. he’s a monster of a man but is also agile and quick. He clocked in a 5.04 in the 40 and recorded 33 reps in the 225 lbs. bench press. He’s experienced in the 3-4 defense. He’s known for taking on multiple blockers at once, which would benefit guys like Jason Taylor and Joey Porter in pass rush plays and is powerful enough to break blocks and make plays against the run. With the aging DT position, Branch seems like a safe choice. And he’d be a youthful injection into a defensive squad that’s a bit aged.

But, I have my concerns with Branch. He didn’t have a great combine. Some scouts say he was sloppy in his drills and looked out of shape. And his endurance and stamina have been an issue at times in his college career. He’s a great player but I’m not completely sold.

I understand the mock-drafts’ view points. He’s supposedly the best DT in the draft, would fill a big need for the Fins and would in all likelihood start from day one.

As for Quinn, I’ve always thought the early mock-drafts where he falls to 9 were a bit ludicrous. I’ve always felt that if the Fins were going to get him, they were going to have to trade up.

Armando Salquero says the Dolphins won’t do that. But I think it’s very possible. With all the draft picks we’ve accumulated this off-season, I’m sure we can swing something. The Lions have said they’re interested in trading down and acquiring more picks. Why not swap spots with the Lions and then hand them a 3rd round pick or, if push comes to shove, the 40th pick (the one we got for Wes Welker)? Unless the Fins feel Quinn’s not worth that price. Then you stay put and hope Levi Brown falls to you. But the problem there is that Brown’s stock is also rising and you have several teams picking ahead of us with offensive line needs.

So it looks like Brady Quinn and Levi Brown could both be gone by the time the 9th pick rolls around. Alan Branch is a solid player. But I’d rather we focus on drafting offensive players – especially in the early portions of the draft. Then again, the draft will look completely different in a few weeks and the mock-drafts will have us taking Greg Olsen with our first pick.


I listen a lot to sirius the afternoon blitz and the thing about Quinn that concerns me is that both Solomon Wilcox and Jim Miller have watched a lot of film on Quinn and they say he misses a lot of open recievers. College recievers get open a lot but they don't get "open" in the NFL. He could be another Harrington in the making. As for Armando salguera he kinda reads other people and repeats what they say so I'm not real sure he has an opinion or is quoting someone elses. There are 4 teams in front of us who might take a QB. I like the idea of another young DT to shore things up but I think we need an impact OL that can start yesterday. The problem with starting new draft picks is that with pre season and 16 game regular they plat the equivalent of 2 college seasons every year so it has be somebody that will show uo to the first mini camp in April already in shape
Thanks for your insight, Hank. I've also heard that about Quinn but I really think that he's coachable and the duo of Cameron and Shea would help. Peyton Manning had similar concerns when he came in the league -- although he was much more polished than Quinn.

I agree that we need an impact OL right away. Problem is both Thomas and Brown could be gone by the 9th pick. So the question becomes, what do we do next? If we can't land Quinn, Russell, Thomas or Brown, I'd rather we trade down and get some offensive playmakers and focus on 0-line help in the 2nd.

I guess we'll see.

Great to see you here Hank! Your views are always welcome.
If we move up I'd rather see us grab Joe Thomas or Calvin Johnson. We desperately need a dominate LT. Johnson on the other hand may be the most talented WR to come along since Randy Moss. I really think he is hands-down the best player in the draft. I think he is an instant Pro-Bowler. If we stay put, I hope we can get Levi. Either way we should be able to nab an instant contributor with the 9th pick, even if its Branch.

This seems like a deep draft at CB, so I think we can grab one in the 2nd or 3rd. I would like to see a QB of the future drafted too. From a raw talent standpoint, I think Drew Stanton would be a great pick in the 2nd or 3rd round. (Assuming we don't have a shot at Quinn and Russell) He has a great arm. I'm sure Cam has taken an extra close look at the QBs. I cannot wait for the draft! We finally decided to stock-pile picks!

Keep up the good work dude!
Thanks NY...

We're in the same mindset with the draft. I also think Calvin is the best player in the draft, period. Man if the Fins could pull that off... whoa!!

I'm also liking Stanton with our second pick (he won't last thru the 2nd round). He's another guy that many will debate on but I like his potential. Cam and Mueller met with him during the combine, so they've done their homework on him.

CB are very deep, as are WR. But I'd love if we could somehow get CB Chris Houston. But it may be a pipe dream ...
I like Branch or Okoeye (spelling?) in that spot if we can't get Levi Brown. I think we have a better shot at landing Russell than we do Quinn. They're stocks seem to have criss-crossed after the combine. Who the hell knows!!??

Go Heat!
I don't think their going after Quinn only because their looking at Green to back up Culpepper (another wounded bird with a head injury)and cam and the QB coach have coached him before. We've all seen QB's that were great in college but couldn't step up in the NFL (harrington,couch)but we've also seen guys that drafted late and play pretty well (Brady)so I might be wrong. I just don't see going into the season with Lemon and a rookie.

Dude...nice to see someone that has some insight with ablog and actually reads the responses. i like this page. Blodlust gives you high recomendations
Hey I'll take Greg Olsen! Best TE in the draft.

I've seen Branch to the Dolphins in a lot of mocks as well. I've also seen Ted Ginn Jr. and even Gaines Adams in others.

Point is no one knows for sure. I guess it's always good to get a feel of what direction the Phins might go in. I'd be happy with Branch. We have to deal with Thomas Jones and Laurence Maroney twice a year and having a run stuffer added to our D would be sweet.
Yea, looks like the Quinn thing is a real long shot. Sorry Dude. I keep reading how Houston is being very aggressive, trying to trade up for him. Isay draft the best available player, then target Drew Stanton or Trent Edwards sometime in the 2nd round and take it from there. We have 9 picks this year and I trust Muel and Cam will make the most of it by filling in needs and getting better.
If Houston gets Quinn, I think Levi Brown will be there at 9. Teams like the Vikings, Redskins, Browns, Bucs, etc. are going to fill other needs first and I think the Texans are the only team that would take Levi Brown over us. So it's not beyond the realm of possibility.

After that, I'd take Robert Meachem or Tedd Ginn Jr. I do agree that we need to focus this draft on offense.
I've always been a big cheeleader for beefing up our O-Line. With the addition of Porter and (hopefully) a nice little CB, I think we are definitely still competing on the D side of things...but we still need some youth...

i don't think Quinn's coming our way either so it's definitely looking good for Brown. I watched some footage on Stanton and I think with a QB's svengali like Cam and with the addition of Shea to our coaching staff, he could be the real thing, great arm!! The verdict is still out on DC but if he's healthy and performing along with an eager Stanton and a sexy OL, we could be raising an eyebrow or two...

Some of the latest mocks have us going for youth at DT because Quinn will go 6,7,8. I think they want a wide out with speed and soft hands because I think they want Chanmbers back in the slot where he Pro Bowled. A lot of the predicters say WR is very deep and teams may not spend a first round there so we could slip one of these. Cam has cleaned left overs out of the fridge so I think he is trying to clean up saban fungus and get us healthy again. I just feel it isn't a one year deal. The good thing is next year we may be debating what we thing they'll do with our #9 pick again.
I agree with you Hank. This is going to be a 2 year project I think. And we could very well be in a top 10 pick again next April which isn't so bad. Fungus can sometimes be a tough thing to get rid of.
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