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Kiper: No shutdown corners in this draft

The saving grace for Miami's inactivity in the unrestricted free agent cornerback market has been the thought Miami will simply reach into the draft and pluck one or two solid corners to supply its need -- doing so perhaps as early as the first round.

Well, that may yet happen. But anyone thinking there will be a ton of available excellent cornerbacks in this draft didn't watch the NFL combine when many corners ran disappointing times. And now the "draft gurus" are starting to chime in on the class.

Meet Mel Kiper, draft guru. This is what Kiper says about this year's available corners over at espn.com: "There isn't that one true shutdown cornerback available this year," Kiper says. "And after the subpar 40 times run by the defensive backs at the combine workout, this position isn't really as strong or as deep as originally anticipated."

Obviously this is an opinion and it's not necessarily shared by the Dolphins. And the 40-yard dash times in the draft have been called into question because of a possible clock malfunction. But I think we can all agree Kiper studies this stuff more than the average layman. So I'm sharing what Kiper has to say about some of the top-rated cornerbacks.

Understand the Dolphins have apparently taken a hankerin' to Utah's Sean Smith. They've interviewed him. They've poured over tape of him. They really like the kid. More on him in a minute, including a youtube video below. This is what Kiper says about the "top" cornerback prospects:

Michael Jenkins (Ohio State): "Jenkins is barely maintaining his spot as the No. 1 cornerback," Kiper says. Although Kiper points out that Jenkins "brings a ton of experience and sound technique to the position," he ran a 4.55 40-yard dash at the combine, which makes Kiper worry whether he's worthy of first-round consideration.

Vontae Davis (Illinois): Davis is on Jenkins' heels as the top cornerback in this class. But "he lacks the necessary consistency and is still a work in progress," Kiper says. "But physically, he has the awesome physical talent you look for to warrant a first-round grade."

D.J. Moore (Vanderbilt): Kiper says he has impressive cover skills, good return skills, smooth hips and good ball skills, but he lacks good recovery speed.

Alphonso Smith (Wake Forest): "The 5-9, 193-pounder would be a first-round lock if he were a few inches taller and a bit faster," Kiper says.

Darius Butler (UCONN): Butler is a multiskilled athlete with outstanding recovery speed, Kiper says. Butler also saw action on offense, with nine receptions, and is a solid kick returner.

Donald Washington (Ohio State): Washington left school early, a move that many people questioned, but Kiper says he is a solid second-rounder and will draw consideration in the latter portion of Round 1. "He has the physical skills you look for," Kiper says.

Kiper includes Smith among a group of other corners with "early-round potential." Looking at the guy you have to figure he's a bottom of the first round or top of the second round player. He has elite cornerback size (6-3), he had good production throughout his career, he stays healthy which the Dolphins love, and he has no off-field issues.

"He has excellent, excellent instincts," one college scout told me this morning.

The scout told me Smith has to, "improve his technique getting out of his backpedal because sometimes his steps are awkward and that hurts his recovery to the ball." But, this scout added, "From what I've seen, he's very coachable and will be eager to work on his technique when a good pro coach gets a hold of him."

One more thing: Smith, the scout said, "has excellent ball skills. If the ball is in the air and he's in good position, he's more likely to come down with it than the receiver."

The other corners Kiper mentions as having early-round potential are Jairus Byrd of Oregon, Keenan Lewis of Oregon State, Brandon Huges of Oregon State, Captain Munnerlyn of South Carolina, Jerraud Powers of Auburn, and tough-guy Asher Allen of Georgia, who my scout source sees as something of a sleeper with great potential despite limited production."

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Kiper...LMAO, his opinions are worth about as much as ours here!
...has ole Mel even seen Mark Parson play corner? Parson will be a good mid-late round gem with shoutdown type qualities.
I like the upside on Sean Smith too but is he worth our #1 pick. Guess that depends who is on the board at the time.
That is the luxury afforded to us by the Eric Green signing.
Green would still be on the Cards if it wasn't for the emergence of Rodgers-Cromartie.
Green will turn 27 next week, he is a 5'11' / 194 Va Tech product that can regain starter status with Bowles coaching him up.

Folks this draft is SOoo wide open now for the trifecta to continue to build this team at any position it chooses with young play makers and solid future NFL football players.

sure speed it important but cover skills are the key, as we saw the fins did NOT have last year!!! I'm still staeming about the Favre rainbow for a TD in the first jet game with 3 DB's NOT in the area within 5 yards!!! time for secondary!!! GET IT DONE!!! GO FINS 2009!!!

I WANT BRADY TO PLAY HE DID'T MEET LANGFORD OR MERLING YET

IM NOT SAYIN BOLT IS GOOD I SAID HE CAN RUN WITH ANYBODY!!!!! ALL HE HAS TO DO IS KNOCK THE BALL DOWN. HEAD BUMP THE S=IT FOR ALL I CARE. BICYCLE KICK IT YOU KNOW ON SOME SOCCER OR FOOTBALL SH=T. HOWEVER U C IT.

Well they signed Green but I would still like them to use the first pick on a CB or LB. They should grab whomever is rated higher on their chart when the pick comes and then get the other with the first pick in the second. Wr and NT after that. Greens pretty small at 5'11" but is fast and has good technique. Upgrade over Goody? We'll see.

IF THE DOLPHINS DRAFT HEY-BEY BEY IT's GOING TO BE SOME PROBLEMS WHEN OUR CHAD NOT THE [jets chad] COMES IN. WE CAME ALONG WAY AND LIVIN IN JESRSEY AROUND AHELLOFALOT OF JET FANS I MUST SAY RYAN WILL B FIRED IN 3 YEARS. JUST SOMETHING 2 LOOK 4WARD 2CAUSE THE bills JUST JUMPED YOU. IT GETS COLD DOWN THERE BUT BEING YOUR USE TO GETTING KNOCK OUT. [OF THE POSSIBLE PLAYOFF BERTH YOU WILL HAVE NO PROBLEM BEING THERE.WE HAD OUR TURN THE BILLS HAD THEIR TURN IT's OUR TURN YOU HAD BRETT A HURT patriots AND COULDN'T DO IT DON'T HATE THE FACTS THAT WE ARE READ THE NAME B--CHS!!

Okay Armando, I've said in the past that I agree with them closing the reporters out and not telling you guys every thing that's going on but I now will admit that I wish there was at least a compromise. It does suck that they signed Green and we won't know why they did. What did they see in him and what are their plans for using him? Just a few questions I would have and would even be willing to wait until after the draft as to not tip their hand. Oh well.

Show their hand (not tip).

Green signing with the Dolphins gives Parcells and company a chance to take Ron Brace 1st pick and either a wr/cb second pick. Stopping the run number one priorty and J Ferg is another year older and a play away from missing games, so you kind of have to look real hard at Brace,becaues BJ Raji will be gone when we pick 25 of the first round. After that the drop off is steep por NT's in the draft.

We trade Ginn to Detroit for their 20th pick or first pick second round and get Nicks. Finds value in a cb 2nd round and we are set first day. Ron Brace, Hakeem Nicks and maybe if still around Sean Smith. Mastermind

i am sorry guys for all these comments i made early,i had bad time today though i am sure i took my MED.again i hope you forgive me and WENDY

NICKS IS NICE BUT HAVEN'T SEEN HIM RUNAWAY FROM PEOPLE. HEY-BEY BEY ON THE OTER HAND BREAKS TACKLES FIGHT FOR YARDS AND CAN RUN PRETTY FAST. HE CATHES WITH BODY AN CAN LEAD TO SOME DROPS IF HE GET TIMED WELL BUT THE[jets chad] THROWS SOFT ANYWAY.

Dolphins4life,
I think the new Detroit FO staff is done with seeing the Lions spending their 1st round picks on WR's, even if it's their 2nd of two 1st round picks.
IMO...Outside of Stafford, the Lions will be going defense a lot in this draft. Maybe even Curry #1 overall.

Eric Green and Gibril Wilson will shut down T.O. and Randy Moss. Tom Brady will recover from his injury, but will never recover from being married. Pats 0-16 with Lions. Dolphins 13-3

YO 4 BILL's NOT DUMB GINN WILL BE AN PROBOWLER MARK MY WORDS.

What if we sign Torry Holt, trade Ginn for a first or second round have a total of 4 picks day one. Then Draft Brace, Nicks if available or Kenny Britt then take Sean Smith and the next best LB with our last pick of day one say Gerald Mcrath.

Joe Burnett from UCF could be a late round steal just like asanti samuel was a few years ago

Ted Ginn for detroits 20th pick or the 1st pick of the 2nd round LOL . That's funny .

From what i'm reading and hearing over hear is that miami has no shot at T. Holt. Both NY teams phil and balt. are ready to jump at Holt the minute he gets released.

One more thing: Smith, the scout said, "has excellent ball skills. If the ball is in the air and he's in good position, he's more likely to come down with it than the receiver."

$hit, I would hope so, with his 6'-3" frame, he has come up with that ball against most WR.

Glenn, good point on Joe Burnett.

I am in Orlando area and have seen a lot of UCF games. Burnett is kinda short for Tuna standards at 5'9"/192, but that dude packs a lot of strength in his frame.
He had a pick when they played against Colt McCoy in the home opener of the 07 season that almost ended in a upset of Texas.

CB Joe Burnett played in 50 games in 4 seasons at the UCF, with 16 INT's, 231 TKL, 12 TFL, 35 PD, 1 blocked kick, 2 KR & 3 PR for TD's.

However, I see Burnett as a nickel/dime CB in our system, and a damn good KR where he was used a lot at with the Knights.
I don't see him being the CB that Asante Samuel is, but who knows for sure, the kid does have GAME and could make a good Day 2 choice like Asante in the right system.

It seems the first pick is going to be a DT... we need to pressure the QB's then our DB's will all look like shut down corners like Deion Sanders!!....LOL... pressure is the key... control the lines and you win games.....

Love him hate him, Mel Kiper watches more film than anyone else at ESPN. He has an Army of people under him, and they produce as good a draft analysis as anyone. If you think the clock was skewed at he combine use computer modeling tape timing to get it right. The bigger faster athletic corners labeled projects in the 3-4 round may be the value money picks this year

mel kiper has it right about donald washington. he made mistakes, he smoked the herb in college, which i could never see him doing after playing high school football with him and asking him to hit it, and he would always pass and talk smakc about it. if donald didnt have the off field issues, he would have started all year and would be a first rounder this year, and if he would have stayed he would easily be one of the top 3 db's in the draft next year. but he came out, but the dude is a freak. just a pure natural athlete. plus kiper said donald tested almost as good as you can when it comes to the film sessions and pointing out offensive schemes. he has changed his ways, he rarely associates with the people he was with when he was smoking weed. just wait, whoever drafts donald, and i hope its the colts so he can play for his hometown NFL team, which many people never get to do, and show all the clowns that they should have picked him because he is a definite steal in this draft that no one knows about. donald at a safety or corner and a team throws a deep jump ball to moss or fitzgerald, well with a 45 inch vertical, donald would be right with them or leaping over them to pick off the pass or knock it down.

the USA is filled with way too many haters

If Smith is available when the dolphins pick in first round I think they will draft him, then use maybe a 4th or 5th rounder to draft another CB for a nickel CB or future replacement for will allen.

I will never understand why the dolphins would sign this guy Eric Green in free agency, when they had the chance from the beginning of free agency to get Bryan McFadden. He's big, physical, with good speed. Both signed two year deals but McFadden's the better player. Seems to have the better upside aswell. Everyone says believe in Parcells..He'll get it done.. I dont think we got another 11-5 coming this year.. Sorry Dolfans..

Don't be sorry for us Dolfans we need none of your sympothy. Parcells and Ireland know what they are doing! McFadden would have commanded alot more money that we are paying Green and we have our sights set on cb's Sean Smith at and maybe a guy like Farncis in the later rounds day two.

Note that the youtube video above shows Smith getting beat and making an amazing grab on what is a poorly thrown pass.

6'3 certainly warrants putting this kid under the microscope.

> speaking for Pacman... "he is remorseful"


hahahahahahahhaha That was a good one! Thanks!

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