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Possible answers to gaping, glowing CB void

Hello? Over here ...

No, further out here. Yeah, you see this big void over here where a starting cornerback should be getting ready to line up for the Miami Dolphins? This is what folks in the NFL call a major honkin' draft need.

I have covered the Dolphins for a good many years. I've covered Tim McKyer, who Don Shula hated. I've covered Vestee Jackson and J.B. Brown. I've also covered Troy Vincent and Patrick Surtain, the two best cornerbacks in team history.

So I think I know when the spot is well-manned. And when it is not.

The Dolphins cornerback spot opposite Will Allen is not well-manned today. Not even close. Of course, general manager Jeff Ireland isn't that blunt about the enormous gap at starting cornerback he must see when he looks at a current depth chart.

But even the word-cautious Ireland admits the spot needs addressing in the coming draft.

“We have three undrafted free agent corners there so it is a position we are going to have look at like every other position," Ireland said during his pre-draft press conference last week. "When you have three UFAs going into a position, you have to look at the draft and free agency. We have Eric [Green] and we didn’t get some of the other guys we looked at.

"There is Joey Thomas who I think has tremendous ability. Will Allen is here. He is a terrific player for us. Nate Jones did a terrific job for us. Jason Allen is going to have a chance to compete again. It is kind of like the receiver position. There are some young players there that have to come out of their shell a little bit. They need do show what they can do.”

I say Ireland needs to show what he can do relative to the gaping hole at this spot. He must, absolutely must, draft a cornerback or two in the coming draft. And that isn't all. Ireland and Bill Parcells must identify and select a cornerback they have confidence can compete for a starting job as a rookie.

That doesn't mean the rookie must start immediately. But he has to be a factor immediately because at least that makes other players at the position better as a result of the competition.

You see, just filling the spot with bodies that might develop in a year or so isn't good enough when the Dolphins are facing a 2009 schedule that threatens Terrell Owens twice, Lee Evans twice, Randy Moss twice, Andre Johnson, Hines Ward, Reggie Wayne, Steve Smith, Wes Welker twice, Antonio Bryant, and Roddy White. All those players, without exception, have played at a Pro Bowl level at some point in their careers.

The Dolphins need to draft a cornerback or two that will serve as an answer to the problem those players pose.

So, you ask, who is available and interesting?

The Dolphins, as you read here a month or so ago, have shown consistent interest in Utah cornerback Sean Smith, who is likely a second-round type of player. 

The team on Friday will host University of Connecticut corner Darius Butler, who is a local player and will be among the two dozen or so locals visiting the Miami facility.

Everyone is enthusiastic about Illinois corner Vontae Davis (in the video) as a potential first-rounder. He has elite size, an excellent closing burst and very good ball skills. The guy rocks, which is one reason the Dolphins have spent countless hours studying him and meeting with him and working him out last week.

But ... well, he's not a sure-fire guy. And the Dolphins often pick sure-fire guys ahead of more talented players that aren't as safe.

This is what Scouts Inc. says in part about Davis: "Illinois head coach Ron Zook did not start him versus Iowa in 2008 because [the coach] reportedly felt [the player] wasn't playing as well as he could.  Lack of visible improvement from sophomore to junior year is a concern. We've been told by multiple sources that he lacks proper respect for coaches and he only works hard when he's in the mood to do so. Vontae's brother is 49er TE Vernon Davis, who is currently underachieving in the NFL."

There are other cornerbacks the Dolphins have shown varying degrees of interest in so their names deserve mention: Jairus Byrd of Oregon, Mike Mickens of Cincinnati, Alphonso Smith of Wake Forest, Morgan Trent of Michigan and Jerraud Powers of Auburn.

Byrd is interesting. He's the son of former NFLer Gil Byrd. He also has elite ball skills and knows how to be a professional. But he lacks top-end speed.

Trent is lanky at 6-1 and 193 but the Dolphins always believe they can make players stronger in their workout programs. He's a second-day possibility.

Mickens had good production, which is always something the Dolphins study, but his left knee caused him to trouble at the end of the season and required arthroscopic surgery. That's a red flag.

Ohio State's Malcolm Jenkins is expected to be gone by the time the Dolphins draft at No. 25 in the first round.

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first---oh who cares

wow the song in that video sucks!!

okayyyyy he is okayyyyy

I think Miami has to draft two CB's within the first 4 rounds. I think MLB is huge need too, WR, and NT but they have to get two stud CB's.

Armando, I have to say Sam Madison achieved more as a Dolphin than Surtain!

Davis sounds like a guy that would go top-15 if his motivation was more consistent. I can just picture how Parcell's & Sparano would light a fire under Davis' a** (ala Terry Glenn). I only wish Bill gave sound bites like when he called Glenn "she"... Davis is the pick with much CB depth on day 2. Wr at the first #2, and the best player available with pick #3.

I'm Todd Mcshay
and
Mel Kiper is g**

Davis will be a bust....don't get near him. Butler will be the choice if he falls. I have a feeling NE may have there sights on him.

Byrd would be a very good second round pick. NFL pedigree, experienced starter and ball hawk. He might lack the top-end speed, but he's a very good football player.

A sleeper is Norfolk State's Don Carey, who's likely to be there in the 4th round.

How can you bank so much on a unproven player? Competition alone dose not guarantee a improvement in performance if all the players are playing at the same level. We saw that in past qb competitions. I think they will wait and see what "falls off the tree" and than add a veteran player that they feel can hold the spot till what ever rookie they decide to pick develops into a solid starter. There are still adequate veteran CBs out there as well.

Will Allen has ruined my hopes that you can get a corner late in a round and have immediate success.. This was a guy who Nicollette Saban even tried to recruit!! If a corner is a sure-fire bad a*#, he is gone too ten..

Go rusher, that way a qb doesn't have time to throw; if not, I rather a WR like Nicks. He'd prob make more of an immediate impact. Draft developmental corners in 3rd round & beyond..

Then again, what the hell to I know..

My impression considering Ireland's comments and that gaping hole at corner is that the Dolphins literally have to take Sean Smith or Darius Butler with their first round pick.
Vontae Davis has multiple character issues so he will be off their draft board. Malcom Jenkins wont last to pick 25.
After those 4 corners, there is a huge drop off. So the Dolphins have to take Smith or Butler.

mcshay...wrong about surtain. in fact he is the BEST all around corner to ever play in miami... for his cover skills, which were elite (and he did it inside and out) plus his ability in the run game...i could argue that madison's cover skills over the course of his career in miami were better than vincent's IN MIAMI.

Mando Troy Vincent was the best hands down.this kid from Utah cornerback Sean Smith may be the next big thing. He has size and speed some of his INT's. Look like catches a WR would make. I can only hope we can pick him up.

I hope our GM get JT back. A good front line can make not so good corners look great by making the QB make mistakes.

Let's go Fins, let's blow up the Draft!!!

Do the Business and draft all those studs that are going to make this Dolphin team better now and a Great one for the coming years.

Go Dolphins!!!!

Lots of good open field tackles. Lots of shedding blocks and making tackles. He is a banger.

No Ints!

Come on. Don McNeal was the best Cornerback for the Miami Dolphins by far. Yes, I totally agree with you that we need some young CBs. My problem is that this year they don't look so hot, but hopefully the three will fight some gems in the draft.

49970...there you go... 30 more to go

Byrd just ran a 4.68 and a 4.69 for scouts. To say he lacks top end speed is quite an understatement.

Another name to watch is Sherrod Martin from Troy State. He primarily played safety, but worked at CB at the Senior Bowl and impressed a lot of people. We've shown interest in him. He's big, fast, and really quick (check out that 3.98 in the short shuttle at the combine).

http://www.nfl.com/combine/profiles/sherrod-martin?id=71383#player-profile-tab-set-1:player-profile-tab-analysis

WE WILL WIN SUPER BOWL AND WE WILL WIN AFC EAST ONLY IF WE GET JT AND BYRD SIGNED AND WE CAN GET HENNE FOR REAL GOOD QB ,MAY GOOD BLESS THE JETS ,OOPS ,SORRY I MEANT THE FINS.GO DOLPHINS

why you guys talk about Vontea Davis,he won't be there at 25 ,no way jose so why you guys keep dreaming ?

Give me Seam Smith and Macho in the 3rd! Vontae doesn't inmpress me

Sean*

Jairus Byrd in the 2nd round would be great. He has great technique, NFL blood lines, can start right away, makes plays (INT's) and returns punts (for TD's). Sean Smith doesn't have great technique... yet. But ask the Trio about teaching technique to an athletic guy (see Allen, J). Byrd doesn't get out of position like Smith does. I want Jairus Byrd.

This blog stinks.

How about Sam Madison???? He was as close to a shutdown corner as you can get.

Ireland is talking out of his butt. He said the same 'come out of their shell' phrase in Tim Graham's fabulously well writtten AFC East blog on the ESPN site. To wit, "... But production was pedestrian at best. Miami receivers caught only five touchdown passes last year and managed just 11 receptions of 25 yards or more. The top three -- Ginn, Camarillo and Bess -- averaged 11.9 yards per catch.

'I think the position as a whole has some really good players there, but they need to come out of their shell a little bit and show what they can do,' Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland said last week. "

He's just reusing quotes for the media because he's tired of losers with nothing better to do than write sports blogs bugging him with the same stupid questions every day expecting a different answers.

Speaking of coming out of their shell, I have a turd thats pokin daylight if you know what I mean so I gotta run.


coming out of their shell , 6-10

Bringing Davis to S. Florida would be like bringing an alcoholic to a beer festival: not a good idea. As a fan, I'm tired of problem children getting paid millions to play a game only to see them underachieve, destroy team chemistry, and run wild in the community.

I don't care how much talent the guy has, he's not worth a first round pick if he's anything like his brother Vernon.

Don't forget Gerald Small - he played with Don McNiel and both excellent CBs

I would rather have Sean Smith or even Darius Butler or Macho Harris than Vontae Davis. Sherrod Martin from Troy is a another later-round option. If Davis has a problem with respect for coaches and motivation, he will not be in a Dolphins uniform.

Robby Marino,

I think you mean Jason Allen. He was Saban's first round bust that was so heavily recruited, not Will Allen.

I too would rather have Sean Smith or even Darius Butler than Davis, I'm just saying. We cannot afford another mistake like the J. Allen pick.

jason allen or will allen are below average and if we pick smith or butler the team will never improve on B- players

Even though I think Sean Smith would be best at the 44th pick, I wouldn't be upset if the Dolphins reach for him at 25. I think there is a good chance he might get taken in the 30's if we don't go for him first.

Will Allen is getting older and is a free agent next year, so there is a good chance we take 2 CB's in this draft.

Davis seems like a trouble maker! I watched an interview where he kept refering to himself in the third person. Don't like him don't want him. His coverage and tackles looked pretty weak. Those were college RB's not pro RB's. He looks like a Neon Deon type tackler. I am Mr. Bung-holio and I need TP!!!

Yep Mando, the spot is the most glaring need. Vontae Davis definitely looks the part but you're right - there's the question of character.

I thought Sam Madison was better than Troy Vincent. Madison used to shut down Marvin Harrison down when nobody else could - including Patrick Surtain.

To:Mr. Bungholio,

Are you related to corn-holio? You know, the dude that says he needs kibby for his bung hole.

Mr. Bungholio....you should watch davis more in games and learn ,he's a clear winner and sure to do really well under Sparano and he's not a trouble maker,you are

Assassin are u related to Cha!

the cuban assassin is the cuban's brother in law and mr bungholio.is carlito sister in law

Troy Vincent as the best corner in Dolphin History??

Are you kidding??? If you count his career with the Eagles maybe. He was terrible when he was a Dolphin.

Not true,the assassin is from another part of the island..

jets rock.....fins......4-12

des I am not a trouble maker I just want high character guys so we don't end up in a Michael Vick, Plexico Burress, or T.O. situation. 1st rd picks collect to much guarentee money to gamble with!

Brady time

1-15

it's davis or no one

Maybe his body guards will shoot at the Phins when they try to tackle him! Brady is in the closet anyway that model is just a cover

Kellen Clemens time... LMFAO

CB WR CB THE 1ST THREE PICKS. OR WR CB CB BUT WE NEED A WR IN TOP TWO PICKS STILL LIKE HEY BEY-BEY BETTER THAN ALL RECIEVERS THAN BRITT THAN NICKS OR ROBINSKI IN 2ND. ONLY CB IN DRAFT THAT'S LOOK GOOD IS SEAN SMITH. JENKINS TOO SLOW OVER HYPED DAVIS WELL IS DAVIS AND MIGHT HAVE DEVELOPED MANY OF HIS BROTHERS BAD TRAITS. ALSO LIKE WR MURPHY FROM FLORIDA FOR A LATE ROUND PICK BUTLER FROM U-CONN

Bradytime? I cannot wait for the sack. Hurt Brady...Hurt Brady...Hurt Brady... are you listening to me GORT?

Gort will be a great pick..

Troy Vincent wasn't even close to a being a great cornerback in his Dolphin career. Yes, as an Eagle but when he was with the Dolphins he would always start the season talking about the Pro Bowl and just be average at best. Sam Madison and Patrick Surtain were head and shoulders better than him in their Dolphin careers.

I think jets fans and pats fans have gay swinger parties together. They are jelous that Phin fans are real men from the south with real Ladies from the south!

it's tom brady's time,you all boys ofthe fin nation keep talking about C players to pick at the draft to keep dreaming alive and well.7-9

Right on Mr. B

mr bungholio loves to talk men from the south, he must love to eat cake

And those parties are hosted by Brady in leather assless chaps and a cowboy hat with lipstick on!

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