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We know Dolphins needs, not their priorities

The Dolphins will not say what their draft needs are. Tony Sparano and Jeff Ireland won't say they have holes at OLB and CB and WR that demand 2009 draft attention.

“We have needs at a lot of different positions," Ireland said cryptically. "To give you what those exact needs are goes into strategy which we are not going to talk about. Our greatest needs are players that fit our system. Our greatest needs are players that think the way we think; that want to be here and have high passion and high character. Those are the greatest needs that we have on the team.”

I find it interesting the Dolphins won't give you even a hint of what they think their needs are although everyone knows they need a starting CB because Will Allen cannot start at both LCB and RCB. They need a starting OLB that can improve the overall pass rush because Joey Porter cannot do it by himself. And they need a wide receiver that actually scares the defense because no one on Miami's receiver corps does that.

The Dolphins also need help at other positions like nose tackle and ILB, but those needs are not as dire and can be addressed in later rounds.

So even if Ireland and Sparano won't say what the Dolphins need, we pretty much know. But where they show brilliance in keeping internal information, well, internal is in refusing to to give even a hint what their priority is. We know what they need, even if they refuse to confirm it. But we don't know in what order they think they need those things.

Miami's priorities, rather than its needs, are the big secret.

In other words, no one outside the Dolphins knows if the team sees CB as a bigger need than WR. Or maybe OLB is a bigger need than the other two. I love that the Dolphins are able -- so far -- to keep this under wraps because that helps their cause in playing draft day poker against other teams.

But our purpose here is to break it down a little to get a better idea which of the three areas of need is the area of greatest need. So here goes ...

The case for OLB: The Dolphins had 40 sacks last season but 17.5 of those came from Porter. The team will not allow itself to rely on one player for 43 percent of its sacks. Yes, Cameron Wake was signed to address that problem and that might alleviate the level of need, but what has Wake proven? Is his presence enough to let the Dolphins go elsewhere with their top pick? Remember that a great pass rush is at the core of what Bill Parcells believes makes a great team. Remember that a great pass rush helps erase flaws in the secondary. And there are mathematical studies done by folks with, like, analytical minds, that state a sack is worth 3 1/2 points in an NFL game. Yes, the study shows a sack is more valuable than a field goal. So the case for finding a young, outstanding, pass-rushing OLB is strong.

The case for a WR: When Ireland was asked to name his No. 1 receiver last week he stumbled. "It is Teddy (Ted Ginn, Jr), it’s (Greg) Camarillo," he said. "Those are the receivers that are number one and number two, or number two and number one right now. We obviously need to upgrade a lot of positions and receiver is a position that we need some depth at for sure.” For sure. The Dolphins do not need a deep threat in the traditional sense. Ginn is capable of becoming that player that catches passes over the top of the defense. But Miami lacks a player that can turn a 7-yard slant into a 56-yard TD. Miami lacks a guy that can make the first defender miss, breaks the next guy's tackle, and is gone to the house. Miami lacks a guy that brings the YAC (Yards After Catch). Such an addition would open up the running game. Such an addition would slow a defense's desire to blitz. Such an addition would make any QB look a whole lot better.

The case for CB: Sparano has said he doesn't know that there are any lockdown corners anymore. The fact is the NFL game is made for offense and, except for the rescindment of the force-out rule, the fathers of the game are always trying to help open up the passing game. That does not change the fact Miami's best candidate for starting opposite Will Allen is Eric Green, who Sparano says, "has something to prove." Yeah, he's got to prove he can be a starter. Regardless of whether that happens or not, the Dolphins have three corners scheduled to become unrestricted free agents after 2009 assuming a collective bargaining agreement is reached. And even if it is not, Allen is scheduled to be unrestricted. So this position requires attention in this draft -- and perhapswith the selection of multiple players. Jimmy Johnson used to say you draft four positions in the first round. He wanted left tackles, pass-rushers, quarterbacks and cornerbacks. (Wish he had remembered his own rule relative to the Yatil Green selection). But the point is cornerback is a championship position. And the Dolphins are lacking there.

So there you have it. That's the case for each need. Which one is the Dolphins' priority?

You tell me. I'll give you my opinion tomorrow.


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Joey, Yeah look what his mentoring did for him...

Fins won't sign Taylor, and I don't think he has any real expectation of playing in Miami again. It's probably just a publicity ruse to absolve him of blame when he signs with the Pats.

mad dog, don't insult your master jason ,he's proven to be the best player who wore the fins jersey and he can guide all young players to greatness and be a comfort for them all when times get tough.

If he signs with the Pats...i will be a Jason hater to .

Pats will never sign mr 1-15 unless he will be working to clean tom brady'S locker every week.

Aqua 2, Are you partying with Ricky (bong man ) Williams and michael( Golden bong) phelps?????

Gopats, How hot is tom's wife????

Please sign Jason Taylor. Draft CB in first round. Take NT for 2nd pick. Take offensive lineman for 3rd pick in 2nd round. I would take one of the verteran wide receivers that have been released and groom our younger receivers. We need better skilled people along the offensive and defensive line to make a difference in our ability to run the ball with Ronny and Ricky and our ability to stop the run and force teams to pass. If you have top pass rushers like Porter and Taylor, you can rely less on your CB's to make plays. It starts and stops with the O and D lines. Marino.

Maybe that should read Michael ( the man with the golden bong) Phelps..

caban manece.....my point was that with jason signed ,he got to be able to help the team coupe with any bad record next year since he was a big factor on 1/15 team, so he has a lot to offer.

Aqua 2, Are you saying miami wont be competive next year??

Cuban, soap sales among football fans are sky high , with highest sales in the state of florida

From what I saw in the Super Bowl, I don't remember Pittsburgh's cornerbacks, but I what I do remember is James Harrison making big time plays. I also saw Santonio Holmes having a big game as well.

But to me, the answer is a pass rushing, game changing guy. So I would be looking for an outside liebacker who is a beast.

They can find that in the 1st round.

Don't be shocked if Miami goes RB in the early rounds. Brown is in the last year of his contract and although he's a decent back, he hasn't lived up to being the #2 pick. He also has some injury issues. I don't think Miami is going to give him big gaurenteed money for less than stellar performances and I don't think they will want to rely on RW who claims he will be retiring soon. We may be going into next year without either one

It seems like everyone knows how bad Eric Green is.

Why was he signed?


Where did you find the information that a sack is worth 3 and a half points?

The Fins do not have any needs, but they do want to upgrade any position they can. So I think they will pick the best available talent on the board. Eric Green or J Allen should do just fine at CB, Roth at OLB will improve, and Wake will help for sure with the pass rush, just how much though remains to be seen. The young WR's will develop.

So, would they love to add another top flight CB? Yes. Another strong pass rusher and WR? Of course. But do they absolutley need guys at these positions, NO.

Remember, the Fins were ranked 8th in the league in sacks last year. I would hardly say they are in desperate need in that area.

I like our recieving corp and see no reason to waste a 1 or 2 on the position. We have good hands (Camarillo and Bess) and we have deep speed (Ginn). All threee receivers will be better with another year of playing with noodle arm.

Get a QB with a cannon and Ginn can win over the fans. These 13 yard outs are for guys like Camarillo, not Ginn.

MENACE. Right on about Jason Taylor. I couldn't of said it better.

ok ok guys lets rewind this two years ago can anybody name the giants cb's other then sam madison they were loaded at de and pretty good on the lb's and they molested the pats so if we load up big on de and have a decent lb core i think we have a chance to tear shi# up we just need a plaxico type wr. Our o line is improved imo what do u guys think i would love to see a red zone offense with a 2 te set fasano, martin , and a huge wr im talking 6'3 --6'4 just toss it up like a salad .:)

joye just wrote a piece of english art.

i know my gram isint the beast lol

BUCKEYE FAN. You seriously got to be kidding me. . You actually think miami has signed taylor and are keeping him under wraps until after the draft so other teams don't know ? LOL Either put the pipe down or stop watching oliver stone movies.If he signed it would have to reported to the league and i'm sure the trifecta would have him working out in the off-season workout programs. UNBELIEVABLE LOL

Did you go to school?

no i went to snool

2008 Dolphins + Jason Taylor + Anquan Boldin = Super Bowl

What kind of snool?

i dont really pay to much attention to my grammer im sorry if i offended u in anyway but if u could correct my grammer mistakes and inform me where i made a mistake i would greatly apreciate it.

Mando, please stop using the word 'relative' in your columns...bad memories man, bad memories

wait i meant stool rick stool.

it's not only grammer but also your choice of words ,next time any thing you write must pass through me first joey .

AQUA 1. Matt roth can't play ILB. The ilb in the 3-4 requires speed( RANGE ) , fluid hips and very good athletic ability , roth has none of the above. Roth is better suited at SLB where he can use his strength at setting the edge and overpower TE's.

yes headmaster.

Hips again, smooth hips, fluid hips ,you can't use the word fluid next to hips in this subject .

You have been giving what the Dolphins top need is all season, CB! So lets not kid ourselves who you think our top pick should be.
Glad to see the Trifecta keeping you guessing who they like with our first few picks and how the points you just made have been debated on this blog all off season, knowing that the Dolphins are still in rebuilding mode. Never mind the fact that the Dolphins Trifecta has a real good idea who they are gonna draft with the first couple of picks, but refuse to show their hand.
Bigger better stronger faster and younger
Go Dolphins!

Though i must admit that Jason (twinkle4 toes) taylor on one side and joey( duh ) porter on the other side blitzing the Q.B. is intriguing..

what were you on last night?
You and your characters took over the blog last nite...you crazy cuban hope you had fun

RICK NY ( AKA ? ) You spell It " GRAMMAR " not grammer. LOL. Maybe YOU should go back to school.

D4L,nah it wasn't that bad, i was sober, down here in Miami visiting the parent's so i had to behave..

thanks armando

NJ PHIN Is very fluid in third grade english as joey

RickyNy was very fluid last night on this blog from the miami and the keys .LOL . GOT BEERS ?

N.j, are you infuring that iam rickNY???

ronny brown see anything close to a thousand this season?

Ok kids the menace is on the web taking you Qs from the home city of the AFC champs, so go ahead and fire some Qs at the menace..

You ? NOOOOOOOOOO . LOL . By the way it's nice day up here today.

good point, jakass

jaksin, no way, not that he couldnt do it but he's on a team that uses both backs and also brings in a third back on certain downs. and also, its his last year on his contract,...but i hear he is a "Parcells" guy ... (again, what ever that means)

n.j, Figures..

The top priority is to get an impact player and that player is Rey Maualuga.I have no problem in giving up a draft pick. I would package a 4th round pick and Matt Roth to denver at 18. In the second we draft Hakeem Nicks at 44, and at 56 we draft Sean Smith. In the third round we draft Cody Brown. In the fifth we draft Terrance Taylor. The last couple of picks I haven't deceided yet.

From what I remember of the Super Bowl, I don't remember the cornerbacks from either team. Maybe that's the reason the Cardinals lit up the Pitt defense in the second half and took a lead. Then the Arizona CBs got lit up on the final drive, not to mention the rest of the game, to give up that lead and lose the Super Bowl.

And yes, Eric Green was not good enough to play for a Arizona defense that had cornerbacks lose the Super Bowl.

I've got 1 word on who the fins should draft.....GORT !!!!

Let's assume our needs are CB, OLB, NT, and WR, in no particular order. The draft class for CB's is exceedingly weak this year. There is no top NT that will be available to us in round 1, or as a FA. There are no OLB's that we can sign, other than Taylor. That leaves CB's and WR's as FA fillers, if needed. However, we can adequately address WR and OLB early in the draft, and CB and NT later.

I'm a huge fan of Jason Taylor, but don't think much of Joey Porter as a person. Both played with tremendous heart and drive. I find it hard to imagine that Jason Taylor has falled off the performance cliff and is now only a shadow of his former self. If he puts forth the effort (that may be in question), I believe he can be at least an above average performer.

Given that both Taylor and Porter play the same position, and Porter is coming off his best season, perhaps of his career, his value is maximized. Porter is only two years younger than Taylor, so he fits the same "performance slowing" bill stated by Ireland with regards to Taylor. His salary is also among the highest on the team.

Maycock is quoted as saying "[i]f you need a cornerback in this draft, sit it out. There are no corners even well above average, never mind great." We need a CB. I believe it would benefit the Dolphins (assuming they have confidence in Taylor acting as a solid gap-filler) to trade Porter for a starting, young CB and perhaps an additional day one pick.

This is so illogical that it makes perfect sense. I cannot see a better way to capitalize on the availability of Jason Taylor. Thoughts?

my thoughts are bill=alien man

stop it guys rick are u ok baby..

We just got a headache trying to understand Bill's comment.

BIll is Mr.Bungle or The Knight who says NI. He has the same exact post on the Sun-Sentinel. My Thoughts are that your post is idiotic .

Bunglito are you saying Bill is Alien man ? or you are saying the menace is RickNY?

alienman = bill

i think u guys are ambiugusly ga y hey rick did i spell it right?

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