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Guest blogger scouts the Senior Bowl

I did not attend the Senior Bowl this year despite the fact the Dolphins are coaching the South team because, well, the game is in Mobile, Alabama and I've been there and done that. Given the choice of being in Miami or Mobile in January my choice is an easy one.

But that doesn't mean you won't get the insight from the event you have come to expect on this blog -- which I suppose is the reason you are here. So I today introduce you to Chris Cordero.

Cordero, 27, is from Miami and is working to break into professional scouting. He trained under Marc Trestman, Russ Lande, John Wooten and Aaron Schatz. He's attended the Indy Combine the past two years and expects to do so again this year. This is his first Senior Bowl. What you are about to read are not complete Cordero scouting reports. He sent me one and my eyes were bleeding by the time I finished reading it, it was so detailed. The quick takes below are strictly reader-friendly versions of his expertise. Any NFL team interested in talking to Chris should e-mail me and I'll discretely hook you up with this up-and-comer.

For the next few days Cordero will scout the players at the Senior Bowl at positions of interest to the Dolphins. Cordero starts with a look at wide receivers and tight ends because he knows I really want the Dolphins to actually be able to pass the ball in 2010.

WIDE RECEIVER

 
The Dolphins are loaded with small, possession receivers. The type of receiver the Dolphins need are generally not found at the Senior Bowl - as they are usually underclassmen (i.e.. Dez Bryant, Arrelious Benn, and Demaryious Thomas). Two of the top senior prospects, LSU's Brandon LaFell and Texas's Jordan Shipley are not participating in the game either.
 
Here are my rankings for the Senior Bowl receivers:
 
1. Andre Roberts - 5-11, 194lbs - The Citadel.
Career numbers: 286 receptions, 3,743 yards, 36 touchdowns
 
Strengths:
-Catches EVERYTHING thrown in his direction (even from Tim Tebow).
-Quick feet and hands allow him to get separation.
-Has very good speed and got work as a returner.
-Runs great routes and put some nice double moves on possible first-round CB Patrick Robinson.
-Fearless over the middle, got laid out by Taylor Mays and got right back up.
 
Weaknesses:
-Undersized; although has a solid build for his size and decent strength.
-Can get jammed at the line - Javier Arenas jammed him a few times.
 
Overall Analysis:
Someone is going to get great value in the 3rd or 4th round with this guy - if he runs well at the combine - he could be a second rounder. Sadly, he is not 2 inches taller or he would be a first round lock. Dolphins have similar receivers on the roster already; but he could be really good. Showed he could play with top competition here at the Senior Bowl practices.
 
2. Taylor Price - 6-0, 198lbs - Ohio.
Career numbers: 149 receptions, 2,019 yards, 14 touchdowns.
 
Strengths:
-Has good measurables (height, weight) very "put together" and appears to have good speed.
-Runs decent routes and is quick in and out of breaks.
-Good body control - made a beautiful adjustment in the air for a catch on a bad throw by Tony Pike against hard hitting LSU S Harry Coleman.
-Goes up for the ball and catches it at it's highest point.
-Can get open deep and creates separation from the DB  with his strength; ran by Saints 1st Round Pick Malcolm Jenkins in college.
 
Weakness:
-Hands are a little inconsistent as he will make the highlight catch but drop the easy one.
-Rounds off routes sometimes; which allows DBs to break on the ball.
 
Overall Analysis:
The buzz was that he was moving up draft boards and is at worst a fourth round pick - but could fit into the third. Rookie receivers don't always make an impact right away but this guy could be an exception - much like this year's rookie crop; including the Dolphins own Brian Hartline.
 
3. Mardy Gilyard - 6-0 179lbs - Cincinnati.
Career numbers: 204 receptions, 3,003 yards, 25 touchdowns.
 
Strengths:
-Smooth and runs good routes.
-Quick feet allow him to get off the line and beat the jam.
-Gets good separation from defenders using his quickness.
-Faster than most; but also very quick,
-Could be a great returner (and won't always run out of bounds...).
 
Weaknesses:
-Very light and has ankle injury history.
-Inconsistent catching the ball; will drop the easy one and needs to concentrate more.
-Needs to develop strength in order to go over the middle and go up for the ball in traffic.
 
Overall Analysis:
Most have him pegged as a second rounder; I see his value in the third. If he can add some bulk and strength and keep his quickness, he could develop into a very good NFL receiver as long as his focus is there.
 
HONORABLE MENTION: Two players who aren't really wide receivers but practiced there really stood out. Dorin Dickerson out of Pittsburgh was one of the most impressive players on either team. Has great speed, leaping ability and caught just about everything thrown his way. His strength allowed him to shield defenders from the ball and make the tough catch. A smart offensive coordinator will find a way to use him (he played mostly Tight End and Fullback at Pittsburgh) and he might even be drafted as a WR by draft day. Dexter McCluster out of Mississippi was also very impressive - even running the Wildcat under the Dolphins staff. He was the most explosive, quick, fast player on either team. Think of Darren Sproles but a better receiver and tough between the tackles. His 165-pound size is his only drawback. Riley Cooper and Shay Hodge (who didn't practice and was limping Thursday) were the only other receivers who relatively stood out. Donald Jones from Youngstown State, who I only saw practice Thursday was pretty impressive but that was only in helmets and shoulder pads.
 
TIGHT END
 
Granted this is not one of the Dolphins greatest needs but if WR is a "must have" this could fall under the "need" umbrella. Anthony Fasano struggled much of the year after two fumbles in the opener. Despite picking it up a little late, there is no guarantee he will revert to his 2008 form. The top senior tight end, Jermaine Gresham of Oklahoma, did not participate as he is still rehabbing right knee surgery; and top junior Aaron Hernandez from Florida is not eligible.
 
1. Ed Dickson - 6-4, 244lbs - Oregon
Career numbers: 124 receptions, 1,557 yards, 12 touchdowns
 
Strengths:
-Big target with the ability to separate from defenders; would have had three TDs during one of the practices.
-Good hands and catches most everything thrown to him away from his body - even in traffic; strong hands.
-Good athlete with good speed and decent leaping ability.
-Shows good blocking technique and tries in this area.
 
Weaknesses:
-Undersized with a lack of bulk; which hurts him as a blocker.
-Could use work on route running.
 
Overall Analysis:
Would be a good value in the fourth round - but will probably go in the third. Is essentially a pumped up wide receiver (similar to Kory Sperry) but is a good overall prospect.
 
2. Anthony McCoy - 6-5, 249lbs - Southern Cal
Career numbers: 46 receptions, 731 yards, 3 touchdowns
 
Strengths;
-Looks the part with long arms and a solid build.
-Good speed to stretch the middle of the field.
-Looked good as a blocker at the practices; has very good strength; and put Eric Norwood on the ground once.
-Can make the highlight reel catch with his size, leaping ability, and strength and will fight for ball in traffic.
 
Weaknesses:
-Drops some easy passes.
-Very inconsistent in college; labeled an underachiever and didn't have great production (although that might be due to supporting cast).
 
Overall Analysis:
Will probably come off the board in the second round - too high for the Dolphins to take him there. Looks like he will be a better pro than college player as he has all the tools to succeed and was very eager to learn from coach George DeLeone.
 
3. Jimmy Graham - 6-6, 259lbs - Miami
Career numbers: 17 receptions, 213 yards, 5 touchdowns
 
Strengths:
-Great athlete as evidenced by career playing hoops - tremendous leaping ability and good speed.
-Uses body well and would be a beast in the red zone.
-Can split the seam and is fluid in his routes for someone with so little experience.
-Can make the difficult catch.
-Has good natural strength and long arms.
-Wants to learn and seeks out coaching.
 
Weaknesses:
-Inconsistent; will lose concentration and drop some easy passes (Virginia Tech game this past year and in the practices).
-His size can be a detriment in the run-blocking game as smaller defenders can use leverage and push him back.
-Still needs work on his routes.
 
Overall Analysis:
If he would have played football instead of basketball; or even if he would have had one more year of college football - would have been a first round lock. Someone will take a flyer on him in the 3rd round - call me a homer but I hope it's the Dolphins - due to his upside, and his potential is almost limitless if he wants it bad enough (he turned down a six figure basketball contract; so he must want it).
 
HONORABLE MENTION: The other tight ends at the practices were also pretty good. Mike Hoomanawanui (say that 3 times fast) out of Illinois has good hands and is a strong blocker, but lacks speed and athleticism. Garrett Graham out of Wisconsin, who owned the University of Miami in the Champs Sports Bowl, is slightly undersized but has great hands and a feel for finding seams in the zone and getting open. Colin Peek from Alabama got sick - but looks the part and catches and blocks well.
 
Tomorrow: NT and FS.

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Chris, excellent job it looks like you know your thing, I hope you can get a job as a professional scout, you will be a plus for any team that would give you a job. Keep the good work up.

Oh boy, a two fer...bobbyd12 3:38pm and #1 D Fan in Montreal 3:39pm.

bobbyd12: Well he was thinking that they were/are going to totally embrace the Wildcat/Spread type offense they had success with from the year before and expand on it. It will never be looked at as more than anything but a gadget until we can throw consistantly from it. Ronnie Brown has done an admirable job acting as a QB for never having done it. His ability to make a few throws helped boost the effectiveness of the play a ton. Pat White has run ability (most rushing yards by a QB in college) and was very accurate with his passes in college. It is quite a head scratcher as to why he overthrows, short arms and has not warmed to the roll much better? To this day I wonder if it was a good thing that Sparano made him take his gloves off? You do have the right attitude, what's done is done and you move forward and hope PW makes super strides from year one to year two.

#1 D Fan in Montreal,

I think it is pretty unfair to grade so harshly when everything we are doing now is hindsight...always being 20/20. I have come to grips a long time ago that every GM, Head Coach and Talent Scout has misses. You can't measure the motivation of players, desire, heart, fit, smarts, study habits etc until they are already on your team. Every team makes their choice trusting the data, the scouting, the background checks, the film review, the interviews, the psych tests, stop watches and scales as best they can and they still get it wrong.

I would believe what they were thinking was a mobile QB like Steve Young. Maybe not Steve's arm and straight QB savy but, with more run ability to take the Wildcat up to a higher level. I know there are guys that had better seasons and there were people throughout the draft that would make better Fins now looking backward. I am not ready to write him off and I hope he is full of piss and vinegar to have a much better season this year.

Just one guys perspective. I respect you guy'sz opinions even if you can't fathom the thinking behind of the pick as much.

Cheers,

1- McClain

2- Cody

3- J. Graham

The guy I think they should work with in the Wildcat formation a lot more is 3rd string QB Tyler Thigpen. He has some pretty good mobility and he did a admirable job with no snaps trying to bring the Fins back in the Pitt game. I know he would like to have a couple throws back but Pitt knew we had to throw to get back into it, which always makes it harder.

He hadn't been with the Fins very long and was the 3rd QB which meant only some scout team work most likely.

It will be interesting how that plays out.

As sort of a conspiracy theory about that Pitt game... I have NO basis or incling from any sources but, did it really look as if Henne was having eye trouble in the second half? I Tivo'd the game and watched and rewatched every sideline shot of Henne in the second half. I looked to see if Henne was blinking, rubbing his eye or covering it and didn't see nary an extra blink.

I wonder if the Fins brass were wanting to see Pat White in more of a normal QB role and see if he responded as a gamer. They would then at least have some real tape of PW to review for decision making in 2010? He really got belted! *Joey in Jersey 3:40pm had the great line..."Ted Ginn is gonna need the therapy after seeing the PW hit." LOL, classic.

Have you watched the 7:33 vid of McClain on Youtube FishyPete?

If so, what are your thoughts?

I like Brandon Spikes if the Fins want an ILB. He could be a late 1st or even 2nd round pick. Maybe he falls to #43?

I am fearful that given tons of $$, Cody's weight will go up and his incentive will go down even more. He has gained weight since the last Alabama game to the Senior Bowl. How can a guy not push back from the table when he stands to make a ton of money if he is an early choice? Pretty good player, big guy, a natural nose type body. Terrible shape, terrible mental discipline, scary weight category. Not even a 3 down guy in college and the NFL is tougher.

If J. Graham were to go to the Dolphins I would hope they could snag him in the 4rth or later. Maybe it is wishful thinking but, he did play mostly basketball before deciding football was his thing. Has shown some good things at the Senior Bowl practices from what I see and hear. Better and more willing blocker than his frame and pedigree suggests. I like the idea of a really nice sized target that can go get the ball and run pretty well. If the Fins took him in the 3rd I would not mind but I think he becomes a true value from 4rth round on.

My 3rd round pick I had targeted is Pat Angerer. He plays ILB but I think he could play both outside or inside. His speed will be one of the best at the Combine for the ILBs for sure.

You post is so neat, clean and to the point...what is that? lol.

Also, would you change your draft line-up desires at all from now until the draft based on the combine or workout reports? Just curious.

Cheers,

stop the madness on your 5:06 post. You are agreeing with the post by klndry. He is basically saying everyone thinks they are an expert after seeing a few games or watching someone against weaker opponents. Then he goes onto say that a few years ago people were saying we should choose OLB V. Gholston. Lastly he never sees Gholston play.

I would venture a guess that not many teams in the entire NFL thought that Gholston would last past the 15-18th pick that year. Every single mock from the bigtime ones at ESPN, MSN, Kiper, NFLN as well as most all the average joe website ones had Gholston going early. I did not want him as I thought Long was the safest pick so I was happy. I didn't see Matt Ryan's success coming and in hindsight even the Fins brass probably thinks that would have been ok to draft Ryan AFTER seeing him play for Atlanta. BP and Co stayed true to form on the pick and went with their best OL choice.

The reason I bring your post up was to illustrate why you it's not the wisest move to simply say "Oh we need DEF so badly we can't pick an offensive guy or a RB etc." That type of thinking will cause reaches and will kill a draft fast as anything. Gholston was picked 6th overall and when picked NOT a single person knocked them for it on both TV broadcasts ESPN, NFLN. He was a very highly touted LB at a high profile school that had some pretty strong workout numbers at the combine. 4.58 40 yard dash, 37 reps on the bench @225lbs. I believe the combine record is 44 by the Bolts lineman Vasquez, 41 inch vert which is jump out of the building good. DBs usually are in the high 30's. He was 6'3" and 266lbs of LB. Your classic big, strong, tough LB.

He has been an unexplainable, miserable failure of the worst kind barely able to see the field under 2 different coaches and schemes. Why?, is what is going through every single persons head that follows the Jets from the scouts to the owner. The Fins fans would quickly offer, because they deserve it. LOL.

This brings me to the classic concept of drafting for need versus "best player available". If you(you meaning anyone) draft McClain or ANY other ILB because the Fins desperately need Def and more specifically ILB, he better be the next Brian Urlacher. If McClain becomes the next Gholston, think of how far backwards that puts the franchise.

When I say CJ Spiller is my choice I feel he is more talented than McClain, a better football player, will impact our team more and is a safer pick. I am weighing college stats, how much help they each had around them, what they show on film, vids and replays of games and any media reports I can get both good and bad. Then I am taking my best educated guess. I am pushing all my chips on the draft roulette table marked Spiller. By doing so I know I am betting that he will be a better player than McClain, Pierre Paul, Kindle, Cody or even Morgan. It's a big limb but why not?

In a nutshell, that's what makes this fun. There are a myriad of ways the Fins can play it. None of us hold sway with the Fins , although I know a few of us wish we could pull the old Jedi mind trick on the trifecta and get our way. LOL.

Sorry fellas n ladies, I swear I never set out to write the novels...they just pop out. Very sorry they are long winded and I give anyone full permission never to read any of my posts for fear of length.

Cheers,

Damn! I can see bone... I need to stop typing. lol Cheers y'all.

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