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Which is the greater priority: OLB or ILB?

When the 2009 season ended for the Dolphins, the team obviously had issues on defense that still need addressing.

As I explained to you a couple of days ago, the linebacker corps was one of those issues. But the question is where is the bigger problem -- with the inside linebackers or outside linebackers?

Yesterday you saw Mel Kiper vote ILB as his first mock draft of the offseason had the Dolphins taking Rolando McClain of Alabama -- a tackling savant that will be an inside backer tackling machine in the NFL.

Well, lesser known Bucky Brooks of NFL.com comes back and votes OLB as Miami's bigger issue. In his first mock draft of 2010, he's got the the Dolphins taking Texas OLB Sergio Kindle at No. 12 in the first round.

One reason Brooks has the Dolphins taking Kindle might be he also has Denver taking McClain one pick before Miami. In that regard, Brooks apparently agrees with what I wrote yesterday about the Broncos. You see, Kiper had Denver taking Dez Bryant at No. 11, but I think that's not the direction they will go because you can still find good WR help later in the draft, and Bryant has been away from the game for much of a year as he served an NCAA suspension. 

It would be interesting to know what Brooks thinks the Dolphins would do if both McClain and Kindle are on the board for Miami. Stop dreaming! But in his scenario, he sees Miami's OLB corps as needing urgent care.

"Joey Porter and Jason Taylor are at the end of their careers," Brooks writes. "so finding an athletic edge rusher is paramount."

Brooks obviously believes Cameron Wake doesn't fill that paramount need and I don't think any of us think Charlie Anderson is the answer, either.

If you've read this blog every day (it's good for your soul) you already understand how the Dolphins break down how they go about filling out their roster. As I've told you several times in the past, they have three primary categories: Wants, Needs, Must haves.

The Must haves is the priority category. It is the category that must be filled.

The Needs is the second most important. This category is what the team needs but can extend out if lesser players are on board.

The Wants is the luxury category. The Dolphins want a running back that will be ready to step in when Ricky Williams retires and Ronnie Brown is out of contract. But the team can probably survive 2010 if it doesn't address that want.

It is clear inside linebackers and outside linebackers fall either in the Needs or Must haves. No one not named Big Tuna Bill Parcells and Tuna Helper Jeff Ireland knows which position has risen to the priority category. Even they might not know because free agency might play a role in affecting this stuff.

You can argue the Dolphins have bodies at ILB with Channing Crowder and Akin Ayodele. Sure, Ayodele didn't play well in 2010 and Crowder is often injured. So the team needs to address the position. But will things fall to pieces if Crowder and Ayodele are the starters again in 2010?

You tell me. The Dolphins will tell us.

At OLB, meanwhile, neither Jason Taylor nor Joey Porter might be coming back in 2010. I know both of them won't be back. That was a disaster last season. So the Dolphins need to add a body here to go with Wake and Anderson and Quentin Moses. But is this position a Must have?

You tell me. The Dolphins will eventually tell us.

Discuss ...  

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Mark in Toronto,i wouldnt take one at 12 either but we must take one 1st if we dont get one in F/A(NT). we will get a LB in F/A for sure! thats why i want to now what is the going rate for the 12th pick!! i beleive we will get at least 2 player for defense in the F/A market. we need more picks and we dont draft in the 5th round this year as it stands

I've been reading these blogs over the past couple of weeks and everyone is saying we need to draft Terrance Cody at NT. Are you people crazy or just blind? We have a lot of needs on defense and drafting an overweight NT with poor work ethic would just set us back another year. He played mainly 3rd downs at Bama because of his conditioning and in the past two years has 0.5 sacks. We need an impact player we can immediately feel their presence. We need to take the best available player at the time and if that happens to be Spiller I think we should go for it. When is the next time we would be able to draft a play maker with his abilities

I think your wrong Armando. Jason Taylor and Joey Porter were one of the best players on the team. I say we get Rolando ILB and add the best OLD in the second round to start maturing as Cameron Wake is currently doing. He is going to be a very good player next season. 1st Round- Rolando McClain, 2nd Round- Sergio Kindle, a Wide Reciever in the second round and we Keep Jason Taylor, Joey Porter and Jason Ferguson for 1 more year. Anthony Fasano and Ronnie Brown come back. Out with Gibril Wilson, Akin and maybe Ted Ginn!

I've been reading these blogs over the past couple of weeks and everyone is saying we need to draft Terrance Cody at NT. Are you people crazy or just blind? We have a lot of needs on defense and drafting an overweight NT with poor work ethic would just set us back another year. He played mainly 3rd downs at Bama because of his conditioning and in the past two years has 0.5 sacks. We need an impact player we can immediately feel their presence. We need to take the best available player at the time and if that happens to be Spiller I think we should go for it. When is the next time we would be able to draft a play maker with his abilities

Posted by: Phintastic8 | January 22, 2010 at 10:41 AM
this is a crazy post!!! NT dont get sacks any sacks they get are extra. regardless of what might have happen this year, the kid is a baller. we dont need him for sacks we need him for run support and to occupy blockers period. spiller is a sexy pick but he dont fit what we do in the running game,and if the OC cant use ginn correctly what gonna happen to spiller(see reggie bush). if cody only played 3rd down who played the 1st & 2ND???

phinfan, agreed, something needs to be done at NT but it is important to not overpay. That's why these guys get paid big money, they will find the solution at the right price. Whether it's in free agency, draft, trade, whatever.

It won't be with the 12th pick I'm pretty sure. If you are asked to move down in the first round significantly (i.e. 10 spots), a team should be able to obtain a 2nd round pick.

I think you're right though, we can't rely just on the draft to solve all the problems. We can get 2 or 3 long term starters inthe draft but this defense needs 5 new starters for this upcoming year. That means 1 or 2 fre agents or trades. I know that Green Bay has a lot of big men - maybe we can trade for one there at a reasonable price????

For those of you who wanna downplay the NT spot try talking to RAY LEWIS. ray came from a 43 system and when the RAVENS first switch to the 34 he didnt like b/c he was get killed by guards and centers, but now that they have Ngata he has continued to produce 15years later as a hard hitting MLB. THATS HOW IMPORTANT THE NT IS

phinfan, if Ngata was available in this draft, he would be the Dolphins pick, no questions asked. Big enough to play NT, athletic enough to play end. Case to be made that he's the best 3-4 defensive lineman in football.

Our problems will not be solved solely through the draft. Its good to see that there are some people who agree with me on this blog. We need to have a monster of an offseason, including our dealing with free agency. We should also consider a big trade in our dealings. whether it be draft picks or current players on our roster, we need to make a splash in this offseason. this is probably the most important offseason we have had in recent years because if our problems are not addressed, then we are going no where fast in 2010.

ILB for sure, you cant tell me that Cameron Wake is much worse against run and in pass coverage as Joey Porter. Wake should improve over the offseason in his ability to play the pass and run but he is much more dangerous than Porter rushing the passer which he will be doing most of the time anyway. McClain can become the spotlight at ILB and Crowder can fill Ayodele's spot. Crowder would be a big upgrade over Ayodele and McClain would be a big upgrade over Crowder. Get Wilfork!!!

ILB for sure. Let's just pray we get a good one in the draft.

Demeco ryans and elvis dumervil are restricted free agents and can be Franshised. Can we please stop mentioning them. They're not going anywhere.

So, I'm curious, using your standard by which the Trisuckta drafts, wants, needs, must haves, which category did Pat White fit into?

He didn't seem to be a must have since we already had chad squared. He didn't seem to be a need, since again we had Chad squared, and I'm pretty sure he would have been there with the Trisuckta's second, second round pick. Logic would seem to dictate the Trisuckta used a second round pick on a want. A want!

I'm not sure anyone can assume what the Trisuckta will do in April, but my guess, an offensive guard. While that is certainly not a need, or a must have, it is a "want" of the Trisuckta to stockpile as many offensive lineman as possible. Hey, maybe they can turn Pat White into a right guard, they sure haven't turned him into a QB.

Yeah, I'm not high on the Trisuckta.

Hey NJ, what about Vincent Jackson, hahaa!

I say take the one with the nicest stomach!!!!

Its simple make a trade for Marshall. Acquire Wilfork from the Pats. Then draft your MLB'S, and OLB'S. there a dime a dozen, where as a proven pro-bowler NT IN 3-4 isnt.

The dream upgrade would be Wilfork and Dansby in FA and draft McLain in the first and Troupe in the third.

You're all wrong and I'm right. That's all there is to it. Once you hicks get some smellum in your hair (I use Dapper Dan godang it) and get a good night's rest I'm sure you'll see it my way.

Mark , him too. :)

i usually like bucky brooks but wow that was a horrible mock draft. really horrible. he has eric berry going 13th. he wont pass 10 and maybe not even 5. theres no way so many o-line and d-line guys go so early. he has cj spiller going too late. dez bryant to the bengals but theres no reason for them to take a WR. idk, pretty silly mock draft if u ask me.

also, if for some insane reason Eric Berry falls that low, I think the dolphins would definitely without a doubt draft him.

One more thing. Bucky Brooks is on crack and needs to get a Clue.

brooks didn't bring up cam wake because he didn't know about him, not because he really has an opinion on him.

He just is ignorant.

ILB is BY FAR the bigger need with OLB having JT, JP, Wake, and Anderson, who are all better than Ayodele.

Agreed, Bucky is completely clueless. he ha both StL and Washington ignoring Qbs in the top 10 for instance? Right!

I can see one happening, not both.

Bradford passing through StL, Wash, Buff, Sea, and SF (twice)????

Berry 13th????

Does this guy watch football????

73, Cody will fall out of the 1st round once he hits the combine. The lesson was learned the hard way by the Bengals who drafted Andre Smith number 6 last year from Alabama and he completely busted. Cody looks a lot like Smith. Cody is lazy and has a very poor work ethic. There is no way the trifecta will pick him at 12. I would be willing to bet they do not even put him on their board no matter where he falls.

I also disagree with an NT needing to be picked early unless you're talking top 5. Most NTs grow into the position. Ferguson is a good example it took 4 years for him to become a starter. That is the reason Paul Soliai may still have a chance to "round" into the position. Parcells love to use late round picks on big guys and then work them for a couple years in the weight room. The only problem with that is waiting for them to mature.

Guys who can start at NT in the NFL as rookies are usually picked in the top 5 of the draft because NT is one of the hardest positions to fill in the 3-4 defense.

The fins need help on defense at inside and outside linebacker positions for sure. Let's also not forget our dire need at the nose tacke position, vital in a 3-4 defense. I think our secondary could use another FS but for the most part, we look pretty solid there.

However, let's not forget the WR position. Miami desperately needs a true number one receiver as Ted Ginn is not the answer there. I do not know why we never pursued Braylon Edwards when he was available, but now we need to maybe find that elusive nbr. 1 receiver for 2010. Miami cannot continue to rely on the wildcat, we need to stretch defenses out with our vertical passing game.

Go Dolphins 2010
Ellliot-from California!

Patrick, good post. And I agree completely. the team does need to add more depth to the position - maybe 2 more players if Ferg doesn't come back. Pickett from GB would be a nice stop gap - Casey Hampton too but someone will pay him a lot of money.

I wanted Miami to snag Vaughn Martin last year but SD snagged him. He played his college ball up here in Canada and needs time to get up to speed but his combine results were very favourable to Raji's and his wonderlich score was off the charts - but of couse it was because he went to a world class school in Western University.

Elliot, I'm personally glad they didn't persue Edwards. I never though he was that good and I don't think he has been that good for the Jets.

Armando
Did you see who Todd Mcshay and Mel Kiper keep ranting about as a 2nd day talent? Who I've already told you about... O'BRIAN SCHOFIELD

Mcshay reports he is looking great at his transition to OLB after a rough start and may be the best LB in the shrine bowl. Mchshay says he has quick feet and good instincts.

He was the captain of a tough Wisconsin Defense and was tied for the most tackles behind the line of scrimmage in College Football.

I really hope the take a look at him in the 3rd or 4th round if hes there. He could be a steal.

I'm with you Mark... We will probably see some large bodies as well as WRs drafted late by the Dolphin, with the early pick going to the best player available at ILB, OLB or FS. I hear a lot of folks calling for McClain, but he jump out at me when I watched AL play this year. Now Berry was a pure beast, but I think he'll be gone.

Good point Ripp. I feel getting a NT that demands a double-team, keeping the Ilb's "clean" so they can stop they run is a very important need right now. Since there is not a NT worthy of our 12 pick, the Fins will be better served trading down to get that NT if McClain is drafted ahead of us, then drafting a Ilb with the extra second round pick whom is both good against the run and the pass. Now Of course if a talent like McClain falls in the Fins lap, get him with our first pick.

Didn't jump out at me...

Hello people, instead of using thousands of words to explain the obvious, I will just say this short and sweet:

Rolando McClain is the player that the Dolphins "must have". Will he be there? No one can say. Will the Dolphins trade up to get him? Probably not... If McClain is not there, will the Dolphins still get good value from the 12th pick? Absolutely....

We need help almost everywhere defensively..but realistically Kindle is a reach at 12 while McClain would be a surprise bargain. Grab McClain and if unavailable help our D out by keeping them off the field with an offensive impact player Bryant or Spiller if either is still available.

There is no way the Fins will be taking a WR first round!!! look at the worthless Ginn pick!!! LB will & should be the first pick for us!!! Parcells is a LB type guy!!! GO FINS 2010!!!

Cut Porter. Runs his mouth too much and doesn't back it up, we aren't the Jets. Sign Talyor. He is a Dolphin's icon that still has juice in the tank for situational play. Plus he should come at a cheaper price then Porter's remaining contract.

I agree Gregg Z, tackling is poor. We need two better inside linebackers. I have a feeling Taylor Mays is going to be the first pick. And he is needed.

Braylon Edwards is GARBAGE !!!!!

Taylor mays is GARBAGE !!!! He's a bust in waiting.

Nj, no happy face after the Edwards comment?

Chase, I liked what i saw from Schofield too. But the guys at CBS said that he didn't impress at OLB. Whatever, i take everyone's comments with a grain of salt. O'Brien does have a great motor and lots of talent. he's in that large pool of edge rushers that will available.

Terrell Troupe is getting rave reviews from the way he's mauling guards and centres at the North South practices. Sparano and Parcells should be up close for that one.

No happy face for taylor mays either!!!

You have to admit he's got a ready-made nickname:

Sergio "Amazon" Kindle.
-----

also re FA........spend spend spend....I'm tired of waiting.

Those were fond memories when Zach was everywhere on every play. IMO finding that piece is best. JT and others will have to step up next season (assuming/hoping JT is back).

Trade the pick is whats going to happen. We can add more picks and still get a good player to fit the defensive needs. Plus, if we have a good FA pick-ups we will trade down. First three picks we make will be interior player, Spiller, and Jimmy Graham. Then we will go back on the defensive side of the ball. The later two picks give us the spark we need on offense, the return game, and production. We will stock plie the defense with production players.

Mark in Toronto
LOL at the no happy face.

Hey Mark in T
Didnt Vince Wilfork get picked 21st in the first round?

Dolphins4life. LOL @ you for LOL and thinking that was funny. What are 5 ???

If I'm five then your still a gleam in the eye of your parents. lol

Good that makes me younger than you. LOL !!!!

Indy 31 Jets 17 take the points!!

Rolando McClain hands down, no question or ILB had a piss poor season and with the two young corners needing time to adjust we need a inside run stopping presence as well as someone who can get to the QB, plus his leadership skills are bar none. Porter needs to go for sure and we need to spend that money getting a #1 receiver or vince wilfork from the pats.

We need to draft one starter and sign another starter as a free agent. Dansby would be a good OLB and then we could look inside. Then take one more as a backup from either the draft or free agency. Taylor is done, Porter was done a year ago, and Wake is only valuable on passing downs right now. His game is incomplete so we can't rely on him in obvious runnin situations.

NJ, at 6'3 - 230 lbs Mays has the body type Parcells loves, he's fast and he can cover. Why don't you like him?

NJPHINfan

HAHAHA maybe but the reference was the age your acting. lol I'm 38 and will be 39 in March...that said if your saying take the points the Jets are +7.5 point underdogs. Take the points means the Jets plus the points. 31-17 would beat taking the points. Get it?
Now if you said take the Colts minus the points then 31-17 score would be great.

Damn El Nino would make the Tahoe trip a nightmare this weekend, I'm staying away. Fifth storm of the week is on it's way. Tahoe has had about 8-10 feet of snow not to mention land slides going up there. :(

How can i be acting my age when i'm not even born yet. LOL !! Also i'm talking about indy and the 7 points , You and everybody else knows what i mean .

Middlelinebackers are the heart and soul of a D. I miss Zachs leadership even if he was not a scary hitter. Crowder is not a leader hes a flake.

I’m thinking the Jets are going to get killed this week… This vaunted walk around defense has a fatal flaw that has not been exploited yet and I fully expect Patton Manning do take advantage of it. Quick snap them. Come up to the line in the no huddle and snap the ball with a predetermined play set. Once the Jets get caught off balance a few times they will no longer be able to run the scheme and then things will get ugly.

Teams have also made the mistake of pitting their best receiver against Revis. Revis is a great corner not doubt and the way to beat him is to motion Wayne always inside in a tandem set and then cross right in front of Revis forcing him to make decisions. He is a man cover guy and by crossing you force him to switch or to move around a defender. It either becomes a zone on the switch or separation is created. I look for Indy to run crosses all day long and throw a lot of balls in the seams. Once they get Revis cheating inside then they can hit the long ball on the outside.

Patrick/bod. what does mays having the body type have to do with it. Jason allen at 6-1 210 pounds and just as athletic had the body type . how did that work out. Did you watch mays this year ? He was horrible. He can't cover for syht. Parcell's also likes production and mays had none. Mays had 1 int this year including 2 the past 3 years. He's a great athlete but not a great FOOTBALL player. He also takes poor angles. Does remind you have someone on the team. There has been talk about moving him to lb like davis on carolina. NO Thanks on Mays.

Here's our biggest needs IMO:
1. ILB
2. OLB
3. WR
4. NT

However, you have to compare your needs to what's available in the draft. There are more OLBs than ILBs. Mclain is worthly of our 1st pick, but Spikes isn't. If Mclain is gone, we should trade down or take an OLB. I think we REALLY need to get Mclain. He's a beast and would fill our #1 need.

Draft
1. Mclain or OLB if he's gone
2. ILB if we didn't get Mclain or OLB
3. NT, OLB, or WR(depending on what is done in FA)

Dolphins4Life, Wilfork was taken 2 picks after Vernon Carey. There was a mild controversy that the Dolphins didn't pick him but the Phins desperately needed a LT at the time and felt compelled to take Carey. In fact, Dolphins gave Minnesota a 4th pick to move up one spot because they kept telling Miami that NE wanted to trade up to take Carey. Thank God those days are over.

Priorities are:
1. Nose Tackle
2. Outside Linebacker
3. Go-to Speed Reciever

NJ, thanks for the info... I didn't get watch Mays this season and it's easy to get caught up in the measurables.

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