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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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IMO there are only 4 players who may or may not be available and are worthy of a #12 pick. They are:

Rolando McClain, Spiller, Dez Bryant, and Earl Thomas. I rate them in that exact same order.

If none of these players are available when we pick at 12, then maybe we should consider trading all the way down or even out of the first round to get more premium picks because this draft is loaded with depth.

For example: Dallas has a glaring need for close to a franchise type LT. One maybe available at #12, at least a serious upgrade to what they already have.

We could trade our #12 this season for thiers(#27) or just take thier #1 in 2011. Meanwhile Getting thier 2nd and 3rd this season, possibly a 5th(we have none in this rd) to boot. But I wouldnt allow getiing thier 5th to be a sticking point.

posse, you wouldn't pick Derrick Morgan at 12?

Anyone who saw BC and USC play in their bowl game this year would have a big problem selecting Taylor Mays. He seems slow witted on the field. A prime example was that BC pedestrian wide receiver just run right past him with the ball in his hands. Awful angle and even his 4.3 speed couldn't get him out of that situation. he may become a good strong safety at ebst but it's also better to let someone else spend the draft pick and take the gamble. Earl Thomas would be a much better pick if you want to go that way.

The great thing about Vincent Jackson is that not only is he a solid wide out but he can kick too!

Patrick , any time my Friend. Alot of teams make the mistke of getting caught up with the measurables and sets them back for years.

Mark there isnt that much separation between the abilities of Morgan and Jerry Hughes. Hughes is projected to go as late as 2nd rd. Although I feel Morgan could be of 1st rd calibre, I just dont like him this far up the board. He maybe more like middle of the pack 1st rounder.

Thats why I feel if McClain, Spiller, Bryant or Earl Thomas arent available. We should trade way down or out of the first round to get better value. I feel we can at least get the Cowboys 2nd, possibly a 3rd and 5th, plus thier 1st next year. With this deep draft 2 2nd's and a extra 3rd pick could serve us well this year. As well as having 2 1st rd pick in 2011.

Dallas needs a really good LT. they may be able to pick one up at #12. We should give it strong consideration if none of the 4 players I named are available at #12.

posse, i agree about your trading down theory and the Cowboys as a possible trading partner, as would the Jets, Chargers, just off the top of my head.

Disagree with your Derrick Morgan prognosis. He is a cut above anyone else at the position and probably won't even be there at #12. he's the best pass rushing prospect on the board. PERIOD!

But there is depth at the position - they would be able to get a very good player in later rounds but this is a chance to get a freak! Does anyone use the word freak anymore or is everyone just SICK when they're a cut above? I hate that word and roll my eyes when someone uses it --- SICK!!!! Call a friggin' doctor!!!

Derrick Morgan is a hands on the ground DE in the 4-3. He can go to Seattle , Oakland or Jacksonville.

Agreed that he can go to those teams and would be an excellent DE. He has the athleticism to play OLB.

CBS Sportsline has a good draft database that presumably will be updated throughout the combine. I looked up one of my favourite under the radar prospects - Dorin Dickerson, TE, Pitt. They have him listed as a 5th or 6th rd prospect - probably because he is only 6'2 230 lbs. Maybe he can't be an everydown TE - but he would be a weapon as an H back or second TE down the seam. Scored 10 tds for Pitt this year, and has boasted about his own 4.3 speed. If he's right, he would be well worth the 5th or 6th pick to supplement Fasano at TE.

Why do I just not feel comfortable drafting a guy out of Alabama? Everything I read about McClain is positive but for some reason I have this bad feeling about him.

Maybe it's because I have latent hatin for Nick Satan...

I like that.

Latent hatin for Nick Satan
I don't care if McClain is waitin
At number 12 with Tinkerbells
Drivin in the back of his Cadillac
With her high beams on and her motor running
Sorry son there’s no milk and honey
If you’re anticipatin
Just keep on waitin
Cause I got a latent hatin for Nick Satan

Neither! A WR should be the higher priority..if not another DB....We have the depth on LB's (believe it or not!)
WR's
DB's
TE's
DL's

NJ, you really think jax would spend another 1st on a DE when they drafted harvey and groves with their 1st 2 picks 2 years ago? I don't think he goes there.

have you heard those rumours of collusion regarding Jax (Owner Weaver) and the other NFL teams regarding Tim Tebow? There was word of an agreement that as long as Jax takes tebow with their first pick, nobody else will touch him. May be just banter but I never discount this kind of stuff completely. Sports is a shady business.

Ha... Sometimes I crack me up!

Mark, nobody will touch him anyway! He's not worth a 1st round pick. I could see maybe 2nd but realistically he's a 3rd rounder. His mechanics are just too slow for NFL and whoever picks him is going to have a project on their hands. They tried to fix his delivery at Florida and he could not make the adjustment.

The reality is, we won't come close to fixing the D. Just too many things wrong. Try to get some rooks that may help in a year or two and hope that Nolan can be what we hope he is.

Hate to rain on your parade but all but a couple of college defenses are 4-3. And that makes the learning curve longer.

I like the 3-4 as long as you have the personnel. But running a 4-3 covers up a lot of flaws. Parcells continues to pound a square peg in a round hole and it doesn't fit.

I agree with you Patrick. Tebow may never be anything in the NFL, I wouldn't touch him. Maybe as a late round developmental player for a team already settled at the Qb position, that's about it.

Mark , why not. ?? Harvey and groves have done nothing. Jax was one of the worst pass rushing teams in the league.

I think we should take cj spiller,he's a game changer,he can kick return,and he's fast,that's something we need,our fastest player is ted ginn jr. and he can't catch for nothing,

cocoajoe, Parcells has had great defenses wherever he's been using the 3-4. I think the correct approach is to keep getting draft picks and young vets to learn the system. At some point you have to run it anyway. It's not like the difference in scheme kept them a great deal of success. The defenses problems were more lack of talent and coaching that didn't get the most of the players more than scheme.

This defense needs 3 new lbs, a NT, and 2 new safeties (Yeremiah plays well but he's 31 - he isn't going to last forever). SS can be put off another year, you can get 2 starters in the draft - maybe 3, and one or 2 free agents and you have a significantly better defense.

Granted if you do this, offense will have to make due with pretty much the same unit as this year.

I just think it's too early to give up on those 2 young guys. I was hoping Miami would have grabbed Groves 2 years ago. Think he would be way more effective as a 3-4 OLB than a 4-3 DE. You can't do a Detroit and select the same position year after year. They need help in the secondary and interior line also as well as WR and TE. In other words, it's just a year or 2 too early to pick another DE.

sanchez's TIME .GET YOUR locker room ready for him .

Beat it Jet, the only thing Sanchez will be doing at the Super Bowl is cutting the grass at halftime.

I'm glad you guys aren't on the Tebow train.That guy won't make it in the NFL.....I'm pretty sure he won't.

The Jet guy just got home from his office cleaning job.Now don't bother us......you must rest before you go to your night job scrubbing toilets.

Harvey is a bust !!! and det got it right with johnson. just Because you drafted a position before doesn't mean you don't do it again. especially if it didn't help. Look at miami they drafted beck and then henne.

very true NJ

nj is talking to himself .

Dont agree beerdrums. I think Tebow is the 2nd coming of Jim "slash/crash" Jensen. You could probably train him to play a little all over the place. Also, because of his smarts(have to have a little smarts to play division 1 qb) and his size I wouldnt even rule out the Linebacking position.

Tebow's claim to fame in the nfl may not be at one position but the versatility to play several positions well. Ala Jim "crash" Jensen but maybe better. You maybe able to play him a little on both sides of the ball, including special teams.

Versatility is where I believe Tebow's nfl greatness lies. The team choosing him that takes that approach may find they have found a "real Jim", I mean gem.

If Tebow's still around in the 3rd rd you have to give him strong consideration, Do you guys agree?

Mark, there's nothing or shouldn't be....written in stone. Some teams actually change from 3-4/4-3 during a game. Imagine that? Hopefully, the new DC can be imaginative enough to do that.

But the fact remains, to have an effective 3-4, you have to have a dominant NT and top shelf LBs. We just don't have the bullets right now.

But hey, damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead.

I'm just glad I'm not responsible for making the pick for the Dolphins.I might end up on a suicide watch list.There's a lot of good college players out there but there's no guarantee they'll amount to much.The last I heard about Tebow is,maybe an early 2nd rounder.

LIL Timmy (I want to thank my lord and savior Jesus Christ)Tebows greatness lies with him going to some third world sh2t hole and converting Heathen's to the christen way.....

mark in toronto

Thats my point about drafting a nose tackle in the first round, Wilfork had a good combine and was taken by Beleichik at 21. Now you can find good NT after the first five picks, you just to have a good talent evaluator.

Good luck on that Lil Timmy....

The Fins will regret not taking Taylor Mays (USC), who should definitely be available at No. 12

Dlife Patsies were also in the midst of thier Super bowl dynasty and could afford to take a NT #1. It was a luxury pick that you can afford to do when you have no glaring weaknesses.

Denver doens't need ILB's they need defensive line. So I doubt denver will take maclin.

Tim Tebow will forever be known as a great college quarterback, but he will not be successful as a QB in the NFL. Its a mechanics issue. If he wants to play in the NFL he has to be open to position change, OR potential as a gadget in an offense (similar to a pat white). We all know how successful that was..

Also if there isnt a clear cut cant miss player available at the #12 that would fill our need. We may want to consider just going with the best player available regardless of need.

I dont know how tall this Sergio Kindle kid is but he is a BALLER!!! Check out those youtube highlights. He brings pressure and does NOT MISS tackles! He is already playing at NFL level. Can't miss! Just saying.

Miami needs to trade down to get an extra pick or two, draft the DT from Bama (enormous freak of nature who helped make McLain look good), use the acquired pick(s) to draft more needed players (no more WRs Trifecta!!!). Build the team from the inside out just like the great Jimmy Johnson. If you're reading this Jimmy, please come back!!!!

Everyone is wrong...The Phins biggest need is to use water and not Gatorade...Damn it we need some good quality H2O.

LMAO they just showed Nathans Hot Dog eating contest said if the Jets win this week, they will invite Rex Ryan to there contest this year. Too funny.

you guys understand what are we talking about ?

we are talking SUPER BOWL FOR SANCHEZ .

Jaymo is right, Taylor Mays is the best safety in the draft and Miami will be so sorry for not having him when he become best player in this draft class.

Chad Jones from LSU is a sleeper S prospect. 2 sport star and LB size.

Brooks should be fired upon submission of that draft! Eric Berry at 13! First QB at 26! Spiller at 28! I think he just picked names out of a bag

Israel gutierrez is an idiot.. He should be beaten up for making an article like he did.. I would never want to repicate the jets and winning games by default.. What a joke

ILB, I think Wake will be a monster once he is unleash,, and Charlie Anderson played better than porter when he was on the field so go with the ilb.

Anyone see the Jets fan get arrested at the San Diego game??? It's on u tube, and they say they are not morons or idiots, the video shows they are exactly big mouth idiots who just don't know when to shut up IT s GREAT!!

Mays is JUNK !!! SO is CODY !!!

bobbyd12, i saw the video and that was BS !!!. That fan did nothing wrong and all the san sego fans were telling the cops that he did nothing wrong. In fact , you can see a SD fan and his wife giving their phone # to the wife of the jet fan as witnesses. What's fair is fair. He was celebrating just like i did at giants stadium last year and this year. LOL !! The cops would've never done that here.

They were a bunch of sore losers that hating the east coast.

No point picking Tebow. Maybe the Fins cheerleaders have an opening for him?

NJ, third time they had to go up there, sorry when ur told by to stop doing something and u continue to do it u get what u deserve, I have no pity on him, hope he had a bad night in SDPD custody.

Is RB such a great demand with Lex hilliard and Kory sheets ?

He did nothing wrong . what are you going to do tell a fan to stop celebrating ?? They would've never got away with shyt around here. They have better things to do. That was Total east coast hate , which was BS !!! I'm out til later

I was doing alot worse to jet fans at giants stadium when the dolphins won and the Cops were cracking up and shaking their heads. LOL !!

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