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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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Let get ILB that can cover TE's and NT that can stop the run and demands a double or triple team a BIG STRONG Mofo!!! Key word BIG!!!

Our needs in this order for draft or Free agency just a list of most urgent needs
1.WR(that can catch)
2.S(that can cover and tackle)
3.ILB( that can cover)
4.TE (that can catch)
5.NT ( Big Mofo!!!)

I won't be surprised if the Dolphins pass on a WR in the draft or FA.They had a couple of chances last season and they didn't budge.We'll be stuck with what we already have and hope Henne matures enough to make them work.And no way do we pry Wilfork from the Pats,it would be nice but it's not gonna happen.

Great play by Kindle on that video. Sad to say, but that would be a penalty in the NFL. Helmet to helmet on the quarter back.

If we dont upgrade WR...Parcells is a FOOL....simple....we have fewer and older weapons next year compared with this year...WR is a MUST....then NT, ILB and OLB's....but a WR is an absolute MUST........

alfy from OZZZZ

Good Morning!!!! Armando, look forward to ur report from the Jets funeral day in Indy...

McLain is an animal and a play maker. Neither Crowder or Ayodele make anything happen. NT is real problem though and that needs to be addressed early in the draft. You can pick up WR & ILB later on.

The must haves in order


But that said you don't reach with a 1st round pick and Kindle would be a huge reach @12. Pierre-Paul should go ahead of Kindle.

He is a late 1st / early 2nd pick.

If Haden fell could they move Smith to safety? Gotta take the best player that you can slot into your lineup. Reaching is how you stay a bad team.

Of guys who may fall my choices in order would be Haden, Bryant, McLain.

" F " YOU !! Kanye. You Racist PIG !!!

OLB... we got some old guys out there. We need speed and voracity and we need it when its 3rd and 5 on our own 30 yard line. We need somebody that will put the opposing QB down even if he doesn't get to him with the ball in hand. Our OLB need to be FEARED by the opposition. Unfortunately it wasn't so this year. Kindle would be awsome if we could get him.

i think cj spiller or dez bryant are better picks in terms of must haves then linebackers only bcuz crowder is signed and we have Wake. We don't have a premier offense and our defense played well enough. I think the depth at Linebacker is huge this year they can pick up a good one in the second or third. Those two guys will be real threats on any team.

that being said Mcclain is the better pick rather than Kindle look where Ware was drafted....

So much for defense wins championships.


Why waste a pick on an ILB or OLB? We need to trade that pick so we can go toe to toe with Peyton. If anything, we need a NT. If anything else, we need a top flight WR or TE.

GO INDY !!!! 31-17 indy.

Posted by: NJ PHIN FAN | January 24, 2010 at 12:34 AM

It was 30-17 moron. Can you count?

Phins4 and NJPhin;

OK, let's all agree that McClain is an excellent LB prospect. In fact, he is the Best on the board; period. My comments were only directed at Mando's original BLOG, talking about his tackling prowess. IMveryHO, that is not his #1 strength, but he does many things very, very well. Instincts, athleticism, leadership (from what I read), and yes he does make tackles and is around the ball (275 total in 3 years) He seems like the complete package, an ILB/OLB combo.

So, I would be very happy if he falls to us at 12. He is an excellent overall prospect, and fine LB. Let's hope that Denver doesn't snag him.

Posted by: KDee | January 23, 2010 at 04:02 PM

Why are you apologizing to these two jagoffs?

I thought I was a fan of the Dolphins and of the NFL and Football in general. But the inside knowledge most of you portray in this blog is amazing! The potential #12 pick could be this or the other guy, you guys know the size of their shoes and who they dated in the 10th grade. I am in owe. I think Armando has this blog so he can get information to write about in the Herald. LOL...Smart!

I'm with dfins006 on this one. NJ, he did state that he "plays" faster not is faster. Timed speed is awesome to have but football instincts are huge too. Zach Thomas was suppose to be too slow but his insticts, film study, and desire allowed him to make quite a few tackles in the NFL.

In Spikes I do see a more aggresive player that seems more decisive when going after a defender. At least that is what I see. False steps and hitting people in more of an upright stance will get McClain in trouble in the NFL as OL, FB's and RB's will truck ya with bad technique.

McClain is a big, strong, fast player but I am not sure he is the killer football player with Ray Lewis / Patrick Willis mentality and tackling prowess. He seems to drag guys down and also is too upright when hitting many ball carriers.

He seems like the classic boom or bust type prospect to me.

YES, I will pray I am wrong if the Phins pick him. YES, I will gladly eat my crow (microwaved of course) if I am off base after he gets into the NFL and proves to be the stud others tout. By the same token would others do it if Spiller is offensive rookie of the year 2010?

To me, this is one of the best times in NFL football. The guessing game that is recognizing talent as it transitions into the Pros.

I will stand by my pick (if he is there) and say I would most like to see CJ Spiller as a Phin. My #1 best choice S Eric Berry will be long gone and I think we all know Parcells is not gonna trade away so many chances in the next talent lotto by trading up from #12. If RB Spiller is gone, WR Dez is gone by #12 I say they trade down if they can. If the Fins want an ILB that can cover RB's or WR's on crossing routes they should look towards ILB Pat Angerer from Iowa in the 3 round area. He will be one of the fastest timed LB's at the combine and his speed seems to show up well on tape.

We need a ilb in the draft we al ready have two great cb davis and smith

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