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2010 draft needs to be a boon for the Dolphins

My Sunday column explained why the upcoming 2010 might be the most important for the Dolphins in a very long time.

Simply, in year No. 3 of the Parcells-Sparano-Ireland dynasty, the Dolphins need to turn the corner on one playoff season and one losing season. But unlike most other NFL offseasons, free agency will be an unpredictable exercise based on the likely uncapped year.

Free agency also might not offer the many opportunities to add young, prime-of-their-career talent it has been in the past.

So if the Dolphins are to make the significant jump from inconsistent and mediocre to good or very good, the draft must deliver the talent to do that with.

Well, the Dolphins will have plenty of arrows in their quiver to do damage in the draft.

They have nine picks assigned so far:

First round - #12 overall.

Second round - #11 in the round.

Third round - #9 in the round.

Fourth round - #12 in the round.

Fifth round -- None. Consideration to Kansas City for Tyler Thigpen.

Sixth round - #4 in the round (from Kansas City), # 5 in the round (from Washington) and #10 in the round (own).

Seventh round - #5 in the round (from Kansas City) and #12 in the round (own).

But I'm here to tell you the Dolphins should have at least one more pick. The compensatory picks will be awarded in March and the Dolphins are likely to score at least one pick based on their 2009 offseason losses.

You'll recall that last offseason the team lost three unrestricted free agents -- cornerback Andre' Goodman to the Denver Broncos, safety Renaldo Hill to the Denver Broncos and center Al Johnson to the New England Patriots.

The Dolphins signed three unrestricted free agents -- guard Joe Berger, center Jake Grove, and cornerback Eric Green.

I cannot recite the exact NFL net gain-loss formula for unrestricted free agency, because I'm not that much of a dweeb, but suffice to say the Dolphins will be judged to have a net loss. And while they are not likely to gain anything as high as a third- or fourth-round pick via the compensatory process, they might pick up a fifth-rounder. We'll see.

(Before you go all nutty in the comments section saying I messed up because the Dolphins also signed Gibril Wilson and Jason Taylor, I remind you neither were unrestricted free agents. Both were released by their teams. Both were street free agents. Cameron Wake was also a street free agent as he wasn't even in the league the season before. The NFL does not weigh them in the gain-loss formula.)

Now, as to what the Dolphins do with their nine and perhaps 10 draft picks, I can tell you this:

Miami needs to do better, and certainly no worse, than last year as far as production from their rookies.

In 2009, the Dolphins got two starters out of the first two rounds. That's good despite the fact the first two rounds offered Miami three picks.

The Dolphins need to find starters in the first two rounds of 2010. And then they have to do better beyond that than they did in 2009.

You see, in 2009 only fourth-rounder Brian Hartline contributed to any substantial degree.

Third rounder Patrick Turner was a non-factor. Fifth-rounder John Nalbone was a non-factor. Fifth-rounder Chris Clemons was mostly a special teams player. Sixth-rounder Andrew Gardner was a non-factor. And seventh-rounder J.D. Folsom was a non-factor.

If the Dolphins can find three starters from the 2010 draft, coupled with perhaps one or two starters from free agency and some other avenue (trade?), we could be talking a significant improvement from 2009.

And that's what the Dolphins need.

Follow me on twitter as I failed miserably in my attempt to reach 3,000 followers by the end of the weekend. I gained some 160 followers last week but fell 20-some followers shy of my goal. So help me to stop sucking. 

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sureshock,

The Pat White pick was puzzling last year, but by no means was the 2009 draft a failure. Davis and Smith will be solid for years to come at cb (especially Davis in my opinion) and Brian Hartline is one hell of a play maker... Chris Clemons is also showing alot of promise and the book is still open on Turner, we havent seen enough of him to pass judgement

LOL Carlito!! Armando said we need two starters out of this draft, couple blogs ago he said the Must Haves" are LB and NT...there's ur first two picks

I really don't believe McClain will even be available to us when we pick. KC, CLE, BUF, and DEN who are there great ILB? I would be shocked if he makes it through all those. And as i've said, a team like the NYG knows they need to get ahead of us to take McClain, so 11 will be a hot trade spot too.

Why wouldn't we trade for Marshall? Yea he has some baggage but he still puts up numbers EVERY YEAR despite his run ins with the team he plays for. If we sign Dansby and Rolle (which is VERY realistic) why not send a 1st and 3rd for him? That takes care of ILB, FS, WR and only has NT and OLB to worry about with 7 other picks! Henne needs a number 1 receiver to throw to and Miami hasn't had one since.......still thinking.......can't remember. Dez Bryant is not an option, he can not walk on the field day 1 and be a number 1 receiver like Marshall is and has been. Sorry for all of the non believers out there but in my opinion I rather have Brandon Marshall for a 1st and a 3rd over drafting WR after WR like they did last year and still not have a number 1.

Fin Defense gave up a avg of 24 pts per game ranking them # 24th in the league, there offense scored 22.5 ranking them 14th, Defense gets the Cubans nod for the upcoming draft......

Having 1 player at a position does not solve that position. Look at Ferguson last year, or when Crowder got hurt. Our drafts have been great at adding depth as well. I don't wanna give up a 1 and 3 for Marshall.

good post Cuban, way to bring the numbers

305phinfan, Bill Parcells is not giving up a first and third for a WR...PERIOD u r not being realistic or u know nothing about Parcells career and how he feels about that position... U can forget Marshall

carlito i agree with you im just saying the draft in general cant even compare to the amount of talent there is this year

alot of mediocre stuff last year this one you you can see us getting great pick ups even into the fourth

also hopefully nolan makes a strong push for us in free agency we definitely need to be a little more aggressive

305 Marshall supporter.... If we give up two of our top draft picks then we are going backwards. When you are trying to turn a team around you do not give up two draft picks along with bring someone in who is most likely going to wreck the locker room. BAD IDEA!!!!!!!!

I have been reading on a few sites we are talking to DET, possibly to pick up Cliff Avril, that would be a good get. A trade I could realistically see us doing. I would be happy with that acquisition.

Its called building a team guys......

marshall would be a great addition no doubt id give up one pick for him not 2 no way in this world

but i will say this everyone says his attitude is a problem but i remembers keysha johnson was the biggest premadonna bia bia in the nfl and parcells picked him up everywhere he went

i just think marshall didnt like the way stuff was be handled by daniels

Bootang, u make a point about the Giants and McClain...Giants need a ILB badly, Dansby is available yet if u read the NY papers and fans reaction, they have no desire for Dansby..All together now, "he is not worth 30 million for 3 years with his production" Yet people down here are clamoring for this guy, we need to STOP wanting to sign players because they are better then what we got and sign players because they are the best!!! NO to Dansby for 30 million

sureshock I agree with you re: the talent level in this years draft

Bobbyd12,

I don't think Dansby will get 30 million for 3 years anywhere in the league... unless he feels like going to Oakland


Replacing obvious holes with rookies isn't going to get you there any faster. Drafts are for building and free agents fill holes.

Posted by: klndry | February 22, 2010 at 03:49 AM

Can't agree more. Lot of folks seem to be brainwashed into believing the draft is the end all, be all. A lot of them are just parroting what others have said. Some remember the bad old days when bad FA choices ruled the day at the expense of the draft. Fact is, the draft choices were just as bad.

The truth is, the draft, FAs, trades and other deals all play a part. As for FAs and other transactions, you have to be smart about it. And don't give people like Wilson $8,000,000 in guaranteed money.

Carlito, no the Redskins will pay him that, we overpaid for ur favorite Gibril and look how well that worked out

@WestVaFins

So if McClain is gone (which he will be) and Dez Bryant is still sitting on the board you don't think the Phins would draft him? You better bet your arse they will. Just because Parcells does not have a past history with WR's does not mean that he will not. Henne has NO ONE to throw to. We can't even get him a decent TE for crying out loud and young QB's need one, hence Tony Gonzales in Atlanta. So we can draft Bryant not knowing what he is going to do in the NFL and draft another Patrick Turner in the 3rd over getting Marshall. WE ALL KNOW IT'S REBUILDING but when you can add ONE OF THE BEST receivers in the game you do it.

Marshall would be a great pickup if we could get him for a late draft pick. Seeing as how he will never be let go for that then it is not a good pick up. Lets learn quickly... You cannot lose draft picks while building a team...It is a setback.. You build a team via the draft... NOT TRADES AND FA thanks,,,,

305 YOU ARE COMPLETELY WRONG THE DOLPHINS WILL NOT TAKE DEZ BRYANT IF HE IS THERE REGARDLESS WHAT HAPPENS WITH MCCLAIN.... SAY THIS OUT LOUD TO YOURSELF SO IT MIGHT SINK IT... YOU ARE WRONG!!!!!!!!!!!!

What is kind of funny, many of the "issues" in regards to McClain are similar to issues with Dansby. I feel McClain is a more polished product than Dansby was. McClain does have some issues getting off blocks, but is better in coverage than people give him credit for. A lot like Dansby. I don't want to break the bank for anyone. I like relatively young guys, who are versatile, and smart. How many times have we heard 'count plays' from this regime. The guy I have been really banging the drum for is Ben Watson, I think he compliments Fasano very well, and won't be real expensive. FA should be about adding depth, getting good players, and helping offer flexibility in what we do in the draft. If Aaron Hernandez was available at 44, we would have to take a legitimate look, IMO. If we signed Watson, that eliminates that need. A big misconception is we have to have a stud WR to open things up. While true, not the only way to do this. Can be accomplished with a good TE or a RB that is tough to cover in space. All about mismatches.

305PhinPhan, if McClain is gone Parcells still won't take Bryant, no chance , no way, no how...again NT, linebackers MUST HAVE...Parcells will not waste that pick on a WR

Westva, Speaks the truth, All you need to do is look what Don(God)Shula tried in his latter years with the mighty air breathers, And look what Dave(I'll ruin a franchise in two years)Wannstadt did... not once but twice, You build thru the draft and you Sprinkle 1 or 2 free agents in each year..... But then again what do I Know????

Bootang i agree i love Ben Watson and he will fill that need at a very good price for us...

@ WestVAFins

So what do you suggest? Have Henne go another year of throwing to Ginn, Hartline, Bess, Camerillo, Fasano? If we had a NUMBER 1 receiver on the team this past year you could pencil in 3 more wins to the record. Could any other position that you want do that for the team? I seriously doubt it! No player we draft at #12 could benefit the team more than Marshall PERIOD!

Your comments on the contributions from the 2009 draft players are correct. However, for a fifth rounder (Clemons) to be mostly special teams is exactly what they wanted to get out of that pick, special teams for one year and move up to start of contribute in the second year. For Gardner to not be a contributor is sort of good news because it means there were not serious injuries to our OT's. But I agree they need to have more hits on their draft picks, Pat White is obviously a very long term project at best, Patrick Turner was either immature for the NFL last year or does not have the worth ethic and talent to make it. Nalbone and Folsom were head scratchers from the begining and I doubt they will be back next year. If we want to improve we can't miss on our first four picks this year, we need them to be significant contributors like Davis, Smith, and Hartline from last year.

The factor I think that most hurts Bryant, in all honesty, is picking Eugene Parker as his agent. We all saw what happened with Crabtree last year. Miami would have had a slim chance picking the guy, but this really hurt that happening. Which may be dumb, because Beyant may be a good player. My issue is Henne showed he doesn't need a #1 to succeed, I'm pretty sure he threw for 300 3 or 4 times, and did complete 17 in a row also. It would be nice where he didn't have to be perfect on nearly every throw. What people seem to forget, we really played as 2 different type offenses last year. Power running at the beginning of the year, and more passing at the end. Add just 1 or 2 guys, have a healthy Ronnie Brown (I know a big if) and I don't see why we can't be a top 10 offense.

305 No one is saying that Brandon Marshall isnt going to produce wherever he goes.. Everything you say have mentioned.. Some good points. Yes a number one helps Henne. But listen because you are clearly not getting it. You do not give up draft picks when building a team... You do not bring in someone like Marshall when building a team... Like Bootang said getting a pass catching tight end like Watson helps us out and no doubt we are goign to be looking for that diamond in the rough in the late rounds.

305, The problem lies with the Defense, they lost the indy, and New Orleans game cause they couldnt stop there offense, and they where never there at the start of the last 3 games .... the offense is not the best but it was the defense that cost them 5 games this past year.........

Bootang, keep this name in mind for late rounds, Rob Gronkowski, TE Arizona 6:6 265 47 receptions, 624 yards 10 Tds... Would be much higher but had back surgery and is medically cleared to play...again, might be very good late round guy Fins might take a chance on

WE have to get a ILB or NT in FA. Then our first 3 picks can be OLB, S, and either a NT or ILB dependign on which we got in FA.

Rather give up a 4th for Boldin which is much more realistic then a first and third for Marshall

on offense we need to have henne complete around 62-65 percent of his passes and his INT's lowered. Then we go to playoffs. We don't necessarily need a great WR

I have two words for you....Brandon Marshall

Agreed Bobby--- The deal for Boldin is going to be a lot easier on us and will not set us back.....

It has seriously been over a month since anyone mentioned Brandon Marshall's name in here i really thought everyone had wised up.... Sooo sad for those people who think they know football and dont.......

It's about having players that compliment each other, depth. That's huge. Guys struggled like Fasano, Soliai, Ricky didn't start fumbling until he had to do the bulk work, Torbor started to get exposed when Crowder got hurt, Bess would undoubtedly improve if he didn't have to worry about returning punts. Cameron Wake is a beast, but if we had 3 or 4 other guys to hit teams with, he wouldn't be as exposed to what he doesn't do well. FA and the draft are where we address this depth. And giving a huge contract to 1 guy hurts our ability to sign players for depth, also trading 2 picks for 1 player doesn't accomplish this either. I like when Coach says 'the right 53, not the best 53'

DEFENSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

exactly right bootang........ the right 53 will never include Brandon Marshall in Miami./............

I do want Marshall moved though, opens up a receiver need in Denver, good draft pick for Dez Bryant, kill two birds with one stone...And by the way, Clevland seems to have fallen in love with Joe Haydon and Buffalo is definitly looking for offense after losing their 26 year old tackle to retirement...McClain falling to 12 is certainly not a long shot

Its the top five that will decide if McClain is there. If they go quarterback in two of those spots then the two DT will go followed by Berry or McClain... The next five other than Denver should be looking other places but then 10 and 11 will be look hard at McClain...

Bobbyd, I have watched the kid play 3 or 4 times, and agree, he would be a good get. There's a kid, I'm pretty sure Missouri St, Clay Harbor, saw him in the east-west shrine, and texas vs the nation, shows fantastic hands. An H-back type guy, but someone who will make plays as well. And from what I read, other people like him too.

I don't get the fascination with Dansby. He's a good player...not questionsing that. But he's 28 years old, soon to be 29. and he's going to want huge money!! I don't believe we're one player away and I don't believe in investing that kind of money in that player. I think most of you guys are looking for an instant upgrade, at any cost (and don't give me this crap about it being an uncapped year. The player's contract will still count against the cap once the agreement is settled). Dansby will be in demand, with as many as four teams being in hot pursuit and I think his price will be driven up. I see a lesser, more affordable option of Adalious Thomas being a better fit for the team.

I want someone to name me the player to really rock the boat on a Super Bowl winning team? I can't think of any of those type guys on NO, PIT, NYG, IND. Funny how when Tiki Barber left, while a great talent, that team really came together. Me first guys divide the locker room, undermine what the coach wants to accomplish, take away from the team concept. If you say add B Marshall, then you have to say keep J Porter. Which is not a good idea. Let those kind of players go somewhere else and cause problems, no thanks for me.

Craig M...right on point on Dansby, thank u

Are we going to have to buy Miami 10 during the 2010 season?

Well, time to start shift, have a good day guys

Dansby, if at the RIGHT price, is a scheme versatile guy, still relatively young, who affords us different options in the draft. We should not overspend or get in a bidding war for the guy however. I think everyones big knock on him is how much he ends up costing this team.

If he wants to sign for like 8 a year then i say we pull the trigger but no way do we guarantee 30 over three.

Some great posts on here today, guys. Well thought out and good logic. I like a lot of what I heard from Bottang.....good job!!

I think there is a pretty good chance that McClain is there for us at 12 (assuming a team like the Giants doesn't move up). It's starting to look like the Bills will stick with Edwards (or someboby else, maybe Vick or McNabb) and that they will draft an offensive lineman in the draft. Which makes you wonder if Claussen will drop and if the Broncos won't grab him if he's there. Does that mean that both Bryant AND McClain will be there for us at that spot. The next few weeks are going to be very interesting....

If everyone can remember correctly Miami had a chance to win the game against Indy. Henne threw a beautiful pass to Ginn and it went right through his hands and all in all cost us the game. Did everyone seem to forget that we have Mike Nolan as the D Cord. now? Did he not take a terrible Defense in Denver into a good one? Did he not make Elvis Dumervill play like the 1st rounder he was drafted? We had TWO starting CB's last year! Of coarse our D was not going to be spectacular. If Miami signed Dansby and Rolle then say traded down to middle - bottom of the first round and picked up an extra 3rd then why not give both of them up for Marshall. Maybe you are right VA about the Trifecta not going after a number one but that does not mean it's the right thing to do. This will be the 3rd draft by the Trifecta so how much more "rebuilding" do you expect from them? It's not like we are "rebuilding" like the Lions, Rams, Chiefs, or Seahawks. Now we are just feeling in the holes. If you can't see that a PROVEN #1 receiver would help this team out tremendously then maybe you are the one that knows nothing about football.

Craig, what will be nice, especially after the combine, we will all have a really good idea to base arguments off of. We will have almost all the information possible, ad can really begin to predict with more certainty. While I think the combine is overrated, it helps as another tool of information. The best thing that comes out of the combine, IMO, is the 15 minute interviews teams get. Obviously we won't have that information, but we will have all the measurables to look at and compare.

bobbyd12 - How do you know Dansby wants 20 million guaranteed? Also, he will not get all that guaranteed if the league has a lockout.

Out of pure curiosity and speculation, who thinks Spiller will make it through the 1st round?

We are rebuilding like those teams... 1-15????? UHHHHH!!!!!!! If you know anything about sports then you would know that never in the history of sports has one single play been to blame for the win or loss of a team. The game is four quarters long. If we could have stopped Indy at all during that game then we win. Soo awful argument thank and try again.... Once again say it out loud really really loud... YOU ARE WRONG !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We have a horrible defense!!!!!!!! We scored just fine...... I really am trying to be rude but you could honestly be the biggest idiot i have seen on this blog ever............

to NOT be rude but....

305_, nobody is saying that a number one wouldn't help this team. It absolutely would, it's a glaring need. But at what price? A first and a third for Marshall is absurd. Even if he was an upstanding individual it would be a lot to give up and we all know he's not. Not doubting the man's talent, just questioning the logic in giving something like that up. We're going to get a really good player at 12 and we have other holes to fill, so we need to hang onto our picks.

Spiller will be gone by 15...

Indiana, a lot with Spiller depends on the combine. Even with a subpar combine, I can't see him falling out of round 1. I think he will probably have a great combine, and cement himself as a top 20 pick. He needs to be utilized in a Reggie Bush/Percy Harvin type way IMO. Maximize his touches.

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