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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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Thank you YAYA, great points....

You would have to say though, we are MUCH better than Buffalo, much more built to win, and TO had noone like Henne throwing the ball to him. If we are close, and I think we could be with a good draft ad some good signings, maybe you do make a play at TO. Personally I would not, but he didn't really complaining a terrible situation last year, so it makes you wonder what a good situation would do for him.


Bottom line, who won the Superbowl? A team that had a worse defense than the Dolphins. The list still shows that teams with a offense goes to the playoffs. By the way the Steelers, Broncos, Panthers, and Redskins all had top ten defenses this year and where did it get them? Do you see a pattern? How come it took a offensive player like Favre to get the Vikings as far as they did this past season? They have had a good D for a couple of years now but an Offensive player got them there. So you're credibility goes out the window for not taking the time to back up your defense theory.

Cuban, I think Miami's clip board holders are OK for now. But the blocking dummies are getting a little old. If not in this draft, I say next draft they have to get younger blocking dummies.

Seriously, they need upgrade on both sides, offense and defense.

The latest buzz surrounding Marshall is a 2nd rounder. Any thoughts or inside information Armando??

LUNCH TIME BE BACK IN THIRTY..... Someone teach 305 something while im gone... He really needs some help....

305 Phin,

I do agree about Daniels but he's a stud that wants the money we dont pay TEs. Love to have him though.

Austin was a late pick that took a few years to blossom. He blossomed though...and on the cheap.

W.Va. I'll pray for Guidance for this lost football soul....

Armando, I've seen posted on a few websites rumors of Miami looking to maybe make a play for Cliff Avril of DET. Maybe you could look into this. He doesn't fit their 4-3 DE mold, and is only 23. I'd think he would be a good fit for us.

Let me share this:

I watched the replay of the New Orleans loss yesterday -- I have no life.

And in that game the offense and defense took turns playing GREAT. And they took turns playing TERRIBLE.

The Saints scored like 46 points, I think, but the offense gave up 14 of them on TE returns.

Miami's offense scored 34 points I think, but the defense gave them the ball inside the NO 20 yard line twice.

At the end of the day the defense didn't hold when it needed and the offense couldn't drive when they got behind and needed to answer New Orleans.

It tells me the Dolphins have issues on BOTH sides of the ball before they're in the same class with great teams.

Okay so lately I've been thinkinq about why ginn struggled so much and just regressed in a year we all thought he would break out , and I think went pennington went down that really hurt him because all last year ginn didn't have to really work to catch the ball because it would always be were it had to be , but with Henne it's different because his accuracy is inconsistent and ginn really doesn't have the best hands so with all the fastballs , low balls , high balls , and not accurate balls it just made ginn feel akward compared to last year

cuban - You really don't think a guy can be taught after just 3 season in the NFL. Look at Tiki Barber and his fumbling problem in which he was taught well after just 3 years in the NFL...

I'm not saying it will happen, but it is def. possible!

Lets draft Tim Tebow.


I dont know your sources but if you could find out the situation with Tony Schleffer in Denver? He was benched the last game and publicly thought he was a goner by next year. I would LOVE him as a pass catching TE. The guy could play and is still young.

Sign TO for one year? I am sold - get him in here with an incentive laden contract and have Parcells slap (what did he call him) "The Player" around.

On another note - if the Dolphins do sign Ben Watson to pair with Fasano; that would be a boon to the passing game and Henne.

How is the adoption of Brandon Graham going Mando?

Thanks for the answer Mando, that's about what I thought...Parcells needs to know these guys can do the job after he splits. And yeah, I kinda figured White was a Parcells pic.

Rufus(The human blocking dummy)Ginn is getting old???? Hmmmmmm, Thanks mando, I thought they had a 6 year shelf life.....KUDOS

On Marshall, I think the Dolphins will get Mike Nolan's opinion. Nolan saw first-hand how Marshall acted in Denver.

I believe Parcells will lean heavily against Marshall and then ask Nolan for his opinion. If Nolan is a little against it or neutral, it will not happen.

If Nolan is super gung-ho and loves Marshall it might sway Parcells a bit to show some interest.

But overall, the odds are against Marshall winding up in Miami.

Parcells demands a lot from his players and employees, but his own drafting record in Miami is average.

It is time for him to step up, and find us late round gems! That's were we can pick up some ground vs Jets and Pats

His late round picks have been awful: only Thomas, Langford and Hartline contribute (and Thomas and Langford have not progressed at all this year).

Go Tuna!

Armando - If all the Broncos want is a 2nd Marshall, would that be worth it? I have not been a fan of him in a Miami uniform for many reasons (cost it would take to get him, his non football attitude, etc.), but getting his talent for only a 2nd rounder would probably be worth it. Look how many 2nd rounders we have wasted over the years on Marino's replacement and last years pick (Pat White). We could still address defense with the 12th pick and we could offer many different things for Marshall...

Why do you keep saying New Orleans had a worse defence than the Dolphins. The Dolphins defence was worse by far. One of the reasons that New Orleans went from 8-8 to the Super Bowl is because they brought in Greg Williams and upgraded some key spots (like Sharper). I'm not sure why you keep saying our defence was better. It was horrific last year, hence the reason we fired the DC.

Armando, does Rolle become an option for the Dolphins if Arizona axes him? Seems to me he will want ridiculous money. If they sign him do the Dolphins have to move Bell over to accomodate Rolle?

Just Because, the legal system is not friendly to men wanting to adopt a 22-year-old man he's never met.

I'm afraid I'm going to have admire the guy from afar. I just hope afar is not in New England or New York with the Jets.

Jncrdn, are you kidding? Ginn regressed because Henne didn't always put the ball in Ginn's hands?

Quite the opposite. Ginn was supposed to blossom with a QB that could get him the ball down the field.

And instead of catching those passes down the field, Ginn either wasn't open or let the passes hit him in the hands and bounce up -- like the New Orleans game.

Folks, if Ted Ginn is a starting WR for Miami in 2010, something went wrong in the offseason attempt to upgrade at WR.

Here is a really good question I've been pondering, and the answer is simple, but I'd like to hear everyones thoughts. Say Henne gets hurt in week 3 like Pennington last year, who becomes the starter? I think it's Tyler Thigpen, who I believe is HIGHLY underrated. But is it Pat White? I would think he has to be better with another year, but I don't think he's better than Thigpen, not right now at least. Your thoughts guys? And I pray Henne does not get hurt, just a question that has to be asked.


If you need more backup then here it is. Saints would have been at home 2 weeks earlier if Childers hadnt allowed that idiotic 12 man on the field penalty. In the end they won because favre loves to end seasons with picks.

Steelers- lost to TB, Raiders and Cleveland. Let a rookie QB win on a 2 min drive. Not a top 10 D in the latter half.

Broncos- allowed one guy to rush over 200 yards against them last game- not a good D latter half of season.

Panthers had an int machine to help crush their D.

Minnesota- Favre was the missing piece. He still lost the last game and the D almost won it for them. The D almost won it for them.

Im not saying O cant win games. Im saying O doesnt win SBs.

Craig M, who said NO had a worse defense than Miami. Surely, I did not.

Jncrdn And Indy, GINN would have to improve immensely just to suck, This guy is scared of his own shadow, he could go to any team and it would be the same... I call it a lack of Testicular Fortitude my friends, nothing AND THE CUBAN MEANS NOTHING can help Ted(Feet of clay)Ginn play any better, He is just a coward..

Craig, Rolle told me he doesn't want to take a pay cut. He's due to make $12 million in 2010 and that's what he wants to make one way or the other.

If that is his stance for the start of free agency, I do not know if the Dolphins are eager to jump in to the bidding right away.

Cubans think alike....

Cuban - I do agree, but I still think they keep him on the team. We lack speed at WR and he does have it. I know he has brick hands, but until his speed is replaced I believe he stays around. Just my opinion and I do not believe he is expensive to keep around. I also want to see him with a full off season with Henne. Even though he had 13 games with Henne last season, he didn't practice in the off season as Henne being the starter.

@ Craig M

The Saints total Defense was ranked 25th in the NFL the Dolphins Defense were ranked 22nd. That's why are defense was better. http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/sortableStatsTeam?div=NFL&sortType=defense&table=overall&stat=overallYpg&dir=ascending&seasonState=regular

That explains it all. So you are wrong the Saints DID have a worse defense then the Phins. Stats don't lie.

Craig M,

Thank you for backing me up with 305. 305 didnt pay attention to football this year. I believe that Gregg Williams is the MAIN reason Saints won it all.

Sorry Armando. I was referring to an earlier post from 305_. Just not sure where he's getting that from. He must be a casual fan or is thinking of past New Orleans teams.

Armando - You mentioned if Ginnis starting WR, then Miami didn't do good job addressing the issue. Do you think he will be on the team and if not starting, where would he go. Return man and backup WR??


Graham does look like a Belichick kind of player doesnt he? Id hate it as well if they picked him up(I could see him as their 1st pick).

N.O Defense was 25th because when your ahead 28 to 10 at half time they play prevent defense, when there defense had to play hard they did.... That's why there super bowl champs... Guys Defense does win super bowls....

Do you see any chance in which Miami takes Spiller at #12? I think he is the next Chris Johnson in waiting and Ronnie only has 1 year left.

My preference is McClain - but what if he's not there and neither is Bryant....would Parcells reach for a RB?


If Henne gets hurt then it has to be Thigpen as the starter. That's assuming of course that Pennington isn't back as a back-up. I know Parcells has a soft spot for Pennington and I think if he's healthy then he might be back.

But the next question is, are you better with a younger Thigpen as your backup or an older Pennington, who knows the system and the coaches and appears to have a really good relationship with Henne. Should Pennington be back or does it put too much pressure on Henne to do well? If everyone is back, who is your backup Pennington or Thigpen?

Indiana, I don't know if Ginn will be on the team for sure, because I don't know what moves the Dolphins will be able to make this offseason.

Anyone that says he absolutely will be around is full of it because he seems to be a bubble guy for me that needs to prove himself. Anyone who says he's definitely gone doesn't know, either.

I suppose Ginn can continue to return kicks. I suppose he can be a third-down guy. If he's a starter ... We suck.

305_PhinPhan - That sortable link you have is based on Yards/game and there is only a difference of 3 spots. Is that really that much?? 9.5 yards difference...

Miami also gave up 24.4/game and the Saints gave up 21.3, SO which defensive stat is the most important?

Yaya, you are correct. The Pats are drafting about the time Graham is supposedly valued as a pick. And that is scary.

Indy, I see Ted(Hands of stone)Ginn returning to Columbus with his Daddy, sister and cousin in tow returning to the "Ginn bicycle repair" Shop that they own and operate....

jergah, I don't think Parcells is going to "reach" for anyone.

They "reached" for Pat White last year and that didn't work out too good. I hope they learn their lesson.

I do know the Dolphins want home run hitters on offense. They have none right now. And Spiller is a home run threat, no doubt about it.

Craig M,

Id go with Thigpen. He should know the system pretty well by august. I love Penny, I really do but the guy just had his 3rd major surgery. He should be called back ASAP when his playing days are over for a few years as a QB coach. Then let him go coach HS FB(which he says is his first passion coaching-wise). The guy is a champion no matter what he does.

Good Q&A today, Mando. One more....do you think Parcells & Co. feel there's more urgency to produce (including player acquisition) in year 3?


I like the way you think.

Cocoajoe, if you ask Parcells, he expects his teams to produce EVERY year. And this year is the most important one because, well, it's this year.

But the facts are they were a losing team last year and that doesn't sit well with anyone. They obviously must feel the pressure to take a significant step forward in 2010. Otherwise people are going to start questioning what's going on.

Wow!! To think of paying a free safety around $12 million dollars a year!! Is there REALLY a team out there that will pay that? I like Rolle and think he's a good player, I just don't see him as that type of player. Is he a good enough tackler to make that kind of money? Is this really how to build a championship team? I think money could be spent in other areas and be much more effective. Spending the money on Dansby would be a better investment.

YAYA, never admit that in a court of law.....unless you want to be institutionalised that is...


I would love Spiller. I could imagine trade feelers being sent out on Ginn the very next day. I love this draft because we have some of the best flexibility out there.

Craig, let me clarify: Rolle wants $12 million THIS year. Not $12 million every year.

He wants a signing bonus and salary that will get him as close to $12 million as possible because that's what he was due to make in Arizona.

But he's not worth $12 million next year and the year after that and after that. He knows that.

I love Spiller, too. But I also believe the Dolphins will try to solve their LB issues (a must have) before they address their looming issues at RB (a want).

Mando, did you ever respond to my post about Antonio Bryant and Mike Nolan's thoughts on him that were put in a Dec. 2008 article on yahoo?

Thanks for the clarification Armando. I know you are not a fan of Gibril Wilson (that's probably putting things a bit mildly, no?....LOL). Is Rolle a guy the Dolphins should go after? Doesn't that mean that Bell would have to move into Wilson's Rolle?

I've read that Rolle, who played for Miami, right, would like to play for the Dolphins. Thoughts?

Stupid iPhone lol. Basically I said let Pennington compete somewhere else, he has earned that, groom White and keep familiarizing Thigpen with the offense. I believe our QB situation is one of the better in the league, without Pennington, let alone having him. I am still relatively young, but Pennington is in my top 15 of fav Dolphins. And a lot of that has more to do with how he helped Henne than just his contributions on the field. I will forever remember his TD near the pylon, think against Buffalo, where he spiked the he'll outta the ball and threw both arms in the air. What a classy, good football player.

LOL @ Armando!! Every word true. We are not the front office, so all we got are opinions. My opinion though is we keep him around at least for 1 more year...notice I didn't say starter, just that we keep him around

Lol @ Cuban,

Point taken.

I truly dont think any FA is worth the price this year but Id go Dansby if I had to. I think the Giants and Skins will outbid for his services but Id at least bid. And if we got him then Id still go McClain if possible. He will be Crowders replacement in a couple years if gotten.

Marcus, I did not respond previously. I saw the quotes.

They were interesting. Having said that, I remind you sometimes coaches say things for public consumption that they might not really buy into privately. I think we've seen that countless times with Saban, Cameron, Sparano.

Are you 100 percent that wasn't one of those times?

305 --- NO gave up more yards because everyone had to pass on them....... Because with the exception of a few games they were up big early... And the only way other teams stayed with them was to pass right along with their offense.... You are really showing a lack of comprehension for anything. Very sad indeed...

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