Before we were inundated with Joey Porter venom, this blog was busy breaking down the talent at the Senior Bowl, courtesy aspiring NFL scout Chris Cordero of Miami.
Cordero was a huge hit in my opinion and I hope you agree.
He scouted and sent abbreviated reports for OLBs, ILBs, WRs-TEs, and FS. And yet something out there continues to suggest the Dolphins may look at filling their RG position.
Donald Thomas faded badly at year's end. Nate Garner was a surprise but he seems better suited as the swing G-T than the fulltime starter. So it is possible the Dolphins look at their interior line to fill the last remaining gap of their $156 million offensive line.
Therefore, today we give you a look at the interior offensive linemen Cordero saw at the Senior Bowl:
1. Mike Iupati - 6-5, 325 lbs - Idaho
Team Numbers: Idaho was 45th (out of 120 in the country) in rushing offense; 12th in passing in NCAA Division 1-A (it will ALWAYS be Divison 1-A to me)
-Massive man with long arms and great natural athleticism that have some thinking he can play Offensive Tackle
-Powerful and Nasty - does not stop until the whistle blows and put more than a few guys on their rear like Michael Neal of Purdue and D'Anthony Smith of Lousisiana Tech
-Has a great work ethic and always give maximum effort
-Locks on to a defender and his long arms and strong hands make it difficult for them to get off his block
-Has a quick first snap and very good lateral quickness - is able to get to the 2nd level on his blocks; and also pulls well
-As a guard - he has few weaknesses; his technique can get inconsistent
-Tried at tackle - and needs work there as it is not natural for him - yet....
-English is 2nd language - but you could see him yukking it up with some of the other OL and communication shouldn't be an issue
It is rare that you find Offensive Guards that you would take in the 1st Round - but this guy is special. Seeing all the money invested in the Offensive Line; I highly doubt that the Dolphins would select him - even in a scenario where they trade down from the #12 pick. He will be dominant, and I find it hard to say about college Offensive Linemen; but with his natural tools and work ethic, don't doubt this guy. With proper coaching could be a very good NFL tackle - but I wouldn't move him out of the Interior.
2. Vladimir Ducasse - 6-5, 326 lbs - Massachussetts
Team Numbers: Massachussetts was 44th (out of 120 in the country) in rushing offense; 29th in passing in NCAA Division 1-AA (again, I'm not down with the FCS title)
-Another massive human being (notice a theme here?) has long arms and a strong base to anchor against defenders.
-Very nimble and agile for his size; shows good footwork.
-Is quick off the snap (someone pointed out that it looks like he is jumping the snap - but don't only defenders jump the snap?).
-Very good, explosive first step when run blocking.
-When he locks on a defender and gets his hands on them - is dominant.
-Aggressive, tough and wants to succeed.
-Played against a lower level of competition and could need time to adjust to speed and power (this showed some in the practices).
-Needs work on his technique due to lack of experience.
-Gets too upright at times at the snap and allows defenders to get into him.
-Played mostly Left Tackle in college; but will still struggle some against speed rushers.
Keeps on moving up draft boards, some have him in the 2nd - but I see him as a 3rd-4th Rounder; but could also see him going earlier than that to a team that needs OLine help. Would be a good value in the 4th for the Dolphins and help solidify the guard position. Most of his weaknesses are technical and can be corrected with good coaching - has answered some questions against how he would handle better competition at these practices. Another player who seeked out coaching and seemed to improve as the practices went along.
3. John Jerry - 6-5, 332 lbs - Mississippi
Team Numbers: Mississippi was 32nd in rushing offense; 57th in passing in NCAA Division 1-A
-Another huge individual with long arms and a wide body; would block out the sun - but Terrence Cody did that in these practices.
-Has terrific strength at the Point of Attack and will knock defenders back at the snap with his initial punch.
-Gets good extension and drive on his blocks.
-Moves decently in space and can get around and pull for the most part.
-Had MANY a pancake block in these practices.
-Did a good job of letting the speed rushers come to him when lined up at Offensive Tackle.
-Has had conditioning issues and tires out occasionally (has improved as he weighed 350lbs at the start of the season).
-Is not as quick or agile as the two above prospects.
-Trouble moving laterally.
-Lunged at some blockers allowing defenders to get by him; leaned into his blocks occasionally.
Another player that will move up draft boards after this week. I see him going about the same as Ducasse; 3rd-4th Round - but again wouldn't be surprised if he went earlier than that as Offensive Line is such a difficult position to fill and guage in the NFL. The Dolphins took a liking to him - as Mando mentioned - and if he is there in the 4th, don't be surprised to hear his name called by them. If he keeps his weight under control he could be very good.
HONORABLE MENTION: The Offensive Tackle position was rather weak in the Senior Bowl with Ciron Black of LSU and Selvish Capers of West Virginia looking good for 3 plays and then terrible the next. Matt Tennant, Center out of Boston College is tough and mean but a little light for the style of offense the Dolphins run. Mike Johnson out of Alabama might have been the next best interior prospect and helped pave the way for Heisman winner Mark Ingram - he also has an intimidating presence. The other linemen were rather non-descript, with a lot of them changing positions from what they played in college.