« Why wouldn't the Dolphins trade Joey Porter? | Main | Free agency on the way -- one way or another »

Kiper: Dolphins will debate McClain and Bryant

ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper has the Dolphins picking Alabama inside linebacker Rolando McClain with their No. 12 overall pick of the first round in the upcoming draft.

But Kiper believes the Dolphins will have a healthy and perhaps heated discussion whether to go with McClain or Oklahoma State's Dez Bryant if the wide receiver is on the board when Miami selects.

"Dez Bryant, I think he'll be in the discussion, but you look at him and he could go higher," Kiper said today on a nationwide conference call. "I have him going at No. 10 to Denver still ... [The Dolphins] certainly need wide receiver help and you got to get it at some point and I think they will try get in this draft.

"But at that point, I think McClain would be the best option if Bryant's gone. And even if Bryant's there it's going to be a heck of a discussion, I would think, even if Bryant is still on the board."

Yeah, I could see that discussion going something like this:

Jeff Ireland: Bill, we've got a wide receiver and a linebacker on the board and ...

Bill Parcells: I'm Bill freakin' Parcells and I love linebackers.

Ireland: Linebacker it is.

Seriously, the Parcells penchant for drafting linebackers is well-known. And picking McClain, whom Kiper says has "a Ray Lewis-type enthusiasm and Bill Parcells will see that in McClain," seems logical.

"You look at Parcells when he was with the Giants and at other places, he loves linebackers that have that type of ability, especially guys with his kind of size too, with LT and Carl Banks and those type of guys," Kiper said. "This is an inside linebacker that looks like an outside linebacker."

And that is where Kiper and I disagree. I believe the Dolphins have a greater need at OLB than ILB. But Kiper doesn't see any OLB as worthy of the No. 12 selection.

I believe Michigan's Brandon Graham is more than worthy of that pick, talk of his short arms be damned. I love Graham! I have put in adoption papers for Graham because I want that guy in my family if he's not going to be on the Dolphins!

And here's the kicker, despite saying Graham rates around No. 20-32, Kiper also seems to love Graham.

"I've liked him all along, that's the one guy I've been consistent with all the way through," Kiper said. "He's got that great work ethic, he comes hard every play. He took advantage of some offensive tackles that were very suspect, obviously, and in the NFL that's not the case."

Kiper believes Graham will somehow wind up chasing Dolphins quarterbacks someday, either for a Miami division foe, or a team the Dolphins must eventually beat to become great.

"I actually have him going to New England in the latest projection I did from the standpoint of being a 3-4 outside backer," Kiper said. "As a 4-3 defensive end situational guy if Indianapolis looks at him in that rotation with [Dwight] Freeney and Robert Mathis it makes sense. I think his character and every game bringing it, the way he did production-wise is the reason why he's a pick to go now between 20 and 32."

I think that's precisely the reason the Dolphins should take him at No. 12. The kid brings it every play. Every single play. And he brings it with speed and explosion and good instinct and discipline.

Why isn't he rated higher?

Anyway, if the Dolphins decide to address their 3-4 OLB need later in the draft, Kiper has a handful of guys rated after the first round. They are:

Jerry Hughes of TCU, Ricky Sapp from Clemson, Antonio Coleman at Auburn, Cameron Sheffield at Troy, Eric Norwood at South Carolina. Kiper had Wisconsin's O'Brian Schofield rated as a first-rounder until he blew out his knee at the Senior Bowl in January.

Follow me on twitter.


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Kiper: Dolphins will debate McClain and Bryant:


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

fishypete, @11:02

Hey you just pointed out something! The Jets, who also own the little company called Johnson & Johnson, they are the same "expert" team that used all their manpower, money and resources as a competitive bunch to pick all everything corner D. Revis right?

Why then would that same talent finding bunch also find Gholston?? Hmmmmm, maybe because they make mistakes too? Experts, money and all...still whiffing on picks?

Maybe they didn't know guys like NJ PHIN, bobbyd12, Jorge and other experts that never miss are right here under their noses on this very blog? LOL.

Look, I said a million times, red faced, yelling for some awesome game footage of McClain to change my mind and still I get nothing? I can't throw down the gauntlet any harder then simply asking for what you guys think is visual proof?

What gives?


Sorry fishpete, kind of used your post as a platform

Rob in oc . Maybe the jets just didn't know you either, they could've used your Film expertise . You know , the one that saw you see brandon graham blow up and blow past bryan baluga at the senior bowl even thought baluga wasn't at the senior bowl. I think they would trust me a little more than you. cheers

Brandon Graham would be a great pick. he's good enough to be in the top ten. I watched some of his youtube videos online and his quickness and strength couldn't be dealt with at the college level. The reason I don't think the dolphins would go for brandon graham at the 12 pick is the dolphins think he is too small. He is only 6'1. This regime loves big players. It doesn't matter if he is about 260 pounds, he is "too short" for their system. If mcclain and bryant are gone at the 12th pick, it will be interesting who the dolphins will pick. I would love to have brandon graham on the dolphins.


Really? Your not gonna let a little thing like believing what you own eyes tell you vs listen to McClain "EXPERTS" on this very sight that won't even watch your VERY POINTED video that actually backs up what you saying do ya???

They say "Ahem, you can't go by clips... I watched games live and know that he is, period."

LOL, amazes me!


( I will open some eyes despite popular belief or just rolling with "general consensus" in McClain being #1 )

NJ PHIN @11:43,

Hey NJ...sup bro!



I don't NEED to watch some actual game tape footage of youtube??

What you prefer to remember it nostagicly in your head the way it was a month or so ago when you saw it back then?

Nice homework man! Good job on your review.

I guess the trifecta are kicking up their feet too as I know if they're following your lead they have already seen the Bama games from back then.



Rob in OC, also looking at positions with high success rates as far as the draft goes, name me the last ILB taken in the 1st round who was a bust. Just recently, Mayo in 08, Willis, Timmons, and Beason in 07. The last guy you could really look at and say wasn't a stud was DJ Williams in 04. This isn't trying to project what a WR will do. AND the guy played in a pro style 3-4 D already. Cam the guy run fast? He is not the fastest, but still good speed. Is he tough? The guy is a beast, even in all your critiques of him, you can't question his toughness. Instincts? No one better as far as football intelligence. You predict bust just because he doesn't jump off the screen at you. Yet names like Beason and Timmons are crucial to their defense, and they hardly ever get big time recognition. There is WAY much more to playing ILB than sacks and INTs. Those are bonuses.

Rob in oc. are you kidding me ??? i watched every bama game. That means the youtube video's are from those games . LMFAO !!!!!! I guess the trifecta sbould just forget about hiring scouts and just go watch youtube !! My god !!! I'm lmfao. this is to much. Nice homework on your youtube scouting. you know the same youtube that you saw graham beating up baluga at the senior bowl game even though baluga wasn't there. solid ! cheers

NJ PHIN @12:24,

LOL! What's that old saying about two wrongs??

Or 10 wrongs? (Jury's never get things wrong)

If you think 2 or more McClain wanting Fin Fans are going to shield my own two eye's from spotting talent and voting for getting said talent on our Fins team, think again friend.


I'm still LMFAO !!!!

You mean those same 2 eyes that saw you see graham blowing up baluga at the senior bowl ??? still lmfao !!!

bootang , good post and right on.

Why NJ PHIN...are we cross?

I apologized and admitted the Buluga mistake and you are now gonna try to Re-club me with the same mistake even after I gave you a nice full blown apology??? What the hell man?

I think you arguing about the fact that you DONT NEED to see any fact filled clips as you watched the games originally is rather silly.

That's like saying you read the book so you would NEVER go to the internet to find MORE info on the story (if you could find more) to write an the most important thesis that your whole job was riding on.

I believe you are taking the cake today bud.



Sorry for not answering some of your posts. I really like much of the content you put up man, keep brewing.

You seem pretty reasonable...

Did you take Steve's test of the two clips on his post? Or are you gonna pull the same went to the game way back when so I don't need to crap too?

If you did or will take the Steve post challenge does it highlight anything for ya?


Rob in OC . MORE info ????. the VIDEO'S ARE TAKEN FROM THE SAME GAMES THAT I'VE WATCHED ALL YEAR !!! WHERE DO YOU THINK THE VIDEO'S COME FROM ??? it's not new info , it's the same thing. My god !!! If anything is silly , that is it. lmfao !! It's late and i'm out.

Nice post jonny @12:36.

If you think Graham is a stud too, we can only hope, just like other picks, the Fins will be nothing less than unpredictable and swipe Graham.


crap ??? . it's rhe same thing. wow !!


So you are just going to ride off into the sunset with your memory of how things are and not REVIEW what you have already seen back when you originally saw it?

Sounds rather naive to me?


Naive ???, pot meets kettle . LOL

Rob, I did watch the videos. And I see some of what you are talking about. BUT,the same guys have videos of Sean Weatherspoon on there, and he may have had 15 good plays out of all of them. I can't let a couple videos on YouTube videos change my overall thoughts. With busts, usually one key element is present within them all. Lack of passion. And lack of dedication to putting in the time to learn the playbook, learnthe scheme. As I said, what draws me to McClain is his leadership, passion, and football intelligence. He will NEVER be a bust. He may prove he shouldn't have been taken before the 2nd round, that is my worst case scenario. The guy is too dedicated to be a bust, IMO. Any flaws you speak of, I out faith in a guy like Mike Nolan to help correct those.

Excellent post @ 12:44 Rob in OC

I like BGraham, but his arm length does concern me. You start trying to rush against 6'5 or so OTs who are good with their hands, how will he fare then. He will struggle to disengage. He has been compared to Freeney, I don't see it. A level below IMO. There is also transition in having to play standing up, pass coverage, all of that. Arm length is so important for the battle in the trenches, the ability to strike a defender for an OLine, or literally throw a guy out of the way for a rush guy. I think he has far more concerns than McClain. His ceiling may be higher, I would be surprised, but it might be.


I will simply take the fact that you watched them and admit to seeing "some of what I saw"

Again, I am not as much about converting you to my side and just telling you what I see with my own eyes.

I repsect your opinion to have, maintain and keep your own views of any player. I just don't like being called crazy for simply telling my version of something I saw with my own eyes.

You really stepped up in my eyes for taking the challenge.

I will have as much to do with who the Fins take as you and NJ PHIN. We will all be riveted to the screen when the call the fateful name on draft day though, I gaurantee it.


Spot on post @ 11:43 NJ. Keep up the good work.

You have to win the leverage battle, and for him to do that, he needs to get into the OT and stand him up, his arms make that difficult. It negates the bullrish. His pass rush moves are relegated to speed or a spin move. I just worry about Graham. Not saying he won't be a stud, but like I said he had more areas of concern than McClain.

this is no longer constructive...later boys, c ya on the next blog that matters, this one doesnt anymore

Disappointing post @ 1:22 CALEB. We'll look to do better on the next one.

I want a Super Bowl. Lol. That's all I care about. I want to have 2 weeks of media coverage about us. I want to watch the parade. Watch the Americas Game on NFL Network of us before the following season. There are logical arguments that could be made for us taking any number of players, and flaws in many of those arguments. I like discussing this with all you guys. I sure as heck don't want everyone to have my same thoughts and opinions, otherwise I'd never learn something new. My eyes wouldn't opened to different things. So I enjoy debating these players.


I hear the concerns all day long about short arms and I think any team would be wise to note it.

If someone is an expert at or is a natural at swatting someone elses hands away when they try to plant them on his chest then that is how they defeat the long arms they have faces and will face from OT's already and in the NFL.

As for Graham being better than Freeny by comparison I don't think I would ever compare great college players to great NFL players already doing it. Like so many people say McClain is as good or will be as good as Willis. I say hold up a second and let the big hoss McClain actually play in the NFL and earn it before annointing him.


=) Stimplepink. too much, lol


I enjoy the debate as well. Some people get too high and mighty with the "they know better" attitude but most mean well anyways.

Such a brialliant game of power, finesse and strategy. It truly has been the King of all sports for a long, long time in America anyways.

You ever watch any MMA Bootang?


@rob, isn't your wife calling you to go to bed ???. poor woman. she has lost you to a blog.

LOL, Chalupa,

It's 10:34 west coast time and she is watching the her TiVo shows. Some shows are hers and not ours. She is fine watching a lil TV.

You got a woman chalupa?

New post up!

Dez Bryant all the way guy!! I don't know about you but I am sick of Ted Ginn losing games with his drops! Come one get the kid over here he is a highlight film.

This is the reason why you write for the Herald and Mel Kiper gets paid a whole lot of money breaking down the draft for ESPN. Your an idiot. Drafting Graham at 12 will be a travesty. Especially when the Dolphins can simply TRADE DOWN, get more picks and still draft Graham if he's worth it. Don't bother trying to adopt him. He would rather live with Sarah Palin.

You're still right Armando,

Stick to your guns. Brandon Graham will be an awesome pro!!


Or armando to think we need anything more than wr is sick. I hate these last few blogs after the season. We have the worst receiving crew in the NFL all year, but now our lbs are the problem? Nt? No. Our problem is wide receivers and free safety. This is sickening. We HAVE NO PLAYMAKERS!! and we are getting MacLain instead of Bryant or spiller. Even graham will be better than maclain. Watch.

It is soooooooo early for this talk. I dont think anyone has correctly predicted the Dolphins opening pick other than Jake Long. There will be alot of time to go back and forth over who we will or wont get. Being that I am a Longhorn Grad, I can see them taking Sergio Kindle. Parcells came down here to visit with him personally 2 weeks before Championship game. I bet you local Fin Fans didnt know that. He would make a great OLB pair with Wake. But we really wont have an idea until we hear Goodell announce his name. But it is nice to dream and pick now.

Unlike Mike Mamula, Brandon Graham proved it on the field and the Dolphins saw it first hand and by the way, how have the Dolphins been doing lately by drafting players out of Michigan ? LT ? QB ? just a thought.

NJ Phin Fan,
Seriously, you are the most annoying person to listen to I've ever heard on any blog.I prey to got that you get you're computer jacked by one of your Newark neighbors. You think you know everything, like you are a beat writer or something. Stop talking like you freakin work for the phins, and start talking like you're comments are you'r OPINIONS, not facts. There are plenty of knowledgable Phin fans here, and you treat everyone like they are Morons.. Also, your so called "scouting report" on McClain is assinine. I'm sure you're some moron goofy lookin John Clayton look-a-like who has never played or even touched a football before.. Please dont respond with one of your "LMFAO!!" comments.. sound like a fing moron

NJ Phin Fan reminds me of Knight on Sun Sentinel. What a douche.

Why does NJ always say "I been saying all along" - if you are that smart you would get a job and stop posting on the blog all day

Allow me to help you non-football knowing people. Anquan loves Florida, Ginn&4th pick to Arizona, karlos loves NY Gmen but we're Miami, pay the man. Thats two major puzzle pieces, Vince wants back in the south, pay the man, sign Robinson from Houston. Thats Robinson/Allen/Davis/Smith @CB. Karlos/JT/Channing/Akin @ LB. Wilfork/Solai/Merling/TBD on DLine. Trade Wilson, draft Berry in first, Berry/Bell safeties. Thats the defense, easy peezie

C J S P I L L E R !!!!!
The draft's ONLY TRUE Home run Hitter !

Why can't they convert McClain into an outside linebacker?


How does McClain compare to Brandon Spikes? Is it possible Miami trades down to select Brandon Graham?

How does McClain compare to DeMeco Ryans when he came out of 'Bama?

McClain had the benefit of better coaching, and MAY have peaked (or not) I say he may have.
Matt Roth had short arms, and at times it hurt his ability inside, but not outside, where he (IMO) seem to have excelled, as does Graham...perhaps even more so. Still, it's pash rush we need, as evidenced by VINCE YOUNG looking like Tom Brady against the Fin. Why? No pass rush.
Anyone remember the Colts game, as clark ran away from our LB?
Wouldn't happen against Graham...IF his speed matched his mouth.
Determination is great, but in the NFL, speed kills (I see Chris Johnson every week here in Nashville)
Graham or McClain? Tough call, but compare the competition.
McClain verses Florida, LSU, Va Tech.
Graham versus Northwestern, Michigan State, Purdue, etc.
I'm not much for all star games, where the offense has a week to prepare, and may be coached by Tony Sparano. (no offense, Tone.)
Regretfully, Mando, I say no to Graham at 12.
Of course, with our luck Graham'll be an 8 time pro bowler with the Pats, and McClain will be "the Boz."

Armando, I agree with your opinion of Graham. If we go LB at 12 he could be the guy. As I've posted here many times I think Spiller would be the most valuable choice we could make( IMO he's the third best player in this draft behind only Suh and Berry), but I agrtee with you that OLB is more of a premium than ILB. You can find a quality ILB later in the draft and the outside spot has more of an impact on the game. I think that Graham is a beast, the Phins could surprise and take him,it wouldn't be a reach at all. After the combines and all the tape gets out I think he'll be rated a top 10-12 guy.

Sign Karlos Dansby and Antrel Rolle in FA, resign pennington and trade him and ginn to the Cardinals for Anquan Boldin...
then draft:
PICK 1 LB McClain
PICK 2 NT Terence Cody
PICK 3 WR Jordan Shipley
PICK 4 OLB Brandon Lang

« 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

The comments to this entry are closed.