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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.

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Why isn't he rated higher you ask? It is because most anyalyst have disrespect for the Big Ten Conference. Also, Michigan did not have a good year or two with the transition of the new coach which I think effects his draft status slightly.

If McClain was on Michigan and Graham was on Alabama, who would be rated higher? I would bet Graham would...

Craig Miller - Defense is a MUCH bigger need, so get Bryant and Spiller out of the picture.

Remember who Bryant's agent is everybody, same as Crabtree...could potentially be a BAD BAD pick to go after Bryant if he does the same as Crabtree!

Eric Norwood from South Carolina would be a great fit for inside linebacker,the kid plays hard on every down, hope he is there in the 2 round.

Mando . to play devil's advocate because i like graham , i will give you sone negatives. He will measure out at barly 6-1 , he has very short arms where OL will be able to engage him quicker and block him , can he play olb in the 3-4 or is he better suited in the 4-3 , hasn't dropped back in pass coverage. these are the negatives that drop him to 20-32, If miami trades down and get a extra pick , i still grab him.

Iindian , that is the most ridiculous post i've ever heard. You just won the award for the day. congrats and keep it up. LMFAO !!

I never said Crowder and Torbor were serviceable as the starters. I said Crowder and Ayodele are serviceable as the starters.

They were the starters when the team went 11-5 in 2008.

Why do Big ten supporters have such a complex???? You know i dont like doggin you Indiana but i got in an argument with a big ten on an espn blog two weeks ago. What is the deal with you guys???? Everyone is out to get us... lol come on..... Is it because the big east is now your envy??????

Fair enough, NJ. But ...

At 6-1, Graham is two inches taller than Elvis Dumervil, who led the NFL in sacks last year.

And the reason teams have workouts with players like Graham is to determine whether they can get out in space for coverage. I think the Dolphins will have a good idea by April if Graham can do that. I believe he can.

I understand about the short arms. But he more than makes up for it with great leverage. My opinion only, of course.

big ten fan****


This is off topic but is the Tuna and his helpers truly after Antonio Bryant??

Everyone is gonna say I'm crazy, but I say trade Ronnie brown and the number 12 pick to KC for the number 5 pick of the first and the number 4 pick of the second...... Throw in JT (I know he ain't under contract) an add another 3rd and 7th rounder...... Hopefully we can draft cj spiller in the second round, and take care of all are other needs.... Yes I know.... I'm stupid and crazy.... GO FINS!!!!

we need to start by drafting mcclain and picking up carlos dansby then work on our olb and free safety


That trade is straight from John Madden!!!LOL

Mando , while your here , i like having fun on this blog like any other guy and don't mind being bashed or getting some ribbing by some posters but i have an idiot the past week using my typepad screenname in blue and impersonating me . It's usaually in the evening, can you look into this. let him be a man and come on here with his name instead of infesting this blog and hiding.Thanks

jdizzle, Antonio Bryant apparently wants one last big payday and because he's one of the few unrestricted to be on the market, he thinks he can get it.

I don't think the Dolphins would be willing to give a big payday to a guy so inconsistent at Antonio Bryant. Maybe if his price drops dramatically, they might become interested. But even that is a stretch.


While I agree with you that our defence has holes, we need to pick the BEST player available. When you start getting into 'filling needs' you start reaching. I believe this is what previous regimes have done. If McClain is gone (that's who I want the Dolphins to get) then Bryant is the next best player available. Your not going to get a player like him all the time. If we don't get a number one receiver again this year, we're going to be posting the same stuff again next year....'When are we going to get ourselves a number one receiver'.....'we'll never win without a number one receiver'....'when are we going to get Henne some weapons'. I'm not saying this should be our pick, I'm simply saying to rule out offence in the first round is foolish. Yes, the defence is the priority but it can be addressed in FA and after the first round, if necessary.

And Armando, I don't think anyone is saying there is anything wrong with Graham. I just don't think he is the 'value' pick at 12 compared to the other guys that might be there and the other guys that can be had later in the draft. And I disagree with you. I think ILB is a 'must have' on this team. Aydele and Crowder are not the answer. We need a sideline to sideline LB, along the lines of Willis or Lewis, someone who won't miss as many tackles as our guys did last year.

Looking into it right now, NJ.

I agree on those points mando and to make up for his lack of speed graham makes up for it with leverage and hand movements. very important.

solid logical reason #1 He played for a Michigan last year They were awful last year He was the only wolverine that was any good on D Not knocking the school or conference but look up their stats last year comparitively to others


Graham's measurables especially in size are not what you expect at #12. The Draft especially at the early stages is about guys with the measurables. I don't always agree with that and I think Graham will be a good player as somebody drafted around 20-25 should be. The bottom line McClain is more of a sure thing physically at #12 than Graham is. In reality is there that big a differnce? Probably not but that is often how draft talent gets evaluated.

he's also a 4-3 end converting to a 3-4 olb and look at the success of last years hybrid 1st rders not very good years w Tjackson and Maybin prolly taken too high

WestVa - I am not saying people are out to get the big ten or "us" as you say. It is fact though that they don't appear to be as strong as other conferences for football. Reason why: They don't play a conference tourney which I think is stupid. I am not trying to defend the Big Ten by any means. It is what it is. Michigan has had some down years and I think Graham would be ranked higher had they been a better team.

Mando . thanks and I apprecite it.

NJ - As you point out the negativees on Graham I want to point out that Elvis Dumervil is very small for a DE and Mike Nolan made him into a star.

Also why is it everytime we talk PArcells Drafting its olb this olb that Y do we think he only thinks inside the box? he is a football czar he'll take the best player available in my opinion... I think the depth in this draft will allow us to wait till later rd to draft Linebacker

Mando, I disagree about OLB being a bigger need than ILB. In my opinion Ayodele was the worst starter on the D last year and that includes Wilson. We have young blood in Wake and Anderson and I believe we will keep JT for vet leadership. The middle of our D is terrible and while Crowder gets tackles he never makes big plays. Ayodele IMO is constantly shooting the wrong gap and is slower than my grandmother. He can't cover and he's bad in run support. If we can't get Dansby (which I believe won't happen because he will be far too expensive) then we should go after McClain.

I'm not saying we don't need help at OLB, I just feel it isn't as imperative as ILB IMO.

Indiana , can you read ????

Thanks Mando

I figured he'd try and get as much cash as possible , being this year is uncapped and he is the best in a very thin unrestricted free agent market!!

And thank you for a blog that doesn't contain the "P" word :)

J Dizzle:

a man can dream can't he? Lol we offer the first part of the trade and if kc says no parcells takes him outta the will and he ain't invited to christmas dinner..... It's kinda pointless to speculate bout the draft pre-combine..... But goddang it's fun!

NJ - What post? Maybe you are ridiculous?

Mando do you think the fins should keep JT????????

NJ, do you always comment from the same location?

WestVa - I am not trying to support the Big Ten. My post was geared more towards Michigan not being as good recently. It's just they are a part of the Big Ten, so it seems to be a double negative for Graham. Bad team with somewhat of a bad conference will equal not as high draft status IMO...

WestVa, he's relatively cheap, he doesn't cost a draft pick, and he's a good pro. In a word, yes, I think Miami should milk one more year out of JT.

Armando, I 100% agree

Who do you think the Fins will target via free agency? Any word from the inside that you have heard?

This is another overhyped player from BAMA

Trade Down and get Williams!

Depending on what Miami does via free agency could make a big difference on who they target with the #12 pick

Waterboy, what if we trade down and Williams ends up getting picked up? If we get Wilfork via free agency, then who is your pick in the first round?

Mando . yes usually from work or bring back my laptop home with me. same laptop. Also You'll see the jack@$$ posting in the evening with by typepad screenname in blue and taking up entire threads just writing " typo " and impersonating me talking to other posters.

If Williams is not there, or if we get a NT in free agency, I would pick up the best OLB available or ERIC BERRY if on the board.

Mando . i have a real good idea who he is , he also comes on here to talk about chemtrails and posts youtube sites like a spam.

Sorry i guess we will all have to agree to disagree i still say no to JT!!!!!!!!

I have a strong feeling everyone will be disapointed about the fins FA. I believe they will not chase any of the "sexy" FAs : Wilford (if not tagged), Dansby, Bryant, Etc

I believe they will only add depth (like berger, torbor etc from years before).

Where is David Martin going to play this year? Better than Joey SAY-NO

very true WestVa, but I still say you are wrong. You also have not given very good points as to why you say no to JT which surprises me...



Indiana was convincing in closing arguments

All reports are saying wilfork along with NT's A Franklin of the 49ers and C hampton will be franchised soon if no new contract agreements can be agreed on.,


I would think that SIRVICENT rogers Shirt would be the #1 if he makes the final 54 roster
Do you know who is current best seller?

This all comes with a large "at this point," but -- if McClain is available, we take him.

If Mclain is not, Dez Bryant would be too much to pass up given the need at WR even for Big Bill.

Next big Q is what happens if neither of those is there?

No way do Suh, McCoy or Berry dive to #12.

If one of the top OTs or QBs falls (we ain't taking one those), chances are we could and would trade out.

But what should we do if Derrick Morgan or Joe Haden is available?

Neither are at positions we are looking for but the value would be there.

If it played out, we would be faced with the choice of taking one of them, trying to trade down, or reaching for someone like Thomas or Williams.

Ryan Pickett looks like he will get franchised as well - looks like its JFerg or a rookie at NT next year for the Fins

If Dan Williams has a decent combine, he will be top 15 pick. Dropping Dough Boy Cody to the 2nd Round.


Trade down? That's funny. We'd be trading down because there's no value at 12 for the pick. Do you think other teams don't know that? Why would anyone trade up into a spot where there's no value to pick? I mean, I guess anything is possible. Someone my fall in love with a player, but that's the exception not the rule.

You may think Dan Williams is a reach as 12, but keep in mind that the Dolphins coached him in the senior bowl and all indications is that they really liked him. I think if McClain is there they will pick him, but if he's not (and I'm pretty much convinced he won't be) then they will prob take Williams. They coached him first hand, and they saw what he can do. That's not a reach.

Also, this taking the best player available is a load of crap. Parcells has a plan. He drafted big guys first (Jake Long, Lankford etc), then he built up the defense based on need (Smith, Davis), he will continue that trend this draft (NT, LBs and FS are the need positions), and then next year (or through free agency) he'll flesh out the team with WR and TE. He made the mistake of picking Pat White high when he wasn't really a needed position. He won't make that mistake again.

He will take the best player available AT A POSITION OF NEED, not just the best on the board. So expect them to pick LB (In our Out), NT or FS with the first pick.

Reasons to say no to JT, he wore down last year. He will wear down again. He is a year older which means his drop off from the year before will be greater this year. We are looking to draft a whole mess of linebackers that are going to need playing time so they are ready when we want to contend in two years. JT will be long gone so him playing is helping no one but himself...Why take playign time from guys we are working toward a superbowl with to give JT playign time. Correct me if i am wrong but didnt mandos blog say that his agent said he wants to start and play every down? Is that what you want... Him playing every down like he did when he was young... If he plays every down for eight games he will have nothing left down the stretch... COME ON you gotta stop being such a fan of his and see that this move will hurt us..........

what if the fins get Dansby??? there will be no need for Mclain right? i mean you would have Dansby and Crowder in the middle. why not trade down and get an extra second then pick u Williams later in the first? Also i would like to know if the FO will address depth at RB?

mando , you got it wrong. I know your busy now but when you get a chance take a look at some of the posts of the past couple of evenings or week that take up threads just saying " TYPO " " Typo " "Typo " . that's not me. if you click that that fake blue screenname my account won't come up.

If it's between Graham and McClain at no.12, I say draft McClain because you can get comparable talent to Graham in the 2nd round, but after McClain there is a bit of a bigger drop. Having said that, I think OLB is the bigger need and would love to see the Dolphins trade down and take one later in the first round and get an extra pick.

If they get Dansby, they may still draft McClain if he's there. Wow too scary to even think about. Again, they will pick the best player available at a position of need. We need a NT, we need 2 ILBs. We need at least one OLB and we need a FS. He'll take the best available at one of those positions.

Datajack. Right on !! excellent post.

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