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Kindle: A look beyond stats and 40 times

So now you know that Mike Mayock believes the Dolphins will draft outside linebacker candidate Sergio Kindle because he is rated No. 7 among the draft analyst's best players, and Miami needs a defensive playmaker, and all those great football reasons.

And that is dandy for an analyst looking purely at a player's skill set and matching them to a team's needs. But drafting for an NFL team is more than purely projecting whether a player can play a position or adjust to a scheme or has the physical prowess to perform.

NFL drafting is also about knowing the person, his habits, his character. And Mayock doesn't measure any of that which the Dolphins must absolutely measure before taking a gamble on anyone such as Kindle.

You see, Kindle, by all accounts a fine athlete, has had some off-field issues during his 22 years on the planet. And the Dolphins must and will collect data on those issues and include them in their evaluation of Kindle.

This isn't new. Every team does this. But for some reason, unless the issues are obvious, guys such as Mayock and Mel Kiper rarely account for them. They loved Rey Maualuga last year, but didn't say anything about the drinking problem that most teams were aware of. Not surprisingly, Maualuga, supremely talented, had a drunk driving incident in January and then reportedly checked himself into a alcohol rebabilitation center.

Now you understand why he didn't go higher in the 2009 draft?

Kindle's current state of mind and character is for NFL teams to judge now. But I can tell you he's had trouble before that Mayock didnt mention in speaking about him Tuesday on a national conference call.

In July of 2007, when Kindle was a sophomore, he was arrested for DWI. He was suspended for the first three games of the season and had to perform community service.

In June of 2009, just prior to Kindle's final season at Texas, he was involved in a car accident in which he drove his car into an apartment building at 2:50 in the morning on a Wednesday. Kindle then got the help of some friends, pulled the car out of the wrecked apartment, and put it on the street.

Then Kindle fled the scene. Having suffered a concussion, his story is he was very tired and simply went home to sleep. Kindle claims there was no alcohol involved in this accident and that he was simply texting a coach when it happened.

(Um, show of hands in the comments section for anyone who totally buys this story.)

Kindle's car, by the way, was registered to his father: Johnny Walker.

I kid you not.

Anyway, even if you are a believer, you must wonder how Kindle would handle playing in a town like mine because we got a couple of places to party down here. Fact is, even people close to Kindle wonder if he should be playing in a town like Miami.

Kindle's high school coach Bobby Estes told the New York Times in January that he and his wife "cringe" at the idea of Kindle ending up in a city like Miami and are hopeful, instead, he ends up "in a cold-weather city so he would stay inside more."

“Is he Colt McCoy and Tim Tebow citing Scripture? No,” Estes said. “But I do know that he knows right from wrong. I hope he’s making mature choices."

Kindle told the newspaper stories about his reputation as a drinker and a partier don't worry him. He told the newspaper he's "not the Sergio of '06-'07," and is now "walking a straight line."

Well, it's up to NFL teams to find out if that "straight line" is one drawn by a cop during a field sobriety test.


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Carlito, the problem lies in the fact that very few teams run a 3-4 in college. And in going to the NFL, many guys are more tweener type guys, too small to play DE, maybe not athletic enough to stand up. So in trying to evaluate who to bring in as far as OLB for a 3-4, it's tough. Too much is made, IMO, of these guys having to be in coverage. I've said it a few times. The Pro Bowl was full of guys like Ware, Harrison, Woodley. Well you had to play 4-3 and no blitzing. The TEs were killing them in that game, though Harrison did make a good INT. It is more on the Safeties and ILBs to play the coverage role in the 3-4. Now the guys who show ability to rush the passer, set the edge, and occasionally cover, those will be the first ones picked on draft day. The guys that fall a little bit will lack in one of those areas.

I feel I need to clear this up. I'm not saying Mando shouldn't like Graham and I'm not coming down on him in any way. I love this time of year, seeing who everyones favorites are and then seeing how they work out in the NFL. I HAVE NO CLUE who is good or bad in college as I rarely watch the games anymore. I do not pretend to be an expert or try to act like I know anything about the recruits. I found it funny that Mando is campaigning for his man but found it more amusing that a couple of people didn't recognize it as I'm sure that Mando would even admit to it in person. But seriously, no big deal, I wasn't judging one way or the other. (jeez, disagree with the writer a few times and your labeled!:)

Rob, who are some guys you really have taken notice of, that may not be on everyones radar right now?

Just Because,

Sorry bud, I was running around with wifey as she had the day off and were doing the ultra-fun filling out paperwork on a new primary care physician and check ups... believe me I was sick when I saw the topics I had missed.

I made a couple of posts at the end but would have loved to be there live.

I thought it was more than fair of Armando to ask the same question of McClain... What makes him special? That would give NJ PHIN, bobbyd12, carlito and others a chance to explain, express, show actual game vid's and post stats on their version of Armando's bromance with B Graham.

It's all good.


And no love for my "Graham-paign" reference? I thought that was clever!

My top 5 is constantly evolving as I'm sure everyone else's is. Here is where I stand currently. Everybody else feel free to comment or post your top 5:

1. Rolando McClain
2. Dan Williams
3. Dez Bryant
4. Earl Thomas
5. Brandon Graham

Agreed Rob - McClain might have special qualities - but in the end a lot of his production had to do with Dick Saban's scheming and Fat Man Cody opening up the lanes for him to make plays; only conitinues to show the importance of a Nose Tackle in the 3-4.

Carlito, my only difference is I have 'spoon in my top 5, though my top 5 may be ordered differently. I have almost all the information I need, I will wait until after the combine to finalize it, though that will play a minute role in my evaluation. To me, I am down to Dan Williams and Earl Thomas.

1. Earl Thomas
2. Dan Williams
3. McClain
4. Graham
5. If we dont get one of those four then i give up.....

Here is a thought i have been pondering... We have plenty of running back talent as it is but Seattle has two first rounders and no running back talent... i wonder what kind of deal could be worked out there if any just thoughts perhaps????


Wow... didn't know you were big on Thomas.

Carlito, you are right, not every DE can become an OLB. Jason Taylor did, Kenny Mixon would not have been able to. They have to have certain athletic talents and be a certain size. I can estimate which can which can't make the switch but like you said, the trifecta knows more than any of us who can.

I like WestVa's list; here is mine -

1. Dan Williams
2. Brandon Graham
3. Earl Thomas
4. Dez Bryant
5. Rolando McClain

Looks like we all have pretty much a consensus of the top 5 players - just in different order


Thanks for defending some of my many posts. You don't know me from Adam but I feel you "get" the fact that I am not trying to bash McClain. Just like many others, I promote my choices from all that I know of football, see, have read, can gather and watch of actual game exploits on ANY player that I think can truly help OUR Fins win another SB.

Like many I realize that Parcells has forgotten more about football than I will ever know. That said, I played the game, I Love the game, I am fascinated by its complexity, I want the Fins to win in the worst way and think my eye for talent matches up with most anyones. I am very glad others are passionate about what their "gut" and "eyes" tell them or we would have no blog debates.

I am not gonna beat my chest or try not to call others names about how much I know or what D1 school I played for or coached for... I am just gonna eyeball and scrutinize this crop of players and put out my best guess along with Kiper, Mayock, Al Davis, Ireland, NJ PHIN, my mail man, and the anonomous grunt scout putting in 14 hour days grinding for the next gem that will get him recognized.

Sorry for snagging the soapbox.


Im not sure who brought it up yesterday and today but with him smith and davis wow!!!!!!!! The possibilities that opens up for our defensive front because we will be able to cover anyone. Plus we get torched through the air. Granted better line backers will help put pressure and cover running backs and TE but i think to solidify the back of that defense could be huge. I think someone mentioned the blitz packages we could come with knowing that we are pretty well covered in the rear... Just thoughts i do like his play though alot....

Like Carlito's list too almost the same

Question, eric Berry is falling on some boards. This may be a case of looking at a guy for too long and finding holes where they really aren't major.

IMHO, I have him #2 overall on a Miami Dolphin draft board (since they don't really need a LT and none of the QBs are better than Chad Henne) behind Suh.

If he's there, there can't be a debate, can there?

Earl Thomas at work:


NY Scott,

Graham-paign was one of the more clever quips I have read here...props bro!


Wolverines? We OWN THEM.NEXT.

Excuse me, I'm off to watch Chelsea vs. Internazionale of Milan. I will check back at halftime - big game!

If Berry is there, it shouldn't take more than 6 seconds to get the pick to the podium. WVA, I brought up Thomas and his addition to our secondary, how many teams have 3 Legit options at WR? A few, but not many. So you can keep Thomas back in centerfield, or line up and play man with Smith, Davis, and Thomas. As much as the game now revolves around the pass, you better be able to cover. And Mike Nolan could do anything he wanted, blitz from anywhere, knowing he has capable people on the backend.

I don't know if you guys read my confession yesterday, but in less words:

Despite knowing all of our many needs on defense and Parcells draft tendencies, I am developing a man-crush on Dez Bryant. I know, want, and expect an LB or NT with the first pick, but would not be upset if they took Bryant (surprised is a different story).

Some may bring up "diva receivers" and the drama with his suspension and having the same agent as Crabtree, but there is no denying his talent. He is a big physical receiver with great hands. If you watch the footage, at times he is clearly faster than everyone one the field and makes some crazy catches. I think he has the potential to be the total package at WR.

But I wont be upset if we don't take him either, this defense has got to be upgraded big time. Keep in mind there is great LB and NT talent in the 2nd and 3rd rounds.

I can't believe I'm making this argument... I'll shut up now

(ok it was more words)

Knock,knock,anybody home.

osu-buckeyes - Screw your buckeyes...Ted Ginn really worked out didn't he??

Carlito, I'm with you if we don't address the WR position via trade or free agency and Dez is there at #12 - I think you almost have to take him as his talent is too great. You have to give your young QB the tools to succeed and a young WR with his talents (I think he is better than Crabtree) might be too tempting for even Parcells to leave on the board

Carlito, when thinking of how Henne performed, having to basically be perfect every throw, everytime, he played great. I really like all of our top 4 WRs, I may be in the minority. But, none of them go and attack the ball, make a bad pass look good. Bryant is the only WR in this draft I think could be that type of guy. If Hartline is the #2, Bess and Camarillo in the slot, and then can have Ginn matched up on a S or a LB, it opens so many different things. That's what a #1 does for our offense. I am intrigued by Bryant, but want defense in this draft.

Is Dez Bryant in the same league as Calvin Johnson was when coming out of school?

Mark . USA USA USA !!!! Down goes CANADA !!. If berry is there , there's no question and there's no debate. You GRAB HIM !!!!!

Indiana Dolfan,Who do you like?Never mind no one cares.lol

Top 5 (not etched in stone),

Based on talent and who has a decent chance to be there...

Brandon Graham
Dan Williams

Just off that pace is Weatherspoon, Hughes, McClain, Kindle. If the Fin's brass doesn't like Dez due to character concerns or diva-ness than flop Weatherspoon and him for 5th. For Weatherspoon he should be taken further back (22-32 area).

Hughes doesn't have the same production as Graham. Kindle and Dez are character concerns which drop them down on "my board". Morgan has some great tools but seems to lack just a tad of the quick twitch... I see him as potentially a better version of Merling though not as big...yet.


Indiana Dolfan,WE OWN YOU TO.NEXT.lol

From Mayock:

Still, Mayock rates Bryant the No. 3 player and said, “When I see Dez Bryant on film, I can’t get (Texas All-Pro) Andre Johnson out of my mind.”

Yes i love the Phins.but are we really going to draft (sergio k)with the 12th pick.I love my town but the Bengals are pathetic.

Sarasota canes,What are you talking about?We beat the CRAP OUT OF OREGON LAME DUCKS.NEXT.

osu-buckeyes - you own me huh? I am from Indiana, so how do you know who I root for as there are many colleges in Indiana. You talking about owning this or owning that, what sport you talking. Since it obviously not professional football you talking are you still talking about football or you going to try other sports (basketball, baseball, soccer, swimming, etc. - I could name many sports)

With Dez Bryant I think it will come down to signing off on whats between his ears.

I see he is always camera hounding (as so many Ocho Cinco types do). Not that getting on film is a crime I am not sure it is what BP & Co would want. I can't help but think he will have T.O. flashbacks.

From a talent standpoint he sure passes the eye ball test. He has the soft hands for tough grabs and can make some circus catches. He can stretch for the high throws better than most any it appears.

His lack of seperation on some plays (not including vertical) may be more problematic in the pros. I don't see him as an extreme YAC WR either.

Like any person in his draft it is great for us to pick through all of his strengths and weaknesses. Beauty is in the eye's of the beholder and it will only take one team to fall in love with him.

At the end of the day I would take BG, Spiller, Williams, Morgan in that order before Dez. If I were to target a "Big" WR it would be Arrelious Benn or Demaryius Thomas both big, tall, talented, fast and could be had later.

It's very hard for me to see them choose another big WR unless the Fin's brass already has strong convictions on Turner being a bust. Only they would know as we, the fans, never got a peek year 1.


Last time I checked the MVP of the Super Bowl was from a Hoosier state school and the defensive MVP was also from a Hoosier state.

Btw - the city of Cincy really blows!!

What buckeye has been even relevant in the NFL? I am having a hard time thinking of any...

You want to talk college vs. college --- OK, who really cares!! Let's talk college players who have became good or great pros or have a future to be a great pro!!

Look at Miami --- Your former WR cannot even catch a freaking ball thrown by a good QB (Chad Henne - former Michigan guy)

SO what's NEXT now buckeye loser...

very harsh Indiana


How has Vernon Gholston worked out in the NFL?

I am pretty sure Adewale Ogunyele has had a decent career. Antwaan Randel El has won a ring. Mike Alstott had a great career.

How many more PU and IU guys you want me to name that have had better pro careers than your worthless OSU losers??


You had asked about players jumping out at me later in the draft...

NT Cody (He's too big but no denying his clogging talents. I hope he falls to round 3 to make that call but probably still goes in 2nd.) Combine should be more crucial for Cody then most college players due to the many stamina, discipline concerns. He will FEAR the Egg pod! lol.

NT Cam Thomas NJ PHIN had talked about this guy a lot a while back and I have focused in on him. He seems like a great combination of talent, heft, anchoring ability which coupled with the fact Williams should go in the 1st round is enticing. I might make him the selection over Cody as a NT prospect and hope he falls to round 3 as well.

I love the way that S Thomas can ball hawk. He seems willing to stick his head in there to tackle as well. That said, his size and frame is my concern. If he can add 10-15lbs of muscle over time I think he will be a steal for some team late 1st very early 2nd. Bob Sanders is shorter and game to tackle in the NFL as well but seems nicked quite a bit. You get that when you have to smash into Ronnie Brown, Lou Polite and LeRon McClain types.


carlito from golfito - I like giving Buckeyes some crap, but don't mean anything bad or personal by it which I hope he knows!

NJ, it was your home state homeboy that sucked the big one against the US in martin brodeur. Man, he was pure AZZZ. By the way, we aren't done yet. Russians are going to get it tonight ending their tournament early. Then Canada will b**ch slap the USA if they meet again in the final just like we did in your backyard in 2002.

Agreed on Berry. If he's on the board, he's the one player that transcends need vs talent. He's a Dolphin if he's there, IMO.

Carlito, agree on your assessment of Dez Bryant. Although, I don't see him being as good as Calvin Johnson or Andre Johnson, if the administration grades him out to be the best player, I won't jump all over it. Altough, I don't see him being the guy especially if he's all wrapped up with the Deion's of the world. Not really what Parcells wants I think.

Sorry if the last post was a little cranky, just woke up from a nap, life is tough, haha

Trade down and take Brandon Graham... Get an extra second rounder and take Daryl Washington and Ryan Matthews... Build with the draft baby!!

Rob in OC,

This is horrible.... But when you speak of Cody's clogging talents I get a horrible mental picture of a badly abused toilet in whatever team's facility that takes him. There gonna have to get special crapper and pipes for him... I've gone to far, can we call it something else?

Rob in OC - No problem.

I tend to always try to take the drama out of discussions when they get too heated and try to bring the focus back to the actual discussion itself. it doesn't mean I agree with everything you have said.. but some people focus on one or two words and then everything gets taken out of context.

While I think Rolando looks to be a very very good player, with excellent coverage skills for a linebacker of his size, and I would not be upset to get him, I think it is silly for anyone to be upset with you because you can't get past some of his flaws. They can be happy you are not the one making the final decision on draft day 1, but it is your right to have an opinion. It is not like you are suggesting we take some player who is projected to be picked in the 7th round as our first pick or anything rediculous..

Anyhow, as many have said, The Tuna and company should be able to get some good players out of this draft - so am trying not to fall in love with any of them and hoping that whichever puts on that blessed Jersey plays his heart out and helps us get that first SB of my life!

If Dez Bryant or Eric Berry are no longer available at #12, trade down!

The Oakland Raiders, who acquired Richard Seymour from the New England Patriots for a first round pick in 2011, have decided to use the franchise tag on him in order to keep him on the roster. Both sides are in negotiations on a long-term deal but apparently it won't be easy. Good Lord, Al Davis, you need help my man...

LMFAO @ MARK. I had to bust your chops. I 'am a bruin fan , so don't talk to me about broduer and hometown state . He's a CANADIEN and not from jersey. HE did stink. we'll beat again . i' sure.

we'll MEET again, beat , i don't know about that. :)


For some other later picks that jump out to me...

TE Jimmy Graham has as much upside as ANY TE in this draft from a weapon standpoint. He seems to have a willingness to learn his craft and dig in to block as good his body type will allow as a former basketball player. He will never be a road grater TE but his "mad hops" leaping ability coupled with his 6'8" 260lbs+ frame as well as 4.65 speed range screams potential chain mover and field stretcher (especially vertically). 3rd round on my guess.

I also like Ore TE Ed Dickson. He seems like and all around good player and though a little light has some height 6'5" and a great feel for where the holes are in Def. Has good concentration on his catches and a little wiggle after the catch. 4rth round on my guess.

I like the way Tulane WR Jeremy Williams plays. He is not standout"ish" in any one category 6'1" 205lbs and 4.5 forty but he makes a lot of plays and is "available" to the QB. Reminds me of ex Jag WR Jimmy Smith who played well for 10 years in the NFL. Late late 2nd to early 4rth round my guess.

A poor mans version of Derrick Mason would be Bowling Green WR Freddie Barnes. While a tad bigger than Mason he is a step slower. Has the great hands and super productive career albeit vs lesser competition than some big school guys. Hard to argue with 155 receptions for 1,770 yards and 19 TD's in 2009 ALONE for Barnes. His 40 time will boost him up to the 5th round area or knock him down towards round 7.


carlito... woosah warning...lol, classic.

good one.


meet again!! Haha YEAH RIGHT!


It is surprising (and great) to see the number of Canadians that follow the Dolphins. Is there some reason Canada loves them some Dolphins or do you guys just blog more? I remember when NJ explained to me the reason we have so many jersey guys who are Dolphins fans (hint, hint NJ) so I figured I'd ask the Canadians on the board.

I AM ALWAYS - There are Dolphin fans EVERYWHERE!! :)

I bet if you were a big fan of another team you would hae bloggers from all over just like you do for the Fins. Good observation though!

I know, all in good fun. I hope they will meet again. Honestly all the Canadians are worried about playing the Russians with good reason. It will be more than tight tonight. The Americans have ended the international career of Martin Brodeur. How sad.

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