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Void at free safety? Dolphins to look at Thomas

Gibril Wilson was a bust so he's gone. Antrel Rolle and Ryan Clark didn't feel enough love from Miami's bank vault. Restricted free agency hasn't been an answer for Miami's free safety issues and neither Tyrone Culver nor Chris Clemons are probably the answer, either.

No wonder the Dolphins have scheduled a visit with Texas free safety Earl Thomas for the first week of April.

Thomas, considered by some scouts to be the second-best safety prospect behind Tennessee's Eric Berry, should be available when the Dolphins are scheduled to pick at No. 12 but won't be around for their second-round selection. So the Dolphins are obviously impressed enough with this playmaker to consider him as a first-round selection.

This does not mean Thomas will be Miami's first-round selection. The club will meet with nearly three dozen players between now and the draft.

But Miami's obvious need at free safety combined with Thomas' resume suggests the pairing could work.

NFL.com draft analyst Mike Mayock has called Thomas "the most instinctive" defensive back in this draft. The knock on Thomas is that he's perhaps smallish and that he is, after all, coming out after his sophomore season so he is a puppy.

All that is well and fine as I'm trying to paint the full picture of the positives and negatives on the player, But consider Thomas is 5-10 1/2 and weighed in at 208 pounds at the combine so he's gained about 10 pounds since the season ended. And if you think that weight gain was done by eating Whoppers, you're wrong. Thomas ran a 4.45 at the combine. As for not being strong, he benched 225 pounds 21 times -- which was two more than top safety prospect Eric Berry.

"I'm physical, versatile, and like I said, I played corner and safety," Thomas said during the Indianapolis Combine last month. "[I'm a] hard- worker. I'm not looking to come in and just sit back and watch. I'm looking to make an impact right now as soon as I get there."

Thomas made an impact at Texas, recording 10 interceptions in 26 career starts. He returned two of those interceptions for touchdowns.

One thing the Dolphins would love about this kid is he's a fine player but also a fine person. He was on the honor roll in high school and is an active member of the Christian church in which his grandfather was the pastor. 
 

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B Marshall is close to signing with the Jets.

Cam thomas in the 2nd round is awful value---he is a 4th round pick value---dont reach cause he is big--his career was average---a no name untill he 1 good week at the senior bowl---snag an ilb in round 2

spikes
Chaney

So merely being an active member of a church is enough to make one a good person in the eyes of ignorant, non-thinking people ? No wonder so many people hide behind religion.

build the secondary together, young, smart, quick, and instinctive! i totally get this approach! defense doesn't win championships, but it sure f'n helps!

There are 6 good players that probably will be available at the 12 spot in the draft. DAN WILLIAMS, NT, EARL THOMAS, S, GRAHAM, OLB, IUPOTI, OG, KINDLE, OLB, DEZ BRYANT, WR. Each of them cover a big need for the Dolphins. However, none of them (with the possible exception of Bryant) are potential Hall of Fame players. But .... C.J.SPILLER looks like the next Marshall Faulk. He is the type of player you can build a franchise around.

If we draft Spiller we could then trade Ronnie Brown for a second round pick (we might have to throw in Turner,WR or a 7th round pick, or both). Here would be my first 4 rounds of the draft .....

1. C.J.SPILLER (the franchise)
2. CAM THOMAS, NT UNC or CODY (if available)
2 (extra pick) LAFELL, BENN, or D.THOMAS WR
3. JONES, safety from Georgia
4. best available OLB ..

late round sleepers: BARNES,WR Bowling Green and KAFKA,QB NW

I'm pretty much guessing that Parcells and Sparano have looked at film of all the Dolphins prospects at 12 so they have a good idea of who they're taking in the 1st already.

My thinking is this...

Although Thomas looks a good player,the fact that we tried to sign Antrel Rolle then wanted to sign Ryan Clark suggests to me that Parcells is'nt that high on any safety,especially one that might go in the 1st.

I still think Parcells drafts a OLB in the 1st

I'm pretty much guessing that Parcells and Sparano have looked at film of all the Dolphins prospects at 12 so they have a good idea of who they're taking in the 1st already.

My thinking is this...

Although Thomas looks a good player,the fact that we tried to sign Antrel Rolle then wanted to sign Ryan Clark suggests to me that Parcells is'nt that high on any safety,especially one that might go in the 1st.

I still think Parcells drafts a OLB in the 1st

This guy looks great. Imagine those passes the Clark last year against Indy being broke up. All the Gerbel had to do was jump but we all now Gerbils can't jump.

THAT GUY's SO LITTLE. HE WON't MAKE AN IMPACT.
HE WILL BE ON IR EVERY YEAR.

PLUS BP LIKE 4 YEAR STARTERS.

I REALLY HOPE WE DON't GET THIS LOLLY POP KID.

IF WE DON't USE THE FIRST TO GET THE BEST PLAYER WHICH IS (MARSHALL)OR THE SECOND THEN GET KINDLE.

Why is no one talking about wide receiver in the first 3 rounds anymore??

This team is screaming for a number 1 wideout but I'm basically reading about safties, dts and lbs in this particular blog. True, they are strong needs... but why the WR amnesia? If that ever elusive #1 wideout doesn't come from FA (and it doesn't look like it will) then we should shoot for a stud between the first 2 rounds (imo). The odds of hitting on a #1 stud WR after that, go up dramatically. If Demaryius Thomas is there with our 2nd overall pick, I'd make a "b-line" for the podium to hand in our card! Before they can even finish saying, "The Miami Dolphins are on the clock."

I am not saying it will happen but it would be sweet if Eric Berry fell to 12. Sometimes safeties just fall. Ed Reed was a late first rounder projected higher right?

There are a lot of really good players available at 12. If a partner could be found, trading down would seem to be a great option this year with so many impact players, some real studs would still be available later in the first round. It would seem to be a good strategy to show a lot of interest in certain players that you do not intend to draft and show no love for the guys you really want so that draft pick trades work in your favor and not against you. Remember the Dolphins have a huge first look advantage from the senior bowl. I realize that a lot of the draft class don't participate but it's still an advantage. As far as NT, 12 may be high for Dan Williams but his body is ideal for NT and hopefully good coaching will get him to reach his potential.

Not as worried as most about FS. I like Culver playing in coverage and allow Bell to roam free!

I would be ok with picking Thomas with their first pick, if he can tackle and make plays then he is worth it. I'm sure the Dolphins will interview and meet with many of the first round prospects in an attempt to misdirect and mislead the media and other teams who will try to pin down who the Dolphins have their eye on for their 1st pick. But no matter what I would say it will be a FS, NT, OLB, or WR (longshot).

Nate Allen may be available when the dolphins have their 2nd pick. He is one of the few rated to go in the second round, most others won't get drafted until the third or fourth round, their is depth, but I think Thomas, Berry, Mays, and Allen may be the only starters available in this draft, others will take time to develop, much like Clemons.

1st Round pick BIG Dan Williams at NT!!!!!!!Done deal.....

Thomas is a decent size for a ballhawk. No smaller than the other fs we have

Earl Thomas is stronger than most of the safeties in this class, and at 209lbs he isn't really outsized. Look at Bob Sanders

@Aqua:

As far as a #1 WR. I’ll keep saying this: I love the idea of Marshall - I think he can be reformed. BUT… this F.O. will NEVER sign, draft or trade for a true #1 WR. EVER. That’s reality. The days of the Marks Bros and more than 200 yards/gm passing are done. It goes against their philosophy: Run game, TEs highlighted with short passes to possession guys. Eat time, three downs for a first, grind it out. Rely on a good to great (hopefully) defense to keep opponents from scoring.

Essentially, the 2009 offense is exactly what this F.O. wants with a lot of improvement at TE. Win with time of possession and Dan Carpenter's foot.

Not that there's anything wrong with that. Except that it's boring for us fans who enjoy an air attack and the obvious: even great defenses have a hard time with folks like Peyton and Brees and all their weapons. Still, as with all grinding offenses, they'll bet on Ginn catching the occasional long ball to keep defenses honest. Somehow, they'll teach him to do it consistently - he's shown he can with that long ball up the middle. Seems to be the type of pass he grooves on (maybe because he's behind the defense and isn't worried about being hit).

Like it or not, it's the Fins current offensive philosophy and it will win games. I think I have given up on ever seeing a #1 WR. It's easier to buy into their system if you can get that hope/expectation out of your system.

I want to get a new jersey this year (or maybe next year). Currently I wear Ricky Williams and my son wear Ronnie Brown. One of our criteria is longevity, and another, of course is that he is a playmaker. But to be honest, nobody else on the team right now is worthy of the honor in the long term. I want that player in the draft. Then in a year or two, once he proves himself, I will wear his number.

Ill take him

Watch those plays and see Kindle do nothing.

this will be an interesting draft-to many players with the same skill set and the drop-off isn't that steep! why would we invest a #12 pick on a safety when we pick the prototype last year(clemons)? who's to say if thomas or berry will be impact players and not just serviceable ones, not to mention clemons and culver already knowing the system dont make matters any better for either one of them! to me it seems as if most in here only care about hitting on the first three picks of the draft when we should look at the total picture because picks 4-7 are just as important. my gut tells me we trade down and pick the best front seven player available and it will be a LB! the problem with the defense was the LB's period. its easy to blame one man(wilson) but as a group the LB's were horrible(porter akin gone)-j taylor we all love him but how much longer do you keep him around!! this love for wake could be fools gold, i mean the kid is good at what he do(rushing the qb) but what if thats all he can do? i hope he gets it together and become and all-around player! the d-line was the best unit on the defense last year and with one more massive,unmoveable object in the middle will help alot but not at 12,take the best NT in the draft(not DT converting to play NT)CODY hands down!! this junk about him playing only 2 downs is funny shyt, if you stuff the run on 1st and 2nd, he's probably coming out anyway on 3rd!! the offense problem was being to cute at the wrong time!!! IMO we need a playmaker at TE badder than we need a WR!! a playmaking TE would open up the pasing game big time, WR would see more zones and less man,RB would have more space to work against LB in the flats,and just maybe a screen play would actually get more that 15 yards!!

Aqua1... In response to your statement...

"Why is no one talking about wide receiver in the first 3 rounds anymore??"

What people including myself are bloviating about on Blogs has very little impact on what is going to happen in the draft or otherwise.We were able to get a guy like Bess, as an un-drafted Free Agent. There are examples of others... Miles Austin in Dallas an un-drafted free agent out of Monmouth in 2006 being one of the better examples of that method of player acquisition. More than 2/3rds of the mock drafts by the better prognosticators have Miami taking a WR in either the 2nd or 3rd spot. I hope personally its not the second, with exception of Henne that pick has been a bit unkind to Miami. It is IMO that Miami takes at least one WR in the top 4 and as many as two in the entire draft. Only one spot I would like to see drafted as a personal favorite. I would like to see Graham, the TE out of the "U" taken in the 4th. I just get a "feeling" that he is going to be a special player in the league. Call it a long term fan experience/instinct about him. Has a similar one about Welker in his day and Hartline when he was taken in the 4th. The 4th is a Value spot IMO, there is still very solid talent and they do not break the bank.

Dont waste a 1st round pick on a safety when you can get a decent one in round 3 or 4.
Take Dan the Man Williams at 12 or best OLB

Why hasnt JT signed with the pats yet?

Has Gerbil landed a new gig yet?

The height is a concern especially with Parcells but the bigger issue for Parcells will be is that he hasn't played in enough games to prove that he is worthy of a first round grade.

bob sanders is the reason you dont pick thomas at 12! sanders is a great talent but he stays hurt!! todays safeties have to be thumpers as well as playmakers and i just see thomas as another bob sanders! IMO

Waterboy - How do you know we can get a decent safety in round 3 or 4? We are not guaranteed that Berry or Thomas will be good at #12 spot. I would not mind getting Thomas with our 1st pick, but I still feel we are going to draft a OLB...

flphinfan - I would still take Bob Sanders on the Dolphins today. You cannot predict injuries and predict a particular player will have an injured plagued NFL career

Dan Williams. Case closed.

indiana you cant predict injuries but i know if thomas had to tackle ronnie brown 100 times in practice he might not make the season!! what im saying is this "COLLEGE FOOTBALL IS NOT NFL FOOTBALL" their are no cupcakes in the league and the odds of thomas being the best player on the field will be slim at best

I like Thomas, but I'd leave him alone at #12. This year you can get a Morgan Burnett, Major Wright, Chad Jones or a Nate Allen - at least 1 will still be there in the 3rd round. These guys are all ballers, too. Not a big drop from Thomas - Allen probably being the most comparable in skill set although the others do certain things better to a lot better than Thomas.

If they want a Thomas at #12 make it the WR from GT.

the only WR i would pick in this draft would be the problem child kid from syracuse(williams) just as big,fast,strong and runs excellent routes and has great hands as dez bryant,surprised nobody has even mentioned him (i would wait for the U to release those andre johnson clones they have now) plus we could use a late round pick to get him

oh and i agree with Cam Thomas being average. He's big and there aren't any real NT prospects after Williams and Cody so he's being overvalued right now. He's never played the nose. The Fish have other big guys who've never played NT and they still aren't good at it after a few years. Even Dan Williams will have to prove he can do it - he only had one good year in college and that was as a 4-3 DT. Cody is the only NT that you know can actually play NT good. Two very good to great years at NT for Bama. And people love McClain so they should give extra props to Cody for keeping him so clean in college. I'd take Cody in a heartbeat over any of the DT/NT prospects in this draft. He'll have weight issues, but how many DTs/NTs in the league don't have weight issues? As long as he keeps our ILBs clean that's all that matters.

esteban
you just might be on to something
i think i can speak for c.henne.please get me b,marshall.please.

As much as I hate to say it, the NT position is the CORNERSTONE of the 3-4 Defense... as soon as Ferguson got hurt last year we started to fall behind in games and lose games. We only won 2 games without Ferguson starting... damn!
There are 3 TRUE NT who will start in the NFL without having a extensive learning curve... and Williams is the pick of those three (other two being Cam Thomas 6'4 331 North Carolina... and NT Kade Weston 6'5 320 Georgia) I think Torrell Troup is the sleeper and has a chip on his shoulder that will motivate him. But, chop it up as you wish... Dan Williams is the most polished and NFL ready of the bunch... Save Ndamukong Suh... who will be long gone by #12.

flphinfan, if the Fish can draft Williams 5th round or later than I'd take the flyer. Otherwise I'd leave him alone. TOO many issues. Great talent though.

derek you are so wrong, the best NT prospect in this draft is CODY,stop thinking about the picture mando posted(LOL) and look at the facts!! cody actually played NT, at a big time school(BAMA), and even though i hated to admit this a pretty damn good coach in SABAN!! if anybody is ready to play, its CODY!! CODY=WILFORK or jenkins in the 34 defense!! MUST HAVE

Derek, yeah surprised you mentioned 3 TRUE NTs and didn't mention Cody. The only guy of the bunch that actually played NT in college.

Ok guys this is the draft order for dolphins is gonna be 1: Safety 2: Nose Tackle 3: Safety 4: Nose tackle (if we havent picked one up out of FA, if we have WR) 5: WR

visit my blog
troymccloskey.blogspot.com

Lol Cody is just so fat guys and his bench wasn't too impressive.. True NT on the college level absolutely, but it rly wasn't fair in college. He was 400lbs! And mostly fat! effective fat tho fat nonetheless. He needed to b double or tripple teamed. His size forced teams to double team and the double is what made everyone else so much better. Look he may have acquired the skills under Saban and it's possible he'll come out and BALL, but not for the fins at the price of a 1st or 2nd round pick, and did I mention it was FAT NOT MUSCLES THAT GAVE HIM POWER IN COLLEGE

I like it.

I think we should def. go Safety in the first round. Berry will most likely be gone, Mays is a beast and Thomas is the real deal! On eof these two will be there at #12!

I'm glad the Ryan Clark deal didn't work out because he's the same type of Safety Gibril Wilson is - hard hitting, tacklers (even though Clark is way more consistant in coverage). But that's not what we need, we have Bell to knock people around in the middle of the field and he's a great tackling machine. What we need at the free safety spot is someone with good coverage skills, great insticts for big plays and a ball hawk who can be a threat to return pick sixes.

Earl Thomas fits this criteria, he's a young guy with a bright future - good coverage (has experience playing corner) and a ball hawk (8Ints last year, 2 for TDs). Either one of those three will be a great pick for us, setting up the best young secondary in the league with Will Allen and Y. Bell to provide veteran leadership.

OLB is a need position but no one really stands out at that #12 position, I think we get better value at the safety position and evaluate the OLB position in the 2nd round. Most fans are hoping we find the next D. Ware like Tuna did in Dallas but I think we may have already found him in Cameron Wake, this guy is a beast and I can't wait for them to let him loose next year!!

A NT in the 3rd round, TE in the 4th and WR through free agency, possibly re-untie L. Coles with the Tuna and Pennington (even though Henne is the starter). Also, T. Holt is available, he'll keep the chains moving. I just hope we don't waste a draft pick by going with a WR in the 3rd or 4th round. We need a veteran at that #1 Receiver position.

Thanks

Go FINS!!

Troy, i think its a mistake to have a position slotted to a round. never know who's going to be available - guys slide every year. plus trading up and down is going to happen.

You are all correct... I did not even think about Cody. After I saw what he looked like in the Combine I believed he was a "Lazy Dough Boy" and was going to be one of those very troublesome weight issue guys. Since then he HAS made a stellar effort at dropping weight and getting himself prepared. So, I stand corrected. I will ask you guys this, however... do you think Cody would fare well in the South Florida Heat? Or, would he end up in a ESPN "Tragic loss of a great young player" story? Camp is a B!%ch in S.F!

the only thin NT in the nfl is the one who plays for the RAVENS and he's the exception the rest are big and sloppy!!

Alabama gets pretty hot too don't think hell die in sofla haha

derek thats the key!! if the florida heat dont kill him nothing will!! maybe the dolphins told him to get in better shape b/c he did loss some weight between the senior bowl and the combine!! i just think a NT who played NT carries more weight than a DT trying to convert to NT does! IMO! if the center can beat the NT by himself then he's worthless

Wilfork Plays at between 330 and 340 (he is listed at 325, yeah right) Jason Ferguson plays at 325 to around 340 also. His weight goes up as the season progresses. At 400... Cody is WAY more "Sloppy" then either of these two guys. I admit, however, he is an experienced NT rather then a DT convert.... I would love to get Parcells take on the matter... Ain't gonna happen........ >Tuna don't blog<..... What are your guys opinions about Graham, TE out of the "U"... I have an instinctual "like" of this guy and believe he will be a special player, would like him around the 4th?

he weighed 400 when he first arrived at Bama. Slimmed down to 350 or so. Showed up at the Senior Bowl at 370. Showed up at his pro day at 349. He'll be alright.

Yep... you just described Soliai to a tee... nearly every AFC Easy Center I watched him go up against "handled him" readily. I certainly agree that your NT "MUST" demand a double team in most pass situations... that is the key to opening up the outside for the "Rush" LB position to get his job done.

Thank God, B Marshall Ho's are not online today! Those who watched the games last year are Talking DEF!!

- Thomas did play in pass happy Big 12 so we've seen him play!

- NT in 3-4 is not a rookie job. We missed the boat on a few seasoned NTs cuz they thought Ferguson was gonna resign (which he did but after the suspension). A NT draft is like a WR or FS, it will take a few years for true impact.

- LB in NFL are like RB. They can have immediate impact, which is what a 1st rounder should do.

- Deon Grant is another SS, not true FS if that matters. Sure would like to know how Nolan is impacting this process (I wasn't sold on Clark anyway, but maybe Nolan wanted him so maybe he will like a guy like Grant too).

- Beginning of season our young CBs struggled but we can agree we all saw what they will be. But at end of the year it was the front 7 that cost us... big runs all over the place.

Thus, we have to finish the LB position THIS year or our back 4 will be having their names called for tackles way too much. SS should not be the leading tackler!! We can't draft everyone. I would change strategy only for Berry, but not for Thomas.

**East.... Not Easy... Oops!

Dude... don't even bring that shyt up... I am so sick of that merry go round for the past week I could blow oats.... Defense is why Miami struggled last year... they scored points very well against nearly everyone they played....

TRADE DOWN !
Hopefully get down to the #20-25 pick and draft Witherspoon, or Hughes, hopefuly pick up an extra 2nd or 3rd by moving down and pick up Cam Thomas after Hughes. Safety is important but there is a strong safety class coming out this year so hopefully we can sign sharper for a year or two and draft a safety in the 3rd or 4th round. I believe Sharper still has a couple of good years left.

JWE, Grant is a FS all the way - just doesn't have the range he used to have. But he can never really be considered a SS cause he's never had an affinity for run support.

You have to figure a guy at 349 if trained in the weight room well is going to "use up some O-line resources"... the question that will circle him is will he be an every down player... At #12 pick, you may sort of expect a guy to be... Know what I am saying? If he is winded in 2 plays and has to be spelled for three downs... Tuna will not touch him with a 349lb pole!

Kindry, about Gerbils jumping...

Dallas Clark beat the LB who was supposed to cover him. I don't trust Crowder, he's a low IQ guy who shouldn't make defensive calls. Dansby changes that and Crowder can go back to caveman assignments. Still need one more guy who can tackle and drop in coverage to play with teams like NE, Indy, SD, and now Balt. (Not worried about Jets)

oh oh he played corner and saftey. Isn't that what jason allen did?

Likelihood of these scenarios:

Trade Up for Berry 5%
Trade down for Williams 35 %
Dont pick Mclain or Spiller 75%
Trade away Pat White 25 %
Cut Pat Turner 5%
Resign JT 20%
Draft Dough Boy 10%
Draft Earl Thomas 25%
Draft Dez Bryant 0%
Trade for Brandon Marshall 5 %
Trade for Vet Safety 5%
Nalbone starts a game in the NFL 0%
Pat White completes first NFL pass by Week 2 5%

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