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Miami's first pick? Best player available

The rest of the country is acting like the visit of Texas safety Earl Thomas to the Dolphins this week is breaking news, but readers of this blog knew about it two weeks ago. I nonetheless am going to use the visit of the outstanding free safety to make a couple of points.

Point One: Regardless of the speculation about Miami's first round draft pick, I think the conclusion we should all agree upon is the Dolphins should probablypick the highest-rated player on their board when their turn comes.

Unlike last year when Miami went with a fine player that also fit an obvious need -- cornerback Vontae Davis -- this year the Dolphins seem to have so darn many needs, it's likely anywhere they turn will handle a need.

So might as well just pick the best player, I say.

If that player is an outside linebacker such as Derrick Morgan, great. Miami's got a need.

If that player is a nose tackle such as Dan Williams, great. Miami's got a need.

If that player is a free safety such as Thomas or Eric Berry, great. Miami's got a need.

If that player is a wide receiver such as Dez Bryant or Demaryius Thomas or Arrelious Benn, fine. Miami's got a need.

If that player is an elite left guard such as Michael Iupati, great. Miami has a need there.

If that player is a running back such as C.J. Spiller, great. Miami needs a home run hitter and next season Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams are out of contract. As an aside, a club source tells me Spiller has not visited the Dolphins and has no visit scheduled so that should temper all the unsubstantiated rumors out there. I put up his video anyway because he's electric.

Miami has a need or could use upgrading at practically every position. The areas I would say are absolutely not likely to be addressed or need addressing in the first round are cornerback, quarterback, kicker and punter.

Otherwise, you can make a solid case for adding an elite player at just about any other position on the roster. Think about that long and hard. The Dolphins could easily stand upgrading along the OL, at LB, FS, RB, TE, WR, and DL.

That brings me to my next point.

At season's end there was a debate on this blog (I know there was because I started it) about how close the Dolphins are to championship caliber. Ronnie Brown made the point on his radio show that the Dolphins are close. Many fans commenting here agreed.

I made the point the Dolphins were not yet in the same conversation with the Saints and Colts and other playoff teams.

Well, if you see just how much improvement the Dolphins can use, you should be able to agree the Dolphins aren't close. I mean, they don't have a starting FS on the roster right now. Thomas would be good, Berry would be great.

They don't have a dynamic receiver on the roster right now. My apologies to coach Tony Sparano who insists he's happy with this group because, well, what else is he going to say?

The NT situation is a question mark.

They don't have a proven starting OLB on the roster right now.

And even the team's greatest strength -- the running of Williams and Brown -- is something that will have to be addressed by next year at the latest.

Now, maybe the stars align right and good things begin to take shape immediately for Miami. It is, after all, Holy Week. But barring that, the Dolphins still have significant work to do. They have much building yet to do in this draft and next.

They are not close.

[BLOG NOTE: Come back later this afternoon because I will post all the relevant news (perhaps a Dez Bryant update from his Pro Day) plus a new blog entry on why the Raiders' chase of Donovan McNabb makes sense historically and what intriguing connection that has to the Dolphins.You will be interested.]

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I agree, and have said MANY times that we need LOTS and LOTS of help. I still know that Parcells will draft a LB in the first. It is written.

Agreed, but I still think they can win if certain players step up to the next level. The draft should interesting.

I say go with the #1 player at position by the highest need 1st rd... a great LG is hard to find and needs to be done in the draft so that this line can really stand out. Michael Iupati seems to be the most dire need. If Eric Berry #1 at FS falls then he would make the most sense. Spiller #1 home run hitter RB ect. but picking up the 3rd or 4th best NT 12th or a DE turned olb Morgan seems like Merling to me u might as well move him to olb While Dez Bryant should be rated #1 i think he will drop in the draft and cause contract problems which i think is a risk maybe worth taking if we could trade down possibly with another team that really wants him bad enough draft day trade bait kinda

Mando - agreed. Pick the best player. Aslo, Fins are not close to even make it to the playoffs. They first have to beat the Pars and hated Jets. Parcell is not a good executive. Look where we are on year 3!!!

BTW, Jets will be featured on HBO's "Hard Knocks" this year...That sucks

Porter gone, Jt a question, Wake so far? Crowder injury problems That leaves Dansby Parcells will take the best olb unless berry is there

didn't we beat the pats once and the jets twice?
we had 2 good draft in a row and expecting the same for this year.

i'd rather the organization be secretive than be on Hard Knocks plus Dallas and Cincy were busts towards the end of the season

CJ SPILLER in a fins uniform would be perfect

I was with a lot of you saying Miami is not close but I change my mind and leave it with Miami MIGHT be close. Thinking about teams that have gone to and won SuperBowls they have star and role players. Not every player on a Championship contender or a championship team for that fact is a Pro Bowler or a All Pro or even a Hall of famer. Star players make role players better and in turn role players make star players job easier. Colts are the perfect example of this. You have Payton Manning who is a star and Reggie Wayne who is another star than you have role players Collie and Garcon. Wayne draws a lot of double team leaving Collie and Garcon in man on man, throw in Manning's placement of the ball YAC yards become a lot easier. Miami has a ton of role players. Get some of the players with potential to become stars and you will see those hole quickly disappear. The way I look at it is we need Henne and Wake to step up, get a star WR and a star NT. Everything else will fall into place.

Hey Armando, What would be the interest in Marshall once the draft nears and Denver knowing they must get rid of him lowers asking price. Heard John Clayton say that once the draft begins and Marshall is still in Denver a 2nd or 3rd rounder plus a later round can possibly have him. He also siad that even with comments made by Sparano about Marshall could be a smoke screen for a draft day trade.

if we draft an OL player in the first two rounds, i will loose respect for the trifecta.

we have spent soooo much money, and effort working on the line, and it is probably the strength of the team. our defense was terrible last year. that is where we need to draft. any position but DE or CB i am fine with. i am still upset we let nate jones go. he seemed to make a lot of plays in nickel packages. i am just praying that nolan will be as good as advertised.

again, defense was THE problem last year. our offense(with or without the wildcat) was good enough for us to win most of those games. it was our defense giving up every lead and crumbling in the fourth quarter that made it seem like our offense was insufficient. that and the fact that we lost ronnie and cobbs. i dont think that pat white will be back next year. he looked like a boy amongst men. boy i wish we had that 2nd round pick this year.

george johnson, de, rutgers--4-5 round draft pick---6"4--270--monster--stood up and dropped into zone some at rutgers---could be a mid to late round steal---captain of rutgers defense

I do agree we right now on paper are not close. The good news is we don't play until September. I prefer to look at some of the holes that have been filled. Obviously LT with Long was a very solid #1 selection. Davis and Smith have much yet to prove, but their future looks bright. The Dansby signing looks like a solid move. He certainly was one of the most talented free agents available.

I am not totally sold on Henne. His lack of touch, and timing on his short and long throws alarm me. He was lucky not to have thrown more interceptions then he did. Hopefully, the coaching staff is working hard with him and he improves in this area. If he can, then maybe he can become the QB we all hope he can be. At this point the jury is still out on him in my mind.

I do have hope that this is the year Ginn puts it together. I said hope, not expectation. Hartline though looks like he can play and you have to like Bess's approach to the game.

We need Merling, and Langford to take it to the next level, but the improvement Starks made last year was refreshing to see.

Things are not what we'd like them to be, but it could be worse. Remember 1-15?

Most mock drafts have Kindle going to fins. I dont think Armando has mentioned him even once. Hope fins get a big play difference maker whoever he is so i hope the first pick aint NT dan williams.

Mike henne got more yards etc out of our receivers than most qbs in the league could. Pennington sure as hell couldn't, with his noodle arm our Rbs were tops in receiving. Judge henne when he has one real target to throw too, let alone three or four like most others

Rob,

From the last post,

Stop f'n putting words in my mouth!!!!!!! I never said that if the Dolphins pick McClain that Dansby would move to OLB, if you read instead of assuming, you would know that I said if the Dolphins picked McClain, I would rather have the fins deal Crowder than move Dansby to SOLB!!!!

Your man-love for Brandon Graham is really clouding your judgement and it seems like you take it personally when someone doesn't think he is the pick...

carlito,

Relax... it's not as big of deal anyways.

Your saying that the Fins will draft McClain and ditch their starting ILB Crowder? THAT would be a much bigger deal bro than simply sliding some player around.

You get so freaked out saying I put words in your mouth. I will simply leave you out of any "groups" of McClain supporters if I am speaking in general terms from now on.

I echo the same sentiment back to you...if you would read the posts you would see that I CLEARLY have said numerous times that my choice are for the BEST player period! I am not playing a guessing game of who the Trifecta will choose.

I have also said several times that there is a snowballs chance that BG is the choice. I have NOT ruled it completely out but, after Dansby got picked up in FA there is an equal chance McClain won't be the choice as well.

He is NOT physical enough! You are the ONLY one that sent me a link to ONE f'ing serious harsh tackle that McClain delivered during his Jr. year for which I thanked you.

I would say the passions run just as high for McClain supporters and I wouldn;t have it any other way. I don't want milque-toast comments and positions people can weasel out or minimize later on.

I will be the 1st to step up and apologize if BG is not at least a good contributor in the NFL within two years.

Cheers,

Rob,

I also never said I don't think BG will be a good player in the league. I have always said that BG will be a good player, I just don't think he is a good fit for Miami at 12. So please leave me out of your BG/McClain rants.


Boys the name of this NFL game is speed, speed, and more speed. Forget Dez, Marshall, Turner is the same size with the same speed, develop the kid. #12 pick take Spiller, home run hitter, great hands as a receiver and can return KO. Second round take the best defensive player available at any position other than CB. Third round Jacoby Ford faster than Spiller and can return punts, trade Bess, put Ford in the slot and watch what speed can do for the rest of the receivers.

when did al davis get in this blog

carlito,

Sure thing carlito. I said I would on my last post. You have my word on it.

Cheers,

fredontario,

I like speed as an asset as much as the next guy but Bess is not going anywhere. He is one of the most clutch slot guys in the NFL.

He is still developing so he should get better at punching some tds in.

If you were to ask Henne who his #1 guy is he would probably say Bess.

If they were to pick up WR Jacoby Ford at some point then Ginn should be getting his bags packed. He's as fast but quicker with some heart.

If anyone goes from the WR group it will be Camarillo first and Ginn second most likely. Turner if he doesn't show something this year will be piking it.

Cheers,

While I agree, take the best player available at the draft, I don't agree with your assessment of the team.

The Phins had some holes. The holes were leaks at first until every player on the defense tried to fill the hole. That left every position looking weaker. So it looks bad everywhere.

Pass rusher, safety, nose tackle and receiver, in any order. We are that close to dominating our division for years.

Mando is very moody in his writing lately

I really like Jerry Hughes in the 2nd!

carlito,

Hughes does offer some really keen pass rush skills. Your assessment that he offers good value in the second is dead on.

Cheers,

While not quite as old as Al Davis I am close. I've been a dolphin fan since 1968. Bess and Ginn should go. Ginn has no heart and Bess is a fumbler with no top end speed. Trade both, Bess can get you some value and package him with Ginn for a draft choice. Mismatches are the answer to any offense, and speed creates those mismatches. This draft is loaded with D players, take the few good O players early and load up with D later. Best defense is a good offense.

BTW Allen, how many SB rings does Al have. Grow up sonny.

Rob,

I really think that the Phins will get their pass rusher in the 2nd round, there is so much value at that position in round 2... Jerry Hughes, Darryl Washington, Ricky Sapp, Eric Norwood, etc

sorry, Daryl Washington is ILB

Armando...
Yes, we could use help an lots of fronts but frankly.... CJ Spiller is EXACTLY what this team needs! A wildcat option with BLINDING speed! A third down back that could SERIOUSLY stretch the defense ala Brian Westbrook and a punt/kick returner/special teamer that would spark this offense!

I defy you to name another first rounder that could come in and contribute more to winning games than CJ Spiller!

Certainly, no safety or linebacker is just going to START and immediately give us victories! In fact, I doubt that any rookie starter on Defense could do that period!

But in the AFC East where just about every game is hotly contested, offensive packages designed by Dan Henning SPECIFICALLY targeting SPILLERS unbelievable speed just drive me WILD with excitement! Armando, this guy would strike FEAR into the hearts of Defensive Coordinators across the league! Even the THREAT of him running down the field would make defenses play us honest and not put that 8th man in the box. With Ronnie Brown, the eigth man in the box happens 60% of the time. With Spiller in the play, BOTH safeties would stay home and stay deep, I guarantee you. That's what speed does. It guarantees that you'll end up facing 80% zone coverage and very little man.

Henne is the PERFECT QB for zone coverage. SPILLER would cause favorable matchups. All we'd have to do is throw him a deep one early. Wouldn't matter if it connects or not, just let that guy run and watch the Defensive Coordinators start popping antacid tablets!

C'mon... Admit it! Even if we re-sign Ronnie Brown (and we should) Ricky Williams is done next year due to age and Patrick Cobbs may never be right again after his devastating injury. But even when right, Cobbs wasn't SPILLER. So, who on the Dolphins offense scares you? Exactly.

If he's there at #12 it's not even a conversation. We have a mediocre defense (with a BAD secondary) and a fairly bad offense (with unremarkable WR's) and none of that gets better with a defensive first round pick.

But add a home run hitter from the backfield and everything changes. Our offense can play more ball control and give our defense a better chance at winning because there will simply be LESS 3 and outs!
Lineup Ronnie as a FB like they did with him in college and Cadillac and watch the defenses run around like idiots trying to cover either Ronnie or CJ on wheel routes! The FS will be terrified and it'll make him HAVE to stay back! That'll create big holes in the zones for our possession wr's (we have 4 possession wr's by the way) and our TE.

It's how the RAMS were the greatest show on turf! They had RB that, from out of the backfield, could run a wheel route to the house on EVERY play! Then they ran a spread 4wr set from there! It changes EVERYTHING when the defensive coordinator KNOWS that the moment the RB goes out on a pass pattern that ANY LB in coverage is a mismatch! That's what Spiller would give us, a mismatch! Defenses would HAVE to play a LOT more Dime defense against us! We could pound them and ball control against that a LOT easier than those 8 man fronts we constantly faced!

Hope I've made my point! I tried to be eloquent! LOL!

CJ SPILLER should be a Dolphin and we should pick up a DT, OLB, FS & WR with later picks. Right now, if you CAN get an ELITE point scorer you GET him at all costs!

GO PHINS!!

Being a Dolphin fan from here in England i dont see blanket coverage of college football like you guys, but the limited coverage we do i get this Nebraska guy Ndamukong Suh looks a beast, what would it take to trade up to get this guy

RD.#1 CJ Spiller, RD. #2 Mardy Gilyard. RD.#3 Linval Joseph,RD.#4 Major Wright. Sign JT for one more year.see what we can get for Smiley and maybe Camarillo and go from there.GO PHINS!

I WOULD BE happy with any of the following 9 players (they each fill a need).. DEZ BRYANT, IUPATI, J.PIERRE, MORGAN, KINDLE, B.GRAHAM, CJ SPILLER, EARL THOMAS, DAN WILLIAMS. Most likely, at least 3 of them will still be on the board if we trade down from 1-12 to 1-20 in the first round (and pick up another 2nd round choice). Then .... here is my ideal draft:

1-20 IUPATI, playing LG next to J.Long (WOW)
2 BEST, RB (better RB than Spiller)
2-20 D.THOMAS, BENN, or D.WILLIAMS (WR)
3 R.JONES,F.S.
4. J.GRAHAM, TE from the U
6 (3 picks)
M.JOHNSON,ILB,KY
Shoefield, OLB, Wisconsin
M.WILLIAMS,WR, Syracuse
7 (3 picks)
KARKA, QB, nw
best available NT and OLB

NOTE: We can also trade Smiley for a 4th round pick and Thigpen for a 5th round pick ... use them for NT and OLB
(syracuse)

carlito,

There is a ton of depth to this draft in general. I hope the Fins can finagle a few extra choices.

Even though Washington is ILB he is a pretty good prospect in his own right... love the speed that he brings to the table.

Jamar Chaney is aanother guy that has good movement skills and looks like he could play ILB/OLB with some pass rush ability.

I was soooo sick and tired of teams getting outsude on our DEF. That run by the Buffalo QB absolutley chapped my hyde.

So long JP... you can make a "run to the border" after your latest hi-jinx! At least I hope that I can say "Where's the freakin outside contain!!!" much less often this year hopefully.

Cheers,

Mark from England,

Although Suh is a monster he wouldn't really be a great fit for Miami do to the 3-4 defense we run. He would fit a 4-3 scheme much better.

That being said the amount of traded draft picks usually makes trading up into the top 10 too costly of an endeavor.

The DT's that the Fins would probably look at will be Dan Williams, Terrance Cody, Cam Thomas, Linval Joseph and Torrell Troup.

The internet has all kinds of updates on players, rankings, team needs, mock drafts etc.

Glad the Fins have fans in England mate!

Cheers,

Right now the dolphins have count em 0 stars on their roster and parcells and sporano should be fired if they do anything other then take a receiver or safety with the first pick

Willy,
I'm in total agreement with your assessment on Spiller.
Go Offense!!!

Mando I hear that Pat White is on the"Jamarcus Russell diet" is this true????

I AGREE ARMANDO WE're NOT TOP DOG BUT I ALSO THINK WE're RIGHT UP THERE.

EVEN AFTER PLAYIN ALL OF THE TOP TEAMS WE JUST MISSED THE PLAYOFFS.

WE PLAYED BOTH THE SAINTS AND COLTS AND HAD THEM BY THE NECKS WHEN BOTH TEAMS WERE ABLE TO PULL IT OFF LATE IN GAMES.

BECAUSE WE LOST THOSE GAMES MEANS WE're NOT CLOSE? NOT AT ALL.

YOU MUST ADD THAT WE WENT THERE WITH MANY BACK-UPS

ALLEN, BROWN, FERGI, PENNY, CROWDER, SMILEY, JOEY ALL MISSED ALOT OF TIME.

WHAT's THAT ABOUT 35 PERCENT OF OUR STARTERS.

WE're CLOSER THAN YOU THINK.

WOULD THEY HAVE BEEN WHERE THEY WERE IF YOU TAKE THAT MANY STARTING PLAYERS OFF THEIR TEAMS.

WE CAN USE HELP EVERY WHERE BUT AT THE SAME TIME WE're SOLID AT MOST SPOTS.

WE JUST FINISHED YEAR 2 OF THE PROJECT AND THE GODFATHERS MISSED ON SOME FREE AGENTS BUT IF YOU LOOK BEYOND 7-9 and 11-5 YOU SEE 1-15.

LOOKIN AHEAD WE MADE THE PLAYOFFS and JUST MISSED IT WITH THE BEST TEAMS IN OUR WAY.

I THINK WE're VERY CLOSE!!!

All,

Its my first time posting on here although i've reading Mando's blog and your comments for sometime. You guys have some great thoughts. I know some of you don't like the off field issues with Brandon Marshall but as longtime Dolfan I'm about ready to take the Mike Ditka aproach. Trade Smiley and whatever draft picks it takes to get Marshall after the 3rd round . Draft a pass rusher in the 1st (I'm leaning towards Graham). Terrence Cody in the 2nd and the best player available in the 3rd. Then sign Sharper or the Rams safety (Atogwe i think). Thats 4 solid starters (including Dansby) and situational NT added to a 7-9 team who had alot of injuries. Sounds good to me....

OH YEAH ALMOST FORGOT WE TRADE THAT 1 FOR MARSHALL WE JUMP IN THE PLAYOFFS EVERY YEAR.

Trade Henne for Russel from the Raiders straight up!!!!!!!!!

I know it sounds crazy, BUT, we would be able to run the wildcat non-stop. Russel is a beast in the WRONG offense. Can you imagine trying to tackle this guy if he has a full set of steam?

He is Tebbo on steriods. There was a reason he was the 1st pick in the dradt a couple of years back.

Let him shine!!!!!!!!!

Smarter than you
Whatever you are smoking I want some.. I suggest a change of names to "higher than you"
out!!!

Smarter,

At this point we could prob get Russell for Pat White...but I still don't want him!!

I guess he would be interesting in the Wildcat but I prefer a healthy Ronnie Brown taking the snaps.

As long as we don't get a Left Tackle or Quarterback

you guys are forgetting what we have Cobbs coming back..this will solidify the running game.

nothing special we have a kick returner and everbody makes fun of ginn (including me) that he runs out of bound too much. well this video shows this guy running out of bounds alot. he also is getting hit alot at the point of attack, sure that works in collage but in the nfl this guy will be on his back alot. i say pass on this guy and go get mayes to sure up our back field!!!!!!

Mando,

Spiller is exciting to watch but in the nine minutes of video I rarely saw him take it through the middle..It seems that his runs are angled to the outside......but what do I know? Is there one in the draft that can go both ways?


Armando I totally agree with what you say...we can use S, LB, NT, WR, TE in the first round and in the second too...

I think i would be a happy camper if we went safety in the first and OLB in the second...

Also to note i would die if we got Iupati..

Sorry i meant I WOULDN´T DIE if we got Iupati

Brandon Graham that is all I want to hear right now is Brandon Graham.

Trade Henne for Russel from the Raiders straight up!!!!!!!!!

I know it sounds crazy, BUT, we would be able to run the wildcat non-stop. Russel is a beast in the WRONG offense. Can you imagine trying to tackle this guy if he has a full set of steam?

He is Tebbo on steriods. There was a reason he was the 1st pick in the dradt a couple of years back.

Let him shine!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Smarter than you | March 30, 2010 at 06:02 AM

"PLUNGIE,PLUNGIE,PLUNGIE,PLUNGIE"

23 days, we can actually talk about something relevant that has actually happened

Smarter than you.... i am not sure anyone can even compete with you for the plungie today

bobby d that is very exciting.....

cuban menace...you need to put down the pipe and take a step back.
no way tuna trades henne for russell for one obvious reason...he sucks!

for those of you who like to gamble should consider putting a boat-load of $$$ down on the trifecta choosing a linebacker with the #12 pick.

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