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A Pro Days update from around our great land

The first wave of free agency has come and gone and has left several players -- Julius Peppers, Dunta Robinson, and yes, Karlos Dansby -- awash in money.

Now the sprint turns into a marathon as teams jockey for good deals among the so-called bargain unrestricted players. We should also start to see some movement in the restricted market if there is going to be any. (Personally, with a fully stocked draft class, I don't see a lot of team giving up draft picks for restricted players.)

And having said all that, it seems like a good time to get back to the college players.

If you haven't figured it out by now, that is where the Dolphins must look to reap the most improvement from 2009 to 2010. If the Dolphins are going to rise from third place in the AFC East, the drafted players are the ones that must help them do that.

(If anything happens in free agency -- such as interest in ILB Andra Davis or OT Adam Terry -- we'll swing back to that, but work with me here.)

As Pro Days are already underway throughout our land let me catch you up on some of those with the help of aspiring scout Chris Cordero.

Sixty-one schools were scheduled to have their Pro Days by now.

The most impressive Pro Day so far, in my humble, was at Alabama where every NFL team was represented and the freakin' New York Jets came with coach Rex Ryan, GM Mike Tannenbaum, and former Dolphin and current defensive line coach Bryan Cox among others.Fat Cody 

A source tells me the Jets were there to take a close look at Terrence Cody. And he didn't disappoint, weighing in at 349 pounds, which is lower than he weighed at the Combine. Interestingly, Cody lifted only 22 bench-press reps of 225 pounds. That's amazing for you and me.

For an NFL nose tackle? Merely OK.

I nonetheless get the feeling the Jets are sizing up the Mount for a possible late first-round selection.

Rolando McClain also worked and his speed ranged from 4.69-4.74 depending on which scout's spotwatch you believed.

At the Baylor Pro Day, the report I get is that wide receiver David Gettis opened some eyes. He ran a 4.39 inthe 40 on some watches and that's pretty impressive considering the guy is 6-3 and 218 pounds.

At the Kansas Pro Day, WR Dezmon Briscoe ran a 4.51 in the 40 at 6-2 and 208. I'm told he look good, but not great in position drills, whatever that means.

Weatherspoon I'm told perhaps the most impressive Pro Day so far has been turned in by Missouri LB Sean Weatherspoon. The 6-1, 239 pounder ran a 4.53 and 4.52 in the 40 which is blistering for an LB. And then he ripped off 35 reps on the bench press. Remember Cody had 22?

Weatherspoon, considered too small for a Bill Parcells prototype 3-4, is going to make someone a very good player as he's not just a workout warrior. He makes plays. I like this player. Noisey leader, to boot.

Quarterback Zac Robinson, another overachiever I like, was among 17 players to work at the Oklahoma State Pro Day. Robinson looked impressive in drills, I'm told. Russell Okung was obviously the star while WR Dez Bryant did not work, as I reported here two days ago.

Here is what Cordero says about Bryant: "No question he is the top WR talent in the draft - I think he is better than Michael Crabtree was last year. But being the best at your position shouldn't put you above working out and displaying your wares in front of decision-makers who will ultimately decide your fate and how much you will be paid. All I can say is, he'd better have an outstanding workout (and he'd better have a workout period) at the end of the month, or he could suffer a Randy Moss-like fall into the 20's despite having Top 5 talent."

The UAB Pro Day offered an interesting look at Joe Webb, a QB that is converting to WR for the pros.

"He appeared to be a very good athlete when I saw him at the Senior Bowl, but wow," Cordero said of the workout. "He is about 6-4 and 223 pounds and ran in the 4.5 range. He did 21 reps on the bench and 
posted a 42.5 inch vert, 11'6 broad jump, 6.55 3 cone, and 3.91 shuttle run - amazing numbers any way you slice them.

"He is very raw and for whatever reason reminds me of Matt Jones. He has great physical tools but will have to learn the nuances of the receiver position. He last played the position extensively in 2007. The Dolphins should have a good idea about him after coaching him in the Senior Bowl. I give him a 5th round grade."

From the Cincinnati Pro Day, Cordero reports:

Mardy "WR Mardy Gilyard improved his 40 time from the combine to the mid 4.4s. He also apparently looked more explosive in the other drills running in the 6.7s in the 3-cone and showing a 38.5 vertical leap. He has had great production throughout his career not just as a receiver but also as a return man. I give him a solid 3rd round grade.

"Potential 3-4 rush LB convert Alex Daniels showed off amazing athleticism with a 39-inch vertical and a 10'9 broad jump at 6-2 and 269 pounds. He is a late round sleeper who I give a 7th round grade. He had 8 sacks as a senior but will need to be coached up in his technique.

"Aaron Webster, a S, has also showed very well - running a 4.48, putting up 21 reps, and turning in a 10'3 broad jump at 6'1 1/2 and 207 pounds. He has played some CB but is mostly looked at as a SS right now. He had 6 ints throughout his career. I give him a 7th round grade and should be a ready-made special team standout."Brandon graham

Florida, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Pittsburgh and Penn State are among the schools that conduct Pro Days next week. Michigan will conduct its Pro Day today. You think I'll have a midday update on what Brandon Graham did if he participates?

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Bootang,

My only problem with drafting a running back is that it's more of a luxury pick. If we were to draft someone it would mean we have to drop someone. Which of the five would you drop? I think we have other needs this year. Not saying it's impossible. I'd rather we focus on it next off-season through the draft and FA.

Hey Schmoo, no team, no matter their needs will draft all D or all O. Miami will no doubt draft an offensive player or two. But more than likely not in the 1st or 2nd round.

'The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.'

Spock

We can use a TE, move Fasano back to his original position and Draft a TE to take over David Martins old spot...Fasano was just fine until Martin went down and he had to move over....If Gronkowski is available in the third or Graham down the line a little, grab em...we don't need 2 TEs though

We're always going to have room for improvement at various position, Joe. I'm not saying we have the BEST runing game in the league but I think it's one of our strengths. Now next year is a totally different situation. We're going to have to figure some things out next year. This year we are going to be just fine.

Craig,

I agree. I am the biggest Ronnie Brown guy you will find. But if we are on the clock in round 4, and there is a RB we have rated as a 2, and a NT we have rated as 5, do you reach for a position of need, or add a quality football player? TEN had LenDale White and had just spent a 2nd round pick on Chris Henry the year before, so according to your thinking, they should have never considered CJ2K. I agree with your thinking, but you can't just rule out a position because you are strong at it. Throw in Ronnie and Ricky are not under contract past this year, Cobbs is coming off an injury, and Hilliard is still unproven, if a quality guy fell in our lap, it's not that tough to see us pick one. And remember, all you ever see me talk about is defensive players, you know hat I want to do in the draft.

Indiana - there are a lot of people here and in other blogs who have been saying what Zack said. It is not an unpopular opinion at all.

That said, while I wish it would happen, it won't.

Dan Williams first, OLB, ILB, FS in the succeeding picks (not necessarily in that order). Any offensive players will come in or after Round 4. Even though it shouldn't be that way in my mind, but that's how I believe it will be.

For the most part the offense will remain static. Despite Ireland stating the need for a #1 WR, it just isn't going to happen anytime in the near future as I believe that his statement is as much lip service as "Gibril Wilson is a good player." His lips were moving, weren't they?

This F.O. honestly thinks they can win with an improved D and the 2009 offense (with a minor tweak here and there). And they may well be able to eke out a couple more wins on an improved D and a slightly weaker schedule. But a Superbowl caliber team? No. But that's not the plan for another couple of years, is it? It may never be without a receiver who can stretch the field, catch and be willing to take a hit.

I don't disagree Bootang. I think we're both saying the same thing....'don'trule it out'. As you know Tennessee was criticized for the Chris Johnson pick because the last thing they needed was ANOTHER running back. Looks like a very smart move in hindsight.

How many teams has Zach thomas run as a GM/VP in the NFL ? That's Right ZILCH !!

Bootang25 & Joe Schmoo,

I think the FO would pick an RB in a later round especially if it looks like Ronnie Brown won't be 100% by the time the season starts (to help carry the Wildcat load).

I believe this is was Joe Schmoo's concern (with Brown out, the Fins would need a 3rd RB to spell Williams, I think the other RBs are suspect).

Hopefully, Brown will be OK and the Fins can put off getting a RB till next year.

our team probably lacks veteran leadership which helps the younger guys try to emulate. we have young corners who had to go it alone. we have young receivers who don't have that vet WR like a c.chambers to learn from. if we had that vet presence we could grab a guy like brandon marshall. unfortunately we had to make that idiot bloey porter one of vet leaders so he divided the locker room. instead of helping the young guys(cam wake,anderson,folsom,moses)he said they werent good enough to sub in for him. ginn said he would have benefited alot from a vet. receiver who could help him. ditto for patrick turner. we really miss that veteran leadership.

Marino13 - it's not just his opinion - a huge number of fans agree. How many people here have ever run an NFL team? How many people total in the world? Maybe 100, max?

Zack's opinion probably has more basis than any of ours, yet 90% of the posters here opine as to whom the Fins should pick or go after in FA. Why can't Zack? He was asked the question and he answered it. He didn't take the interview because he wanted to promote an agenda. He was just asked for his opinion. Moreover, after all he did for this franchise, he's entitled to it. I have a lot of respect for the guy. Most Fins fans do. Most. Jets fans don't though.

Really good point, greg z.

If I have one legitimate qualm with the Trifecta, it is their lack of putting guys on the field. We saw nothing of Patrick Turner. Kory Sperry made plays the little bit he was in there. We saw little of Korey Sheets. Lex Hilliard flashed when he got the chance. Well I would usually say the staff knew what they were doing in regards to that. But we had Pat White forced on us (and I like Pat White) a lot. Then in the PIT game, it became apparent rather quickly that he was not ready, and Thigpen was way ahead of him. So in those packages, throughout the seapn, why wasn't Thigpen being the guy used? So after looking back at the season, I have some questions about how certain guys were used.

Greg z,

I agree a little bit. But I ask you what Pennington (coming off another shoulder injury) and Ferguson (coming off injury, facing suspension) were signed for? I know that it is for the leadership aspect as much as anything.

Mates . you see me in pumping iron ? I'm huge !! . I'm the light featherweight champ in bodybuilding and boxing. I'm Huge i say HUGE !. 1,2 4 . 1,2 4. Did i mention i play pro rugby and i'm huge ?.

I think you could throw Wilford into those comments too Bootang. We never did get to see that guy play. Seems to me the trifecta (or maybe it's Sparano) takes one guy every year and kind of uses him as an example. Like, 'we're not going to just hand a position to a guy' kind of thinking. We could really have used a guy like Wilford two years ago and there were times last year where Turner's height and ability in the Red Zone would have helped. Anyway, I'm not a big fan of the strategy. Pay all accounts Turner busted his hump last year in practice...I just think there was another agenda at work.

Hey Schmoo, no team, no matter their needs will draft all D or all O. Miami will no doubt draft an offensive player or two. But more than likely not in the 1st or 2nd round.

'The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.'

Spock

Posted by: cocoajoe | March 12, 2010 at 12:46 PM

And if you read my original post, you'd see I agree with you. I didn't say spend the first 2 picks on offense. In fact, I suggested the 1st 2 picks would be NT & OLB. Because in 2 years, we haven't been able to hit on them.

.

talk football bigalfy ,it's not time for rugby gay sport .

Jimmy Jam, gonna disagree with u on point, you said we need NT, ILB, OLB , FS, well, Dansby is going to play ILB or OLB, whichever he plays will take out the need to draft, let's say he plays ILB. No need to draft another ILB then. FS, Dolohins have struck out twice, Rolle n Clark but they will more then likely sign a FS via free agency, that will negate the need to draft FS...I agree with you Williams at 12, then WR, OLB or ILB, TE

I'd actually love to see them sign Larry Foote to replace Crowder. He is a 3-4 ILB'er. Would be a great fit! Would free up another position to make it less pressing come draft time. Although I think Crowder is serviceable and will be better with Dansby. DT/OLB in rds 1-2, Rounds 3-7 should be a mix of FS, WR, TE, RB & undersized DE/OLB projects.

I saw craig said we are fine this year with RB's but next year we'll have to figure things out. Well, this FO won't wait til the last minute. I think at least 1 RB is drafted this year & 1 TE. Hell, in their 1st year they had Rickey & Ronnie under contract and STILL drafted 2 rb's & extended Ricky.

Ryan is giving cody some diet tips

Schmoo - Crowder will be better playing next to Dansby.

If Rex was smart, he'd just go on a 2 week all-you-can buffet tour with Cody, get him over 400. This would ensure he would be there at 29 for him to pick.

Joe,

Who were the TWO running backs they drafted their first year? I don't remember that.

I think Larry Foote is too slow. I'm not much of a fan of his. I don't think he's an upgrade over Crowder and I'm not much a fan of Crowder. I think Crowder gets another year to show what he can do and to show he can stay healthy. Dansby is a big upgrade over who he played beside last year and I think he will take some of the responsibility off of Crowder.

Craig,

Jalen Parmele and Lex Hilliard

when parcells took over we lacked talented vets at almost every position. these are the leaders who bring the younger players along and show them the nuances of the positions. we have a few now (pennington, ferguson) but we lacked these character vet. leaders for 3 years now. so guys like bloey porter start to poison half the team. its like a cancer thats growing. teammates takes sides and the team fizzles. this doesn't happen on the elite teams because they have veteran leaders who take care of this nonsense early on. my hope was to bring a few of these guys aboard(thomas jones, derrick mason,brian dawkins etc.) who would be leaders and set the right examples!

Joe,

Who were the TWO running backs they drafted their first year? I don't remember that.
Craig M

Jalen Parmalee & Lex Hilliard drafted rd 5 & 6 in the Trifecta's 1st year.

Thanks Bootang. I forgot about Parmale. He turned out great, didn't he!!

Greg,

I really think JT could have stepped up and diffused the JP situation, but he did not. After all, we did trade him. So I can see where he said why bother, though I don't agree.

Parmele saw a little bit of action, though mostly used as a ST guy for BAL this year.

How he turned out isn't of consequence. Actually he was poached by Cam Moron. It's the fact that they saw it as a potential issue in a couple of years and addressed it then.

Well, its more of an issue now than it was 2 years ago. Injuries and contracts are in the equation. So, as laughable as my suggestion may seem to some of you, I give you that draft as a prime example. RB wasn't of need AT ALL, but they still addressed it. I'd be surprised if at least 1 RB & 1 TE don't get picked by round 5.

just to finish my point; these leaders would be there to school all our young draft prospects. at the end of the day i believe you build thru the draft. its slow but we have to "stay the course". we're 3 years away but our selections have to be A+; no more wasted picks! we still have alot of holes.

aloco hey mate, do you know i'm a huge bodybuilder in the super featherweight division ? I'm huge !! 1 , 2 4.

That's not what you said Joe. From the beginning you said this was a big need on this team. You didn't say 'I'd be surprised if at least 1 RB and 1 TE weren't slected', you made it seem like we couldn't rely on any of the guys we have. You didn't say, 'maybe we should add a guy in the 5th or 6th round'. YOu have TOTALLY changed your tune!! Go back and read....you made it seem like it was an urgent situation....don't say you didn't.

Besides.....Parmale and Hilliard weren't great picks. So I'm not getting excited if this is how we're going to spend our picks.

bootang, i agree JT was the only player who coulda stepped up. i was disappointed the coach didn't suspend bloey for the remainder of the year. but they let the cancer spread too long and it had already infected half the team. team was in crisis mode much like a computer with a virus that cant function.

And I also think during the trifecta first year, there was some debate about whether Parcells would take Williams back. I don't remember if it was when he was away from th team and was playing in the CFL but I do remember there was some question as to whether Parcells would take him back and there was some uncertain as to whether he still had it. So I would argue that the need was bigger back then and then still decided to wait until the 5th round before drafting a back.

Bobby - I agree with you given a couple of variables... I was actually making an assumption that Dansby would be at ILB (a better position for him IMO) and that they'd draft another ILB to take Crowder's place (or at least platoon with him). This comes from a point of bias when it comes to Crowder: I think his play (tackling and pass coverage) is substandard and that he is too often injured. But there is the fact that Crowder played better with Zack leading the LBs and I'd think Dansby will lead as well. If the FO anticipate Dansby's leadership will have the same effect on Crowder that Zack's did, they won't draft ILB that high.

I hope for a WR in the second (Benn?) but I really don't believe they'll do it.

That's not what you said Joe. From the beginning you said this was a big need on this team. You didn't say 'I'd be surprised if at least 1 RB and 1 TE weren't slected', you made it seem like we couldn't rely on any of the guys we have. You didn't say, 'maybe we should add a guy in the 5th or 6th round'. YOu have TOTALLY changed your tune!! Go back and read....you made it seem like it was an urgent situation....don't say you didn't.

Besides.....Parmale and Hilliard weren't great picks. So I'm not getting excited if this is how we're going to spend our picks.

Posted by: Craig M | March 12, 2010 at 01:49 PM

LOL this is pricless. Honestly? I AM saying its a BIG need. I'm not changing my tune. Where we draft guys doesn't matter. If I have already conceeded we should take OLB & NT 1 & 2, when else would we draft those guys? Give me a break already. WE NEED BODIES AT THOSE PISITIONS, PERIOD!. And who cares if they are drafted early, middle or late?

Look at how many RB's, regardless of where they are drafted, produce. Forte? Turner? Portis? Gore? Westbrook? Pierre Thomas? Should I go on?If you're a decent RB, you'll play & play early. How many of those were 1st round picks? NONE.

I don't know what is is that you have to nitpick what I say and try to twist it to suit your rebuttals. Leave it alone already. And yes, my personal opinion is that I'd be surprised if we didn't draft at LEAST 1 RB & 1 TE by round 5. When I say at least, that means at a minumum! Goodness!

I'd ask for you to at least try to grasp what I'm saying before you pick every post apart with this stuff.

http://espn.go.com/blog/afceast/post/_/id/11463/summarizing-the-dolphins-tackling-woes

Interesting article, I knew Ayodele sucked, and knew SEAN SMITH couldn't tackle to save his life, but, had no clue how bad Crowder was. Even defended him a few times...

I keep saying Lex can be the man. Schmoo, you said we have a power running game, Lex is a power back. Anyone that says he was a wasted pick is crazy, he was taken in the 6th round.I said it yesterday, Give Lex a shot.

Jimmy,
They should cut their losses with Crowder and sign Davis and move one. Substandard is putting it mildly. Even if they didn't sign Davis draft an ILB. I know this sounds crazy but I think he is well below average in most areas. Just has a big mouth and bloated opinion of himself. Just my two cents.

Joe,

You're wavering, man. If a team has a big need for running back help they won't wait until the fifth round to grab a back. There are not a lot of running backs that are grabbed in the fifth round that go on to start somewhere. So which is it Joe....BIG need or fifth round pick?

And incidentally, of the guys you named Forte WAS a first round pick. I believe Portis was a second round pick, Gore was a second round pick and I believe Westbrook was a third round pick.

So just to reiterate again.....and these are your words....you said 'RB is a big need on this team', which I took exception to and I'm saying if your right and your saying we need some starters (because you did say we couldn't rely on a guy who is always hurt and another guy who fumbles all the time), then you don't wait to the 5th round to draft your starter.

Darryl Dunphy,

Hilliard is 'just another guy'. He's a role player. He's good as a change of pace guy. He will NEVER be a starter on this team.

And Darryl,

I didn't say he was a wasted pick. He has a role on this team. But he'll never be a 20-25 carry a game guy. My point was if we're going to draft another guy like that this year I would rather we used the pick elsewhere.

Booby, wrong again, we still NEED at least 2 LB's...Regardless of whether Dansby plays ILB or OLB we lost JP, JT is unsigned, Crowder is mediocre. Who do we have playing OLB? Wake and Anderson?

Oh yeah, Torbor sucks...They haven't gotten rid of his butt yet?

Marc,

What about if we signed a guy like Davis and drafted an outside linebacker? Would that help?

I am going to predict that we add 3 more LBs before training camp. I'd like to see Davis, his contract for DEN was 2 years for 3.3 million, something similar to that would be good. And I think 2 LBs will be drafted.

I disagree about Crowder, he had injuries all year and had to be all over the field instead of concentrating on his position because of the weak play of others around him...when he wasn't there our run defense suffered, Yea, he has a big mouth, yea he was stupid with Porter but unlike Porter he is not old and washed up...Dansby will help him AND u can bet Crowder will have a little tougher camp then last year to help change his attitude...Crowder stays

Craig, I wasn't reffering to you, But Hilliard fits the mold of a Percells type back. As long as Bill is here Lex can, and should get his shot.

What does everybody think is going to be the FO's next move in free agency? Do you think they have one or are they done? I'd like to think they are thinking of a way to get the Rams safety. If he's healthy he'd be a great addition!! Maybe it's the recently cut Andra Davis. Thoughts guys?

Joe Schmoo is my plungie leader

Dansby allows Crowder to play to his strengths. I think we will see a good year from him, IMO.

By the way, Jet fans are RIPPING Ryan over the Cromartie, Brandon Pool signings and the reports about Jets liking Cody and the release of Thomas Jones...So I don't wanna hear about how the Jets are signing this and that and how good they are...and the LT visit isn't to popular either...they are getting ripped in the blogs so enjoy, they ain't getting better, just older with less draft picks

Bootang, good post on Dansby n Crowder

Bootang25 - I mentioned that earlier and do agree. I think we will see more improvement from Crowder this year playing next to Dansbby. I think they will compliment each other very well...

Craig, not sure about Davis, don't know anything about him except he's 31. I'm sure it would help, but, again, what OLB's do we have?!? We need LOTS of help at LB...OR, we could just run a 4-3, and almost all these issues would resolve themselves...

I agree with a lot of what Bootang and Bobby said. Bootang, if it's three new LBs. Who gets chopped? Is it Torbor and Taylor or Torbor and Anderson?

And Darryl, just to clarify, I do like Hilliard and I'm all for him getting more. He's just a complimentary guy at then of the day, though.

Bobbyd12,

Lol! Jets fans are just an angry in general...

"And incidentally, of the guys you named Forte WAS a first round pick. I believe Portis was a second round pick, Gore was a second round pick and I believe Westbrook was a third round pick""

Perhaps you should do some research before claiming things. He was a 2nd rounder.

"So just to reiterate again.....and these are your words....you said 'RB is a big need on this team', which I took exception to and I'm saying if your right and your saying we need some starters (because you did say we couldn't rely on a guy who is always hurt and another guy who fumbles all the time), then you don't wait to the 5th round to draft your starter."

I am really done with you now LOL You just don't get what I'm saying I guess, I can't explain it. I don't pretend to be a draft guru. I'm not a GM, don't pretend to be one. I just see weakness at some position and make note of them. It's the FO job to get players.

You're telling me that because I think RB is a big need, they should draft them in rd 1 or 2 vs later? Thats the dumbest thing I've heard you say thus far. If I were a GM, I should reach for a Rb over a better rated player at another position? Starters are found in ALL rounds of the draft.

You're OK with our Rb's right? Lex was a fifth and you seem to be ok with him carrying the load if need be, right? Don't be hypocritical. I'm ok with looking for MORE rbs considering half of ours are hurt, free agents or retiring in a year. Can't you just disagree with me without trying to make yourself look smarter? You're accomplishing the opposite.

You're telling me needs should be addressed early. Thats how YOU see it. Not how everyone else has to see it.

PLENTY of star players were not picked in the 1st & 2nd rounds of drafts. Be them RB or any other position. Good night.

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