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Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland on many key topics

High motor. Good inside pass-rusher. High character. Very powerful. Productive. Explosive. Versatile.

That's how Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland describes first-round pick Jared Odrick.

Versatility is apparently very important because Odrick projects as either an inside player or an outside player. Amazingly, the Dolphins didn't want to say which one Thursday.

"He's going to play inside or outside," Ireland said. "We'll let the coaches decide that. We've got a pretty good vision for him . We think he can play both inside and outside. I don't really want to get into where we're going to play the kid right this minute. You'll soon enough where he'll be playing."

Ireland had seen Odrick on tape before he traveled to Chicago to see Penn State play Northwestern. He laid eyes on Odrick and, well, Ireland was in love (in a personnel man sort of way, of course.)

"I'm down on the field and I actually remember saying to myself, 'That is a guy I can see playing for us,' " Ireland said. "That looks like a player physically. He looks like one and he's got a good chance because there are a lot of guys that play that position that should look like him."

The Dolphins traded out of the No. 12 pick to get back to No. 28. They picked up a second-rounder in the process which was huge and important and very good work. (Click the link to underdstand why). And in making the trade Ireland said he didn't think the Dolphins gave up a ton of quality in the caliber of player at No. 12 compared to No. 28.

"We felt like if we moved from 12 we'd still have some pretty good players," he said. "If you look at our board, there wasn't a whole lot of difference from the players we were considering at 12 and the ones we would consider at 28. There wasn't a huge jump in caliber of players. That's one of the reasons we dropped down as far as we dropped down."

When I asked Ireland about the logjam the Odrick addition would creat at defensive end for Phillip Merling, Kendall Langford, Randy Starks and Tony McDaniel, he said that the other players have "versatility."

Well, you know Starks isn't going anywhere because he had a great season in 2009, so he's staying at defensive end. Langford doesn't seem like a guy that's capable of moving anywhere. McDaniel has played defensive tackle and nose tackle before so that's a possibility.

Merling, the under-performer of the group given his talent, seems headed for a possible move.

On other matters:

Ireland said he never really met with Brandon Marshall before signing him. The club spoke to him on the phone several times. Ireland even saw him at the East-West Shrine game in Orlando and eyed the guy  (in a personnel man sort of way, of course) but didn't speak with him.

Still, the Dolphins recognized a need to get an outstanding wide receiver such as Marshall.

"I think if you watch this team, I've been watching this team for two years now," Ireland said. "You know that's a piece we needed to improve on. We had good players, good, young core players at that position. But we needed a guy who is dynamic. We felt Brandon was that dynamic piece. He gives us a shot in the arm in terms of offensive output."

Ireland said the team "did a lot of due diligence" on Marshall's legal history (google it) and "felt pretty good about it."

The Marshall trade made Ted Ginn expendable and he was traded to San Francisco for a fifth-round pick. "We didn't feel Ted would get a fair shake if Brandon was taking all his reps," Ireland said.

There are more things happening with the Dolphins on the trade front.

The Dolphins are eager to trade Justin Smiley but Ireland said, "there's always a possibility," the player could be brought back. Sorry, I don't buy it. He's getting traded, folks -- possibly before the weekend is out.

The Dolphins have been willing to trade running back Ronnie Brown for the right price. But they will not trade him during this draft. They cannot. Ireland confirmed that a team cannot trade away a restricted free agent unless the player signs his tender from his team.

Brown is a restricted free agent, but has not yet signed the Dolphins tender. So he cannot be traded.

The trade that sent the No. 12 pick to San Diego brought back inside linebacker Tim Dobbins. The guy is a special teamer and backup type.

"A player we liked very much in the restricted free agent process ... We felt like that was a need for us," Ireland said. "We can help the back end of our roster at the inside linebacker position. He's a core special teams player. He's had some starts at both the Mike and the Moe. He's coming from a familiar scheme."

Finally, Ireland offered an olive branch to any fan that believes the Dolphins disrespected Jason Taylor in the handling of his depature this offseason.

"I wish Jason the best," Ireland said. "I think what he's meant to this organization was tremendous. I like him personally. I like him as a player. He had a great career here. A lot has been said about what's happening around here. I can tell you this. We didn't mean any disrespect. And if there was any, it certainly wasn't intended. Tony, Bill, myself, we have a great respect for players from top to bottom.

"We have great respect for Jason. but we had a plan, a business plan in place. There was constant communication between me and the agent. Never at any point did I feel communication broke down there. I feel good about the communication between Gary and I ... Again, I wish Jason well."

[NOTE: I will be hosting three hours of Dolphins and general sports talk from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. today at 790 The Ticket in South Florida. You can listen online at 790theticket.com. You can also call the show at 786-360-0790.]

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