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Mel Kiper on Dolphins needs and quarterbacks

Heeee's baaaack.

NFL draft guru Mel Kiper, the ESPN draft analyst extraordinaire, conducted a nearly two-hour conference call with media from around the country today.

He talked University of Miami players. He thinks cornerback Brandon Harris had a tough year but will still go in the first round. He talked Florida State. He called quarterback Christian Ponder a "poor man's Chad Pennington." He talked University of Florida. He said Mike Pouncey is nowhere near as good as his brother Markice Pouncey.

And, of course, he talked about the Miami Dolphins.

Kiper says he wasn't a huge fan of Chad Henne when he came out of Michigan in 2008 and what he saw there he's seeing from Henne in the NFL.

"I've thought about Miami and that quarterback position with Chad Henne, but I think it's unfair to kick him to the curb," Kiper said. "I was not a huge Henne guy like other people were. I thought he was wobbly inconsistent at Michigan and he is wobbly inconsistent in the NFL with Miami. That's the frustrating part. You see him great one week or in a quarter or quarter-and-a-half and then you see him revert back to an inconsistent quarterback that leaves you scratching your head with some throws that you say, 'How could you miss that receiver? How did you make that decision? How did you make that throw?' He's never been great mobility-wise but he's a big strong kid. He's a hard worker. I like Henne from that standpoint. I didn't love him coming out like some others did but I thought he'd be a serviceable starting quarterback. To kick him to the curb now is premature. He's still a young quarterback."

Kiper's Big Board on ESPN.com has the Dolphins selecting Alabama running back Mark Ingram in the first round. The Dolphins have the 15th selection in the first round.

 "For Miami, running back, they're going to restructure the backfield, which they will," Kiper said. "It'll be a new stable of running backs the way it looks. Quarterbacks they're going to have to settle on Henne is he the guy or they're going to draft a young quarterback and have competition there. Offensive guard and center, the interior of the offensive line they could look at.

"I thought Mark Ingram would be a nice start. That will improve and change the whole stable of running backs there. With Ingram you see a lot of Emmitt Smith in him. He's not the game-breaker some people may want but they said the same thing about Emmitt Smith and that's the reason he went No. 17 the year he came out of college and he became a Hall of Famer ... I think Miami could go with Ingram and then think about a quarterback down the line a little bit. Maybe an Andy Dalton [TCU], maybe a Christian Ponder [FSU], maybe a Ricky Stanzi [Iowa], somebody like that they can take down the line that can be insurance in case Henne doesn't develop into a consistent quarterback."

Well, what if the Dolphins get a wild hair and want to take a QB in the first round? The likely candidates are Missouri's Blaine Gabbert, Cam Newton of Auburn, Jake Locker of Washington and Ryan Mallett of Arkansas. Personally, I don't see Newton (too few starts), Mallett (no value at No. 15) as likelihoods. But that is not from a source. That's just opinion.

Kiper's problems with each of those four:

On Mallet: "The meltdowns at the Alabama and Ohio State game late. The sloppy mechanics at times. The long-striding in the pocket, which bothers me. It affected [Byron] Leftwich negatively and for Mallet I think it could be an issue."

On Newton: "You have only those 14 starts. His accuracy is not super precise.I mean his completion percentage was high because you have those huge windows, but in the NFL the windows are tight. He's not super precise. He's more accurate than others, but the concern is there.

On Gabbert: "The system. The Missouri offense is not NFL-like. And he had the meltdown at the end of the bowl game against Iowa -- that pick when he rolled left."

On Locker: "If you can't get it down against college defenses, are you going to get it done in the NFL? He had the second chance against Nebraska and struggled in that game ... Kyle Boller to me was the same way. If Kyle Boller couldn't get it done and complete a high percent of those throws at Cal, how could he come into the NFL as a first-round pick? Well, he still went in the first round. And maybe Locker will still go in the first round. This week at the Senior Bowl is important but he hasn't wowed me with what he's done down there. He's a great kid. He'll interview well. He's a tough kid. Shanahan probably would have taken him at No. 4 last year. But he's a tough projection right now. He could go Top 10. It wouldn't shock me if he went in the first round. It wouldn't shock me if he went in the second round.  


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I like the Ingram Dalton combo i also would like us to select titus young, we then sign hasselbeck and mankins we're all set

Mark Ingram?? NO!!!!!!! Enough of the Nick Saban curse....

...or demarco murray

No to Ingram! He's not a game changer and Alabama had a massive Oline, which actually let Richardson(his backup) look better. Ingram is a plodder and pounder.....like Ronnie Brown. I'll pass. Get a big time WR or Olineman then.

I still think Miami's Plan A will be to trade back and pick up a 2nd round pick...probably draft Pouncey if he's there in the mid 20s. I could see them taking Ingram @ 15 if they are unable to trade back but I just don't get the feeling that's their Plan A.

I like Dalton or McElroy in 3rd/4th...we'll see where they end up grading out after the combine.

Dolphins will also bring in a vet via FA or trade to compete at the position IMO.

We won't draft a QB in the first round. These guys don't have the time to develop a QB. They'll go oline with the 15th pick almost certain.

zach - I like Murray....not in the 1st though. I'll be curious to see where he grades out as well. The majority of mocks I've seen have hime going 2nd/3rd round. Could fall to 3rd round given potential knee issues. He would be a great pick if he fell to Miami in the 3rd.

yea i said murray thinking we would trade down and pick up a 2nd

on another note...can someone explain to me why karl dorrell is our QB coach now???

If healthy by the time the combine rolls around, I think Ponder is worth a shot in the mid rounds. He played behind some horrible O lines early in his FSU career with no running game. He is tough and got better each year. Has some mobility and is accurate.

zach, because of front office are a bunch of clowns...Just like our head coach... And we give them a nice fat juicy contract...Go figure...

What I do know is there is a 99% chance the Dolphins won't do anything that Kiper says. They never follow his advice or picks anyway. To many things will change between now and draft time anyway.

Ingram seems like a huge bust to me. Hopefully we do the exact opposite and resign Ronnie Brown why draft a rookie when we already have a guy that deserves to be starter already and has proven himself elite. BTW last year he wasn't injured at all and yet we didn't work him that much seeing that I can say he is probably alot more healthy than he was at the start of the season. I think his injuries have had plenty of time to heal up and now should be given a chance at carrying the ball 25+ times a game. How many games did he have only 10 carries and four came from the wildcat...? Get rid of the wildcat get a real offensive line and he will rush 1000+ no doubt. I usually disagree w/ everything Kiper picks but he makes valid points about QBs... I hate Kiper and his hackneyed opinions

Sparano is digging his own grave. he didn't fire the special teams guy and promoted him? Karl dorrel QB coach? I think the plan to get Andrew luck next year is working very well right now

We could of had Harbaugh, we could of had Cowher... Instead, we keep Ireland, who asked a player if his mother was a prostitute, and we keep Sparano, who gets an orgasm out of a field goal... We'll be Super BOwl contenders before you know it!!

The Dolphins should hire Kiper as their GM. He would have taken Matt Ryan. He would have passed on Pat White. He would have passed on Ginn and his family. Sometimes the obvious pick is the right one.





Mel criticized Miami for picking Vontae, saying he was a problem character, would never fit in, which of course wasn't true. Apparently there was one minor incident with Vontae all blown out of proportion.

Kiper has his opinions, and just like every GM, some are on target and others way off. Moral of the story, think of him as a general guide to the players coming out of the draft, but he is still guessing like everyone else.

Where have you gone Don Shula, Mercury Morris, MArk Clayton, Mark Duper, Dan Marino???



I'm against a RB at 15, especially one that doesn't have burning speed. I don't want another Ronnie Brown. I'd take the reach down and pick Mallet. At 6'6 you've got to love that, you just can't get by with 6'1,6'2 QB's anymore, line men are to big.Yeah it's a chance but all QB's are, so you mind as well take one with size and groom him for a year or two.

If the Dolphins draft Ingram in the 1ST there
as STUPID as i think they are ,we have much
more pressing needs with that pick, im sick
of seeing mock drafts with Ingram,if you have
Ingram to Miami in the 1ST your stupid to,there
are RBs later in draft,Murray,Hunter,Bilal,
Thomas,Carter,Vereen the list goes on.trade
down pick up 2nd
1st=Castanzo,Carimi OL help
2nd=Jerrigan WR/KR 4.34 40
3rd=Devlin,Stanzi,Kaepernick,Dalton develop QB
5th=Carmichael CB VT 4.38
6th=Josh Bynes ILB
7th=Virgil Green TE 4.6
7th=Derrick Locke RB/Wr/kr 4.36

a draft in a perfect world.

Ingram won't be breaking tackles like he did in college against pro linebackers. His vision ishios best attribute and at the pro level that won't break you 50+ yards as a spell back i think he would be great but not with the 15th overall draft choice

Colin Kaepernick QB Nevada
6-6 220lbs Senior


2007- 2175 yards, 53.8%, 19 touchdowns, 3 INTs

2008- 2849 yards, 54.3%, 22 touchdowns, 7 INTs

2009- 2052, 58.9%, 20 touchdowns, 5 INTs


Colin Kaepernick has the opportunity to be the only player in NCAA history to throw for 2000 yards and rush for 1000 yards in the same season for an amazing third consecutive year. He has amazing speed(4.5 range)and his ability to escape danger ranks up with the best. His legs are without a doubt his best asset, he’s an extremely long strider. Kaepernick’s arm draws a lot of criticism, but he has very good touch on his passes. He has a swagger about him.


Colin Kaepernick plays in an offense that relies HEAVILY on the run. Three members of the Wolf Pack backfield(Luke Lippincott, Vai Taua, Colin Kaepernick) rushed for over 1000 yards last season. As I mentioned in the Pro section his arm has drawn a lot of criticism, but some of it is deserved. His mechanics need to be fine tuned at the next level. His wind-up takes a while, as he brings the ball from a low angle, almost his hip. That may not matter in the WAC, but the NFL is a whole different game. He plays in the pistol offense, which had a brief stint with the Tyler Thigpen led Kansas CityChiefs in 2008, but we all know how that worked out. He hasn’t won a big game his entire Nevada career, so does he have that will to lead his teammates?


I could see 2 different paths for Colin Kaepernick. Path 1: He is a similar QB to Vince Young of the Tennessee Titans, maybe he spells the starting QB and has a gimmick offense built around him. Path 2: He makes the move to WR, similar to Brad Smith.

Projected Round:

Colin Kaepernick should be picked in the mid rounds regardless of his position. 4th or 5th round is my prediction for the Nevada Quarterback.

Joe Auer returned the opening kickoff of the Dolphins' first regular-season game 95 yards for a touchdown.

I just got off the phone with Ireland. He confirmed the plan is to trade down all picks and look for some acorns in the late rounds, maybe pluck someone off the Dallas practice squad.

Damn, I was REALLY hoping that Kiper would be in LOVE with the QBs this year, because then the Dolphins would be of the opinion that none of them would be panned out and they would stay away from them. Now that Kiper is waffling on them, I think it means there's a chance they will go QB in the first....damn!!

For me, Ingram at 15 doesn't represent 'value'. I think he's going to be fine as a pro but I think the team has to walk away with better than that after the first two rounds. Just my feeling. I'd also be fine with Brown coming back in a secondary role to the young RB we draft.

I like Mel Kiper a lot. He thinks he knows it all and he actually does know a ton. He has been hit or miss like a weather man predicting the weather but it's not an exact science.

Mel is right on about Henne. As a Michigan and Miami fan I have been saying the same thing for a while now. Henne is the same guy he was at Michigan. Of course he got away with mistakes in college and was better on that level. I think Miami drafts or goes FA route to compete for the job. This staff benched the so called future franchise QB by some and only got the starting position back because of Penningtons bum shoulder.

I am big on Mark Ingram. If Miami doesn't go QB which I don't think they will either I would love Ingram. He is a game changer because he is a 3 down back who is complete runner, pass blocker and receiver.

no to ingram and murray, get ryan williams from tech, the dude is a stud and extremely underrated. he doesnt fumble, he's a fast powerful running back. then go O-line

I'd be more in favour of Julio Jones at 15 if we're unable to trade down and get a pick in the second round.

And for whoever wondered about would any team trade up to take Ingram ahead of us......yes, I think New England with all their riches would trade up and take a back like Ingram ahead of us. He's going to be a good pro and would fit into their offence very well.

Again fellas I like Kiper and highly respect his knowledge and opinions

But I specifically remember saying he wasn't big on Phillip Rivers because of his throwing motion and arm strength and he is one of the best QB's in the NFL right now.

He thought Ryan Leaf and Manning both were the real deal.

He also like Alex Smith over Aaron Rodgers but wasn't crazy about either as a #1 pick.

No dubt he is more right then wrong but he misses like all the scouts and draft heads do.

does anyone really believe Ingram is going to be as good as Emmitt? Smith was exceptionally strong runner he juked, cut, spun defenders, & hurdled defenders. He was an all around 30 + workhorse HOF rb... I see the similarities in size and speed and his ability to look upfield and run downhill but Emmitt Smith? really thats a huge stretch


The running back I would like also is Ryan Williams. I think he's a first round pick who will go in the second because of injuroes this year. To me, he's a 'value' pick for this team in the early second.

Kiper is wrong wayyy more than he is right. I do believe he was one that said Ryan Leaf was going to be better than Peyton Manning.

There are some interesting realistic possible picks for the Dolphins at the Senior Bowl in my article on bleacherreport.com. None are likely to be the first round pick, but a lot of possibles for the third round and beyond. http://bleacherreport.com/articles/584551-2011-senior-bowl-prospects-miami-dolphins-fans-should-keep-an-eye-on

I would also just like to say that no NFL team will be able to make ANY trades on Draft day if no CBA is in place. Therefore, the moving up and down is not going to be a possibilty because I do not see them getting a deal done by April, but you never know.


You're wrong about teams being unable to move up or down in the draft through trades. The only thing they can't do without a CBA is trade players or sign FA's but there's no problem in trading picks.

Andy, Kiper was very big on Claussen coming out last year too. I never liked Claussen and I think Kiper was wrong about him too.

I would prefer if the dolphins would move down. And pick up more picks.

Craig M - that was me who wondered about a team trading up to take Ingram. Yeah, maybe NE...but would they want to benefit the fins in anyway by giving a rival a 2nd rounder. Not saying they don't have picks to spare but it seems they would rather see the Dolphins losing out on any 2nd rounders.

I would love Jones @ 15....I just don't think he'll be there. I think he's the 2nd best WR on the board...if he's not gone in the top ten, I think St. Louis will take him.

Looks like a good year to trade back & get that 2nd rounder back. It sure would be nice if they only traded back a few spots instead of to the end of the first round like last year.


yeah I get where you are coming from. Comparing a player to Emmitt Smith is unfair to the player and Emmitt. I do see the "similarities" of balance, vision and although he is not a speedster he can break the long runs.

I don't think anyone expects Ingram to be Emmitt Smith but I do think he is a legit 1300-1400 yard, 10 plus TD guy. Just my opinion but I think Ingram is the real deal.

I previously chatted with Armando on a blog and I compared Ingram to Edgerrin James because of his abilities as a complete 3 down back and IMO and from everything I ever saw was that E. James was not a speedster just a very good football player who had nice subtle moves and ran through arm tackles and was just flat a great RB. Armando argued that E. James was elite and "ran like the wind". I see that comparison more then Emmitt, again IMO.


Craig M,

You are right! lol. I forgot about how much he liked Clausen. I do think the jury is still out on Clausen. He has no WRs (Steve Smith stunk last year), no TE, and both starting offensive tackles were injured for most of the year.


I agree with you on the possibility of JOnes going to the Rams. I'm only really familiar with 3-4 of the WRs in this draft but I think there are some good ones availale this year. Only think I see RB and TE as being bigger priorities than WR and I think the team could end up adding a WR like Breaston, Edwards, Holmes or even VJack through FA. Not sure who else is going to be out there but I do know a good WR could be had this year through FA.

Is it possible a college team has a better offensive line then a pro team? i guess it just seems that way becuz of the competition

The dolphins will trade down, or draft a DE at 15.

Go Dolphins!!


Is bleacher report your web site?


IS bleacher report your site?

Has anybody heard if the Phins hired a Special Teams Coach Yet?


Good comparison of Ingram to Edge....I think that's a very fair comparison. Edge was a very good back for a few years in Indy. He was the complete back all facets of the game (blocking was a little questionable) and I think Ingram could end up being that same kind of player.

tony sparano jr added to the coaching staff today hahaha it just keeps gettin better get your brown bags out folks


Miami is keeping Darren Rizzi. He was the guy who replaced Bonamego this season;

I love the idea of taking Ingram at 15, if he's still on the board. The Emmitt Smith comparison should make anybody chub a little. From where the Dolphins are right now, we're not going to morph into some kind of West Coast throw every down team by September. Pop a young Emmitt Smith behind the o-line we thought we were going to get this year, play solid defense, and we can be the team Sparano's been trying to build. Whether that will good enough to compete with the really good teams will remain to be seen.

I don't think it's a bad deal the Sparano Jr. was hired. If Sparano is going to go down at least let him go down fighting with guys he know that will work hard for him and who he is comfortable with.

This couresy of the Palm beach post on Sparano Jr. It's like he is off the couch at mom and dad's just playing coach. He has some credentials:

Sparano Jr. joins Miami after spending 2010 with the Hartford Colonials of the United Football League. He came to the UFL after a successful playing career at the University of Albany. Sparano Jr. received three varsity letters at defensive end, where he was first on the depth chart and made 24 appearances. He was honored with a place on the 2008 ESPN The Magazine All-District I Academic Team following his junior season. Also in his junior season, he was part of an Albany defense that held six opponents under 100 yards rushing, leading them to be ranked 19th nationally among FCS schools in that category.

I just KNOW we are not passing JUDGEMENT on a QB (Clausen) on THIS BLOG....before THE ALL IMPORTANT...ALL ENCOMPASING...ALL DEFINITIVE YEAR 3.....


ox80 at 1:56 is hilarious. I make 2 additions: (1) we need to be sure we trade some quality players to the Patriots or Jets (and we may not have anybody they want besides Long or Wake) and we need to conclude with "and dose type of tings."


nah not me bro. I was giving Clausen the benefit of the doubt. I don't think he can be fairly judged he was playing with nothing at all. No WRs, No TE, No offensive line because both Otah and Jordan Gross were hurt, No DeAngelo Williams as a check down, no defense to get him the ball in favorable situations. They had nothing at all.

I just don't see the Dolphins taking a runningback in the first round. Nice read though, better then what we been getting lately.

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