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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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Andy NJ & beerfin - Actually Emmitt Smith compared Ingram to Emmitt Smith in a recent interview with Dan Patrick. That said, I'm not big on that pick unless there's just no way to trade back and he's the best on the board.

Andy NJ....I saw your post man....that is what you you said....

I'm just joking anyway.....because those of us who aren't sure Henne is the man get smacked in the face all the time with the 3 YEAR RULE....I just found it surprising that those same people have made up their mind on Clausen after 3 GAMES.....


Who's made up their mind on Claussen?


yeah I saw Emmitt Smith saying that. The thing that has nothing to do with skill or anything that can be taught was the fact that Emmitt never got injured and when he did he played through it. Emmitt was great but his greatest attribute was durability. Maybe it was his conditioning or maybe just luck but whatever it was made him great.

alright fellas talk to you guys later

Kris, on the same note, the very same folks that contend Henne needs a 3rd year to be accurately evaluated are the same ones that say Thigpen doesn't deserve more than his first year to be evaluated. So goes the merry-go-round.

Craig M,

Cannot remember where I read it, but read that they cannot trade anything draft picks included. I also heard on the Big O show that you cannot trade picks. Who really knows with this CBA stuff.

I think Lex Hillard will be our next power back. what do you think?


So you want Thigpen to be one of the three QBs next year then? And he's had more than one season in Miami. He had a couple of seasons in KC too and his 1-12 record there was most impressive!


Next Year will be Tylers' 6th year

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.

Posted by: Craig M | January 26, 2011 at 02:10 PM

That was your post Craig M.....but maybe I misinterperted it....you might have been saying you don't like his personality because the two of you used to be friends.....ooorrrr....you might have been talking about his style of dress.....perhaps its not your taste.....

Cause I am sure your not about say that you were talking about his QB play....cause he hasn't hit 3 years in the league yet...right?

0x80....this blog is weird like that sometimes....

Anyway...gotto go shovel some snow.....so I will have to shovel less snow tommorow......

BobbyD12 should get a kick out of that in the Sunshine state.....


What's the problem bud? Your feeling still sore from the other day? Do you need a hug?

My OPINION on Claussen was that I didn't like him in College and I didn't think he would do well in the pros. If we had drafted him I would have given him the three years to show whether he had it or not. If he did then nothing would have made me happier.

Unlike YOU kris and some others on here I wouldn't have thrown the guy aside and said he 'garbage' and 'a loser' and 'shouldn't be a starting QB in this league'. What I expressed is an opinion on the guy coming out of College. Is that OK with you if I express an opinion?

Craig M...please read what I write and not what you think I write. I made no comment whatsoever about whether I want Thigpen back or not. Only that many here judged him off his one season as a starter on a very bad team. As well, its ridiculous to draw any conclusions from the Chicago game like so many have, coming in on only 3 days practice with the starters, 3rd string center and makeshift oline that night. In truth, I have no idea if he can be a starter...In my humble opinion the offense had a lot more 'spark' to it then when Henne was in. Apparantly Marshall even likes him better.


It was a question. You were sticking up for Thigpen...I wanted to see what you would say.

So, you can only bring three QBs with you next year. Who are they?....and I'll accept a vet and a drafted QB as two if that's what your answer is.

Everything I've heard and read says you can trade picks for picks. You can't trade players for picks because in a lockout scenario there can be no contact between the team/management/coaches and players...no contract negotiations, no FA, etc. They can trade picks for picks because the pick is only the right to take someone with that pick....and not a specific player.

What's going to make things really weird is if these negotiations drag out...the team can draft guys, but can't get them signed. Depending on how long it goes, this entire class could be just about worthless this first year...no training camp, etc. They'll end up spending the season trying to get in shape and learning the play book rather than making an impact on the field.


Good post at 3:08pm. That's my understanding of how things can play out too.

Ask Mel how "can't miss" David Carr & Joey Harrington are doing.

Craig..not to belabor the point...it was not sticking up for Thigpen, it was pointing out a common contradiction here...Henne deserves 3 years evaluation as a starter, while others do not.

I pay little attention to college ball, I end up watching the youtube highlights around draft time. I won't make a call on any college QB this year, I'll leave that to the coaches. Of the FA's, I'm not seeing any as a long term solution, so I say you bring in the one that costs the least, let him compete with Henne and see where we end up. I'm fine with giving Henne a chance to compete, I'm not fine with him playing more than a few games though if he doesn't show clear improvement. If he does fine, one less issue. If he doesn't, it looks like the real shot at a QB of the future will come after next season.

Mel Kiper is an "NFL draft guru" because Mel Kiper and ESPN say so.
Kiper is a windbag who is wrong more than he is right...if he were an NFL GM he would make Matt Millen look like a genius.

Something my uncle (used to cover Denver Broncos) brought to my attention that I hadn't thought about either with this whole CBA thing....

This is totally worst case scenario here, but he was saying that because there's no CBA in place, there is nothing stopping a guy who get's drafted this year from re-entering the draft next year if he's unhappy with where he was picked or with the team that picked him. He didn't think this a likely scenario if the CBA gets hashed out early enough...but if it drags into what would be the season he could see it...particularly if they make the rookie cap retro active to the 2011 draft.

The key in no CBA year is, teams cannot sign players except players already on roster. Signing players means a contract is involved and with no CBA, you can't do that. So, trade up or trade down is still ok because you can't sign them in any case.

For those of you wanting Mallett because he's tall, let me remind you that Drew Brees is listed at 6'. Aaron Rodgers is 6'2". Don't tell me you need a 6'6" guy who melts down at the end of games to win in this league. Everyone has an opinion and mine is the only one that makes sense.

I know this is off topic, but i really thought we would bring in some coaches as O coord, o-line, QB that had good histories. I am a little worried about where this year is headed. I mean, maybe it will work, but i am not more excited now than i was after the last game. OK, alittle excited since Henning is gone, but thats it.

ArmandoSalguero RT @TonyPauline: Sources here have told us Vikings

In the Herald article with Ireland, he stated, "We will change our offensive philosophy." Drafting Ingram would be a direct conflict to this statement.

Like Kiper, and I hate seeing things his way but prefer to think he's seeing things my way, I fully agree Ingram could possibly be Emmitt Smith-like in the nfl.

Really IMO there isnt much of anyone that would be great value to fill our team weaknesses. I believe we can get greater value trading back and select BPA based on team need.

ArmandoSalguero RT @TonyPauline: Sources here have told us Vikings

Kids, today's word is "Nepotism." Can we all spell that?

Ahhhh... Salguero says viaTwitter the Vikes and Dolphins are both interested in the QB from Nevada. Colin Kaepernick

Craig M....see how i "POSTED WHAT YOU SAID"...Thats what "QUOTATION" MARKS ARE FOR....

Please find where I called Henne or any other player "garbage or a "loser"


I can save you the trouble...you will never find it.....but you can look...AND THEN COME BACK IN HERE AND PROVE ME A LIAR.....

I wonder if you have Dimensia....when you go HEAD TO HEAD WITH ME...GO HEAD TO HEAD WITH ME...my words...don't try to COVER YOUR A SS by lumping me in with what others have said....you have used that tactic before.....its a weak stadegy for a very small minded person....and yes you are small minded.....

and why would I need a hug bud?....everytime you post to me I mentally thrash you....like many others on here do to you....on more occassions than I care to read......


and everyone knows you don't bring a knife to a gun fight.....

Why coudn't you be an adult and just lol it....just laugh it off.....but not you Craig.....you love being embarrassed almost daily on this blog......

Now why don't you take your small mind and do like you have suggested in the past....."only post to those that agree with you".....like DC, BobbyD12, and someone else......sorry...i can't rember everythig......cause thats what small minded people do....find someone to agree with an fit in......

You have already shown yourself to get very flustered when someone has a point of view differnt from your....bud


Your post got chopped but I saw the tweet youre referring to. I believ if we can trade back and gain a 2nd rd pick I wouldnt be mad at all about grabbing Kaepernick.

Kaepernick's stock seems to be really on the rise. The guy has gone from being projected as late as 6th rd to now going as far up the draft board as 2nd rd. The kid really hasnt done anything but win. He directed the huge upset of national media darling Boise St.

Sparano hired his kid...Total who cares non-story.

Cameron Wake on NFL network.....says he admires Ray Lewis.....thats a good player to mirror yourself after if he should so chose

The Karl Dorrell move to QB coach is most inquisitive consider he's never held the position. I'm guessing either no one better wanted the job, or they want Henne (or whoever) to be more receiver-friendly and get in sync with receivers.

Any idea on 'fins interest in Matt Flynn. The guy killed the canes in the Peach Bowl and won a BCS championship at LSU. Green bay does a good job picking QBs and don't run the Philly like West coast offense. There's a lot of talk about Kolb, but maybe the real hidden gem is Flynn. Trade away 15 for low 1st and 2nd. Trade 2nd for flynn and draft a RT or RB (Ingram might slip to low 1st due to speed and injuries; maybe Graig Cooper in 4th). Pick up Jeremy Kerley in 3rd. Awww right Miami!

He's not terrible, if drafted mid round it would be a cool project. however we should be drafting a QB next year. the top 5 are more solid than any of the QB's in this draft. Just my opinion.

Actually if we trade back to 30th, I would take Kaepernick 1st rd. That would send a clear cut message to Henne too either start cooking or get the f*uck out of the kitchen! LOL.......

Mel Kiper's Hairspray, you can't trade picks for players with no CBA. Your scenario doesn't work.

Mel Kiper's Hairspray....I like it.....I haven't seen enough of Flynn to say he's the man or not.....but you seem to have really thought it out......

...if there were a CBA, it might work. The CBA will get done before the draft

Flynn and Kolb both are really intriguing ideas if trade windows an open. the problem is do you really give up a 1st round pick for them? we have no second, and they will not take a 3rd. I just can't see it happening. to much unproven to give a 1st round pick for 2 guys not even drafted in the 1st round of their drafts you know? I mean if they showed more maybe, but they in all due respect are very raw and unproven.

Poizen....I agree....especially on Kolb....and my reasoning makes little sense...but i'm sticking with it.....Philly burned us once with Feely....and i'll bet Andy Reid would LOVE for history to repeat itself....

Nothing scientific about it.....just my personal opinion from somewhat recent history......I woudn't even argue if you riduculed it

Certainly agree with Kiper on keeping Chad Henne, as the 3rd QB. Dolphins need two more QB's, one with experience in the League and another as a developmental project. Are they going to tell us who they have in mind? No way.


Im high on Kaepernick because of his upside and I mean that literally!

Kaepernick's 6'6 225lbs and has great mobility. With a qb like that you always have a chance on converting 3rd downs in the5-8yd range. If no one's open run for it.

You can never undervalue the importance of having the great ability of extending drives. It also places added pressure on defenses.

That's the great intangible you get with a Kaepernick. Newton has the same ability but one of the greatest knocks on him is only 14 collegiate starts. Kaepernick's starting resume extends far longer.

Logan mankins would be a huge pickup at LG... what do you think about Incognito starting at C next year? Garner and Jerry at the RG position?

Kolb is a terrible idea. He's only thus far proven to be only the mildest upgrade to Henne at best. Giving up a 1st rd pick for that is pure insanity!

Kris, it's just tough. Kolb has looked REAL good at times. But a couple games were really shady. Almost like Henne in some aspects. We already have one Henne, (which i do not think is bad) but I have no clue if the "good" henne will ever amount to anything in the NFL, or at least on the phins.

to give a first for Kolb and not have more af a guarantee than what we have in Henne... Just can't imagine it.

Now the Feely thing is true and was a funny comment. I get it.

Guys someone give kris a 'hug'....he's having a tough day...don't have a breakdown bud!


Picking up Daboll as OC may give us a little better inside track to getting Mankins. However the greatest obstacle to free agency this year is without a new cba the draft comes first.

If we had chance to grab Wisconsin's Gabe Carimi it would be foolish to pass. With a guy like Carimi it could also eliminate a need for Mankins. This offseason's going to be so screwy without a new cba before the free agency period.

From earlier in the discussion it was debated if you can trade up or down with no CBA. I get you cannot trade players for obvious reasons. I do not think you can trade draft picks either. The CBA governs compensation and trade approvals, without a CBA who would say if any trade is approved? All trades must be approved. Therefore, I do not think any trades can be made even if players are not involved. Just my interpretation of a NFL rule. I may be wrong, I am no expert in NFL rules.

I know what your saying Poizen...I call Henne a "tease".....because he gets you all hot and bothered one quarter...maybe he flirts with you all game.....just when your ready to fall in love and tell all your other Girls Goodbye.....he comes out for the next game and gives you the cols shoulder.....and ignores you.....

Just frustrating.....I think He could just as easily turn into a star or be a complete bust and wind up a 3rd string Journeyman.....

He is comming to Miami at a bad time.....because a lot of fans patience is at the edge and we don't want to wait 5 years for him to blossom or bust.....

I hope the right decision is made by this FO.....especially since Mr. Ross is a Michigan Man

Mel Kiper was "dead on" in his assessment of Henne. You get about 2qtrs of great play max from him. Unfortunately the game is 4qtrs long.

Henne just maybe destined to be a quality nfl backup qb and no more. Kaepernick is a proven college qb winner and has great upside. I would love to have him. I believe he can even play this year should Henne fall on his face after mid season.

That's exactly how Marino became the star in the making his rookie season. Woodley was pulled and the rest became Dolphin lore and history. Obviously Kaepernick isnt Marino but the upside's still there, just in a totally different way!

Dying, Kaepernick might just be the one who actually succeeds in the NFL. Matter of fact, at this point, that would be my choice.

But I wonder if Ireland does what's good for the Dolphins in the long run. Meaning a vet would have a higher probability to win a few more games next season but not the championship worthy.

If I were Ross, I'd trade all the picks for more picks next year. With a chance of a new coach coming in (not convinced the team is still behind Sparano, there is going to be so much 'new' it will be even harder to have a winning season), give the him a chance to start well. For this year pick up a few FA's where you can or make some even trades.

Guys someone give kris a 'hug'....he's having a tough day...don't have a breakdown bud!
Posted by: Craig M | January 26, 2011 at 04:03 PM

I'll take that as the words of a badly beaten man.....who can't dispute any of my points even though i ripped all of your missed assumptions to shreds.....

Its Ok Craig M.....the blog is used to it by now....as should you....

and Good News for you bud.....i'm gonna leave you alone for the rest of the day...you make me feel like a bully....GIMME YOUR LUNCH MONEY!!!

lol...just joking.....carry on

I concede Henne can still have moments of greatness. However the biggest headscratcher of all will continue to be why cant he ever be great in those moments where he needs to be great most. This is why I will never fully trust Henne and neither should you!


I don't believe you're right on your assessment. I've read nothing that says 'picks' can't be traded without a CBA being in place and in fact many of the experts and the mocks I've read have teams trading up or down. It wouldn't be fair to teams like Carolina who may in fact look to trade out of the first spot and accumulate additional picks.


How sad that you have to continue with the personal attacks and can't argue the validity of the points being discussed. You went looking for a fight today kris because of other conversations we've had and because of my earlier comments about Claussen. I think it's pretty obvious to me and others that you're unable to proceed with discussion without this need to be right all the time. Go back to your sad existence kris...

Craig M

Ya I keep finding experts that say you can and ones that say you can't so. It wouldn't be fair if you cannot, but that is why some argue that they should not even have a draft when no CBA is in place. I have not seen anything from the actual NFL on this subject of trading picks. It would be nice if the NFL came out and cleared all this stuff up so we know what the heck is going on.

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