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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 believe you are correct. As far as Ive heard only players can not be traded without a cba in place nor can free agency movement occur.

I don't understand the move today to have Dorrell take over as QB coach. Has he ever player the position before? I thought he was a wide receiver. It's a strange move and one that makes me wonder how this can have any poisitve effect on Henne.

One thing that Ive heard from Ireland that I do love for sure. He is well aware that the defense isnt totally complete. He says he wont totally rule out drafting a defensive player if that guy is a big upgrade at a position that was basically a little suspect in 2010.

I give Ireland a total A-grade for Awareness on this!


I think you have to have a draft because otherwise you would have all these players in limbo. However, I don't know what the rules are once the players have been drafted. I'm assuming that nobody can be signed because nobody knows what rules any one is playing under. I'm also assuming that teams can't contact these guys or work any of them out. It's going to make for a strange off-season and I'm thinking teams are going to want to make certain these kids are in tip top shape before they start handing them over millions of dollars.

Craig M....what personal attack did I continue with....and where did I not meet you on the points....please post this.....I called you "small minded" in the first post...and have not insuted you since....and I don't think small minded is an insult....its what I believe you are.....

and I met every Point....even the ones when "YOU MISS QUOTED ME"...rember...asked you to find where I used the word "loser" or "garbage".....as i said earlier....you woudn't be able to find it...and you coudn't.....

but I am going back to my sad exsistence sir

I am sure every owner of each NFL team has the $ to acquire all the best FA's available plus the highest of the Draft picks. But you just cannot buy a Championship, I have seen it time and time again. Why? I don't know. Ask Bill Belichick.


I think that Von Miller is going to make one heck of a pro. It's not an original idea but I kind of like this guy playing opposite Wake with Misi moving inside to play beside Dansby. We'd then have one heck of a defence. Now I'm not sure that Miller will be there at 15 and I'm also not sure with the state of our offence that we can ignore the obvious on this team.

The Sparano hires his kid was just an embarrassing side point, not the whole story. The story is the offensive staff was just filled with more coaches with ZERO experience at their positions.


Can't let it go, can you man? Yeah I consider 'small-minded' to be an insult but since it's coming from you it carries no weight.

Go back to criticizing the team and the management....it's what you do best!

Well, Henne has been a BG frustration. the thing is the great stuff is there, and it really can be coached. that being said, i have no clue how with a WR coach.

I think Henne will be a starter in the NFL, I however do not feel it will be in Miami. He is young and his confidence seems to be younger. On this mess of a team he is a lost soul unless somehow these headscratching coaching moves could become brilliant.

Anyway... I am not sure why people are posting about the CBa and no trades... ect...

It is a blog where people talk about all kinda crap. And one thing to talk about is trading, it's just talk, so there is no need NOT to talk about it because of the labor issues.(JMO)

I still am having a tough time with these coaching moves. If i was ross at this point, I would give a big WTF scream and insist on PUBLIC answers to hold these people doing the hiring accountable immediatly.

WR coach to QB coach on a team where there is a QB with a lot of good tools and no one to help him grrom them... f'n weird.

CRAIG M AND KRIS. I have an idea. Stop posting to each other. then you both let it go... Simple solution if you want to end it.

Craig M,

Dorrell's move to qb coach isnt totally alarming. If you'll remember, it was stated Daboll was a wr's coach with New Endgland. Basically it seems to me that the qb coach is the right hand man to the OC.

It's a promotion for Dorrell, seeing that he is now senior assistant on the Sparano offensive coaching staff. It doesnt mean that Daboll wont be spending a lot of time during the offseason personally working with the qb's.

But during the regular season the OC has to spend more time with game planning so he will need to delegate down to an assistant(Dorrell). Carl becomes his regular season eyes and ears thus becoming his chief liason between the qb's and OC.

Back to football.....find a way to draft Cam Newton....I'll let the guys who are way smarter than me figure out how to get it done...if we can't get the QB we want then I would like to see them take the best available....regardless of postion.....


Poizen and others.....I know its frustrating to see two men cackle like hens over the internet......

I do hate when I am part of the cause for disrupting the blog.....

trying to get better......


I really dont see us drafting at 16 unless we cannot get a sufficient trade down partner. Seems to me its developing that the first priority with the 16th pick is to gain both a 1st and 2nd rd pick.

I still dont totally rule out using the 16th pick if we have an incredible run of luck and the absolute perfect position player falls to us.


I don't totally understand how a guy who has never played the position of QB, can help Henne overcome his issues. He can't talk from a position of credibility or how he did things when he playd the game. It's a strange move and I wonder if maybe Chad Pennington might have more impact on Henne if he comes back to the team. Yes, I know people will say he hasn't helped much to date but the two Chad's do have a good working relationship.



There you go buddy, I really hate to disappoint! LOL........................



DB.....i'm not a trade back kinda guy.....and I understand you might get 2 picks......but why not take the best available when your pick comes....at best you add a probowl starter....at worst you add a starter quality depth......

I know alot of people are of the mindset of trade back.....

Can you tell me why this is such a good idea.....no sarcasm intented in this post...i really need another point of view

Kris, no biggie, just seemed you were both getting frustrated, nothing but insults were being accomplished, and you oth have good football opinions, so i figured i would state the obvious. :)

I think Craig M. and Kris should both be beaten mercilously over the head with a 2x4.

good night all... Have a good one.

Craig M

Dorrell has been an OC at the college level before and a head coach. So he does have experience working with QBs. Granted, it was not QB coach specific but an OC works closly with QBs to understand game plans, strategy, etc. I do not agree with a lot of the coaching hires, but the Dorrell one is the lowest on the list of being a major concern. Dorrell is a smart guy and he may shine in a larger role than just being WR coach.

I agree Poizen...stuff goes on and on sometimes...I imagine it can get frustarting for others having to sit through it as well....its a football blog after all


Craig M,

What I'm saying is Daboll will personally work with Henne on these things during camp and preseason. He's not bogged down in game planning at this time. Dorrell will be there too. So if there's something he can learn from Daboll he didnt know this will be the time.

Also remember Dorrell was head coach at UCLA for a short period of time and the guy isnt totally brain dead when it comes to each and every position on the offensive side of the ball. It's not like they just appointed the ball boy to qb coach.

As I posted earlier, Dorrell learns what he can when Daboll personally works with Henne during camp and preseason. Then becomes Daboll's liason between qb and OC during the season when Daboll has to be more consumed with game planning.

If Henne cant be improved during the camp and preseason, it highly unlikely it happens during the regular season. It means that he just still isnt getting it.

I'll play GM for a minute:

I doubt Julio Jones will be there, but if he is, I'd take him

Otherwise: O-line. Maybe find a trade partner and move back 5-10 spots and pick up a 3rd or 4th rounder

Pouncey and the 3 tackles provide some good options. Lets say we go tackle, maybe the kid from BC or the other kid from Wisc. Solder from Colorado. Let one of them play RT. Move Carey inside to G.

Go extremely hard after Logan Mankins, maybe he wants to stick it to the Pats twice a year after that contract mess, even if you gotta overpay a little

Possible end result: Long, Mankins, ?? @ C, Carey, Rookie at RT

Better than what we have now, and if you hit on a good rook at RT, you're bookend tackles are set for the next 6-8 years


No gm is neccessarily a trade back kind of guy either. This isnt a particularly strong draft so if your minus a 2nd rd pick. You may wanna give very strong consideration as to how you may acquire one.

Does it mean we may definitely do this? Yes and no. Does it mean we wont do this? Again yes and no. It will all depend upon what the best option available will be. Im sure even Ireland isnt 100% settled on this yet.

It's all a game of wait and see!


I have a hard time believing that the Pats won't franchise Mankins. I think they'd be nuts to let this guy walk away for nothing.

DB, I understand what you're saying and I like Dorrell from everything I've read about him...I'm just surprised they're not trying to accomplish the same thing with a guy who played QN in this league before. It makes me wonder if there isn't another agenda at play here, like the fact they have given Dorrell a promotional to keep him from moving to another team or something.

We need a new QB. Obtain Orton and draft a rook. Watching Henne it is obvious he doesn't have that "it" factor. He telegraphs every throw which is why so many throws are batted down. He locks into about 1/3 of the field, which is why he throws so many picks. finally, he has horrible pocket presence, which is why he takes sacks that he should not have to and makes the line look even worse than it really is. BTW, the o-line for me was the most disapointing part of this team. thet could not run block or pass block very well.

Without a cba it will be a terrible time to be a nfl gm this offseason. It affects so many different acquisitional areas and make the guessing game of drafting an even greater crapshoot!

I mean how do you honestly know who to draft without first being able to fill a couple holes thru free agency? It will definitely change the destination of many free agents if a cba is reached just shortly after the draft.

did you hear Tony Sparano Jr. is now a part of this great coaching staff.... WTF

The Quality control assistant is now the WR coach? how does this make any sense? Ross is smoking some gud $H1T

Craig M,

I believe Dorrell is now the senior assistant tenure-wise. So pretty much he's been given a position to suggest so.

I see very little wrong with the qb coach title seeing that he would be learning under a OC with qb coach experience. I would have a problem with it if the OC had no qb coach experience either. Then you would have the blind leading the blind.

No thanks on Cam Newton, kris

Half his game is running. He gets by on pure athletic ability. That generally does not translate to the NFL. There are exceptions. Steve McNair and Steve Young were similar, albiet smaller.

They had success when they ditched being running QB's and became pocket passers who ran when necessary. Kinda like we saw Rodgers and Roethlisberger do this week. (although I dont know if Ben qualifies as "pocket passer", but he's a throw 1st guy)

Problem is McNair types are the exception to the rule. (see: Vince Young lack of evolution). And the few who do make it take a while, I'd rather not wait 5 to 7 years to see if Cam Newton is gonna be any good. Tenn just wasted 5 years on VY and his amazing athletic ability

I guess we give free handouts now... god forbid we actually make a move that improves the team from a coaching standpoint.
I'm not really sold on conspiracy theories at all but i'm starting to think the CT/NE crew is sabotaging us from the inside becuz they know thats the only way the Jets will ever sniff a Superbowl... if this was true it seems it working quite well

I hear That the Fist Pumper hired his kid as a assistant coach, Are the Mighty fins so toxic to other coaches that they gotta hire family Members and coaches that were worse then what we had before????, Someone call the EPA, The Davie camp should be put on a hazardous waste dump program.....

DB...thanks.....i'll take that in to consideration.....While i still try to figure this thing out......the draft and reasons for trading back are a weak spot for me....i don't really follow players till they make the team.....

I also need to let this "trade back" thing swirl around a bit more....I know we traded back last draft and got a 23 year old MONSTER with osteoporosis....

Chance of that happening again are zero ...right?

Good point on Mankins, Craig.

I know Cuban this blows my mind Ross must be the worst owner in the entire league

We have the same idiots, coach and gm, picking talent. We need a qb, rb, te, speedy wr and at least two oline men. What are the odds these guys hit on half of those needs. Not with their track record. Nothings going to change next year except the bills will finish third and we will finish last in AFC East. I see us with 5 to 6 wins next year. We will draft around ten in 2012 and Luck will be gone by then. If we draft and start a rookie qb, which this new class looks weak, he will need a couple years to develope. Thats if a new oc, who was ranked behind us, can improve our offense. The only organization that might be worse than ours is Cincy. Their qb wants out. We needed a change at the head coaching spot. Someone who plays to put teams away not coaching not to loose. The sky IS falling.

Nolan must cringe when he thinks about who he has to coach with... It would have been a better move firing Sparano and promoting Nolan to HC. He and Dorrell seem to be the only competent people on the staff

another awful move by the fins staff. and i agree williams by far best back in draft

henne's main problem is that he sucks under pressure. all the way back to his mich days. also there is no way the CBA will be in place before the draft. you guys better be prepared for the very REAL possibility of no football next year. it is gonna get really nasty and ugly. i say sept or oct. is the most realistic time frame for the sides to come together. no player movement means no impact FA-they can't learn the playbook, their teammates,etc. then we won't be whining about henne we'll be whining for football.

nolan just hopes his defense improves and after they fire sparano maybe he gets a shot, i hope not






Ike Hilliard is the new wr's coaching asst. The guy was wr his entire football playing career, both amatuer and professional.

At this position all you're doing is teaching technique. Its just your job to make sure the guy isnt failing because of the technical standpoint of his job.

At the wr position either the light comes on for a guy or it doesnt. For one's that it doesnt, it's usually a matter of old bad habits being too hard to break than not being taught the right mechanics of the position. Then some of it's lack of adequate talent, physical limitations, desire, courage, or lack of proper scouting.

probaly worst overall staff in nfl

Like I said in my last post, With the Fist pumper and the leprechaun at the helm no Assistant coach in his right mind would leave any team he's currently employed with to come down here for a year, Knowing that come the Bye week Hollywood Ross will kick both to the curb which he should have done jan. 4.......BTW, I contacted a government official and he's now putting the paper work through to make the Davie Practice field a "Super fund" Toxic waste dump, That's the closest to "Super" these guys will get to.... Sorry for the negativity but it is what it is...........

Hey! Hey! Sparano's just trying to build a nfl resume for his kid. Im sure Sparano may have a time or two read this blog. An even greater reason to keep the kid out of mommy's basement!

You guys have written and read some of our garbage in here. So can you blame Sparano for trying to keep his kid from becoming one of us?




Garbage plate...I agree with many of your points.....but Newton is a fix on somany levels....

1. Its a percieved fact that he is a project....many believe we can't draft a 1strd QB because this FO doesn't have time to develop one.....that may be true...but it is also possible that a 1st RD QB buys this staff a couple more years.....while he develops

2. I think Newton is worth at least 2-3 win by himself..i don't know how many losses he is worth by himself...but we have to expect that too...

3. unbeliavable upside....If he has the tools to become the evolution of Miike Vick....in the future.....I think he starts out like the Freeman in Tampa...rough first year...beakout 2nd

4. He is a leader and looks like he has fun playing football.....Guys gravitate to that kinda player...and he instantly make your team better....No wildcat crap....no brining him along slowly....I think he is ready now...get his firs 16 game rookie jitters out of the way...and lets reap the benifuts in 2012

Oh, stop getting your panties in a bunch. Do you guys even know what a "quality control" coach is? It's nothing more than a glorified term for a low-level staffer...a 'gofer'...someone to help label film or time practices or a dozen other nonsense jobs. It's totally an entry-level position in the NFL.

Sparano didn't hire his son to coach ANYBODY or ANYTHING.

Take a deep breath and stop foaming at the mouth.

There has never ever been any official word about Parcells...last we heard he was consulting. Is he still? Is he helping with the draft, doing anything whatsoever or is he 100% checked out and gone. Sparano said he was still an employee of the fins. I'd like a gig like that, never show up to work, be the boss and get paid well.

Stephen(Hollywood)Ross really screwed this franchise up pretty good,Huh?????Any doubters out there not agreeing with me???????


dying ur giving ireland too much credit. all he did was read this blog

dont like newton. only qb coming out i like a little is locker

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