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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 don't think so Cuban....Money talks....and when he is ready to get rid of these guys he will and money will bring in new ones......Harbagugh just pulled one over on him and used him to leverage the 49ers......guess we know who wears the pants in that family...Ross will learn from it and recover......

It looks like Sparano is digging his own grave with these hire's....but who knows...maybe he turns into Belichek by April and Lombardi by Sept.....it could happen

HE COULD BE THE HURT LOCKER. DID YOU KNOW THE HAWWAI FOOD POY IS JUST GROUND UP ((ROOTS))THEY MASH IN A BOWL?

THE PRO BOWL IS IN HAWWAI AND THEY WILL GIVE THEM ALL POY TO EAT AND ALSO MEAT IN A CAN..IT IS A DELICASY THERE

and Cuban..the optomist in me wants to say we close in some games we lost....and there is no way we go 1-7 at home again....so there have to be more wins on the horizon.....

but the pessimist say that we probably don't go 6-2 on the road...so there could be more loss as well to balance out.....

This team is just like its QB...an enigma

Hankerson from the U is showing-up DB's in Mobile. Is anyone familiar with him?

Sign Vince Young once he is cut by titans then taking Ingram at 15 completely changes our offense, more explosive. Draft a speed receiver in 3rd round to help stretch the field for marshall and bess.

HE IS LENARD HANKERSON. A WIDE RECIEVER FROM THE UNIV OF MIAMI

I think we are as close to 11-5 as we to 6-10......

I guess the fans of other teams with losing records think the same thing.....

Watched Hankerson at the U all year. Fast, great leaper, decent hands. I like Hankerson, believe he is easily a second.

hankerson a tall long arm wr. not very fast or polished. could be solid

young isnt good but anyone over henne. ingram is not explosive at all. u want that draft williams from vatech

i agree kris. but with the staff we have a losing mediocre record is for sure

I have Zero Confidence in all these guys(Fist Pumper,Leprechaun,Hollywood) And the CUBAN MEANS ZERO....... Have a good nite Iam out.......

Yeah Bill....you started before the season even started last year...and I gave you alot of sh*t....but you were right and I was wrong......

But I gotta warn you...come draft day....i'm gonna get filled with the same optimisim and will become starry-eyed with each win until were mathmatically elimated from the playoffs...just like last year.....its in my blood

So in other words, he's inconsistent, always been inconsistent and Mel thinks we should stick with him? Sounds like he's a fan of an AFC rival (Ravens).

CUBAN,

DO YOU KNITTING ? SWEATERS OR SCARFS ?

Hankerson is running great routes and catching everything, even bad throws or when covered. Looks strong too.

CUBAN,

DO YOU LIKE KNITTING ? SWEATERS OR SCARFS ?

Bill,

For once we agree on something...I am high on Williams too. He's be a good pickup in the second round because IMO he's a first round talent.

CAN WE MKE CUBEN MANICE THE HAED OF THE GANG OF DEFEET NOW?

Enough of this already. WE NEED A QUARTERBACK. #1. Period; then more offensive playmakers. The quarterback position has to be addressed first and foremost. After that, more offensive playmakers. Mr. GM and scouts, work some magic!!!!!

DFEXTR,LOOK FOR THE DOPHINS TO DRATF THE GRAET JCACORY HARIS FROM THE U OF MAIMI.

I want Mark Ingram. I hope he's available and I hope the dolphins don't pass on him. Basically I agree with Kiper's assessment of the Dolphins....

to many fa rb's out there to draft a rb. harris is another henne, they don't want that. look for dalton or devlin if they don't get one with the 15th pick.

COWHER THE HYNEA WILL BE ON PITTSBURG FOR THE SUPER BOWLS GAME HE IS FROM THE OLD CARTOON THAT WAS LIPPY THE LION AND HARDY HAR HAR THE THAT WAS ABOUT THE LION AND THE HYENAS LIKE COWHER IS

Aloco, Jacory Harris will be the next pat white, the u of m will be looking for a QB.

It is obvious that all of the quarterbacks with first round grades this year have some holes, and can be easily disected to say "I'll pass" The process has really just started for all of them. There will be tons of evaluation between now and the draft. Maybe 1 or two of the guys seperates themselves from the pack. What bothers me is that the second Andrew Luck was off the board. None of these guys moved into that spot. A lot of Mocks(not that these should be considered more then a guideline) don't have any quarterback taken until 6 or seven getting passed up by teams that are in quarterback limbo as well. Also the flavor of the month right now seems to be Gabbert from Missouri, who nobody talked about 2 months ago(at least on this blog go back and look at the archives)I think this raises some valid concerns about the class as a whole. This orginization is going to get killed if they miss on a first rounder. I don't know if any of these guys has shown enough yet to warrant our choice. We will have to wait and see

stephen morris will be the starter for the canes next season. he is the better qb by far.

JCACORY HARIS WIL BE THE NEXT TOM BADY,MAK MY WORDS REDSKI.

Ok Aloco, so let it be written, so let it be done!

AND YOU CAN BET THAT BILL SPARONO WIL WIN THE SUPER BOWL THIS YAER.

SORY TONEY SPORONO WIL WEN THE SUPER BLOW

Dolphin 77, I agree, Morris is the better QB, by far....we'll see who else the U picks up. Golden hasn't had much time to recruit.

BOLW

Darryl dunphy....I'm not crazy about this QB class either.......none thrill me.

WE HAVE TO GET OUR SECOND ROUNDER BACK I THINK RB'S WILL DROP BUT NOT QB

IF WE CAN ADDRESS THE QB OR RB ISSUE THRU FREE AGENCY THEN WE CAN DROP IN THE FIRST REGAIN A SECOND AND STILL TAKE A GOOD RB LATE FIRST OR MID SECOND

THATS A BEST CASE SCENERIO
ADDRESS QB IN FREE AGENCY
REGAIN SECOND
DRAFT RB

OR ADDRESS RB IN FA
REGAIN SECOND
HOPE A QB DROPS THAT FAR IN THE LATER FIRST OR SECOND I CAN SEE ONE OF THEM WILL

Is It me or is this guy Aloco "Special"? I mean Lil Yellow bus special?

I'd like to see them take Roman Gabriel, looks great in the pocket, nice arm, can get him at 15 for sure.

omar is saying young will go to the vikings.

My idea of a great off-season player-wise:

Offense:
O-line: Sign Logan Mankins, Move John Jerry to RT and Incognito to C. Trade back to acquire a 2nd rd pick, and use the 1st on Pouncey. Draft a RT in one of the later rounds (5th would be ideal) to add depth.

QB: Use either the 2nd or 3rd to draft any of the following: Kaepernick, Stanzi, Dalton, Ponder or Devlin. Let Thiggy and Penni go because Penni is fragile and Thiggy does not fit our system (and I don't think the coaches like him much). Have our draft pick, Henne and Brandstater (I believe in this kid) honestly battle it out for starter.

WR: Leave all the same, except drafting a speed reciever in the 3rd or 4th rd. After preseason, if Hartline's stock rises, trade him for a 3rd rd pick. Have Moore, Wallace, our draftee and the other WRs we have right now battle it out to start opposite Marshall and Bess in the slot. Keep six WRs to have insurance for Daboll's 5 wide (damn, the thought of 5 wide packages excites me) if someone is injured.

FB: Aal izz well (for all my Desi peeps out there that got the joke in the Misspelling)

HB: Get rid of Cobbs, Williams and Brown. No need to draft anybody, sign DeAngelo Williams, or any of the other great FA available, and have him start, with Sheets and Hilliard sharing snaps at #2 and a cheap undrafted FA in case of emergency.

TE: draft a recieving TE in the 4th, 5th or 6th rd, and have him and Haynos (who sat on IR this season) opposite Fasano, with one of the backups we have now as insurance.

Defense:

D-line: Re-sign Soliai, but let McDaniels go. Have Starks as NT, with Soliai coming off the bench frequently. Have Langford and Odrick start at DE, with Merling, Baker, and sometimes Starks coming in of the bench frequently.

ILB: Dansby's great, but either release Crowder, or keep him as a backup. Have Edds start alongside Dansby (he can help with TE coverage as well) and have Crowder as primary backup and Dobbins as emergancy backup.

OLB: Again, Aal izz well (for my Desi peeps again)

SS: Bell is great, but he is aging fast, draft a project SS in the 5th or 6th rd and phase him in to eventually replace Bell.

FS: Our FS did better than I expected, and have Clemons and Reshad Jones compete for the start again. They both, especially Reshad, have immense potential.

CB: Will Allen will be back, so trade him after preseason for picks (he is too old for us now). Have Smith and Vontae, two great CBs btw, start (have bothe practice with the WRs every once in a while to help them improve on their catching skills). Let Sapp and Harris go, and draft a late rd pick to play dime with Caroll playing Nickel.Sign a FA for emergancies, and to compete for the dime job.

Special Teams:

K: Aal izz well

P: Aal izz well

LS: We have a pro bowler for god's sake

KR: Have open competition between Sheets, Caroll, our speedy WR draftee, and anyone else with speed,

Dolphins Mock Draft (this is assuming they trade down for a 2nd rd pick):

1st: Mike Pouncey, G

2nd: Andy Dalton, Ricky Stanzi, Colin Kaepernick, Christian Ponder or Pat Devlin, QB

3rd: Best speedy WR available

4th: Best overall TE, but with emphasis on recieving abilities

5th: Best RT available

6th: Best SS available

7th: Best CB available

7th (assuming we keep our 2nd 7th rd pick): Best FB available

Off course this whole thing is assuming there is a new CBA, if not GET SHANE FALCO FOR THE SB

IN LIPPY THE LION AND HARDY HAR HAR HARDY HAR HAR WAS THE HYNEA LIKE COWHER BUT IN THE CARTOON HE IS HAPPY BUT COWHER IS VERY SNEEKY LIKE THE REAL HNYEA SO IT IS NOT EXATLY LIKE HARDY HAR HAR. BUT IT IS (((CLOSE)))DO YOU REMEMBER THIS CARTOON

LENARD HANKISON IS FROM THE UNIV OF MIAMI

I am slowly beginning to believe that the Class of QBs in the upcoming Draft is above average.

they will pick up a 2nd rd pick which i like and move down in 1st

only one i like oscar is locker

Not focusing particularly on anyone, bill, just reading all the reports on QBs. Besides being quite a # of them, it seems there are many with great mobility and smarts.

LOCKER AND NEWTOWN ARE COMING TO THE DRAFT THE OTHER IS GABELER AND THE OTHER ONE.

NOT MARK BRUMELL BUT IS SOUNDS LIKE THAT HE IS FROM THE WERST

(((WEST)))

Aal izz, let McDaniels go and have Starks play nose tackle? Hmm..

You are the type of boorish people who think the Olive Garden counts as 'haute cuisine.'

Disgusting.

CUBAN =REDSKY=FAKE ALOCO

Sun-Sentinel reporting that the Dolphins have no plans to bring back Ricky or Ronnie. Ireland will only consider it if they lower their asking price.

Me likem Stanzi in the later rounds.

At 15? If Ireland gets his head out of his patoot, he'll trade down and get a 2nd round pick (if he can), pick up a RT (move Vernon inside) or a LG. I think Incognito might well be the answer at C.

Seems like a pretty weak draft. Any good pass catching TEs in there or did we miss out completely (not taking Gronkowski or Hernandez - one of whom we should have)?

Well, we can watch what Belichek does and then we'll know who we should have picked. Then hire Hiro Nakamura and do it right. Oh, wait, that's just fiction. Bummer.

This news about Ronnie and Bong Pipe is no big suprise. Pipe made it known after the season that he wasn't to psyched about how he was used. I wasn't to pshyched about all of his fumbles. Brown, never got on track. I think his days of being a feature back is over. Maybe all of his past injuries caught up to him. I don't think it will be to difficult to replace, and improve the production at the running back spot. I think we need to get younger, and faster. Use Lex Hilliard as the third down back. Find a running back via the draft. Mentioning free agents is kind of a waste of time right now because we can't sign any until after draft day. We can star debating those players after the draft. Back to Brown. His best option may be to stay here. I don't know what his value is, but he is crazy if he thinks he will get a multi year deal with another team. This was his contract year, and he took a big dump on his over all value.

where's my dog food ?

R.brown and ricky are done,they don't play w/any love for the team.

Olive Garden is allright but I always loved the old St. Marco Italian restaurant in Miami(not there anymore).

Right now I'm making some fried pork chunks a la Cuban: 2lbs of country style ribs cut in 2 inch chunks, bring 2 cups of H2O to a boil, add meat, bring to low heat UNCOVERED until all the water has evaporated, then fry the chunks in its own grease. Pretty good and crispy.

Jimmy Jam, Kyle Rudolph 6:6 265 TE out of ND. Could be there late 1st early 2nd. Like him as a TE option

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