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Miami's top personnel needs

A smile came to my face Tuesday when I was driving around town and one of our so-called Dolphins experts on the radio started barking out the Dolphins needs for the coming draft.

Wide receiver, tight end, interior lineman, kick returner, quarterback and running back.

I don't know if the "expert" was doing these needs in the order his mind has concocted them. I do know that's not the order the Dolphins have their needs currently pegged, based on conversations, texts, and emails I've had or exchanged with several team and NFL sources.

(Disclaimer: No one that tells you he knows the exact order of Miami's needs is telling the truth, unless that person's name is Jeff Ireland or Tony Sparano, and even then you might have to consider they might be working a smoke screen.)

(Disclaimer II: Neither one of those guys is telling folks the order of their needs, something that is really mundane but they guard as a draft secret.)

But I can tell you neither wide receiver nor tight end is at the top of Miami's needs list. And I can tell you neither runnning back nor quarterback is at the back end of Miami's needs list.

I think the more accurate order of Miami needs is running back, quarterback, interior lineman, speedy returner (If he's a WR or a RB all the better) and then a WR and TE.

Here is my thinking:

Have you looked at the Dolphins coming RB situation? Ronnie Brown is scheduled to be a free agent. Ricky Williams is scheduled to be a free agent. Patrick Cobbs is scheduled to be a free agent. Lex Hilliard is unsigned, although the Dolphins should retain his contract rights based on the fact he's been in the league only three seasons.

So none of Miami's running backs is signed for 2011.

The last time the Dolphins faced this kind of situation at a position was 2009 when they had Will Allen as the only experienced cornerback tied to a contract. They drafted Vontae Davis in the first round that year. And then they drafted Sean Smith in the second round.

Need solved.

This year? Running back, people.

Think running backs.

Yes, perhaps either Brown or Williams could return for 2011. But that is only an option. That is not the plan written in concrete. The Dolphins might find a RB in the draft and then go into free agency and love the idea of someone available there. No one can predict.

But we can predict the Dolphins will be eyebrows deep in the running back market this offseason.

Quarterback?

Well, Chad Henne is on campus. But Chad Pennington is a free agent and may or may not continue playing, depending on how his shoulder rehab goes. Either way, I do not think Pennington comes back to the Dolphins. Been there. Done that.

Love Pennington but if you re-sign a QB whose throwing shoulder has been surgically repaired three or four times and the last time you needed him, his shoulder dislocated without any contact, you are a candidate to buy land in the Everglades.

You go to that player in an emergency in the middle of a season if no one else is available. But to sign him as a backup? I think the Dolphins will try other avenues first. And second. And third.

Tyler Thigpen is an option. He's a free agent. He was the backup after Pennington got hurt. He's an option.

But the Dolphins need to add one and perhaps two more solid, more promising quarterback options if they can. They need a young guy they can groom, someone out of the draft probably. They need a vet that can challenge Henne for the starting job because, frankly, Henne needs the competition and isn't necessarily a sure-thing to win any competition anyway.

So quarterbacks. Big need.

Receiver?

Seems like a bit of a luxury. Yes, if a stud falls to the Dolphins, absolutely a speedy guy would be wonderful. Titus Young of Boise State comes to mind in the second round (assuming Miami acquires a pick in that round). But as the top priority?

Last year, in talking to a highly placed club decision-maker, I asked about Vincent Jackson. I was told the Dolphins were headed in another direction. And they went in another direction. They didn't think spending that much on another WR was the way to go.

I don't agree with that because you can never have too many playmakers. But that wasn't the internal thinking at the time.

That coupled with the fact Miami has promising young WRs on campus in Roberto Wallace and Marlon Moore, I think the team will view that position as something of a luxury and not the No. 1 priority. The situation may change between now and the draft in that, well, we cannot predict what will happen in the coming months.

Who knows? Maybe Brandon Marshall gets traded once trades are possible again. Yeah, I said it.

But right now, wide receiver isn't the top priority and probably not in the top two.

Interior lineman? Ab-so-lute-ly.

If and when free agency comes around, think Logan Mankins. That same conversation with the club official helped me break the story that Miami had contacted the Patriots about Mankins when he was in a contract dispute with New England.

Mankins is still unsigned.

Yes, it would be expensive. The Dolphins have proven they have no issue with spending money on the offensive line in the past. It makes sense in that Brian Daboll is now Miami's offensive coordinator and he saw Mankins early in his career when both were in New England. And adding Mankins would diminish New England so that's a plus.

So think of him as a free agent priority if he's available. 

Otherwise, the Dolphins could add an interior lineman in the draft.

The Dolphins will try to find a speedy return man. It's been three seasons under the Parcells-Ireland-Sparano administration and finding that dynamic return man has been a failure. The Dolphins have been able to put no significant speed that scares the opposition back returning punts or kicks. They've tried. But they've failed.

So look at that as a priority. But again, the top priority? No.

Tight end has been a priority for the Dolphins for some time. Yes, Anthony Fasano got a new contract but the Dolphins understand an upgrade is in order. Last year they liked Tony Moeaki in the draft. Loved him. He went to Kansas City and is showing himself to be a promising player. Those are the breaks.

The Dolphins may try to identify a tight end in the draft. But will they do it high? I do not know for sure. But is that the priority going into the first day? I have a hard time believe that's the ticket to solving Miami's offensive problems given the level of talent already at that position on campus relative to the lower leve of talent available at other positions on campus.

Bottom line: Think running backs and quarterback. 

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OSCAR,

DO YOU HAVE A JOB ?

GulfD maybe you should first ask Armando if he ever plagiarizes.

Sixty-six y/o, old fxart is looking for a young, beautiful 23 to 29 y/o woman for dining, movies, theater, dancing, conversation, etc. Must be a football enthusiast and able to interprete Las Vegas odds and spreads. Please apply in person at Sun Life Stadium, Gate H, Saturday at 11:30PM. I'll be there to take your applications and interview you personally.

Top 10 teams to never win a Super Bowl wil be on NFL network tommrow the 4th....

Bet there will be a Marino sighting

SNICKER ,

ARMANDO IS A MAN OF INTEGRITY .

aloco...Only two weeks ago Armandos blog was 98% the same thing Cote wrote only days before. I am trying to remember the subject now, but I was surprised he would repeat someone from the same paper. I'll get back on it..

I think you guys meant pancetta, pork belly. If that is so, it's very easy to make. 2-3 pounds of pork belly, dry them well with a paper towel then put in the frig, UNCOVERED, for 24 hrs(have to be bone dry). After that, rub the meat with salt and place skin up in a paper foil covered baking pan at high T oven 500 for 1 hour. Delicious. I am a cook among my many labours, ALoco.

SNICKER,

ARMANDO DOESN'T HAVE TIME TO THINK ABOUT A BLOG TO WRITE FOR, SO HE BARROW IDEAS ALL THE TIME FROM COTE OR OTHER BLOGGERS .

IT'S NOT THE BIBLE ,WE ARE TALKING ABOUT CRAPY FOOTBALL .

OSCAR,

WE ARE TALKING ABOUT THE BABY PORK ,IT'S NAME IS PORCHETA MEANS BABY PORK .NOT PANCETTA.

OK, I thought so, cochinillo. Beyond my reach. There is(or was) a Castillian restaurant in Coconut Grove that made a fabulous one.

Among my other labours are, houseman(keeping clean, arranging, renewing), psychiatrist, Fatherx2, cyber-defender, etc.

Borrowing someones viewpoint and quoting from that source is one thing, but to post verbatem is quite another.

Of course Mando uses every means available to post his blog. Cotes, Darrington, Mother's uncle... including what he might gleen from us as a resourse. Just goes with the territory.

However, true plagerism is unlawful.


My 2011 Mock Draft "Tradeback Scenario"

1. Titus Young wr -----Boise St
2. John Moffitt g -----Wisconsin
3. Jake Kirkpatrick c -TCU
4. Kendric Burney cb --NC
5. Ricky Stanzi qb ----Iowa
6. Noel Devine rb -----WV
7. BPA

Not going to get a franchise type rb nor qb in this draft. So in tradeback scenario the skilled offensive position we may can add the most impact to is at #2 wr. Titus Young maybe the the best available late in the 1st. I believe that getting a #2 with the aboility to be a #1 wr is of tremendous value and upgrade to our passing game.

Im not sure John Moffitt will still be available with a late 2nd rd draft pick, but if he is we have to grab him. I would even trade up in the 2nd rd to grab him. If not grab a rb.

TCU center Jake Kirkpatrick maybe the best available center in the 3rd rd. Say even if Garner wins the starting center in 2011, Kirkpatrick should be giving him a run for his money in 2012.

Kendric Burney was phenominal in Senior Bowl defending the slot wr's. He dominated and should be a huge upgrade at our nickelback position. Yes, an upgrade at nickel is a huge need!

Im keep getting a strange feeling that in 3-4yrs Ricky Stanzi will be the greatest steal of the entire 2011 draft, especially when predicted to still be there at 5th rd.

I'll still have to see it to believe it that Mankins leaves the Pats. However, I do believe Oakland's fa TE Zack Miller will leave and we need to do everything we can to land him.

DB, in the last 4 weeks your MUST HAVE picks have gone from Ingram, to Newton, to Kaepernick, to Stanzi. I'm fine with one changing their mind, but I get the feeling your mock draft is going to change every 3 days until the draft day!

Find it hilarious some here now saying Gabbert worthy of taking at 15. 3 problems with that:

1. Shows how weak this qb class is because Gabbert now projected to be 1st qb chosen. Meaning most likely gone before the 15th pick.\

2. Last time a name suddenly popped up out of nowhere we ended up with Ronnie Brown. Phew, glad Gabbert should be gone by our 15th pick.

3. Dont know why some dont understand that just because our needs are in a certain order. It does not mean this draft adequately addresses them in that order in terms of VALUE!

0x80,

Unlike some here I will re-examine what Im thinking and if I see Ive missed the boat somewhere make needed adjustments.

I went away from Ingram because Im now more in line with trading back to get a 2nd rd pick. I think that will be very difficult to do without trading back to 25th or further. Maybe 24th pick at the earliest. Highly doubt Ingrams still on the board nearly that late.

Im off of Kaepernick because he could possibly sneak into as high as late 2nd rd. None of these qb's in this draft are more the slightly better than the next. Ricky Stanzi still projected as late as 5th rd right now.

Of all the qb's available in this draft Stanzi clearly has the best pocket presence of all. That's why I believe in 3-4yrs he'll be the best qb of this draft class and if you can get him 5th rd he's going to make that gm look like a genius.

We need to grab an oline in the 2nd rd. Mankins isnt a given to be a Dolphin in 2011 and we gotta start using premium picks to fill the oline. We've done it only once landing Jake Long. The highest pick used on an olineman since was in 2010 landing Jerry.

That's why I now want Wisc guard John Moffitt with the 2nd rd pick we trade back for.

Dying Breed..I was talking about Kendrick Burney earlier today. I have been trying to make the point that we need much better play at nickel if the defense is going to take that next step. I don't know if you read any of the earlier posts from today.

I don't have any problem with a person changing their minds about who we should or shouldn't draft. Things change. Right now. None of the quarterbacks that are projected to be first rounders seem like good picks. But there is a loooong way until draft day. Something may happen that changes my tune. You don't think the draft boards change weekly if not daily? Keep the ideas rolling. It makes for good discussion.

DB,

I posted the link to a Palm Beach Post the other day that I no longer have, which made a fairly good argument why it will be very difficult to trade down for a second because their few most likely trading partners are already close to 15. Can it happen? Sure, but by no means is it something to bank on. The 15 spot in this draft is not so special. I would suggest doing a mock draft without a 2nd, since that is the more likely scenario.

DD,

I didnt even know who Burney was until watching him at the Senior Bowl. He was phenominal guarding slot reciever. Nickel is a huge issue for this team.

Our greatest issues of not being able to consistently get off the field on 3rd downs was the nickel cb play and not getting a consistent pass rush without blitzing, from anyone else on the d'line not named Cameron Wake.

DB...found it:
http://blogs.palmbeachpost.com/thedailydolphin/2011/02/01/dolphins-gm-jeff-ireland-will-have-to-work-some-magic-to-re-acquire-a-2nd-round-pick/

0x80,

On Sunday we'll be watching teams 31 and 32. Never count out at least one of those two wanting to significantly upgrade an area on thier team with a 15 pick. I would take trading back to 32 if it meant adding a 2nd rd pick.

Once we get a 2nd pick, even if its at #32, we can always trade up to get a targeted player. I would even trade upto a 2012 3rd rd pick if it meant drafting within the 1st five picks of the 2nd rd.

Hey Almond Eyes,

It is true none of this NFL stuff is a complete science, and anybodies guess, but to suggest that "everyone is clueless" is absurd.

According to you, we need only throw names in a hat and draw at random. As if that is just as likely to bring success.

Sounds like flippin' burger for a living. Even then, sometimes the patty is burned.

It's just a minimum wage job, compared to a billion dollar investment...

Dying I created a scenario where we drafted Von Miller in round 1(I know very unlikely) and Burney with our second pick.(this may be overvalued, but I'm thinking Burney is a guy that may skyrocket after the combine) I think that there is very good value at running back in rounds 3,4,5. People want to lose sight of the defense. I think we should round out the unit. Like I said, this is purely a hypothetical situation. BUT, if Von Miller is available at 15 don't we have to take him?

DB, by the very same logic, we had an overall #1 pick in 2008. Ireland proclaimed they were open for business....yet they couldn't get the value they sought for the #1, so kept it. If it happened with a #1, can certainly happen with a #15. My only point here is that it is no lock that we will be able to trade down our #15.

The 1st pick should be RB-Ingram without a doubt.
And don't say the Dolphins can get backs later, they have sucked drafting backs in all most every round check the history. What great backs have even been associated with the Dolphins besides Csonka.

This years #15 is not nearly as desirable as last years #12. I say its 50/50 at best we will be able to trade that down.

Frank..Why not say we can get a back later. Ingram is a good player. But is he miles better then some of the other backs in later rounds? What does he do that the other guys can't. If he possesed great speed, I may agree with you. Running backs must be dynamic to take one in the fist half of the draft. Ingram does a lot of things very well. But nothing dynamic.

0x80...Very good post @ 11:34. I think any chance of moving into the second round would involve future picks, or trading out of the first round. This doesn't happen much, unless you are the New England Patriots. This year, 2 second round picks instead of 1 first would be a screaming deal for us. Because, there isn't a big difference from the middle first round guys, and the guys in the second round. We can still find starters in the second round.

i think the miami dolphins should go out there and get ted ginn jr. i think we trade a 6th round pick to the 49ers for ted ginn jr. so this way we have a very fast return man that can go out there and return punts and klick offs so that way we can score td's on punt returns and kick off returns. also we can put ginn in at wr every once and awhilw to let him run the deep go route 50 yards down field to open up the short and middle of the field for brnadon marshall because if we have ginn running a 50 yard dash down the sideline u can guarentee he will have a corner on top of him and a saftey over the top which in turn leaves branon marshall man up in single coverage which he will win 99% of the time. now that would be the smart thing to do. that would take care of the wr/kickpunt return ordeal with a 6th rd pick. then we trade down to the 20th spot in the draft get a 2nd rd pick. and with our 1st rd pick get cam newton or jake locker. and then with our 2nd round pick we draft a RB. 3rd draft a TE then in the 4th 5th and 7th rds draft nothing but interior lineman.
there u go that solves all our needs.

lol

!

You lost me at Ted Ginn Jr

LOL,come on guy's that was good.....LOL

THE FINS OFFENSE WAS BAD TOO CAUSE YOU DON'T MAKE A SLOW-FOOTED WR THE HIGHEST PAID AT HIS POSITION ......I DON'T RECALL SOMEONE SIGNING A WR THAT'S THAT SLOW TO THAT BIG OF A CONTRACT...MARSHALL IS TOO SLOW ...HOW MANY TIMES LAST YEAR HE CAUGHT A SLANT AND STOPED...TO MAKE A MOVE...A FAST WR WOULD RUN THREW THE BALL AND TAKE IT TO THE HOUSE..HE'S LIKE HAVING A EXTRA TE...THAT'S WHY I WOULDN'T BE MAD IF HE GOT TRADED ..VINCENT JACKSON IS A BETTER OPTION CAUSE HE HAS WR SPEED...AND MARSHALL IS A TIMEBOMB THAT'S READY TO GO OFF AT ANY TIME!

Andy Reid said it best when he passed over Ricky Williams & drafted Donavan McNabb in the first round, He said you can't build a good team without having a good Q.B.

Armando, The Miami Herald will fire you before the Miami Dolphins get rid of their only real offensive weapon Brandon Marshall..........so Marshall got a litte mad because he realized that Henne could not perform under pressure.

I had high hopes for Pigpen but he is not the guy either. I am afraid Henne is the best we have until we can draft him some competition. Henne may be fixable though so we will see.

Roberto Wallace and Marlon Moore are promising young WRs on campus?? They were undrafted free agents! Is that a joke Armando? When those guys had to play because Marshall and Hartline got hurt, they didn't even know the plays!!

What do you think happens when you're an undrafted free agent in New England and you can't remember the plays? Belichick gives you the axe that's what.

this offseason is easy.. Our first and henne, for carson palmer, second & fourth pick. Phins go after mankins. resign brown 3yr/4yr, draft back with second. remaining draft should be best on board from third on.

"And adding Mankins would diminish New England so that's a plus"...haha I dont think so. We'd give New England a 1st 4 th pick for him

Alrighty, this is what we need to do in this years draft... Never take a RB in the first round.. if we don't have a good o-line we cant open up any holes! Any body can run through a hole. The great runs make people miss in open field and work well in traffic. We trade back in the draft and take a mike pouncy! Hes a big athletic guard. We trade back up in the 2nd round to get Titus Young (He is Desean Jackson jr.) If titus isnt available we take Martez Wilson. He is probably the most underated MLB in the draft and i am sick of hearing Crowder talking all this sh it and not being able to back it up... 3rd round we take daniel thomas, he can carry the rock and has a burst to him. 4th round we take the center from TCU Kirkpatrick, he will help bring depth to our o-line. I believe that Incognito can be moved back to the position he was drafted in (Center). 5th round we take a sleeper, Rob Housler a TE out of Florida Atlantic, 6'5" and runs a 4.5 40? Sounds delightful! And he can block! lastly we take strong tackling safteys and linebackers that can contribute on special teams right away, i was sick of watching us get beat big on special teams. Chad Henne will be fine if he can put all of his parts together, he may not be franchise qb but he just needs some confidence and maybe he will be someday. I vote that we either put all of our chips on the table next year and get a LaMichael James and a Matt Barkely or Andrew Luck! we can give up future picks for these guys because they are the best of the best and show promise in the future.

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