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A look at the QBs through one man's eyes

One of the faithful readers on here yesterday complained that I have a man-crush on Cam Newton and haven't even really mentioned another quarterback the Dolphins could draft on this blog.

That's not correct. I've mentioned other quarterbacks. But admittedly none in the glowing terms I've mentioned Newton. So let me get about the business of explaining the man-crush. And then let me mention why that does not extend to other QBs in the coming draft.

Understand that all of this is my opinion. Please feel free to disagree. But, honestly, do your homework first.

My opinion starts with the idea that Cam Newton is the best quarterback in this draft. It is not Blaine Gabbert. It is not Ryan Mallet. It is not Jake Locker or any of the other names you'll hear thrown around. That doesn't mean Newton will have the most successful NFL career because there are many factors that go into that.

One of the primary factors that go into that mix that cannot be judged by me or you or even the experts out there that include 32 NFL general managers is the attribute that separates a star from an also-ran.

Some players, regardless of their measurable skills, have an attribute that you cannot see that allows him, indeed, propels him to success. Tom Brady has that attribute. Phillip Rivers has that attribute. It is that intangible something that draft gurus don't like to acknowlege because it doesn't come with stats and cannot be pointed out on film. Joe Montana had it and that helped him overcome the fact he wasn't exceedingly big or boasting the strongest of arms.

Jim Everett? Mark Herrmann? Ryan Leaf? Trent Edwards? David Carr?

All of them supremely talented and successful in college. None of them had that attribute. Fact is they seemed to be anchored by an attribute that prohibited them from going forward -- the anti-attribute, if you will.

Cam Newton has the attribute. I don't think Ryan Mallet does.

Beyond that, Newton will be selected in the Top 5 picks (should be No. 1, if you ask me) because, well, what's not to freakin' like? He's a winner. He won in junior college. He won a national championship his one year starting at Auburn.

That attribute? Did you see the game against Alabama? Nick Saban knows a thing or two about defense. Saban had great talent on his defense. And in the most pressure-packed situation of the season against the best defense he faced all year, a defense that represents the biggest rival on the Auburn schedule, a defense that had a lead, Cam Newton put his team on his back and rallied Auburn to beat Alabama.

And the Tigers won every other game on their schedule. The Tigers, I shouldn't have to tell you, play in the Southeastern Conference. And the Southeastern Conference is arguably the best conference in college football.

There are many criticisms of Newton lately. But he led his team while under extreme scrutiny nationally -- both positive as a Heisman hopeful and negative as a possible violator of NCAA rules. Ultimately, Newton won the Heisman and was not proven to have broken rules -- at least not yet.

He's not a genius but he's bright. He's got the physique at 6-5 and 245 pounds to play quarterback as well as Superman. He can make every throw. He's accurate enough that it is not a question mark. His parents have been married 24 years and they are important in his life. He has Warren Moon, a Hall of Famer, advising him. He can move very well so he has ability to escape the rush.

Can someone tell me the negatives?

Oh, he played in a basic single-wing-type attack? True. He didn't throw over 25 times in games? True. He didn't play in the pro-style set? True. He liked to save plays by running? True.

I didn't say he is perfect and spotless. I said he's simply the best player at his position and probably the best in the draft. He will not be there when the Dolphins draft. Fourteen NFL GMs are not that obtuse. But he is my top QB.

My No. 2 quarterback? Christian Ponder of Florida State.

He's athletic. He's bright. He has ENORMOUS hands, which is a great attribute in that he will be able to play in bad weather such as rain or cold because the ball won't be slipping out of his hands. He doesn't have the strongest arm in the draft. He's probably tailor made for a West Coast offense. But that attribute I spoke of? I see it in Ponder.

Blaine Gabbert? He could be good. He's bright. He understands the fundamentals of how to manipulate safeties. He's been coached in a very quarterback friendly system that made Chase Daniel, an ordinary QB talent, into a stud in college.

I am told Gabbert had very little success throwing downfield. Teams are looking at statistics about his completion percentage on passes of 5 yards or less compared to those of 5 yards or more. Obviously the shorter pass gave Gabbert a better percentage. It's that way for all QBs. But Gabbert's completion percentage on passes over 5 yards dropped so dramatically -- moreso than most other QBs -- that it is making scouts question his ability to succeed on intermediate throws.

Gabbert completed only 61 of his 301 completions for more than 15 yards. Compare that with say, Landry Jones of Oklahoma, who completed 101 of his 405 completions for more than 15 yards and you start to see Gabbert didn't stretch the field nearly often enough. Gabbert was eighth in yards per attempt in his conference.

Does he look the part? At 6-5 and 235 pounds, he absolutely does. Did he show that attribute I talk about earlier very often? Check the game against Iowa and get back to me.

Ryan Mallet? If you read the previous post you already know what I told you a very respected NFL man told me about Mallet's leadership skills -- or lack thereof.

Here's another concern: Can this kid get out of anyone's way?

NFL defenses today are fast, they're aggressive, they attack the quarterback and they generally arrive at the quarterback in a foul mood. How is Mallet, who is slower and less mobile than just about any quarterback in the NFL today, going to get out of the way?

I know of at least two teams that have this concern.

Colin Kaepernick? I like him. He can run like the dickens. He's athletic. He's kind of scrawny looking to me. And he's a project. He's not going to solve Miami's quarterback issues for 2011. Maybe in 2013. But not 2011.

Jake Locker? He should have come out in 2009. He would have made a ton of money. I don't like his accuracy. He reminds me of Brady Quinn in that regard. He looks the part, but so did Quinn. How'd that work out? We've learned stuff since then. (I hope).

My favorite darkhorses?

T.J. Yates of North Carolina late (6-7th) rounds of the draft and Ricky Stanzi of Iowa in the middle (3-4) rounds of the draft. Both started at least three years in college. Both won in college. Both completed around 60 percent of their passes in college. Both were coached by NFL caliber coaches. Works for me.

Are they going to be starters? Look, even half the guys picked in the first round are going to be busts. So to suggest to you that I know Yates or Stanzi will be eventual starters is simply ridiculous. I'm not in the mood for ridiculous today.


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Maybe I am missing something. A team trades back to NE's 28 in exchange for a second. Then that team will give us there 28 and that second for our 15??? The end result of that scenario is the team ends up trading back to 15 from where they were and gets nothing in return, a pure net loss for them.

The thing that cringes my stomach most is hearing these suggestions to trade futures picks. NO WAY! Then what, every dang season we end up jumping through hoops trying to regain lost picks. Its an ugly, viscious cycle. The one and only one reason you do that is for a true gold mine player, there are none of those in this draft. You do that for a top 5 player MAYBE, and only if your team doesn't already have too many other holes to fill.

Gabbert to Buffalo.....Newton to Arizona....And why is it no matter wherever Miami picks, 1st, 2nd, 15th, there is never a player there that we can get excited about.....

After watching the NFL Network I like the players they mention going in the 2nd & 3rd rounds better than players in the 1st. I wouldn't be disappointed if Miami got out of the first round altogether & picked up 2 2nd rounders & another 3rd or 4th....

Guys it's been awhile since I've graced the pages of this blog, But since I've been Banned by every sports blog around I've decided to grace you with my presents.

OMF God, It lives........... Nj. How are things in the Plumbing Bizz???????LOL At the return of the "Plumber"..........

I see that the parasite Cuban Menace is still around., That's why I've stayed away so long, But to get back to Football Tyrod Taylor is the next big thing., Trust me on this, I played High school football for 6 years.

Should have said I coached Football for 6 years...



JC, Aka AFC Champs, Tell us how you put the beatdown on the plumber last year......

OK Guys, Have a "PHINTASTIC" Night, I'am out......(You too NJ, Welcome back).....

Like Ponder a lot,quick reads, gets ball out fast and accurate but injuries to throwing arm are a concern. Like Dalton : quick reads,very accurate but not the strongest arm. Love Kap might be more raw but in games I have seen he reminds of a young Elway. Both were pitchers on the BB team and were criticized for windup on passes. I still think he is destined for greatness like Elway. I still think Housler from FAU is going to be a huge steal at TE.

Newton is a one year wonder...did you watch his last game...just slightly over 50% passing against Oregon. The truth is the win was because of Auburn's defense...not it's offense.

0x80...The team that traded with us. Gets the first pick in the second round, as well as our 15. Harldy nothing.

That wasn't really the point though. My point was that I think that if we do find a way into the second round. It will be in a roundabout way. Meaning that there will have to be movement by other teams to set it up. What I offered was an example of what I meant. To many people just assume we will trade back into the second round. I don't see it as that easy. So I tried to come up with a fair, and reasonable scenario to go along with my point. I believe I accomplished that. If you disagree thats cool no worries.

Let me also go on record as thinking that it isn't the end of the world if we do not pick in round 2. Plenty of value for our needs in the 3rd round as well. Also, if there is a season. I'm sure that there will be some free agency squizzed in. We don't have to fill every need via the draft. Thank you for the feedback. There is no perfect answer. Just an idea to toss around.


0x80..I forgot to mention, and perhaps this is where you got confused to my point. With the Cardinals making that trade . They would have the 33rd, and the 38th pick. So, it would allow them to move back up to 15. We would switch to 28, and get their 38. They would keep pick 33. New England would get a premium player, and still have a pick in round 2.

I think that this all boils down to another team getting an aditional second rounder. You can throw any team in there. But I was trying to find a spot where we move more then 10 spots. So that the team we trade with got fair value for their second rounder. If this is confusing, I apologize. Just trying to do some mad scientist shuffling.

Well DD, I still didn't see what we get then in exchange for trading back in your scenario, but no worries.

I just can't see any GM giving up a 15 for a 3rd, unless its only to move a few steps back, nowhere past 20. Otherwise that is just bad business in my book, offering your first round pick at a bargain price defeats the whole purpose.

I say forget the dang second. We have Odrick and Edds coming back, thats our second, take a quality player at 15.


Fix the things that can be fixed with the draft - get Ingram as a RB and a later round speed RB for variation (while retaining Ricky), spend the rest of the picks on the OL with an opportunistic TE. Use FA to fill speed WR, get McNabb to compete for QB and perhaps to upgrade Crowder's position and backup SS. Next year with a revamped OL and running game, is Henne's chance to prove he is a top 10 QB or not. I think he will do so. But if not then we move to the backup QB and make QB our unambiguous 1st and maybe 2nd round pick the following year.

it's not workable

Ox80..Yeah lets drop it. I'm not communicating my point well. No problem. And good point about Odrick and Edds. It is just like aquiring 2 more good players to the roster.

we can't depend on odrick ,HE WILL GET INJURED AT ANY MOMENT HE RUNS .

DD, I see your point now. Still, I'm not so sure those few other players we would want to make the trade down worthwhile would still be there at 28. It's a gamble I don't really like. Let's keep destiny in our own hands and pick at 15, rather than being stuck with the leftowers are available late in round one.

Keep talking up Newton, Armando. If he's there at 15, he'll probably be a Dolphin, going right into the annals and yet another terrible draft pick. The only hope we have is that people are stupid enough to pick him before we get a chance to make the mistake.

Nobody knows what will happen in this draft, I'm against trading down, I say lets get the best player we can. I'd be ok trading down a few spots, not 10 spots. Our best chance for a real impact player is at 15, lets not blow that. We can't afford to not add at least one this draft.



Ingram is too slow.Free agency can fill some offensive needs. Receiver corp is not that bad the Q.B. cannot throw to check down 9 times out of ten, even Bills D.B.s commented on that last time they played. McNabb is old and washed up. O-Line would be o.k. if Sparano did'nt think he was a mad scientist and keep screwing with the formula.Henne will never be a top ten Q.B., however he will get another year to screw things up so we can get a higher pick next year.


sense- notsence
defeat- not defeet

Fins, Ingram is not slow by any measure, he just isn't a speedster. John Avery was a speedster, is that what you want? These little speedster guys can't block and only have a limited role on an already solid team. You can't have two backs like that. You need a guy that has some toughness.

Look at his youtube highlight video and then compare it to the video of any other back in this draft. Then come back and tell me who is a more solid back to anchor our team for several years. Don't say Leshoure or Williams because they are slower than Ingram.




RAN FOR 1,697 YARDS.......... 23 TD'S........ AVERAGE PER CARRY 6.O.


Aloco, also he missed two games, and Alabama was a more complete team, they used him less in 2010. His injury is history. See Don Banks latest mock on SI.



Ingram is sort of a perfect fit for Sparano. Sparano has said outright that he intends to be a run 1st team.

There is no reason to believe Ireland is going to wildly diverge from Sparano ball.

Then they look at what is the kids name spears, spikes?, the little speed back on the roster who was injured last year? With Hillard the RB's are potentially set.

0x80 said (( they used ingram less in 2010 ) ....i may ask why ?


Kory Sheets is a speed RB right?


Ingram has all of the neccessary skills to be a great nfl rb. If he had 4.3 40yd dash speed, unquestionably we would be talking no lower than top 3 nfl pick this year.

Still, I favor a tradeback scenario slightly more, but if stuck picking at #15 he's my unanimous choice for our 1st rd pick.

Bama used Ingram less in 2010 for 2 obvious reasons:

1. He didnt return until game 3. Then when he did return, wisdom states you dont give it to the guy 30 times a game his first couple games back.

2. It's Ingram's final season. So you have to get Richardson involved in your offense now. He's your future at tailback going forward when Ingram leaves via draft.

Hope this makes sense to you guys as to why Ingram's 2010 production was greatly reduced from 2009's Heisman winning performance.

Aloco, coming off arthroscopic surgery, you don't over work the guy. Even Saban said he went easier on him to let him heal properly. Showing the fastest 10 burst in the combine, I'd say he has healed properly.

From Don Banks SI latest mock (sure its one mans opinion):

It may be easy to find quality running backs these days, but it's not easy to find a Mark Ingram waiting in rounds two through seven. I asked one personnel man this week what he thought of the former Heisman winner, and he put it succinctly: "I think he's a beast. He's good.'' Plenty of mockers aren't keeping the Dolphins and Ingram together at No. 15. But I am. It's a marriage that should happen.

DB, we aren't too far off. I just don't think Pouncey is going to be around past 25. The trade down is a gamble. Even if it was guaranteed he would be there, I see our oline 4/5 complete and our running game non existent. I respect your take on it, but I like Ingram to anchor the rb situation for years to come, then pair him with a Hunter or Bradshaw type back.

Another great thing about Ingram is that he was a closer. By closer, I mean he seemed to be a great 4th qtr rb with his team ahead.

Ingram seemed stronger in 4th qtrs and you could fully trust giving him the ball at those times because the guy very rarely ever fumbled with the game on the line.

In 4th qtrs Ingram seemed to get a little stronger faster as defenses tended to get a little weaker slower due to 4th qtr fatigue.

I favor trading back twice. First to about 23 to get 23 and 55. Then again to about 38 to get #70. That would give us picks 38,55,70 and 79.
I vote for no running back to be drafted before the third round.
I`d draft either Ponder or Mallet @38. Then either Marcus Cannon or Danny Watkins (Canadian) @55.
Then the Tight End the regime seems to be targeting,DJ Williams.
And finally at the end of the horse trading I`d take Shane Vereen.
4 players,possibly 4 starters.Add to this a free agent running back and we`re well on our way.

I see Ingram at 15 as the same safe, wise pick as Long at 1. Considering we have no starting calibur backs, its a no brainer. I did the research and posted it here a few times. Taking Ingram at 15 is a very fair value. For those of you who disagree, take a look at how many backs where taken in the first round and where they were selected over the last three years.


Like you, I would luv to pick up Pouncey in a tradeback scenario too. But if we tradedback further than Pouncey would be available that's still cool too. Other late 1st rd options would be:

Leonard Hankerson
Mikel LeFluer
Kyle Rudolph

Also a few other guys projected late 1st early 2nd rd'ers. But Im also proposing this would be in a tradeback scenario where we get a 2nd rd pick.

DB, Simply put, they need an attractive enough offer to NOT pick Ingram. Unless we draft King Kong as guard/center Lex ain't goin nowhere.


Trading out of #15 and ending up with two 2nd rd picks and an extra 3rd rd pick isnt bad fanaggling either. However, I cant see how Ponder or Mallet guarantees us any better than Henne.


I like how some here say the game has changed and teams use two rb systems now. The only tems doing this are the teams that dont have one really good rb. The teams that do still give it to a single rb 22-30 times a game and more if the situation dictates.

Like everyone here, Mando has his own personal wishlist. Some might agree with his choices, while others are in total disagreeance. Most fall in between, and that's what makes Mando's blog such an attraction. The fact that he lets us bicker our views without predjudice or repercusion is in itself worthy of note. True, he occasionally singles out an attacking poster and chastises, but for the large part, he gives us free will. I guess you can say he has a thick skin.

I suppose I am what Mando describes as a "regular" on his blog. I have read his column for a long time, but never read the comments. That is, until the later part of last year.

I can honestly say that (although a devoted Dolphin Fan since 1971) I didn't take an interest in the club during the off-season. It was only after I started reading you'lls comments that I started campaining for changes. So I owe that added endeavor (and some here may wish me gone) to Mando.

Also, to Mando's credit, I have learned alot of things about the off-season outside the draft. I thought there were a ton of quirks and many headaches managing a billion-dollar enterprise...little did I know there was a dark and secret side to the NFL. Billionares pitting millionares in a modern day gladiators affair for all the puppets to see.

With this blog, Mando taught me something else: Choose your words very carefully, homework considering. I should have worded my exchange with redsky last night to say,

"Armando is high on Newton although he acknowledges Cam will likely be picked before #15. With that in mind, you would think he would endorse another QB within our reach. He will from time to time, offer some FA trade senerio and or some QB options to ponder, but has he out-right endorsed any other QB other than the one that he admitedly can't have for us? No."

Rather than word it this way last evening:

redsky, Armando drools over Newton. Has he even mentioned drafting any other QB? 1st
round or even 7th?
No. He accepts the fact that Newton will be gone by the 15th, so he offers
some FA trade senerio from time to time. The point is, he sees Newton as a
leader, maybe the only QB in this class with leadership skills.

So I stand corrected Mando.
But I did more homework, archiving back to Feb. 13, QBs, QB's QB's QB's / Feb. 14, If Henne is like Brees, Fins should be like Chargers / Feb 28 Back to work, Notes and Nuggets Mar 2 History Dictates teams must find QB early / Mar 10 Dolphins conduct workout with Newton / Mar 15 News thoughts on Miami QB chase / Mar. 21 Dolphins Palmer best of possibly avaiable QB / Mar. 24 Dolphins to host Newton Gabbert.

In this study, I find that if I had worded the paragraphs differently, I would have posted precisly.

So I will take your personal advice recieved via email, and, "stick to my guns."


Lets be honest here. Niether will beat out Henne next year. They are for the future. Henne may become our backup for the next 10 years and that wouldn`t be that bad would it?Best case scenario is that the game slows down for Chad and he blossoms for us like Soliai did last year.

If you`re concerned about competition for Henne, that will have to be adressed after the players come back. Personally I`d trade Thigpen for Young, both would be on tryouts with their new teams and would be out of contract at the end of the year.If Vince wowed us like I think he could out of Dabolls Wildcat we can still control his contract like Philly have done with Vick this year and trade Henne. We can`t lose.

i just caught the ken wisenhunt radio interview on nfl total access and his assessment of this year's qb class, "there's nobody that stands out like sam bradford did last year in this year's draft and i think there are a lot of guys that are intriguing athletically like gabbert and cam newton because of some of the skill sets and some of the things that they can do but i don't think that they've shown the ability to do some of the things that you've seen in the past by some of these guys like a matt ryan or same bradford." finally, some honesty. of course jim mora and brian billick dismissed it as "smoke screen."


Im not definitively sold even on the top 2 qb's of this draft. Thank goodness at #15 we wont even get to sniff at those two.

The 2nd rd qb's of this draft has even greater concerns for me. I would hate to draft any with a 2nd rd pick just to end up with Henne all over again.

Therefore, I'm a stronger advocate of drafting Ricky Stanzi 4th rd and positioning ourselves to do that. IMO, choosing Stanzi 4th rd offers minimum risk with potential huge rewards.

I much rather roll the dice on Stanzi in the 4th rd than risk crapping out on any of the other qb's with a blown 2nd rd pick. We've nearly blown a 2nd rd pick with Henne. Jury's still out on that one but deliberating nonetheless.

The last thing I would like to see this fo do is blow another 2nd rd pick trying to replace a potentially blown 2nd rd pick(Henne).

Throwing good money after bad money has never worked.

I was on the Kaepernick bandwagon until his price over inflated. I absolutely loved the guy while he was still being projected 5th-6th rd. The risks were much lower back then. Today they may far outweigh the rewards.

Its far easier for a team to recover from a blown 4th rd pick(Stanzi) than a blown 2nd rd pick(Ponder, Kaepernick).

...There is ahuge difference between VY, and Mike Vick. Young is nowhere near the downfield thrower that Vick is. It was no coincidence that defensive coordinators started taking away the deep stuff, and forced Vick into being a runner toward the end of the year. 2 things happened. 1 Defenses took away Phillies ability for the big play. 2 They invited Vick to run. This allowed defenses to get more hits on Vick. Once this happened. Vick started turning the ball over, and sustained some injuries.

This should be a lesson that even with the best running quarterback in the game. He is more effective when standing in the pocket, making throws. Vince Young is very limited as far as what kind of passer he is. If he has no run support. How does the offense click? Also with these running quarterbacks. It is only a matter of time before they get roasted, and are out a game or 2. Even if Young were going to run some Wildcat. Is this smart. Do you really want your starting quarterback exposed to running the ball more then neccessary? It is a suicide mission.

Find a quarterback that can throw from the pocket. Who only uses the run as a last escape. There is a reason that running qb's have had limited success in the NFL. Even Mike Vick changed into a passer until that was taken away. Once he had to run. The Eagles chances were slim to none.

But in 2012, I would trade 2013's 1st and 2nd rd pick and 2012's 2nd rd pick to move up and get Andrew Luck.

This kid's the real deal and a true franchise grade qb!

dm1, coaches often are poorer judges of talent than the fans. Wisenhunt isn't impressed with this years batch of qb's, well neither am I. At the same time, I vividly remember Mr. Draft Expert Jimmy Johnson saying in his tv gig that the Raiders needed a QB and absolutely had to take Jamarcus. Well, so much for coaches opinions.

0x80 and DB,
i want to do a comparison for you. you have two backs. one is dion lewis. one is mark ingram. lewis is 5'8" 195 lbs. ingram is 5'9" 215 lbs. both have rushed for 13 td's and 17 td's the last two seasons, respectively. lewis had 1061 yds rushing in 2010. ingram had 875. lewis had 1799 yds rushing in 2009, ingram had 1658. lewis is projected to go somewhere in the 4th to 5th rd and ingram is a top 15 pick. now, i understand that lewis lacks the size to be and every down back in this league and can't carry the ball 25 to 30 times per game. but, can't the same be said about ingram. do you think a team can use him in that way and expect him to last more than three years? i just don't see it. if he is going to need to split time and, in my opinion he will, how can he be rated as such a high draft pick? your thoughts on the subject.

Ponder is the second best qb in this draft??????? Thats as moronic as that dip s**t at the sun-sent. saying the fins should pick Tory Smith @ #15 (Smith has a second round or lower grade by every 'expert' in print and or tv. Ponder....second best qb? Wow, you should work for the fins front office. But he does have big hands! Great! I wonder if the center will notice. You know what they say about guys with big hands?........They wear big gloves.
The regime will trade down and pick two crappy bust rather than stay at #15 and screwup one pick....just like last year.

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