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Where the QBs should fall based on the grades

This being a Dolphins blog, it's about the quarterback here. Always. About. Quarterbacks.

I would tell you that 2011 could be remembered as the Year of the Quarterback because there are no less than 15 that might be selected in the coming draft. This could also very easily be the Year of the Quarterback Busts.

The reason I say that this year more than any other is that there is not one absolute, sure-fire, can't-miss quarterback that will be ready to go in the 2011 season opener. And there is no certain future starter here, either.

I wouldn't be surprised if we get half-a-dozen starters. I wouldn't be surprised if we get none. Based on the scouts I speak with and taking their grades into account, I have only nine QBs with grades worthy of picking these players as high as the third round -- two in the first round, four in the second round,, and three in the third round.

Beyond that? Doesn't matter. Tom Brady comes along in the sixth round once per generation. And a generation hasn't passed yet so forget that.

This quarterback draft if freaky that way. Maybe it has something to do with the fact most of these guys are coming out of a spread attack that makes them strangers to the Pro set. Colin Kaepernick comes out of the Pistol offense that makes him a total stranger to NFL brand offense.

All these guys have warts. There are no John Elways in this draft, folks.

First rounders:

Blaine Gabbert: The rumor around the league is there are teams considering trading up to No. 2 overall to pluck Gabbert. I can understand it because although he is not the best physical speciman QB in this draft, he is the most start-ready QB in this draft. That means he is more ready to start as a rookie than any other QB. This kid has the best footwork of any quarterback in the draft. I did not say good footwork. The best. That's important. There are questions about his ability to complete long and even intermediate passes. His completion rate on those was quite low in college. I believe that can bee addressed with solid coaching. I do know that Gabbert is very good at understanding how using his eyes can help him move safeties. It says a lot that this kid already has that figured out.

Cam Newton: Great kid. Great attitude. Driven. Contagious enthusiasm, which is one of the most important intangibles a QB can have because it infects the entire huddle. He's headed to Hollywood if he wants. But, unfortunately, there's a little detail about having to be a good quarterback involved in that. And he's just not ready to contend with NFL defenses at this point. Just isn't. He will be confused more often than not when he faces the defenses if he plays as a rookie. Period. Of course, Newton doesn't feel that way. "If I don't believe in myself, who else is going to believe in me?" Newton said. Someone will believe in Newton, perhaps may Carolina at No. 1. But ... He's a project. He's not ready to start right away. He needs to learn to call plays. He must improve his footwork. His technique is not the best, which sometimes affects his accuracy. But his arm is beyond question. He can make every throw. Despite the technical glitches, his accuracy was still pretty good. And he can extend plays like nobody's business. He won't do it as often in the NFL as he did in the SEC. He better not if he wants to stay healthy. But that ability to run is a big, big plus. I worry about the fact Newton has very little experience, having only one season as a starter under his belt. But if a team has two years to work with this kid before starting him, I think he's going to be great starting in 2013.

Second rounders:

Andy Dalton: Brilliant football mind. Killer instinct. Not fast or quick in space, but he has good pocket mobility. He can step up well and evade the rush. He has tons of experience, having played in 50 games with 34-3 record over the last three years including victories over outstanding teams such as Oklahoma and Boise State. His arm is good but not great. He takes coaching very well. He picks it up quickly. His release is very good in that it is quick and off good technique. Nice stroke. This player has all the intangibles.

Christian Ponder: This kid deserves to be a value pick for a West Coast offense, in my opinion. His arm is not strong enough to produce bigtime results outside the West Coast. Ponder also has a history of being injured and fighting shoulder problems. Those are pretty much Ponder's only problems. He is quick, he is mobile, he has 10.2'' hands, which are enormous. Newton, by contrast, has 9.699'' hands and they are considered average. Gabbert has big hands at 10.0''. The prototype is 9.4''. Why am I bringing this up? Big-handed QBs can be more effective in bad weather. They can grip better in the rain. They are almost tailor made for playing in outdoor, Northeast stadiums like Foxboro.

Ryan Mallet: Perhaps the best arm in the entire draft. That's important considering the position is built around the player's throwing arm. Mallett can throw the deep ball. He can throw the in-cut and deep out and seam pass that are must-haves for a quarterback to succeed in today's NFL. But playing quarterback is not always about the arm. Ryan Leaf had the arm. Jim Drunkenmiller had the arm. And they sucked. Here is the worry on Mallett: He is a target in the pocket and one that doesn't move all that well. He didn't recognize blitzes very well in college. That tells me the first year he's playing, he's going to be blitzed and hit and teams are going to try to make a coward of him. We shall see at that point what he is really made of. He seems to move slow in my opinion. That means he doesn't get out from under center and in a throwing position quick enough. I also question his conditioning. One scout told me he seems to tire in games and he seems to tire after long practices.

Jake Locker: Hard worker. Loyal, which I love. Great arm. Has speed to burn, having run a 4.52 at the Indianapolis Combine. Are you kidding me? Questionable accuracy. He played behind a less-than-stellar offensive line last year. He played hurt. But he apparently has issues getting comfortable in the pocket. His instincts tell him to scramble, to move out of the pocket, to get away from the hit. I guess that happens when your offensive line isn't great and you can run like the dickens. He has to get away from that stuff.

Third rounders:

Ricky Stanzi: He was coached by an NFL caliber staff so that matters. He's ready for what he is likely to face in the NFL meeting rooms and when he opens a playbook. He has a nice delivery in that it is quicker than average. But the arm is adequate. It doesn't take your breath away. He knows how to read defenses. He knows how to go through his progession. Again, he's been coached great. There are worries that Stanzi lacks the killer instinct that is so obvious in a guy such as Dalton. I worry about that because the NFL is dog eat dog.

Patrick Devlin: He's got prototype size (height, weight). He's been durable but he is kind of lean and did suffer a concussion last season, which is important these days. He has a compact release, he comes over the top and therefore doesn't get many passes batted. Dolphins fans recognize Chad Henne gets a ton of passes batted at the line of scrimmage. He's neither exceedingly fast or quick but he's not Mallettlike immobile. Intangibles? I worry about this kid's stick-to-it nature. He commited to the University of Miami out of high school and backed out. That torqued me off right away. He then went to Penn State but eventually left there as well when he couldn't win the starting job. That kinda, sorta bugs me because what? Is he going to ask for a trade if things don't go well in the pros? He's by all accounts a bright individual, an honor student in fact. That has shown in that Devlin is excellent at recognizing defenses, particularly blitzes. Obviously, you have to wonder about his level of competition. It didn't hurt Joe Flacco.

Colin Kaepernick: Arguably the second-strongest arm in the draft, tied with Newton and just behind Mallett. Smallish hands, and has only recently bulked up from 216 to 233 pounds. Kaepernick can make all the throws. He stood at that Senior Bowl practices and was good enough during the game. He can run. He's a winner. He is big enough for the big stage despite playing at small Nevada. But coming out of the Pistol offense worries me. It's going to take him a while. He's never seen the kind of defensive trickery he's likely to see in the NFL. He doesn't have the building blocks in reading defenses and going through progressions that Stanzi has. He's a project. But he is a value pick in the third round and can be a factor in two or three years.

That's it. There are no other quarterbacks worthy of going in the first three rounds according to the scouts and personnel people I speak with.

So if you want the Dolphins to draft a quarterback, you can forget about them reaching for a QB in the first round. They don't have a second round pick. If it is going to happen, barring a trade down, it will have to happen in the third round.



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The hype over quarterbacks in the draft has reached hysterical levels. The quarterback as become so important that teams are desperately reaching in the draft. It so bad they are willing to take great gambles in hopes of winning the lottery.

I see some wonderful projects, ones I think will blossom in a few years. One I'd love to see developing on the Dolphin roster. By the way, Miami is one of those teams that is a perfect opportunity for one of these prospects. Henne has not been give the full opportunity to reach is potential. Next year should be the determinate, beyond that if he doesn't develop, he can serve as the place holder to developmental candidate. I have no problem with Miami taking this route. Newton, Kaepernick or Mallett would be my choice to develope.

Parcels is a big pile of turkey dump.

Anyone on earth(Or in the Galactic world) Thinks "FISTY" could bring a Super Bowl team to the mighty air-breathers????????


Anybody else excited for the draft but deep down knowing that a huge consuming dissapointment is just waiting to happen.
Can't wait to hear Ross,Ireland and co to show just how they have energised the fanbase by drafting, yep an OL or yet another 1st round RB.

I swear I hope I am wrong and I will be stupidly hoping and praying they make the move for Mallet after a trade down but every year we pray for a top QB and every year this team thinks they know better than everyone else.
Its a QB driven league people, we just signed Incognito to play center, Garner is on his way back, Pouncey isn't needed, RB is a later round position plus FA is poss just about to open, can anyone say De Angelo Williams.
They KNOW Henne is done, all the insiders confirm their lack of confidense in him, A QB has to be the pick!!!!

Mags, Dont forget the #1 pick in 08 was Jake Long........LOL..A big TD Machine there huh??


Only if he invites the entire Green Bay team to South Beach for an inspirational get together with the Fins. And that's only if he covers all expenses.

08 long 1st
10 fiberglass leg odrick 1st
11 ? pouncey is just a plain dumb pick at 15.

can't see him coming in and all of a sudden the oline is opening giant holes. the team needs some weapons and the line will look better. the R&R show is done, they petered out.

"Hollywood" Should have pulled the trigger after the Beatdown in Foxboro in week 17......

What was the final score there 41 to 17???, halftime score 28 to 0???)

trade w Steelers 15 Pouncey for 31, 63, & 95
#31 Torrey Smith WR Maryland
#63 Allen Bailey DE/OLB The U
#88 Colin Kaepernick QB Nevada
#95 Jordan Todman RB UCONN
4th Charles Clay HB Tulsa
5th Ricky Elmore DE/OLB Arizona
6th Zane Taylor C Utah
7th Andrew Jackson G Rutgers
7th Lee Smith TE Marshall
7th Dom DiCecco SS Pittsburg


He had his finger on the trigger, pulled, then realized he had no bullets.

..I will make a bet with anyone willing to take it. (friendly bet of course)

Ryan Mallet will not be our first round draft pick ..No way. Mallet may end up being a good quarterback in the right system. But look at our personel, and our style of offense(or what I think it will be)And Mallet would be like a cowboy at a Grateful Dead concert. Totaly lost.

Mallets greatest strength is down field passing. We are not a down the field passing team. Even if we do it twice more a game to geLike to the league average(4 attempts per game, which would be a 50 percent increase for us)This hardly takes advantage of his skills.
This is a guy that we have to protect, and would not be able to do some of the things it takes to do this. Rolling the pocket is one of them. Mallet is average, even poor when out of the pocket. We cannot expect to protect him so that he can throw from a pocket every time he drops back. How will Mallet react when he gets drilled, and can he hold up to the beating he will no doubt take, until he learns how to manipulate protections?

*79th Kaepernick

Guys, This is a wash year........Next year is the reuilding year(4 and 12) but the year after?????????? 8 and 8, but it'll get better after ther the "FIST" is gone, this is a 4 year plan IMHO.........

@2:02..I'm not sure what happened to the third paragraph. It was supposed to read..

Even if we do it twice more per game to get to the league average(4 times a game, which would be a 50 percent increase for us)

LOL @ Utah, Your right..< How did this guy become a Gillzillinoare??????I mean he's totally clueless in the NFL....

Got Tornadoes?

Poizen says,
I would be more fearful of wasting a high draft pick with just as many downsides as upsides. I look at next years possible crop of QB's and the 4 best has more solid allaround ability thatn the 1st QB we have this year. And this is as a package. Obviiously none of them are as athletic as Newton. however all other skills are better for the most part.

So it seems the more prudent thing, would be to get competition for Henne with a good vet, That way if Henne is not the guy we have a solid vet to teach a QB we draft next year.

The problem with this is, Ireland and Sparano won't be here next year if they are in position to pick a QB early in the draft. They have to win now or give the owner and fans reason to hope that a brighter future is coming next year.
What Vet QB are you referring to? Palmer isn't going anywhere, it is a matter of pride at this point. Kolb has won less games than Henne.
You have to have a open competition with good talent or Henne will blow up in their faces. If it were me, I would not risk my career by putting all of my eggs in the Henne basket. I would get as many options as possible.

Got Floods?

I would be shocked if Miami didn't trade down in the first round to regain the 2nd rounder lost in the Brandon Marshall trade.

Got Earthquakes




The Symphony of Destruction is in full progress :)

Promise you

Hundreds of more Tornadoes in the USA tomorrow

Stop giving "Mother Nature" all the credit, you ignorant oblivious sheeple

Another new monthly record of tornadoes in the USA

have a HAARPy day :(

PFT is reporting that the Pittsburgh Post-Gazzette says that the Steelers interest in reuniting the Pouncey twins is a fantasy.

The reason being is in order to get him they would have move up from 31 to as high as 15 and that would cost them their 1st,2nd,and 3rd picks. Which is just too steep.

That is indeed a fantasy, but I say a fantasy is something you really want badly.

If your the Dolphins needing any extra picks would you require that bounty of picks to make the deal?

Would you do it for the Steelers 2nd rd'er and a 2nd or 3rd next year?

Leshore and possibly Ingram could be had at the bottom of the first and surely a quality guard or center will be available at the bottom of the 2nd.

You would still have your 3,4,5,6 and the three 7ths to add TE,WR,LB, and RB depth.........things that make you go hmmmm.

I do have to add though that the beat writer who broke the original story on the Steelers fantasy is Jason LaCanfora of the NFL network. Believe he's the cat that reported Harbaugh had agreed to coach the Dolphins....

someone needs a tornado up their rear.

Home, Shouldnt you be more concerned with your blockbuster movie "Have a HARRPY Day"(Due out this summer) then posting drivel?????




without trade back
1st Jake Locker QB Washington
3rd Da'Norris Searcy SS UNC
4th Charles Clay FB Tulsa
5th Ricky Elmore OLB Arizona
6th Zane Taylor C Utah
7th Lee Smith TE Marshall
7th Da'Rel Scott RB Maryland
7th Armon Binns WR Cincinnati

The Panthers, Bills, Bengals, Cardinals, 49'ers, Titans, Redskins, Vikings, Dophins and possibly Jaguars and Seahawks all need QB's.

Somebody is going to reach for 2nd tier QB's in the first round. Will it be the Dolphins?




BACALA ......


I must have heard 'economic devastation' a half dozen times last nite on that parcells special.

While teams do take a big hit when a number 1 pic doesn't pan out, I haven't heard a team filing a chapter 13 because of it.

It does reveal his philosophy though. Take a later round QB and if he doesn't pan out, criticism will be a lot less and I won't get fired.

No guts, no glory.

I agree with Armando and D.D.'s assessment of Mallet. Good arms just isn't enough. I'd look for someone who is smart, can move around the pocket, coachable and can learn fast. Andy Dalton?

BUT, I predict the Dolphins will pick Pouncey at #15. After three years of tinkering, this will be Sparano's last chance at solidifying the OLine. If he can't get it right, he's gone. Therefore, I expect them to go after Pouncey.

Not even Budda knows what any GM will do. I would put more faith in Lady Gaga's mock draft. She has Madonna for us at 15 to play C/G/ILB, versatile like this FO likes, mediocre at everything, good at nothing.

...There are a ton of players from North Carolina in this draft. It seems like half of their team is getting drafted, or at least considered. It kind of makes you wonder about some of these guys. I know there were suspensions for a few. But there are still like 10 guys that may get their name called. Why wasn't that team better?

It is on now....Barcelona v Real Madrid Champions league Semi final.. Doesn't get any better then this. Imagine a Real Madrid v United final...Renaldo v Rooney. Fergy v. Mourhino. Awesome

@ Dark Matter

Well, the problem with your response to me is "win now" there is not one guy they could draft that would run the offense better than Henne this year. Only a Vet replacement could learn quick enough. Orton may be available, Kolb is not a consideration. there will be more FA's available than just who you mentioned.

The point is though, under your valid point. Win Now. any rookie drafted is less equipped than Henne to get this done.

After Trading Back With The Bears This Draft Would Be The Bomb:

1. Ryan Mallet #29(Bears)
2. Daniel Thomas #62(Bears)
3. Taiwan Jones #79
4a Virgil Green #111
4b Mario Harvey #127(Bears) ILB
5. Steven Burton #146 WR
6. Ricardo Lockett #179 WR
7a Noel Devine #217 All Purpose
7b Greg McElroy #219 QB

ANd BTW on the friggin tornado's thing.

Instead of googleing your consiprocy theories, why don't you look up some scientific facts?

there is a "world oceanic jet stream" This jet stream moves slowly and has a pattern to it. Approximatly every 75-80 years the jet stream moves closer to the florida gulf and hugs the east coast shore lines. This also creates a stronger undertoe for shore points. This jet stream is now close to us for approximatly the next 4 years, then will start to move away again.

Storms should be more often and far more violent for approx the next 3-4 years due to the warmer air being forced into the lower extremities of our atmosphere, as well as the constant battle of our normal jet stream that occurs in the higher altitudes of our atmosphere.

there are not a lot of records of storms fro 80 years ago, due to their being a lack of technology in those times. so please take the conspiracy theory and shove it.

AND YES, THe storms will be more violent in the middle areas of the country due to the disturbance being far closer to land in general...

Yup, over 500 tornadoes in 2 weeks in the USA

Yup, normal

Yup, It's a jet stream witchamacallit thing

Yup, that's it

Yup, Fox news said so, so it must be true, Uh- Huh

Yup, U Simple Stupid Ignorant Oblivious Sheeple





Got tornadoes?



Scary thing is we could possibly be 8-8 to 7-9 with Mallet starting day one. Sanchez was 8-8 his 1st season with the Jets.

That's evidence if you have a pretty firm foundation already you can win now with a good rookie qb. I do believe Mallet can be as good as Sanchez his first season. Our team isnt in total diarray.

Wow, did I stumble upon the weather channel here?

Typical response from someone that has no argument...

case closed.

This harrp thing is pretty senseless. Why worry about things you can do nothing about. The only thing one can really do is have a plan of immediate action after they occur.

To senselessly babble on and on about is inane. If there isnt also a pre-emptive plan then wth is the use?

Im not worrying about dying. My hands are full going about the business of living. Why worry about death when were all "born to die" anyway.

ALoco...The Game is on FX. Almost half time 0-0(or nil-nil in footie lingo) Both of these teams are stacked. Between the 2 you have most of the Spanish National team, Messi, and Renaldo.

When we are dead we'll all be the last to know. Guarantee it! LOL...........

Plus death is a good way to piss off all of your creditors. LOL..........


DB not really, but when were talking dolphins and this stuff comes up it gets frustrating. And i bit like a starving fish, I am sorry to all.

It is poepl like this that will casue more panic in tough times and try to create anarchy. The thing they don't realize is people will sometimes buy into this crap even if it is truth, but not act rationally.

Perfect example, end of world 2012, people are spending 30K to buy underground bunkers. There are mentally unstable people who think because it's the end of the world who cares what they do, some will go to extremes. I have a 3 year old son, and if one of these clowns get the idea its all hopeless how do I know they wont hurt someone, which could be my family.

So this stuff does bother me a little, ok soprry, back to football.

None of us were here in the beginning of time and we probably wont be here at the end time. So who really gives a f*uck where the hands on the clock or what page the calender is on when its time for each of to go. LOL..........

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