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Jason LaCanfora: Kaepernick is Miami's pick

This morning on my radio show, Armando and the Amigo, NFL Network insider Jason LaCanfora was on for his usual Thursday morning segment and I asked him what his best information says the Dolphins are going to do with their 15th overall selection in the first round this evening.

He said the Dolphins are going to pick Nevada QB Colin Kaepernick.

And now that my chin is off the floor, I am writing this post. Look, I like Kaepernick. I know the Dolphins really like Kaepernick.

But in the first round?

At No. 15?

I have one word for that: Reeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaccccccccchhhhhhhh!

If the Dolphins love Kaepernick, they should try to trade down and get him in the second round -- where he is rightly rated, in my opinion. If the Dolphins love Kaepernick, they should understand they'll be waiting a year or so before he is viable as a winning QB in the NFL. If the Dolphins love Kaepernick to the point of having to pick him at No. 15, I would say they missed the opportunity to address equally pressing needs with players that will be NFL-ready sooner.

Personally, I would go with Andy Dalton before I pick Colin Kaepernick. I think Dalton will be the better NFL quarterback. And if nothing moves with trades, I take Mike Pouncey and that's that. That's my prediction, by the way -- made that call Monday.

But why is Kaepernick nonetheless viable?

Because Kaepernick is a QB. And although teams know the rules about drafting a quarterback, they often violate those rules because, well, they're reaching for a quarterback.

I hope the Dolphins can resist the urge to go crazy and do something really unorthodox. I hope they resist the urge to bow to fan or any other kind of pressure.

And there is pressure.

The angry throng of fans that jump on radio call-in shows and blog sites to advocate, indeed, even demand the Dolphins select a quarterback in the coming draft’s first round. But they are actually insisting Miami do something more far-reaching than get a player to be the face of the franchise.

Anyone wanting the Dolphins to draft a first-round quarterback for the first time since Dan Marino is also:

A -- Putting faith in a rookie quarterback helping the team when history suggests most will not.

B -- Practically assuring Chad Henne will be the 2011 starter because no rookie will be handed the job immediately and none of this draft’s signal-callers are complete enough to dislodge a veteran who already enjoys a head start with the offense – particularly because players are locked out and unable to contact coaches.

C -- Asking Dolphins coach Tony Sparano and general manager Jeff Ireland to ignore their personal concerns about job security.

That’s why there are clues floating around the Dolphins suggesting the team will not pick a quarterback in the first round when the draft begins tonight.

Yes, this flies in the face of logic.

The NFL is a quarterback-driven league. Many believe the Dolphins need a quarterback. I share that belief. And despite their public embrace of Henne, the Dolphins know they need someone they can trust at the position.

But the circumstances prevent it. Sorry.

Historical analysis and current events could conspire to push the Dolphins in another direction. And that’s before desperation kicks in. (Desperation in this case is defined as the urgent need to win immediately, particularly at home, to avoid heads rolling.)

If you’re one of those fans mentioned above, kindly stop yelling at me now. Allow some logic to mingle with what is always an emotional argument.

The Dolphins, you see, need the right quarterback more than they need a quarterback. And there is no expert, no personnel man, no NFL general manager who can guarantee anyone the Dolphins pick in the first round will be right.

Not in this draft. And not that low in this draft.

Consider that 46 quarterbacks were drafted in the draft’s first round the past 20 seasons, from 1991 to 2010. Those folks wanting that immediate talent bump from that new QB should digest the fact only 20 of those 46 QBs started even half of their team’s games as rookies.

Nope, drafting a QB in the first round does not guarantee an immediate starter. It doesn’t even guarantee a good player has joined the roster.

 Among that list of 46 first-round quarterbacks, 25 became bitter, unmitigated failures over their careers. In my country, we call them busts.

Only 18 of those first-round quarterbacks became successful and worthy of the picks invested on them. But even from that grand group, Chad Pennington, Daunte Culpepper, Carson Palmer, Phillip Rivers, Michael Vick, Donovan McNabb, Aaron Rodgers, and Steve McNair did not start as rookies and some didn’t even start until after their second season.

“The test case for this is Aaron Rodgers,” said ESPN’s Mel Kiper. “That’s the way you should develop a quarterback. What would have happened if he had gone to the Redskins? I don’t think he’d have been Aaron Rodgers right now. He probably would have been kicked to the curb.

“But he developed. He changed his whole delivery, his whole mechanics of throwing the football. Now he’s a potential Hall of Famer and has a Super Bowl ring. There you go.” 

It’s too early to tell which direction the three remaining first-rounders on the list of 46 will go just as it’s impossible to know who among this year’s quarterback class will succeed.

“I like the players that are in this draft,” Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland said of the incoming quarterback class. “I think there’s good depth there. I think you can find a good player. I don’t have a crystal ball about what kind of players they’re going to be in this league. There are lot of things that go into that, but I think it’s a good depth group. I think there’s starters to be had.”

Notice he didn’t say “immediate starters.” That’s important to the Dolphins and should be important to fans.

That contingent of fans wanting a new quarterback right away should probably be looking toward free agency or a trade because, barring a quick resolution to the league’s labor troubles, rookies will handcuffed.

Henne already knows the Dolphins new offense. He spent weeks with new offensive coordinator Brian Daboll learning the system before the lockout happened.

A rookie won’t be allowed to work on the field with a Miami coach or even talk to a coach on the phone until the lockout ends. That means the incoming rookie quarterback will be competing for the starting job with one arm – his passing arm – tied behind his back.

Perhaps that doesn’t bother the fan with a long view of Miami’s problems. That person will be a fan a decade from now, assuming the Dolphins actually win a home game between now and then.

But what about the Miami braintrust?

The men actually making the decision whether to pick a quarterback in the first round have no guarantee they’ll be here next year, much less a decade from now. The only security they have is success – now.

So do they gamble that success on a player who might not play for a season? Or do they pick a player that is more likely to immediately start and help the team and their cause right away?

Ireland is on record saying he’ll take a long view of things rather than concern himself with something so trivial as his job status.

It’ll be interesting to see if that’s true when the Dolphins are on the clock in the first round and Miami’s GM is weighing that long-range project QB we’ll see in 2012 or that running back, lineman or outside lineabaker (Purdue's Ryan Kerrigan) who will start right away.

The angry throng is waiting for the decision.

[NOTE: I promised I'll be updating this blog several times today. I mean it! So continue to come back and remember there is a live blog of the draft tonight.  Also, follow me on twitter.]

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Best not miss out on Mark Ingram or the Patriots will pick him and jam him down our throat! RB is a big need and we can get a QB later. Try and make a trade for 2nd year QB John Skelton of the Cardinals for one of our 7th rounders. This kid has the tools and the cool in the pocket to develop into something special hes got the size arm and smarts.

Agree with Huff. Belly loves the SEC, and Ingram behind a good line like Pats will be grind-you-to-dust nightmare.

0x80,

When you look at the contracts of Grove, Smiley, Wilford, and Wilson at face value they looked huge. But most of it wasnt guaranteed money. Meaning low risk high reward though the face value of the contracts didnt look it.

Everyone else added were just players brought that were slightly better than the ones shipped out.

Pat White was a huge gamble pick wise. Still he wasnt signed for tons of money.

Seriously though, I understand the bust factor in taking a qb early. But man, the teams that are successful in this league at one time or another put their hands on their balls, took a firm grip, and took a QB early.

I can take missing on a QB but I can't take avaoidance anymore. Avoidance = defeat and irrelevance.

Not taking a Qb early is not an option in today's NFL. The days of winning despite your Qb don't exist anymore. The days of Bill Parcells' NFL don't exist anymore. GET IN THE NOW!

DB,

Thanks. Good to know their actions are not always as dumb as I think.

Doesnt matter what Bellichik does. Our only focus should be on what best suits this team. Until we get our missing pieces Belichik will be ramming it down our throats whether he has Ingram or not.

Ingram has a lot of Emmitt Smith in him. Tight footwork, runs low, strong, deceptive cuts, falls forward, and like Emmitt he makes defenders take a glancing blow - not full on tackles. Don't dismiss him becuase he's not a speedster. Solid NFL back. Eats up yards. I love his game. Hope we can get him.

Just In:

2nd day of draft will be business as usual in the nfl@!

Sparano has not beat Belichek since that day they first sprung the WildCat. My guess is Belichek is still not done getting his revenge. Now he gets to start the season off against Henne implementing a brand new offense for the very first time, designed by the only OC who was worse than Henning last year and is known for not adequately using his wide outs. Not promising.

Emmitt's case is slightly different. For one he wasnt selected #15, but #17. Johnson couldnt get the pass rusher he wanted so it just turned out Emmitt was the best bang for the buck at the time.

It wasnt that they saw Emmitt sitting at #17 and immediately began salivating all over him.

I wouldnt be upset with Ingram at #15. Just thinking with us being a 2 back system its highly unlikely.

0x80,

PLEASE STOP SCARING US!!! LOL.................

0X80, not true. Sparano beat Belly once in the 2009 season. Not that I'm defending Sparano, just clarifying the record.

x80 they did beat belicheat 2 years ago when crowder intercepted brady on the last play in miami

DB,

We are currently a zero back system. Inhereting Ricky and Ronnie made that practical. Which way they will go now is anyones guess. I'm still good with Ingram and then one of the speedsters later to compliment him. Far easier to find a speedster to compliment Ingram than visa versa, especially with no 2nd. Still don't see Leshoure in the same class as Ingram.

Joe,

I believe you are right, it was 2010 he swept us.

0x80,

The huge upside to Ingram is he immediately becomes the best back in the AFC East. LOL........

DB,

You are the rare person that agrees with me on that. I've said early on he would be that.

0x80,

Immediately becoming the best rb in the Afc East, maybe how Ireland seels himself on taking Ingram. Who knows? LOL......

First things first, win the damn division!

As we come up on about 7 hours-ish before we make our pick...barring a trade down.

I've come to the realization that I'd be good with Gabbert, Ingram, Pouncey, Locker, or Smith.

I'd even be ok with one of the projected 2nd rd's. Leshore, Mallett, or Dalton.

I just I don't want to have to get online after the pick is made to find out who the hell thid cat his and where everyone else had him projected to go.

Just want a solid pick. Preferably one who could start day one picking that high.

I'm thinking crablegs and steak Aloco..and several coors lights!

I don't trust any player who played under Nick Satan at Alabama.

DyingBreed: It's all risk. Very few real pro systems to learn from in college anymore. Mallett sure as hell wasn't in one. I just think Ingram is the closest chance (that would actually be at 15) to an NFL starter that would be productive and an upgrade. WR is too risky, and isn't good enough ones at 15 prob. QBs are sketchy this year. Don't want another lineman when we still have nothing to block for. And after all this fussin' and whining we're doing... I'm sure we'll take a punter, and a back-up waterboy. Trade up for a long snapper. Holy cow, I hope Ireland hits the jackpot with whomever it is.

If the dolphins trade back and get a 2nd round pick should they trade it away to get Carson Palmer? Or would it take more than that to get Palmer?

I with Marino. No more that a 3rd rd'er for Carson.

Mallet is the only real pick at 15.

Pouncey is a reach at 15, he is not a stud like his brother is.

If he Pouncy is picked we still finish 7-9.

Mallet at least gives us a chance for greatness down the road. Pouncy does not.

The funny thing is there are always surprises in every draft.

No one knows yet what the other teams are going to do.

Some are even suggesting Miami may trade up to try and get Gabbert?

I would say no way - but really you never know.
Especially with this FO.

I can't see a player likely to be there at 15 that will be a day one starter that helps us win games as instantly as Ingram. Forget the 60 yard runs, those are rare for even the speedsters. Rather than compare Ingram to another RB, I compare him to a Pete Rose, lots of singles and doubles, plenty enough to be a difference maker.

if we can give up our first this year and our 2nd next year I'd say go ahead and trade with arizona or clevland and get gabbert. Our 2nd round picks have been terrible.

dolphin,

If Mallet gives us a chance for greatnesss.....down the road. Don't we still finish 7-9 this season???

Ingram will be an immediate contributor to the offense and should I would expect the Dolphins offensive coordinator to run alot with Ingram like he did with his backs in Cleveland. I question the long term effectiveness of Ingram past 4 years. He is a short term fix to the RB position.

Thurman Thomas and Adrian Peterson were both injured far worse in college than Ingram. Ingram had a scratch compared to Petersons fully broken collarbone and ankle issues.

Lets trade the #15 to the Raiders for Sebastian Janikowski. With Henne at qb all we will be doing is scoring fist pumpers.

Janikowski has the strongest leg in the league. LOL..........

Rays are mashing the Twins 13-1.

DyingBreed: It's all risk. Very few real pro systems to learn from in college anymore. Mallett sure as hell wasn't in one.

Posted by: JS in LA | April 28, 2011 at 03:22 PM

This is completely and utterly 100% false. In fact, Mallet played in a pro style shotgun offense under Bobby Petrino. More pro ready than the other Qb's.

dolphin,

If Mallet gives us a chance for greatnesss.....down the road. Don't we still finish 7-9 this season???

Posted by: DolFan Rick | April 28, 2011 at 03:31 PM

This team finishes 7-9 even if we don't take Mallet.

If that is the case, I preffer draft Rick Stnazi over Kaepernick, run less, less arm strengh, but more football I.Q. and more NFL ready in case Henne does not perform well in the mid of the season. Although Kaepernick learn fast (and I like him for a 2nd or a 3rd, same as Stanzi) in that time Colin will not be ready.

I think the organization will take either Mallett or Dalton at 15. This franchise is more than just a center or RB away from competing with the Pats or Jets and as someone aptly pointed out the fanbase will give Ireland a pass if he reaches for a franchise QB and fails.

After watching several interviews with both I hope we go with Dalton. He seems smart and willing to do what it takes to succeed at the next level. Mallett seems like he's always fighting back the urge to say "FU" to everyone. He just rubs me wrong but that's probably showing my age.

I admittedly have a hard time gauging Mallett. I do see his upside. I don't worry about his background as much as his mobility and smarts to be a true student of the game. I trust Ireland has a handle on that. Still, even if we pick him, I see no way that he starts in 2011 unless the season is already doomed.

WE NEED AN EXPLOSIVE PLAYER.

JEFF WE NEED JULIO JONES.

GROW SOME B-A-L-L-S AND GET IT DONE.

Chris, I was the one who made the comment earlier. And I think it's 100% true. I think the fans want to see a GM & coach who are in tune with the fans. Not that they should listen to us, afterall, what do we know? BUT, any sensible fan who has followed this team knows what plagues it.

Speed & good steady QB play.

Ireland has given the lip service in the offseason to let us know they are of the same page, now it's time for them to back it up & show us they mean it. Sparano is at the end of the line with his stubborn rigidity & insistence on conservatism in playing style. ireland can redeem himself right here & right now.

Everyone knows good QB led teams are in the playoffs every year. If the team takes the chance to get one, we should all applaud it, even if it doesn't work out. In the end, if he doesn't work out, we are still in the same situation. Needing a legit QB.

I GUESS IF THE FANS DON'T DEMAND GREATNESS HE HAVE NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT.

if we continue to pick the safe,mediocre player we will continue our streak of being mediocre at best. if we continue to strive and cheer field goals,we will be below .500 we must change this pattern of thinking for this draft and FA. here's hoping we aren't paralyzed when the bullets fly.

Henne already knows the Dolphins new offense. He spent weeks with new offensive coordinator Brian Daboll learning the system before the lockout happened.

Is this true?

Is Armando just stetching the facts to make his argument?

WEEKS?

I hope it was months!


WE GO AND GET JULIO WE HAVE THE BEST WIDE OUTS IN THE NFL.

BTW, to anyone suggesting Mallet has not been in a pro style offense, I simply suggest typing "Mallet pro style offense" in google to dispel yet another baseless rumor.

I don't think Qb is in our cards round 1. BUT..
The new developments in the CBA mess make it a much better scenario for those teams that may be on the fence. Players can get playbooks tommorow, there will be offseason programs(until the the circut court makes its ruling) So These young qb's will at least get a playbook..This is a huge huge huge development.

It sucks that no player trades will be allowed during the duration of this draft. Only draft picks. Trades can resume next week...I wonder if there will be some under the table wink-nod agreements?

AS fans we hardly ever know wth we're talking about. All we know for 100% sure is that none of us like what we've been seeing. LOL............

i hope we take greg mcelroy of bama in the 3-4th round. he's accurate,smart and proven himself in college. he can make all the throws henne cant. he's a steal in those rounds.

gregz,

I surely hope we dont take McEroy 3-4th rd. He's projected 6-7th rd. LOL........

Yeah, lets pick one these QB's ANYWAY!

Who cares if there ALL really 2nd and 3rd round talent at best. Lets get one of them at 15. Go Team, Rah! Rah!

These guys are major two year projects at best and next years QB's will be even better. But lets waste a 1st round pick on one anyway, YeeeHaaaw.

You guys cry about 3rd and 4th rounders don't pan out. I hope they do waste the 15th pick on one of these 3rd round talents just so I can watch you cry for the next too years.

You guys wanting Ingram too, making all those Emmit comparisons. One little problem, we got one offensive lineman on our roster that would have been able to hang with Dallas's O-lines for them years. Get real. Unless you're talking barry Sanders, Ingram nor Smith would be able to run behind this line.

Just for the record, before I reached for a 3rd round talent like Kap, I'd rather draft a bust like Mallet at 15 and I hate the idea of Mallet.

Tonights menu

Acorn soup
Undrafted French Bread
Cleveland Practice Squad Leftovers

Lots of Jack Daniels to wash it down

JUST A FEW MORE HOURS AND LORD PELICAN SHALL BE A DOLPHIN!

THE DAY OF SALVATION IS UPON US!!!

JS IN LA:

WE STILL HAVE A FREE AGENCY COMING.

I JUST WANT TO SURE UP SOMETHING SO WE CAN MOVE PAST IT.

THERE'S NO GROUP ON OUR TEAM THAT CAN'T USE AN UPGRADE.

SO IF WE GET ONE OF THEM SOLID IM HAPPY.

WR
OL
LB
DB

MAYBE DL IS GOOD TO GO.

I KNOW I DIDN'T PUT QB BECAUSE AFTER 1 YEAR HENNE IS STILL IN THE MIDDLE OF THE PACK AND HE CAN GET BETTER.

I THINK DRAFTING A QB LIKE MALLET OR WHOM EVER ELSE PUT US WHERE WE WERE 2 YEARS AGO.

THAT'S HOPING HE IS THE REAL DEAL.

GOING THRU THE SAME THINGS WE ARE GOING THRU NOW.

I for one won't utter one negative word about Ireland if he takes either Mallett, Dalton or even Locker at 15. And from the sounds of things I won't be alone. All gambles for sure but the upside is too great to keep ignoring a 1st round QB. Kaepernick however would be a different thing. Good kid and a great story but...

If we don't draft someone that directly impacts the outcome of football games on the offensive side of the ball, I'm going to be done with this team. We need someone who has the talent level to alter final scores. Preferably a QB. But I'll take any elite skill position player. I want Mallett.

Just too many questions about Mallett's maturity and (lack of) intelligence to risk him in the first-round. He just isn't a smart guy, folks. No getting around it.

Just one man's opinion, but I do live in Little Rock and have probably seen and heard Ryan more than most. He talks like a 16-year-old gangsta wannabe when he's outside a formal interview. That's not the kind of "Face of the Franchise" I want for the Dolphins.

The other thing is, I won't even be pissed if the QB we draft doesn't play this year. I'll just be relieved that we FINALLY manned up and went for the jugular on a QB in the first round

Dolphins pick someone we havent talked about yet guaranteed. Or someone weve talked about very little

I would also add that NFL defenses chew up and spit out dumb QB's.

My unease with Mallett is definitely NOT just confined to how he talks!

I'd be fine with them taking a QB tonight. Absolutely ZERO expectation they would play in 2011, however.

Just not realistic and these are hardly Elway-level talnts they'll be choosing from. ALL are projects.

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