« Draft Day No. 3 live blog starts here at noon | Main | My grade of Dolphins draft: Why do you care? »

What to do with Henne, and why not Ryan Mallett

Chad Henne is still Miami's only quarterback. But as I write in my column today, the Dolphins have a plan for getting better at that position this offseason that both includes Henne and replaces Henne.

Please check out the column because it gives you inside information on the changes the Dolphins are making to the offense to make Henne better. It also gives you an idea of what Miami is certain to attempt to replace Henne.

Having said that, the quarterback that everyone around here believes could have and should have been a Dolphin is Ryan Mallett.

Many of you wanted a quarterback in the draft. And I get it. Mallett had first-round talent with that great arm and accuracy. Mallett also could be had because he dropped like a lead pipe in water for reasons too many to name. That kind of quarterback talent doesn't fall to the third round very often yet that's exactly where Mallett and his Slim Shady personality fell.

The Dolphins get it, also.

General Manager Jeff Ireland and Tony Sparano get it. They wanted the right quarterback in the draft, too. And they tried to make a play to get Ryan Mallett. Lacking a third-round pick, they tried to trade into the third round to get Mallett, according to a source.

They were not able to get in high enough fast enough.

"We were willing to take him, we just couldn't get our hands on him," the source with knowledge of the front office's thinking told me. "We tried, but we couldn't do it. He's going to be a good quarterback."

Instead the Dolphins are moving on because, for all the work they did on Mallett, for all the skills they know he possesses, they just didn't see him as a first- or second-round player. (Neither did anyone else, by the way.)

The Dolphins tell me they couldn't get a vision for Mallett to invest in him that early. To pick a player you have to know how he fits the team, how he fits the position. As a first or second round pick, that would mean Mallett would be your presumed starter immediately.

Proof: First-round pick Mike Pouncey and second-round pick Daniel Thomas are Miami's presumed starters at center and running back today.

The Dolphins weren't comfortable with that for Mallett. Call it gut. They just didn't feel this kid is ready to handle the daily grind of being an NFL starting QB -- something that reaches far beyond going on the field every Sunday and throwing the rock.

I'm told the Dolphins, as an organization, tried to find someone who has succeeded in the NFL that has a Ryan Mallett-type of personality and approach. They tried to find someone that has a character like Ryan Mallett and has succeeded in the NFL. Thinking ....

Thinking ...

Still thinking ....

I got it! Nobody!

Who does this kid remind you of that has been successful? Nobody! Not Manning, not Brady, not Brees, not anyone that came before. Well, he reminds me of Ryan Leaf but they were looking for someone successful.

That troubled the Dolphins' brass. No one felt strongly about his makeup.

"There are questions there," a source tells me.

I'm writing this having talked to Mallett once on the phone. I don't know him. I have no clue (no jokes, please.)

But the Dolphins were all over this kid. Ireland brought Mallett here. He went to see Mallett there. He went to dinner with him. He met him at the combine. He watched him play on tape and live. He wanted to get exposure to him. He evaluated the kid and the quarterback.

And there was just no comfort level there to invest on him in the first or second round. So it just didn’t happen.

It did happen for the Patriots in the third round. But remember, their situation is different. The Patriots are not looking for a starting quarterback. They don't need Mallett to come in and compete for a starting job.

He will not be their starter this year. He will not be their starter next year. Or the year after that, as long as Tom Brady remains healthy.

The Patriots, unlike the Dolphins, have the luxury of remaking Mallett in their image. They can use the next two years to turn him into the person they want him to be. They can store him away rather than thrust him into a starter's limelight where all the pressure and expectations are found.

That's a wonderful luxury to have. The Dolphins didn't have that luxury.

So they go in another direction. They have their plan for getting the quarterback position right.

 

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d83451b26169e20154320c4ed1970c

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference What to do with Henne, and why not Ryan Mallett:

Comments