« Not a fan of draft-day trades but if you must then ... | Main | Lemonier among last of private visits Dolphins will host »

Star Lotulelei in the first round makes sense (which is bad)

I know Jeff Ireland loves defensive tackles. A lot.

In two of the past three years the Dolphins have used their franchise tag on, you guessed it, defensive tackles -- Paul Soliai in 2011 and Randy Starks this year.

Only days after tagging Starks with the franchise tag, Ireland made no secret to his personnel people that he still wanted to add another defensive tackle because those guys are good to have and he already knew Tony McDaniel was headed out the door. Ireland also sees the defensive line as a Miami staple and he wants to keep it strong.

Ireland has said in at least two drafts that he's always looking for big bodied nose tackle/defensive tackle types because men built to play the position are hard to find.

One of the Dolphins signings this offseason? Defensive tackle Vaughn Martin, who was inked to a two-year deal.

So we've established Ireland likes to have defensive tackles in the fold.

And that leads me to my concern:

That on April 25, sitting at No. 12 in the first round, Ireland will look at his horizontal draft board and see Utah defensive tackle Star Lotulelei sitting there and he'll pull the trigger.

Lotulelei is by any measure a solid NFL draft choice at No. 12. Indeed, he might be the highest player on the Dolphins board at that time if the selections go as most of the experts have it mocked so far. For example, Mel Kiper of ESPN and the NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah, Charles Davis, Gil Brandt and Charley Casserly all have Lotulelei on the board when Miami picks.

Furthermore, most of those experts have the big man going one pick later to Tampa Bay.

So what we have is the Starman being available and not being a reach around the No. 12 spot where Miami is scheduled to pick.

Then you have the fact the Dolphins like Lotulelei, you have the fact they've met with him privately, you have the fact both Starks and Soliai are in the final years of their deals, and it spells the Dolphins giving serious consideration to Lotulelei. I mean, very, very serious consideration.

And why do you sense tripidation about this on my part?

Three things:

Star Lotulelei doesn't play cornerback. And the Dolphins need to add a starting-caliber cornerback fairly high in this draft because I'm a lot more certain that Tom Brady will be his old self in 2013 while I'm not nearly as certain that Brent Grimes will be.

Star Lotulelei doesn't play offensive tackle. And if the Dolphins want to keep quarterback Ryan Tannehill's head on his shoulders next year, they need to add a starting-caliber offensive tackle in this draft.

Third, Star Lotulelei has a reputation for being very good on plays he didn't take off. In other words, his motor wasn't in gear every play he's on the field. Yes, he's on the field a lot. But I still don't like players that take plays off.

Fourth, and this one is thrown in as an aside because the problem has apparently been resolved, Star Lotulelei had that heart issue during the Indianapolis Combine. And having players with a past history of heart issues (even small and temporary ones) is scary in South Florida where the July and August temperatures are trying even for players with strong hearts.

I guess I'm worried the Dolphins will draft Lotulelei in the first round because he's a value pick and it makes sense addressing a future ... but he doesn't resolve either major need today.

The Dolphins have had no issues addressing future needs this offseason. They replaced Karlos Dansby and Kevin Burnett. But in the face of needing a starting OT and a starting CB (my opinion) are they going to address DT in the first round?

It's possible. Very possible.



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Assuming Ireland is unable to trade up. Assuming the top 3 OT's, Milliner and other top 5 picks are gone.

My top players in priority order based upon Need, talent and immediate starter impact.

Trufant (I know the others are rated higher but I think CB needs to be addressed)
Werner (if he is still there)

IF Ireland can trade down and remain in top 20 he should be able to add another 2nd round pick and still get one of these 5-6 players. It's possible he could do it and still get Trufant....That would be ideal.

DC, Pouncey was the right pick? What about Kaepernick or Dalton??

I was pounding for a Qb that year ... but whatever, it all looks fine in hindsight because we have a bright prospect now...

Meant Warmack not Warlock????

NOBODY is drafting Matt Barkley in the 1st round.NOBODY his Pro day stunk, his last year stunk. Mark Sanchez II


Not Happening.

The D-line is The Strength Of This Team.

Ireland Has Drafted 1 D-Linemen In the First Round. And Odrick is Suppose To Be More DE Than DT. Even In A 4-3.

Again, Dashi Repeats For The 1001 Time. The D-line Is The Strength Of This Team. The One Position On This Team That Doesn't Need Players.

The D-Line Was Responsible For Making Burnett And Dansby Look Serviceable.

If You Want To Throw Dolphin Fans And The Outsiders Off The Scent OK!! BUT IRELAND WILL NOT BE PICKING A D-Linemen High!!

We Will Pick Another LB Before we Pick A DE Or DT In This Draft!!

Is Dashi clueless or what? LOL

Did anyone check out the photos of the Dolphins in Davie, woring out? Has me all pumped up!!! Not in a gay way!

Mark Barkley was Garbage Last Year.

Mark Barkley Is Even Worst This Year.

What a Difference A Qb Makes. This Blog use to Get Bombarded With Draft Barkley or Start Matt Moore Post. About 1000 Times A Day.

Now The Troll Has To Find Something More Ignorant To Say.

Like We Will Miss Jake Long.

Dashi Was The Only One On The Resign Jake Bandwagon!! And Even I Have Faith That After The Draft. We Will Not Miss Jake Long.


I've said many times here that my strategy would be to take a 1st-rd QB every year until you find a franchise QB. So I would have been fine with either of those guys. But that wasn't as open/shut a case to me as '08 (Ryan). Maybe Ryan had question marks, but everyone knew he was 1st-rd material. Ditto Flacco. But in '11, I don't think Kaepernick (maybe Dalton) was seen as 1st-rd material. In hindsight, of course, that's the pick we should've taken. But at the time, Pouncey was not only the safest pick (in terms of insuring you have a star) but also filled a need. The team still had questions about Henne (though I personally was ready to move on), and much of that was on the fact that he didn't have many weapons prior and he looked like he might be turning a corner.

So, yes, looking back on it, Pouncey (long-term), ESPECIALLY if Tannehill works out, will prove to have been the right pick.


Doesn't Take Long For You To Talk About Dashi.

Sad Really How Much Attention You Pay Dashi.

Sick Really.

I'm Going To Give You 3 Strikes Today Before I Even Acknowledge You Again.

@10:20 Was Strike 1. Nancy.

Dashi, MARK Barkley? Maybe if you knew the guys name you'd sound half knowledgeable. LOL

Here are the 10 players I would be happy if the Dolphins drafted at #12 overall:

1. Joeckel (wont be there)
2. D. Jordan (wont be there)
3. D. Milliner (wont be there)
4. S. Floyd (wont be there)
5. E. Fisher
6. L. Johnson
7. J. Cooper
8. C. Warmack
9. Star Loutolelei
10. S. Richardson

I like 10 players in this draft at #12. Hopefully one of them will be available.

DC, not going to say Pouncey is not a great player but in terms of return, QB always trumps anything else. And Dalton adn kaep were both rumoured to Miami in rd 1 in the leadup to the draft so it's not like he came out of left field. Anyway, it delayed things by a year but at least it got rid of that outdated Sparano coaching down there.

Here is the problem with Armando's blog post. He doesnt propose an alternative to drafting Star at #12. What would you do Armando? Who do you think will be available at #12 that you actually like?

What if no one wants to trade up for the pick? Who do you pick?

I thought it was Charles Barkley?

Gnarles Barkley?

Who si that guy anyway??

If we take a DT I waould rather have the kid from MiZZou- Sheldon Richardson.

I wouldn't have a problem with taking a guard at all with #12. You guys dont want another M. Pouncey type player at #12? I would love that.

Also, I would rather take a DT worthy of #12 than reach for a RT or CB if the top 3 tackles are off the board.

Mark Barkley

A Play Off The Name Mark Sanchez.

God You Are Dense.

You don't draft a player in the first round to add depth. We have Solai, Starks, and Odrick. Unless they trade or release one of them, which I don't see happening.

We need a starter. We need to replace Incognito (not a good fit, salary too high). We need Cooper if he is available.

Martin, Warmack, Pouncy... Yeah that would probably be pretty solid.

Fake, exactly right. after the three LTs, there is nobody playing that position that is worthy of the #12 pick. Might as well wait until round two to either see if there is a fit there or use that #2 to flip for Albert if that seems like your best option.

CB, Trufant and Rhodes are there but in reality the guys availble in round two look very similar ot these guys ...

Forget Star.

Sign John Abraham and cut a deal with the Cheifs for Albert as the price contiues to drop after they take Joekel on draft day - say one of our third rounders and then draft Eddie Lacy - great running back but even better persoanl protctor for Tanne. Pick up a strong guard and cb in the second and take the best available player with the remaining third.


I get the feeling most of you who are bitching about taking Star at #12, will also be the same people bitching next offseason, when Odrick and Kheeston are projected to be our starting DT's when Soliai and Starks are free agents next year.

Aaron hernandez had off season shoulder surgery. The foundation shows another crack.

Daniel, that just makes too much sense ... especially when both DTs will be 30 plus. But no, DT is not a need ...


#1 Priority fix the O-line.

We Get The O-line Fixed and With Good Quality Players In The Draft. We Can Go Into Camp. With A Fully Functional Offense.

Something That Might Strike Fear In Opponents Defenses.

The Last Priority. That Is Including The Whole Team, Not Just Defense. Is The D-line.


WE ONLY HAVE 2 Real LB's!! We Do Run A 4-3 Right? Misi Is Over matched At OLB. I Would Rather See O.Vernon At OLB Than Misi.

We Have About 2 Good CB's. Combined Out The 4. Grimes, R.Marshall, DP, and N.Carroll. We Can Probably Get Some Consistent Play Out Of The 4.

We Have 2 Safeties. We Need a 3rd Safety To Push Clemons or Just For Depth Purposes.

D-Line Is Not That Big Of A Priority.

Not sure what happened to Mark Sanchez as he was a darn good QB for a couple of years. He led his team to the AFC Championship games his 1st 2 years in the league. Maybe it was losing Brian Schottenheimer as OC or the Tebow fiasco but he certainly hasnt repeated his 1st 2 years performance.

What Happened To Mark Sanchez Was LT Was No Longer His RB.

Ask Phillip Rivers What LT Meant To Him.

Phillip Rivers Still Has A.Gates.

T.Romo still has Witten. But Doesn't Have That Marion Barber.

Balanced Offense.

The Dolphins ran About The Same Amount Of Running Plays As They Ran Passing Plays. We Just Lacked Weapons In Both.

@ProFootballTalk: NFL will release full 2013 schedule on Thursday night http://t.co/gJX3Rafbba...



Wouldn't mind the pick, however would rather address a need with a hugh pick. Not booing the Pick nor saluting it.

T.Bowens and D.Gardner played well into their 30's and Injuries is what shut them down.

That Position The Players Last a while.

I heard Abraham is a done deal. We are just waiting til after the draft.

D-line I not a priority. It is the biggest strength of the team.

You can Rush with 1 DE. Simple when You Think about it.

#1 Dolphin Fan in Montreal, Womack is a bad scheme fit. He not a quick athletic guard that is required in the WC offense. He's more of a guard in a power running game scheme. Womack is a great player, and would probably be an All Pro in a scheme that fits him, but a zone blocking scheme is a very bad scheme for him to play in.

Well, if you trust Ireland's BS about drafting horizontially, not vertically, he won't reach for a DT. Of course, do we really believe him when he passed on about 10 WR's last year when that position was probably one of our two greatest needs?

I don't buy half of what these guys tell the media. Personally, I am a big fan of BPA if a guy drops that shouldn't still be on the board. But at #12, I not convinced Star is that guy. Ireland's biggest flaw has been reaching for a postion when he falls in love with a guy (i.e Daniel Thomas)and wasting draft picks to do it. I really hope he doesn't view having extra high draft picks as a luxury to piss them away for a guy he falls in love with. Use the picks to your advantage Jeff. Ever watch Belicheck work the system and accumlate more and more picks? Take good notes

Cooper is a much better fit at guard in a zone blocking scheme btw. Both Cooper and Womack are great player, but you have to draft for scheme compatibility.

I think Ireland is changing, the old Ireland wouldn't have done what happened during this offseason. He's finally breaking out of his parcells mold and modifying every old blueprint he followed. Yes his history points at a potential #12 on a DT, but its not happening this year. With the depth in Defensive line and major needs in other places, Miami is going to take a CB or T in the first round. Possible we take eifert as well. Ireland will address DT and RB along with S and K in the later rounds. Yea star would be a solid pick big board wise, but not for this Dolphins roster. Trying to find value in the later rounds or hit on a DT gem would be much better than pulling for star at 12. I think Ireland knows this too and he won't be doing this no matter how likely it seems he would from his past.

Frank Moore wins the prize for dumbest comment when he says Nick Saban proved CBs aren't important. He drafted Jason Allen in the first round you tool. He signed about three corners, including Will Allen who was a former first round pick.

And please enlighten me on how many championships Saban won in Miami with that philosophy you say he had?

Secondly, you say Wes Welker made Tom Brady's offense go? Are you aware Tom Brady won three Super Bowls BEFORE Wes Welker came to New England and won none afterward?

How many PRIMETIME games do you think the Phins play this year? My guess is 3. I admit, I hate primetime games, that means I have to wait longer to see them play.


"He led his team to the AFC Championship games his 1st 2 years in the league."

Stopped home for lunch and read some posts. This stuck out because I couldn't disagree more. Sanchez started his career with limitations. It was obvious he would need tons of help around him to be successful. When he had that help he was DECENT, no more.

As soon as the help went away (no running game and a weaker defense) he shrunk , he became the worst qb in the league. He will NEVER carry a team, he will never do it like the top 10 do it. He is Trent Dilfer.

HE did not bring his team to two consecutive championships imo, it was a full team effort. They limped into the playoffs both times and the defense and running game were the difference. His completed passes were based around a lot of play action. Sanchez needs disguises and trickery and THEN, he is only decent. NO UPSIDE.

I've been on the bandwagon for Ertz. I would be fine bypassing Eifert and grabbing a tackle, then take Ertz in the middle of the second.

I have a mutual acquaintance with Ertz so I have been following him for a while. I just love the kids motor and heart and couldn't care less about his supposed run blocking deficiencies. Comes from a great family and he's a warrior. We'll see, most likely he will be with someone else because I haven't heard one mention of him in any Dolphins forum or blog/newspaper.

Offensive tackle that is. I DO NOT want to take a Dtackle with our first. Me as GM? Why am I filling holes that are already stuffed full? I have other needs and there is plenty of talent at other positions that I can grab.

Yes Starks and Solai MAY be free agents, but I could also sign one or both to longer deals before that time comes.

I also have next year's free agency period and the draft to fill the spot if I don't sign our current guys.

Fill our areas of need for this season, not next.

The funny thing is some of you think Hartline is a starting caliber wr

Get Playmakers in the 1st rd - period! If you draft OL and DT in the 1st rd you better have a nice TV to watch the big games. I find it funny to hear all the reports of so many OL guys including OG's going top 20. That is so ridiculous! When is the last time an OL guy changed the game - seriously! Wallace can change the game. Revis can change the game. a QB or RB can change the game. An OG??? Pass rusher, DB or offensive skill position - that's all i even consider with a 1st rd pick.

Pass rush is a major need. We need to free up Wake on the other side.

I want to Tom Brady crying every time he hits the ground.

Bobby thanks for the link. I would be fine with Kenny if we were to trade back but not at #12. Unless Coyle endorses him. There's something about that guy I like a lot. He seems like he's going to be a great d coordinator for years to come. Great teacher of the game.

Sancez,4-2 in road p'o's.
Marino,1-10 in road p/o's. NUFF SAID.LMAO

Only a moron would leave the next VW, Wilfork, on the board.

Justin some of us include about 29 other teams in the NFL. Guy had many suitors for a #2 spot.

He's definitely not a #1 but #2 is pretty accurate if he keeps his numbers up.

Adding Eifert or Ertz and having Keller out there with them is going to open up SO much room for our WRs. Brian will thrive in this offense imo.

Ertz will be gone by the time we pick in the 2nd.

How many times does it need be said:


DUSTIN KELLER.........................................

I don't give a crap if he's only signed to a 1yr contract. He's only.................. going into his 6TH SEASON!

If his combine results are pitted against the top TE's in this draft. DUSTIN KELLER is UNAMINOUSLY the 1st TE taken were he in the 2013 draft.

If Keller isn't what you guys feel he should be, then what makes you so all fire certain the TE's in this draft that couldn't carry Keller's jockstrap in terms of comparison of combine numbers, will have a more productive career?

Tell me just what makes your crystal balls so much vividly and vivaciously more clear? Please do explain.

Bruce , VW take plays off like this kid does every game? You think we're morons to not sign a lazy defensive linemen?

IMO only a true moron would sign a lazy player.

I'm dreaming B33, but maybe you're right. Would love to add Ertz.

YG what are you talking about? Why can't we have Keller AND Eifert/Ertz? The Patriots seem to do pretty well with two great TEs. That's what I want in Miami. And if Keller can actually stay healthy we can sign him to a longer deal and not have to worry about the position for the next 5 years. Sounds pretty good to me.

CBs will be taken in the 2nd and 3rd so no need to rush for one. First three picks, T, Te, cb. Not necessarily in that order but it seems right to me.

Still do not wish to believe that Philbin would want Gardner and a rookie at the tackles to protect Tanny;
this draft so much easier if either Clabo or Winston signed, even McKinnie.

Yeah, I don't see where anyone said we have NO TE. Everyone is aware of Kellers presence, we want more, every fan should. We have Keller for one year and then Clay and Egnew. Not making me feel comfy considering we don't even know if Keller will stay healthy for an entire season.

Texas safety Kenny Vaccaro tweeted out “Good morning Miami” early Tuesday, and he’s presumably in town to visit Dolphins headquarters ahead of next week’s draft.

On Star Lotulelei:

Take away Vince Wilfork from the Pats defense and what do you have? Its very likely you have an average to slightly below average defense on a whole.

At #12 Lotulelei is a no brainer. He gives true substance to sustaining a powerful defense now and moving forward. Real defensive experts know that powerful defenses are built inside out, not outside in.

The inside of a defense is its granite stone. Its anchor if you will. Lotulelei makes sense on so many levels. Everyone loves the sexy picks, but it's the unsexy picks that gives the defense its power and girth. Not to mention Lotulelei has that very rare ability to also break thru the middle of the pocket and get after the qb too. Enough said.

Sancez,4-2 in road p'o's.
Marino,1-10 in road p/o's. NUFF SAID.LMAO

Posted by: Bruce | April 16, 2013 at 12:03 PM

Dude go back to the Jets forum. Are you actually comparing Sanchez to Marino? LMAFAO The dude ran into his own linemen and almost knocked himself out! lol

It's not enough said. Put Marino on a team with the #3 rushing attack and #1 defense in the league. Are you seriously saying he wouldn't have done better than Sanchez?!!!!! He had better records than Sanchez with half the talent. Please, you are clueless.

« 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 »

The comments to this entry are closed.