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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.

 

Comments

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db, i'd take k vacc or lolutelei. butt thatz me.
lol

YG I see what you're saying but you are assuming Star is an exact clone of Vince and it is simply not true. Vince was a freakin warrior in college, NEVER took a play off and still doesn't.

Star has to re-prove himself , he's already proven he is lazy sometimes and doesn't have the same work ethic. I don't know how you are immediately doing a side by side comparison with a future HOF player. They aren't even close at this stage. If we take him hopefully he will turn out to be what you project him to be.

Phin78,

The Pats have revolved their entire offense around the 2 TE game. Do we have to revolve our entire offense around doing exactly what the Pats do? Last I checked, the Pats have yet to win any sb's with this approach.

Also last I checked, the last 3-4 sb winners offensive systems look nothing at all like the Pats 2 TE's approach. So tell me, what's so adamant and important that we need to look exactly like the Pats on offense?

It certainly cant be that the Pats have any sb championship rings as a result of their 2 TE approach.

Gotta go. lol I can't believe there is a Sanchez fan in here, God that has to be a lonely bandwagon.

B. Hartline started last year a did fine, and he was Miamis #1, so having upgraded the WR corps this year I think he will be even better..........I like the sound of pass rush early in the draft also, love to see Brady on his back with stars circling his head....lol

Well, Sanchez performed at crunch time. Marino really didnt.

How about this trade (not sure if the salary or Kansas City needs work out): KC and Phins trade Albert for Starks straight up. Then KC drafs their Star OT and we draft our "Star".

Of course Ireland favs Chad Henne, Pat White, and Ryan Tannehill have never even been in a playoff game...and probably never will.

http://www.thefinsiders.com/blog/2013/fabiano-lamar-miller-could-be-a-major-fantasy-sleeper

Back to post this for you guys. Read your comment YG. I hear ya man, I just like having insurance at the position.

You're right and we don't have to look just like the Pats at TE on the field. But a quick scan of what we have now scares me to death and imo we need insurance. It's one of the positions that is far from settled. I'm not ready to proclaim Keller as the answer until I see how he deals with his health. There's a reason he's only signed to a one year deal.

But it's cool, we'll just agree to disagree on a few points. I'm not in love with Star and want to go a different way with our picks. I'm more worried about the TE position this season and into the future than I am about DT. We have a pro bowler and a budding star that we will have first dibs on who are already on the roster. Later guys

Phins78,

Im not comparing Lotulelei to Wilfork, just comparing the importance. Basically Lotulelei is a complete still if he falls to #12. This guy was once talked as being top 5 draft talent. If he falls to #12, we should be be thanking our lucky stars.

This kid has pro bowl caliber talent. He's no brainer. There are only 1-2 players we can select at #12 that wouldn't just blend in and become just another good not great player in the nfl.

Unfortunately, most of this draft class is just that. Throw them in the great nfl talent pool and they'll just be another nfl waterbug barely treading water.

Lotulelei is part of that 5 percentile of this draft class that has true chance to become beastly. All the rest will be just very good to outer fringe great at times. This kid has a chance to be dominant over his career.

Also, I in no way agree that the reason the Pats can't get to the Super Bowl or win when they are there has anything to do with their offense (ie they have two great tes but no rings with those guys). Their offense is the unit who gets it done every year (not their fault), it's the defense that needs work.

If Gronk wasn't injured the Pats beat the Ravens imo.

Posted by: Yesterday's Gone 4Ever! | April 16, 2013 at 12:36 PM

Good points YG, I'll talk to you later and have a great day.

Phins78,

I would even accept Chance Warmack at #12. Hell, it's overdrafting him, but wtf, the guy looks like a perennial pro bowler at the position. Possibly even in his 1st season.

So I don't see anything wrong with overdrafting a potential perennial pro bowler.

Fact is, Ireland can go so many directions in this draft that wont exactly be the wrong moves. Draft day promises to be a very intriguing one for dolfans.

Phins 78....

I don't know why you keep talking about Keller's health in every post....

He was injured last year...that is true...missed 8 games....half a season....

prior to that...he had NOT missed a game a a PRO...he played 72 STRAIGHT games with missing a start...

does that sound like a guy you label as injury prone"....i don't...

I believe you may be mis-informed as to the state of Keller's injury history...

drafting a DT at 12 is not a bad option. Whether star or richardson would be good. I still think if we go defense with the 12th pick it'll either be CB or DE.

It will take 3-4 years after Ireland is fired to get the Dolphin talent level up to par.....providing they hire a good GM.

sh@hld.comits A Better Qb Than Mark Sanchez.

And That Is Not Saying Much.

Wallace
Hartline
Bess
Keller

Please explain Why You Will Waste A 1st Or 2nd Rd Pick On A TE. When You Can Get A TE Of Equal Value In The 4th.

These TE's In This raft Are Average At Best.

Nothing Special.

Egnew Had About The Same Draft Grade Last Year As The Top 2 This Year. And He Went In The 3rd Round Of His Draft.
Plus The Miami Dolphins Don't Run The Dink and Dunk NE Offense.

We Want To Stretch The Field. Vertically And Horizontally. And We Want To Do It

Egnew = Another Irescum bust.

Star is more of a NT, and really does not fit a 3 technique 4-3 DT which is what we run in our scheme. Plus he cannot rush the passer, and has a rep for taking plays off and being an underachiever. Can't be anyone would compare him to Wilfork. He'd be a huge mistake at 12.

@AdamSchefter: Miami's franchise player Randy Starks will... not be attending the Dolphins voluntary off season program, mandatory... http://t.co/KHaKtdrVRn

Chad henne is a better qb than mark Sanchez.

Boulder,

My money's on Ireland will not draft a cb until 2nd rd. That's because Milliner wont be there, Rhodes isn't quite the scheme fit, and Trufant at #12 may be a reach if a more #12 worthy player is there.

Now, I keep saying if Milliner falls to the 8-10 range, we could possibly trade up. Or in a trade down, take Trufant somewhere mid 1st rd. Just not at #12.

Ifnone of these things happen, I see cb in the 2nd rd, there are at least 3-5 cb's in this draft that are scheme fits for us. All the way down to 4th rd. Sometimes scheme fit does trumps abundance of talent.

Because now you have that player playing to his strongest of strengths. So his starlight comes blasting thru.

So Phins78, you would be fine drafting Eifert or Ertz because Keller is a free agent but not a DT that can turn sh*t on it's ear when both of our starters are free agents. Please explain ...

I think it's going to snow in Miami today ...

find myself agreeing with YG on Star L's possible addition.


Star is more of a NT, and really does not fit a 3 technique 4-3 DT which is what we run in our scheme. Plus he cannot rush the passer, and has a rep for taking plays off and being an underachiever. Can't be anyone would compare him to Wilfork. He'd be a huge mistake at 12.

Posted by: MassDolphan | April 16, 2013 at 12:50 PM

A portion of Lotulelei's scouting report, just for you:

"Lotulelei could fit in any NFL scheme, but could be a prototypical tackle for a 4-3 defense."

I guess you really don't know what the hell youre talking about, do you?

...I'm sorry. I have to chime in on the draft Eifert guys. I don't get it either. I respect that everyone has their own opinions about who and why we should draft guys. But is Eifert so special that we won't be able to find a guy like him in the future? I don't think so. If we were drafting at 20, and he was there...Sure why not.(even then I would be against..But could understand).

This player to me is not a once in a lifetime player. At this point we need an H back type. A guy who can block, over another receiver. Sorry, at 12 this does not represent any value, or solve a need for this team. Nor do I think that Eifert is head and shoulders over any of the other guys..

Again just my thought..And I'm a guy that believes we will see 2 tight end sets next year..who loves the formation, and have been begging the Phins adopt it for the last 3 freekin offseasons.

Anyway..No to Eifert.

Mass, he's 311 pounds, that's light for a NT. In addition, he had 5 sacks last year. More than everyone's favourite DE in Ziggy Ansah ... if he can't rush the passer while gettting 5 sacks in a shortened college season, what does that say about the top DE prospect? He is quick, agile, strong, and athletic. There's nothing about Star that says we shouldn't pick him at 12 if the three LTs are gone ...

Dear Mr. Salguero

You said..(So what we have is the Starman being available and not being a reach around)

A reach around is a common courtesy, no reach around no drafting

We want team players


Soiled :)

Bobby, if they draft Star, he will be showing up in a hurry, haha

.....Sweet. A SoiledBottom sighting!!

DD, I like Eifert but you're right. He's not exceedingly special. He just happens to be the best of an extremely bleh group of TEs in this draft. Personally I think it's the weakest of all positions. The best value may be Travis Kelce but he's apparently kind of crazy ... that's the risk with him.

Have no problem if he truly is BPA. I don't know if he is or not and that's the problem. We don't have access to all the tape they're supposed to be watching.
But regardless, we don't need a player that takes plays off. Especially a DT

SoiledBottom for Mayor!

My problem with Eiffert is that if he and Keller were in the same draft, Keller would be the 1st TE taken.

Also, like another poster mentioned, Keller get an "injury proned" label here. When I fact, 2012 was his 1st season of serious injury. Prior to this this, he only missed 1 game over 4 seasons.

Saying Keller is injury prone is just more lazy researchless parroting of vicious nonfactuals.

I have no problem with a bpa selection at #12 that has true pro bowl potential and can realistically become a dominant nfl player regardless of position.

The true test of this year's 1st rd is to grab a player that wont just blend into the great vastness of the very good to outer fringe of great in the nfl talent pool.

Every single starter for every single nfl team could be a 1st rd pick in this draft. However, that doesn't make them all great players.

The reality of it all is that maybe 5 players in the 1st rd of this draft might be special. If that player falls to us at #12, we have to pounce regardless of position.

Yesterday's Gone 4Ever!, Zone blocking not a good scheme for Womack.

Yesterday's Gone 4Ever!, Zone blocking not a good scheme for Womack.


Posted by: jmike | April 16, 2013 at 01:26 PM

To the contrary, my friend, I suggest you read Warmack's scouting report:

ProFootball Weekly

Positives: Outstanding arm length. Very densely built with natural power in his body and outstanding core strength. Plays big in a big man’s game and strikes with authority. Very heavy-handed to control, steer and dominate. Moves defenders off the ball in the run game. Excellent finisher who can take out his man on pulls and traps. Plays faster than his timed speed and erases linebackers on the second level. Outstanding hip roll — loose-hipped for a big man. Immovable anchor strength in pass protection. Durable, three-year starter. Highly competitive. Has a passion for the game.

Summary: One of the best guards to enter the NFL since John Hannah, Warmack is capable of dominating in the run game and fortifying the pocket in pass protection. He is a physical, difference-making power blocker. An intimidating heavyweight with power, strength and explosion to become a perennial Pro Bowl performer.

Yesterday's Gone 4Ever!, Zone blocking not a good scheme for Womack.


Posted by: jmike | April 16, 2013 at 01:26 PM

To the contrary, my friend, I suggest you read Warmack's scouting report:


Chance Warmack Scouting Report
By Charlie Campbell


Strengths: • Elite run-blocker
• Absolute road grader, and devastating on the ground
• Tremendous short-area quickness
• Great at hitting blocks on the second level
• Excellent pass-protector
• Mirrors speed-rushers
• Anchors well
• Stonewalls bull rushes
• Powerful drive-blocker
• Great at pulling
• Intelligent
• Great technique with hand placement
• Textbook knee bend
• Rock-solid pass-protector
• Winner at collegiate level
• Excellent in short yardage
• Great feet
• Strong hands
• Sustains blocks
• Durable
• Should be able to start immediately
• Experienced & dominant against the best college talent
• Good at adjusting to blitz pickup
• Scheme versatile
• Upside
• High floor
• Athletic

DID YOU NOTICE "SCHEME VERSATILE"?

I'd have no problem with Star at #12. I think any OL or CB is a reach there. Ideally trade back with Minny in the 1st and then take CB/OL or as others have pointed out trade up if top CB or OT is available.

Given our talent level and pending FAs I think BPA at #12 provided we stay there is solid. The draft should be deep at CB/DT/OL in the 2nd where we have 2 picks

Thank you YG. Didn't have the time to look it up but Warmack is very athletic. Always getting to 2nd/3rd level on running plays. He can play any scheme he wants...

There are lots of good options at #12. Should get a quality player regardless of the position.

Guys,

The more I think of it, the only 2 players that may be available for us when the #12 pick rolls around, and can truly be dominant in their nfl careers. Are Star Lotulelei and Chance Warmack.

Sure there are many very good picks, but either of these two, can be very dominant picks. Lotulelei next to Soliai or Warmack next to Pouncey, ounds like an insanely unfair advantage on either side of the ball.

Also, this oline insanely lacks a true pulling guard. We can now only get it from the center position from Pouncey. Warmack is great pulling left or right. This alone expands the run offense playbook. Also could be the difference in Miller being very good or great.


Warmack can be a cornerstone to 1200 to 1500yd rushing seasons for Lamar Miller. He could definitely turn the middle of nfl run defenses into a greenlight zone for our rb's.

Warmack would probably be better in a power run scheme but he's good enough to play any scheme at a high level.

This seems like the kind of paranoia designed to get attention more than a thoughtful column. Martin was rated one of the worst RT's in the game last year. The running game was inconsistent in part because the guard positions are sketchy. Moreover, both LT and Guard positions are highly rated in this years draft.
As for a DE, Miami had 42 sacks last year. Dansby and Burnett combined for 3.5 and were replaced by younger players who are better at getting to the QB. And Odrick, who missed his first season, is capable of increasing his totals, as is Vernon. Miami could get to 50 sacks without adding anyone. The early sequence damn well should be LT/CB/OG, not necessarily in that order.

Yeah got to agree the best chance at drafting a dominant player if the OTs are gone is if we go guard (Cooper or Chance) or DT (Richardson or Star).

NICE TEAM PLAYER!!

Dolphins DT Randy Starks will not attend any voluntary offseason activities.
Starks, the Dolphins' franchise player, wants a long-term deal. So he'll work out on his own as a statement, only showing up for the mandatory minicamp. Considering Starks will turn 30 in December, the Dolphins will likely force him to play out the season on his one-year, $8.5M tender.

Cogs only has a couple seasons left at best, still he was head and shoulders our best 2012 og. OG is a weakness fellows dolfans and watching Cogs pull was like watching paint dry. Our most effective pulling playswas w3ith Pouncey at center.

In the nfl is extremely tough to consistently run without great og play. I don't think that changes much by running another scheme. It may some what help, but, I don't see drastic enough change.

We have a rb that runs 4.3 40, so why not draft a dominant og that can consistently lead him to daylight? Even if that means taking him #12.

2 dominant players may very well be available at #12(Star/Warmack). It would be no brainer to walk away with one of them in lieu of selecting a very good player instead. Why have very good when you can have dominant?

Anyone remember the god ole days when Larry Little led Mercury Morris to those long td runs?

This time it could be Chance Warmack and Lamar Miller. Just saying.

good ole days

...I think any player taken in the top 15 has a chance to be dominant. The whole idea is getting that player into the right fit. I have to disagree that it is Warmack and Lotulelei who may be available to us that could be dominant..We just don't know.

Really the player with the most upside(whatever that means) depends on who you talk too. Who you trust that is giving information. For instance. I would bet that if asked..some would say that Ansah has the best chance to be dominant. Will he be available at 12? I don't know. I don't know if Star will be available @ 12. The point is...We should be able to get a good player here. A guy who if we did our homework on, who really is a fit..Can be a dominant player.

Right now I think the options are so wide open that narrowing it down to 1-2 players is a mistake. Would anyone be shocked if we choose a player that was an interior lineman(offense included)? Would you be shocked if it was a corner? A Defensive end? Even safety wouldn't be a total shocker..(although I doubt it. along with WR, TE)

http://www.nfl.com/draft/story/0ap1000000160229/article/2013-nfl-draft-tiers-elite-prospects-blue-chips-and-red-chips

Breakdown of value.

I believe Starks signed his tender? So why sign it and then act like a dick?? If he didn't want the $8.4M, he just should've told the team that ...

So maybe we can TRADE Starks for B.Alberts and then draft Star(who will be gone) os S.Floyd or Sheldon Richardson. Is that a dumb idea?

Rdubs, that would be a great idea. Same idea as drafting a LT. Hopefully KC and the Dolphins see this as a natural fit for both teams.

Yeah got to agree the best chance at drafting a dominant player if the OTs are gone is if we go guard (Cooper or Chance) or DT (Richardson or Star).

Posted by: Mark in Toronto | April 16, 2013 at 02:06 PM

Ok....I am buying into this logic. I am still really concerned about CB and OT as they are the biggest weaknesses on the roster. So, lets assume the top three OT's are not available at 12 and we can't trade up and have it make sense.

We take the BPA or 'dominant player' Cooper, Warmack, Richardson or Star. I'd be fine with any of them assuming they play to that dominant potential (I actually like the G's to better protect THILL and create consistent push for Miller).

How do we then address OT and CB in the 2-3 rounds? Who are the realistic prospects?. Do we go free agency with Winston? Do we trade a 2nd for Albert? Who is there for CB's that fit the scheme and can make INT's?

Mace taggert,

I love the trade down scenario and agree with you- if it was possible. Im assuming they stay at 12. They should take BPA regardless. PErsonally, I would love Eifert at #12 and hope he is their pick. I would also be fine with Vaccaro at #12. I know from other blogs you are a Tavon Austin guy but I dont want a 5'8 player who is not a red zone threat drafted at #12. I would take perhaps the top rated DT easily at #12 before I took Austin.

I rooting for Eifert or Vaccaro.

..I think the deal is how serious was Ireland about the whole Horizontal Strategy? It could be total B.S. Need over value? Look I already stated earlier that I think this is as a smokescreen. As much as some may love Lotulelei. As much as he may be a good player. It makes no sense to me. Someone has to sell this idea better then he could be dominant..Or he is may be the BPA..According to Ireland if the need doesn't fit..The BPA idea goes out the window.(Peprhaps the 2 will intersect).

Why does Star make sense here? What do we do defensively that we have to have him? As another rotational guy? To come in on pass downs? Sell me the 12th pick who is not an everydown player? I know it happens. But really? I have yet to read one post that sells him as the right pick.

C'mon, give Steadman a chance. That's BS he is not fast. Then, howTH did he score 25 TDs, 13 more than Tavon. So? Put him in the slot.

"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."

Mando,

First of all there are no CB's worthy of being the 12th pick other than Milliner. Like it or not that's just the way this draft is & there should be plenty of CB's to chose from in the 2nd round.

Secondly just b/c you need a LT doesn't mean that there will be one worthy of taking at 12. You have three highly rated LT's & you have six teams ahead of the Dolphins who could easily take one. The Chiefs b/c they have no choice, the Eagles b/c they're O-line absolutely sucked last year, the Lions who have no one, the Cardinals may be the worst O-line in football, the Bills who have no one, the Chargers who have no one, have some of the most putrid Olines in football. And even though the Eagles MAY be getting Jason Peters back who knows if he's healthy???

And third I don't know what you wrote or what your point is about 'taking plays off.' I'm pretty sure that every DT in football takes plays off which is why you need depth in your rotation.

ok, ok, not at #12 but perhaps at #21?

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