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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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We have the ammunition to come up with 2 First Rd picks this Year. Sure.

jpao@ 2:42, as far as OT, I think all of those scenarios would be in play provided they think Martin can play a good LT. If not then Albert looms large or they can try another 2nd rd rookie at LT. But was we saw last year with Martin, there is generally a big talent gap between 1st and 2nd round LTs in year one.

CBS is a lot easier to address. There are a lot of CBs in rd2 that are very good prospects. Jamar Taylor, Robert Alford, David Amerson, Darius Slay. And even some intriguing 3rd rd picks like Dwayne Gratz, BW Webb, Blidi Wreh Wilson. Don't forget that Richard Marshall (when healthy) and Dimitri Patterson can play at a pretty good level in this league. They aren't complete dregs. Won't make the pro bowl but won't be walkovers either. So it's not like the cupboards are completely bare and any CB rookie drafted would have to have a good camp to beat out one of those vets.

Steadman ran a 4.52. That's not bad. Definitely not a detriment to bringing him on.

DD, perhaps Star or Richardson could become an every down player this year depending on what they do with Starks. This team doesn't tolerate malcontents and the KC/Albert situation may resolve itself that way. A trade of high salary headaches that solve each other's needs.

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.

Mando,

I'm sorry to burst your bubble but this 'horizontal draft' process that Ireland was talking about hasn't worked out too well for him &/or Parcells. It's time he changed his strategy to ALWAYS take the BPA. This is what ALL of the successful organizations in the NFL do--they don't deviate from their board based on need. The teams focus on NEEDS winds up with players like Vontae Davis, Sean Smith, Pat White, Daniel Thomas, etc.

If you want a CB there will plenty of guys to chose from with either one of our 2nd round picks & if we don't trust Martin to be our LT then you need to consider a trade for Albert or maybe Eugene Monroe if the Jaguars wind up taking Fisher.

"Jpao@ 2:42, as far as OT, I think all of those scenarios would be in play provided they think Martin can play a good LT. If not then Albert looms large or they can try another 2nd rd rookie at LT. But was we saw last year with Martin, there is generally a big talent gap between 1st and 2nd round LTs in year one.

CBS is a lot easier to address. There are a lot of CBs in rd2 that are very good prospects. Jamar Taylor, Robert Alford, David Amerson, Darius Slay. And even some intriguing 3rd rd picks like Dwayne Gratz, BW Webb, Blidi Wreh Wilson. Don't forget that Richard Marshall (when healthy) and Dimitri Patterson can play at a pretty good level in this league. They aren't complete dregs. Won't make the pro bowl but won't be walkovers either. So it's not like the cupboards are completely bare and any CB rookie drafted would have to have a good camp to beat out one of those vets."

Mark,

We're on the same page here. The fact that Ireland &/or Philbin hasn't come out & said Martin will be our LT leads me to believe that they may have as many question marks about his play as we do.

I actually believe Garner played better @ RT than Martin did so Martin better bring his lunchbox this off season.

NOTRE DAME TIGHT END TYLER EIFERT IS THE UNUSUAL AND UNEXPECTED PICK OF THE DRAFT. WHY? GM JEFF IRELAND DOESN'T LIKE TO SHOW HIS CARDS IN HIS HAND. THE SIMPLE FACT THAT EVERYONE KNOWS THAT HE LOVES TO DRAFT LINEMEN, OFFENSIVELY OR DEFENSIVELY SHOWS HIS HAND. YOU HAVE TO KEEP IN MIND THAT OTHER GMS' MANIPULATE THE BOARD SOMETIMES TO INITIATE LEVERAGE BY SUPPLY AND DEMAND.

Yup, they made JMart gain a lot of weight this Season. He needs it, if it's going to be all muscle.

WNP, yeah he better come to work this year because he may even be in danger of losing his RT spot to John Jerry if the Dolphins go OG early.

He better know how much is on the line for his own personal financial future here.

Mark,

It isn't surprising that franchised players are salty. Especially ones at the end of their careers. The franchise tag is just as much a curse as a gift. It limits the player's ability to get what they really are looking for..."guaranteed money." Like I said, for the player at the end of his career, that boat might sail after you've been tagged, and usually that means you're taking a huge cut in salary + having to play for a 1 or 2-year contract for the rest of your days.

Yes, it's a business (and business isn't fair). Yes, he signed his tender, and I know how much people get their panties in a bunch over the sanctity of a contract. But these are peoples lives. It's easier for us to criticize their actions from the outside then to be in their shoes (wanting to stack the most chips, because, as we know, once these athletes are out of the game, things go downhill rather quickly).

NOTRE DAME TIGHT END TYLER EIFERT IS THE UNUSUAL AND UNEXPECTED PICK OF THE DRAFT. WHY? GM JEFF IRELAND DOESN'T LIKE TO SHOW HIS CARDS IN HIS HAND. THE SIMPLE FACT THAT EVERYONE KNOWS THAT HE LOVES TO DRAFT LINEMEN, OFFENSIVELY OR DEFENSIVELY SHOWS HIS HAND. YOU HAVE TO KEEP IN MIND THAT OTHER GMS' MANIPULATE THE BOARD SOMETIMES TO INITIATE LEVERAGE BY SUPPLY AND DEMAND.

Fan207,

I'd love to see Kiper & McShay's reaction if we took Eifert, better yet Ertz at 12. I think Kiper might have a stroke on the air...LOL!!!

Few know the Power generated by elite speed rushers ends in the NFL no matter their size. When they get a good square shot, they can drop the biggest on their Asss.

WNP, yeah he better come to work this year because he may even be in danger of losing his RT spot to John Jerry if the Dolphins go OG early.

He better know how much is on the line for his own personal financial future here.

Mark,

I'm going to say that he MUST know. It's not like he went to Western Appalachian State. He did go to Stanford so he's not an imbecile.

Few know the Power generated by elite speed rushers ends in the NFL no matter their size. When they get a good square shot, they can drop the biggest on their Asss.

A great example is Elvis Dumervil. That's a major f#ck up by the Broncos this off season.

We have noticed that Randy Starks has not signed his tender yet.

Oscar, He actually did sign it


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

Posted by: DarrylDunphy | April 16, 2013 at 01:11 PM
====================================================

Dear Mr. Dunphy,

I have seen a lot of Bottoms in my Day.

I can't imagine the sight of a "Soiled Bottom" being Sweet....?

I can't speak for anyone else of course, but I suspect you may want to rephrase THAT one.....?

CON'T OF 3:25 PM POST: THE TYLER EIFERT SELECTION IS THE PICK NO ONE EXPECTED. JUST LIKE THIS OFF SEASON FREE AGENCY CAME LIKE A THIEF IN THE NIGHT. THE TYLER EIFERT SELECTION WOULD CREATE A PERFECT BUZZ TO UPSTART OUR DRAFT. WE'RE IN IT TO WIN IT. WE WON IN THE FREE AGENCY SIGNINGS AND WE'LL THE DRAFT HAND OVER FIST. I THINK THAT THIS WILL BE THE PERFECT DRAFT FOR GM JEFF IRELAND BECAUSE HE'S MORE PRECISE WITH THE MID ROUND PICKS THAN THE FIRST TWO ROUNDS. HE NEEDS TO THROW HAY MAKERS IN THE FIRST TWO ROUNDS, THEN JAB THEM TO DEATH IN THE NEXT COUPLE ROUNDS AND THEN FINISH THEM STRONG.

He did Rdubs? How the hell is he not participating in the Conditioning?

I think Omar posted on twitter a pic of him signing the contract. I think he ran his butt down to the Davie facility after he saw all these Defensive players signing such small contracts LOL

Volin of the Palm Beach Post says, Eifert or Austin
Omar Kelly of Sun Sentinel says, Eifert.
..

I like what I am reading on Omar's twitter page 1.John Jerry 340, good start to the season for him 2. Olivier Vernon has beefed up. These are 2 positive things!

Well, in some things here there will be NO privileges. And one of them is Conditioning.

..Odin. I was pleased to see a post from my all time favorite blogger..You are right. A soiled bottom is never a pleasant sight. But a SoiledBottom post.............Dynamite!

This is a "voluntary" workout. From what I read, no player who was given the Franchise tag on any team that used it is participating in the "voluntary" workouts

i agree, drafting a DT with those problems, that high, is a mistake. i know they want to go for the best player.. but..i really do hope they go for the best tackle available, cornerback as well.. but here in miami, you never know. i do know that if miami ignores the need at tackle and/or cornerback with it's #12 pick most fans will be right here on thursday night blogging all kinds of angry comments...and there's no avoiding this if a DT or DB is not taken at #12...but there is only ONE somewhat exceptable positions other then DB or DT that could be filled where fans will be least cranky.. and that is POWERBACK(lacey). but to me, it absolutely makes NO sense whatsoever to draft anything other then an offensive tackle given the attention given to the recieving core this past offseason...what good is a mike wallace signing if tannehill has NO time to throw to him? and that's where the POWERBACK exception to drafting a left tackle earns merit. powerbacks can pick up the blitz effectively, they can move chains and make the playaction significant, in my opion the powerback is the most important need other then offensive tackle.... can't wait for draft day!

WE NEED PLAYMAKERS,
THAT WOULD BE INTERESTING TO SEE AS FAR AS KIPER AND MCSHAY. THEY MIGHT JUST SHUT UP FOR THE REST OF THE DRAFT.

DC, I'm not sour on Starks for acting this way but I hope he realizes it pretty much means that he wrote his ticket out of town if a trade match is found and Albert for Starks is a fair a deal as you'll find for both teams.

Miami keeps their pick, gives Albert their "Jake Long money"

KC gets a pro bowl player at an area of major need which is a whole lot better than getting some maybe player in the 2nd round.

Both teams get their replacements in the first round of the draft ... and the cycle of life continues....

I don't see the difference whether they have been Franchised or not in order to get Conditioned for the Season, bobby. Everybody else on the Team showed up. Don't understand that one but it will be to his detriment. Perhaps we want to draft Star after all?

Rdubs, Odrick has also slimmed down...

Where's Martin???

I see that happening too Mark. Or, like you're saying, we draft Star and Starks gets booted after the Season. As long as it's a win for the organization I'm good with it.

I, personally, would have no problem with Star at 12. He's a highly rated, dominant player at a position that's hard to find. Many consider him to be a top 3-4 player in this draft. I'm afraid many of you are falling into that trap of the dreaded word "need". It's a word that has gotten more teams in trouble on draft day than any other.If you picked the best player every year, regardless of need, you would have a substantially more talented roster overall. The only exception I see to this rule is at the QB position where at times it CAN make sense to bypass a higher rated player for a young QB, just as we did last year with Tannehill. Otherwise, no intelligent fan should have a problem with BPA!

---continued-----
oh yeah, and i almost forgot, not only will a powerback(lacey) pick up the blitz, move the chains, and make the playaction effective... he also can take over a game, just as we saw right here, in this stadium as LACEY stole the show, took over the game, and against colledges #1 defense(notredame)to boot....yes, i think there is a BETTER option then drafting a left tackle at #12, and that is...move all the way up to get LACEY, and solidify left tackle by signing WINSTON...

go fins!

Kris I don't believe I called him injury prone.

I did however express concerns as to the nature of his injury and whether or not it will now be recurring. You guys do realize he is only signed for one year right?

And why would that be? The obvious answer is the team wants him to prove himself. And some of these posts are acting as if we are all set at TE. As if he has already proven himself. The team obviously has concerns right? Philbin,Sherman, and Ireland have concerns if they are asking him to prove himself. Obviously they don't feel comfortable yet, neither do I, but apparently you guys think we are all set.

But what it seems like you guys are saying is 'who cares what the experts think, we believe Keller to be the answer therefore we don't agree with your opinion that we should draft another TE'. Right?

Because throw everything else out that was said and get back to my main point/opinion. We need to worry about the TE position more than the DT position in this upcoming draft. That was my opinion and I stand by it.

It seems pretty clear. Ireland should use his draft picks to pick the best available player - particularly in the first two rounds. If we need an OT we can get one in FA anyway. On our CB I really doubt the team would have signed Grimes if, after medical examination, they did not expect him to play. The draft is rich in CB anyway and any rookie CB is going to be an issue as rookie CB always have a learning curve. We are probably going to have to go back to FA on that too - at least for a short termer while we break in the rookie - unless one of our existing guys is OK.

Meanwhile the best way to deal with NE is to be able to move the ball. Personally I would rather see us get an Eifert to be able to move the ball in the red zone than to use a first pick on an OL or a CB.

Star had 42 tackles and a mere 5 sacks last year in 12 games and Utah is not in the strongest conference. Part of scouting report:
Disappears too often, only seven career sacks, underacheiver tendancies.
Draft him? Not at number 12. He'd just be part of the DT rotation at best this coming year. We have greater needs.

And remember, I love Keller, loved the signing. So I don't want to hear some idiot in week 8 saying how I hated Keller and didn't want him. I did want others first seeing how Keller was in the second tier of TEs but he is an excellent seam threat and only a dummy would be upset by his signing. When we couldn't land Bennett or Cook I wanted Keller.

How many people had Keller as their first choice, raise your hands? Now stop lying.

Also, drafting a top tier TE could give us flexibility when it comes time to resign Keller. We will have the upper hand in negotiations because we won't need him as much.

And if he has a good season he will be looking for more money. If we have Eiffert or Ertz making less than half that and producing just as much we'll be in a great position.


No LT
NO CB
No RB
And no franchise player because Starks won't show for voluntaries.
At least we have the highest paid WR in NFL history even though he has never broken 1000 yards in a season.

Keep Up The Good Work Jeff

Philbin and Tanne have no one to blame but themselves this season.

I don't have a problem with a 30 year old sometime Pro Bowler skipping a few voluntary workouts. Conditioning has never been a problem with Starks as far as I know. He's always there and ready to kick some ass.

An NFL season isn't a sprint, it's a marathon. Starks will be playing for a new contract and that trumps all. He'll be there, he'll be ready and he'll probably be in tip top shape.

He's a Pro and he knows his own body better than anyone else. Being that he'll be playing for a new contract, I don't have any doubts about his level of conditioning and commitment.

2 Great Reason To Draft Star Lotulelei:

1. Starks entering his 10th season

2. Soliai is a fa next season.

Enough damn said!

oavery,
Since you brought up NE...
NE retained thier OL, CB and signed 3 or 4 WRs. Everyone of those WRs will outproduce Wallace if they start. On draft day NE will choose best available.

The first OT that we draft will be starting. The first CB we draft will be starting. The first RB we draft will be starting. And Wallace counts $17mil against cap nest year.

Ha Ha Ha

Ummmm Lamar Miller is going to be better than Bush. BANK ON IT.

LT and CB will be taken care of with a few of our 11 PICKS.

Dude are you new to the team or just trying to get people to talk to you?

DPF at 4:10, exactly, exactly, exactly. You only draft for need with a QB because there aren't enough of them to go around and they are so integral to the game. Everyone else you fill in free agency and trades.

#1 draft picks are the lifeblood of every NFL franchise and should only be used on the greatest talent available regardless of position (except for QB)

Phins78,
By the end of the season Miller was up to 2 or 3 snaps per game.
You BANK ON IT.

Keller played very VERY good with Sancheezbags.

Forgive me jet fans, but Tannehill is ALREADY head and shoulders better than the Butt Bumper Sanchez.

I expect Keller will have a "Comeback Player Of The Year" type season. Especially when you consider he'll be playing with a much improved Tannehill.

This of course is all predicated on the assumption that Ireland figures out the O-Line problems. Having saids that though, I don't see how Keller has ANYTHING BUT one of his best seasons ever. I seriously doubt his potential was met with the jets run first approach and the dingbat Coaches and quarterback.

Prediction: Keller becomes a jet killer and his Jersey becomes one of the most popular sellers.

"At least we have the highest paid WR in NFL history even though he has never broken 1000 yards in a season."Posted

by: HoseAndHelmet | April 16, 2013 at 04:20 PM

Don't look now but your credibility just flew right out of the window. He's never had over a thousand yards except for in 2010, and 2011 when he broke a thousand yards. So he's done it twice in 4 years.

His first year in the league he didn't play as much and wasn't targeted as much because he was a rookie. And last year he missed one game or might have broke one thousand for the third year in a row.

Maybe you should fact check before posting ignorance.

"NE retained thier OL, CB and signed 3 or 4 WRs. Everyone of those WRs will outproduce Wallace if they start. On draft day NE will choose best available."

Posted by; NO CREDIBILITY

Phins78:

29 other teams?
What team that made the playoffs he would have started for?

Answer none.

Giants no
Cowboys no
Steelers no

House and Helmet, there are so many factual inacuracies with your posts that I don't even know where to start?

Wallace never got 1000 yards???

Counts $17m against the cap???

ur baked, dude.

Hoseand Helmet , your understanding of the Miami Dolphins is incredible. Keep up the great work.

Yeah sorry Justin, not all 29 teams were interested. But he did have at least 6 teams willing to sign him. He reportedly signed here for more money.

Look, I'm not a Hartline fan. I don't like his attitude toward the QBs, never have. I don't like his babyish ways when he throws his hands up in the air when the ball doesn't come to him and looks at the sideline.

I will not defend Brian Hartline so you will have to find someone else to debate this with. I simply said he was a talented #2 in the league, I exaggerated how many teams may have wanted him.

I mean less money

Going into his 11th season(2014), no way he's brought back unless he signs for for 3-4 million and that will only be a 2yrs contract max.

Soliai's a fa next season, don't expect that he'll a sign a contract lower than what his 2yr contract paid. He makes 7.875 million this season.

So we need to come out this draft with at least one very good DT. If Soliai walks next season that spells huge problems because Starks would be entering his 11th season and we only signed Vaughn in fa. We definitely need to come out of this draft with a very good DT no matter what his name is.

Arizona no
Redskins no
Tampa Bay no
Denver no

And that's off the top of my head.

I could go on line to get more.

Phins78,

It's usually YOU telling ME to ignore the idiot. Take your own advice Bro and save yourself some aggravation.

Not only did Wallace break a 1000 yards, his most important attribute is how many seasons he's STEADILY contributed TD's.

Wallace is very solid at the very least and would be an integral part of any offense in the league.

Screw The Dummy ;)

Last thing I'll say on Hartline, it is reported that Belichick had interest in signing the receiver. And the Bengals were definitely in the mix. Those are two playoff teams.

OK he had over a thousand yards with one Td somebody has to catch the ball.

Please tell me one time he made a play.

Don't include the 80 yard td.

That was a defense break down.

Keep hearing we gotta take a cb 1st or 2nd rd. Not necessarily true. We play far more zone than press. We need only find a corner adequate in press and very good playing in space.

This frees up finding a corner 3rd/4th rd if he has those attributes. Its only the teams primarily playing press that needs the great man to man cover corners.

There are many corners that can play great zone, but its having to play consistent man cover that gets them into trouble. Zone covers protects these types of corners.

Can we trade Odin for a water boy or maybe blocking dummy?

I don't think he's bad.
Don't get me wrong.
I just feel he would be better as a number 3

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