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Latest Kiper mock shows recurring Dolphins issue

For years it has pained Dolphins fans to watch their team be built and rebuilt and rebuilt again simply because, well, the rebuilds never seemed to get it quite right.

Remember the use of a second-round pick to address the center spot with Samson Satele in 2007? And then the use of valuable salary cap space to replace Satele with Jake Grove in the spring of 2009? And then the use of a first round pick to fill the spot again with Mike Pouncey in 2011?

The Dolphins have felt the need to do this a lot at a lot throughout the roster. (Don't even make me go through the 17 quarterback names who have started since Dan Marino retired. Don't make me remind you of the investment at cornerback. Don't make me remind you about all the safeties and offensive tackles).

Well, the linebacker spot seems to be the latest and most likely spot for more rebuilding to follow the rebuilding that was done last year to replace the rebuilding that was done just before that.

You'll remember that last season the Dolphins signed Dannell Ellerbe and Phillip Wheeler to big and curious free agent contracts. The curiousity was caused in that Miami had two high-priced free agents already playing the spots Ellerbe and Wheeler were signed to play.

The Dolphins, you see, had previously spent sizeable money and cap space to sign Karlos Dansby (in 2010) and Kevin Burnett (in 2011) to fill the jobs.

Well, here we are a year after Ellerbe and Wheeler replaced Dansby and Burnett and the Dolphins are apparently looking to replace either Ellerbe or Wheeler.

We already know neither player lived up to expecations last year. But it was apparently so bad the Dolphins have toyed with shaking things up. New general manager Dennis Hickey offered free agent D'Qwell Jackson a contract to play the middle in Miami. Under that scenario, Ellerbe would have been shifted outside and Wheeler would have had to compete for playing time with Koa Misi.

The team is also toying with the idea of moving Misi to the middle thus letting Ellerbe head to the SAM (strongside) or WILL (weakside) LB spot.

And Miami's desires to makes these shifts is apparently no secret league-wide. Today, for example, ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper put out his latest mock draft and he has the Dolphins taking Alabama inside linebacker C.J. Mosley with their first round pick at No. 19 overall.

Let that possibility marinate for a second.

One year after the Dolphins signed Ellerbe and Wheeler to contracts worth a combined $60.75 million with $27 million in guaranteed money, the team is needing to upgrade the positions those players were supposed to upgrade.

And that Ellerbe-Wheeler "upgrade" came on the heels of another $69 million "upgrade" made with Dansby and Burnett.

And the Dolphins may have to funnel resources to address that issue away from resources that attend to other obvious needs, such as offensive guard and right tackle.

This, folks, is the reason this team has been to the playoffs only once in a dozen years (2008 season) and hasn't won a playoff game since 2000. The decisions made to fix problems require almost perpetual adjusting, mending, revamping to fix the same problems again.

None of this is Hickey's fault, by the way. He's new. He's getting his first crack at his set of fixes.

So one cannot put it on him that he's studied the tape and feels Ellerbe would be better outside rather than in the middle and that Wheeler might be better off the field altogether if Ellerbe takes his spot.

That, by the way, was exactly what was coming had Jackson signed. That's exactly what would be coming if, as Kiper's mock suggests, the Dolphins select C.J. Mosley in the first round.


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Never liked the move for the linebackers last year. I remember all the guys who were doing cartwheels after they were signing. I'll continue to argue that Dansby wasn't that bad. He showed it last year with the year he had. What people continue to confuse is his pay versus his play. Was he worth $10.5 mil a year? Nope. But the same guys who were criticizing him are the same guys who celebrated his signing and celebrated the Wheeler and Ellerbe signings and are now criticizing those moves.

You couldn't make this stuff up if you tried.

And for the record I don't know Mosley well enough to comment. Bit under-sized for my liking but we'll see. If he can be anything close to what Kuechly is then great. However, I remember all the praise heaped on Aaron Curry when he came out.

Yup. Lot's off messes to clean up Mando. But I would rather they draft an impact player if he has the pedigree than an OL-type unless one of the top guys who can eventually play LT falls to them - which I doubt.

Mosley is a good player - if he's healthy.

Here is a comment on Mosely from CBS Sports Rang.

"COMPARES TO: Lavonte David, LB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Like David, Mosley's combination of toughness, elite instincts and superb athleticism offer the versatility of lining up inside or out, and have enabled him to be one of the nation's top all-around linebackers."

I like Lavonte David and guess who was part of drafting him. Yep, that is correct, Hickey was.

BUT, if Miami is looking for someone to play MLB, I'm not sure Mosley fits.

No GM hits on all the FA signings. Wheeler appears to be a bust and Ellerbe would likely be a better OLB.

Mosely is a top ten talent. Don't let FA money commitment keep you from improving the team.

The scary thing on the linebackers is does it matter who we draft, sign, trade for with Coyle as the DC??

Like Craig said it appears our players are better with other teams and other teams players are worse on ours. Who knows.

As far as the draft as disapointing as it is you can't get caught up in past coulda woulda shoulda.

If you need o-lineman you need o-lineman, if you need lbers you need lbers.

The main thing imo is to draft solid players and don't try to get cute.

It's worth noting that last season Dansby had his best season since before he came to Miami -- meaning his Miami seasons were subpar his seasons before and after Miami.

It's us...not them... :)

Agreed Dolfan Rick,

Look how many times the Lions drafted WR's before hitting it big with Megatron.

Mosley is a good player and its rare to have one pick upgrade 2 positions.

I like Shazier more than Mosley. Better testing, better production, no injury issues unlike Mosley. I don't know if he fits in middle, but I can't say Mosley does either.

Yes, Mando, we all know the linebackers were bad and it looks like we overpaid. Pretty easy to say in hindsight.


I believe either LB Shazier or Mosley if drafted by Miami would replace Wheeler.

Remember that guy called CROWDER?

He didn't make the impact plays we liked but was one helluva run defender. Dansby, outside nor inside, never performed to huge contract in Miami. Interesting he gave the type of performance we had been looking in 2013 after he became an ex-Dolphin.

Also, interesting the run D began slipping under Coyle. So it all still leads to ask, is it Coyle, the players, or a little bit of both?

As far as drafting a mlb, Mosely probably fits the bill, just don't think he'll be overly spectacular.

Shazier, currently an olb, could be drafted and moved to the middle. There may be a learning curve for him, but, I think there may be a lot more upside to Shazier than Mosely. Though Mosely is currently listed as the top mlb prospect in this draft.

Mosely is listed as the far superior lb in coverage coming out. Still, I think I would take hazier because I believe he could be the superior lb 3yrs now.


I think the difference between Shazier and Mosley is Shazier more athletic for sure but Mosley has better instincts. I guess it would depend on what you're wanting. Neither would be my first choice but wouldn't mind getting either in the 1st.

Ross should hire Kiper to do the Dolphin drafts.

The good thing is that if drafting either Shazier or Mosely 1st rd, we can trade down picking up perhaps a 2nd, still getting one of them.

Have our linebacker been awful because of lack of talent or lack of good coaching? As we all know our coaching staff is not very good starting at the top with STUBBORN JOE PHILBIN as the fearless leader.He wanted to keep sherman a t all costs until mr.ross told him he goes or you go.Joe suddenly fired mike At the press release he still insisted that mike was a GREAT O/C. OUR defense has gone down hill onder this regime.Tannehill has not had a chance to show if he is our future or another Q/B bust.Dear joe get it togheter and earn all of the $ that you are paid

Whoever we take in the 1st...he better be a friggen immediate starter !!!!!!!

Hear that Mr HIckey?...A STARTER !!!!!!!

We'll never improve without a QB upgrade. Good QB's make EVERYONE around them better. Tannehill makes everyone worse.


Fab day having our nails done and shopping today. And those SHOES you found at Macy's!! Girlfriend, you gonna turn heads, lol!!

Texas, what is your plan for the first round? I always like to hear other opinions and options.

I'll continue to argue that Dansby wasn't that bad. He showed it last year with the year he had. Posted by:

Craig M | April 17, 2014 at 01:08 PM


Dansby is so good that he'll be playing with his third team in three years this season.

Puhleeze. Very average football player.

Every team is going through this...we are not alone!
I'd be happy with either OT or ILB at #19.
I keep hearing how deep this draft is with OL, but not so much at ILB.
If Shazier is available in round #2, then maybe we draft OT - 1 and ILB - 2.

Either way, we have a need at OT, ILB, RB, CB & S
with 7 picks we can head into camp with all positions fully staffed.

Maybe it was due to phillip wheeler not being aggressive enough and not having misi drop into pass coverage enough.look at some of the additions to defense most players we added are aggressive that should point out something. My sleeper is still jelani jenkins he was still adjusting to the defense he can defend the pass and run well he has those instinct like mosley but just not very consistent. Drafting mosley and playing jelani jenkins would improve the pass defense. But who will win out the other linebacker postion misi or ellerbe? Or will we also see another linebacker drafted? Im thinkin telvin smith of florida state in the 4th round.

Im thinkin telvin smith of florida state in the 4th round.


Are you? Who cares.

I will say I was never happy with Dansby's level of play when he was here and I was happy for the change. He was steady but didn't make those big game changing plays he was payed to provide.

Top ILB prospects:


Wheeler should see at ton of ST action and be on the bench most of the time, he was right up there with Gibril Wilson in the tackling stakes.

Ellerbe, played like a 3rd year ILB getting his first start and not on of the top paid ILB's in the NFL. Misi is an ILB, so that leaves Jenkins and Jordan. I'll wager Jenkins is an upgrade on Wheeler and Jordan is an upgrade on Ellerbe so both of those guys should be gone next year.

Mosley is a great player but injury prone, do we need another year of not seeing our 1st rounder hardly play... no way. If Z Martin is gone at 19 trade down for an extra 2nd rounder take Hyde and Borland for the cost of the 19th pick. Hyde would be available at 24 in the first Borland around 50-60 plus we get a Cameron Fleming type as our own 2nd rounder.

The Wheeler and Ellerbe signings were attributable to former GM Jeff Ireland. Well Dennis Hickey along with the coaching staff apparently see a tremendous need for an upgrade there, thus are looking to do so because there is value in drafting CJ Mosely with the 19th pick. Wheeler will most likely be a ST contributor/back-up ILB because he gets paid and counts against whether or not he's released.

Painful truth is the last great Dolphins ILB was Zach Thomas.


If I am GM my plan would be to pick the player that will have the best impact for the Miami Dolphins. I wish I know the list of who would be available then I could tell you.

I do a lot of drafting on Fanspeak and have drafted, Mosley, Shazier, Pryor, Beckham Jr., Evans (he fell in 1 draft), Martin, Lewan, Sua-Filo, Justin Gilbert and Ebron in the first. I've also traded down and grabbed some of those guys.

I always seem to like the way the draft turns out the best when I trade down and grab Sua-Filo or 1 of the LB's in the first. Not sure why but the drafts at those times fell better I guess. I use the Walter Football or Fanspeak draft boards. The Optimal scouting board is awful.

The D is the least of our problems.

Even the deep balls Wallace caught he came back for what would have been AT LEAST half a dozen EASY TD's

RT would have had 40 TD's if he hit Wallace even 2/3rds of the time.

Posted by: Marc | April 17, 2014 at 01:50 PM

Read more here: http://miamiherald.typepad.com/dolphins_in_depth/2014/04/former-um-qb-stephen-morris-on-the-dolphins-radar/comments/page/11/#comments#storylink=cpy

Its funny guys we sign have good years with their former teams, then we cut them and they have good years with their new teams.

Maybe its our coaching staff to blame!

no thanks on kipers garbage

Whoever we take in the 1st...he better be a friggen immediate starter !!!!!!!
Hear that Mr HIckey?...A STARTER !!!!!!!
Posted by: Buster | April 17, 2014 at 01:45 PM


Thats what I'm sayin Buster!!!

Each player we draft must be washed in the Blood of the Lamb and anointed in the Healing Oils of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

The LB'ers that may be available in the first after we pick at 19 just don't scream run stuffing ILBer to me.

I kind of like Borland, and Skov. 2nd to 4th rd depending on which.

At any rate I'm thinking a trade down to get the best guard in the draft and an extra pick would be wonderful.

Posted by: NHFinsFan | April 17, 2014 at 01:52 PM

I like the reverse Shazier in first and RT in second. I want us to draft Shazier though, he looks like needed addition.

There are actually websites where people pretend to be GM's and conduct mock drafts??

What's it called? Dork Central?

Good lord.

Dolphins backed into the playoffs once in a dozen years and were never in the game w a another
dink n dunk cuz my deep ball stunk - QB

So we have not learned a damn thing drafting another QB that cannot throw deep

Baltimore made the Dolphins look like a high school team

The Dolphins suck

No out of this World ILB in this Draft.

We would have been better off staying the course w
1) Dansby
2) Burnett
3) Matt Moore
4) Jake Long
5) Bush
6) Vontae Davis
7) Phatt Paul Sol

All the replacements were worse than the players that were already here

Dolphins don't know what the Hell their doing

Coyle will be a leading candidate to take over as HC when Philbin is fired. He's done a nice job without much talent. His D won a bunch of games for us and kept us in other games despite a floundering offence. The D would've looked even better if the offence could've won time of possesion once in a while.

1 dansby was awful
2 burnett was beyond garbage
3 thill easily better
4 long broken down overpaid
5 wayyyyy overrated
6 2nd rd pick was a steal for him
fat paul about done


that's why Home is spot on saying drafting fake QB Tannehill instead of the best defensive player in the entire 2013 NFL LB Luke Kuechly
set this franchise back 5 yrs

Now we have a QB that will be replaced at the end of the season after 3 losing yrs
and we paid these not good enuf LBs a Gizillion Dollars

The Dolphins suck

The Tannehill pick instead of Kuechly set us back 5 YRs

Home 4 GM

1 dansby was awful
2 burnett was beyond garbage
3 thill easily better
4 long broken down overpaid
5 wayyyyy overrated
6 2nd rd pick was a steal for him
fat paul about done

Posted by: dusty bottoms


With you on those EXCEPT for Soliai. He's a fine player and I'm sure he will continue to be one with Atlanta.

Miami just couldn't tie up such an exorbitant amount of money in one position, that's all.

With the rest, though, agreed.

Everyone in the NFL knew Wheeler was a bad signing for that money. Most people thought Ellerbe would be better than he was. When's the last time the Dolphins drafted a LB in the first round? I'm not opposed to that.

Yep, Dolphins Suck. I hear Carolina is looking for new Fans after the release of Smith. AND Kuechly is there so you should fit right in.

You will be missed but we wish the best on their blogs.

Thanks for playing.

We would have been better off staying the course w
1) Dansby
2) Burnett
3) Matt Moore
4) Jake Long
5) Bush
6) Vontae Davis
7) Phatt Paul Sol

All the replacements were worse than the players that were already here
Dolphins don't know what the Hell their doing
Posted by: Reel Dolphin In Sight w Home | April 17, 2014 at 02:20 PM

Cheapskate Ross doesnt care. he got rid of them so he could pocket more money. Add Sean Smith and Brandon Marshall to the list. Getting rid of their best players is the Ross way.

martin or ebron

I like Mosley a lot, he is my 3rd favorite 1st round pick for the dolphins.

My first option, trade down for Jake Matthews and pick G. Thomas in the 3rd round
My 2nd, pick lewan with the 19th if its there
My 3rd, pick Mosley with the 19th, trade down for Moses in the 2nd round. Sing McKinnie (we cant afford another bad o-line year).

I dont like Z. Martin at all, he is just a Guard and not an elite one. We need a franchise RT, thats a position we have been struggled for years (Clabo,Martin,Coleman,etc). So I dont like to waste my 1st round pick with a G.

About Mosley I think we can really improve on defense with an ILB with an elite instincts, and he is very smart so he could help us to lead this defense for the next decade.

But we need to draft an Elite T, because I like R. Tannehill but he still needs to prove he is our franchise QB. The best way to evaluate him is protecting him.

I like Lewan but I like a lot more Matthews, so trade down for him. If we cant, wait for Lewan or Mosley.

Steve Ross, stop ripping off the Dolphin fans.

Letting Reggie Bush leave yet keeping D Thomas was MORONIC!!!!!!! MORONIC!!!!!!

Right, Armando, they went overboard with too many changes. It's all in the eye of the beholder. The defence with Dansby and Burnett at linebacker for the last year was good. I would have kept at least one of them. Ireland didn't appreciate their skills or when they played hurt. I remember a few of the great goalline stands they made, jumping up in the air and taking on running backs in the air to prevent touchdowns or first downs. You could tell they were leaders even though a weakness was covering in the flat.

didnlt let bush leave, he was a free agent. got overpaid and did nothing but fumble for lions. now wont even start over bell there.

Mosley is nowhere near Keuchly. This pick I would hate more than picking Zach Martin...

Letting Jake Long leave yet keeping J Martin at LT was MORONIC!! MORONIC!!!!!

dont want mosley but would love martin

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