WEDNESDAY BUZZ COLUMN
Who should the Dolphins take at No. 19 in the first round of the draft on Thursday night?
Sampling views from 13 analysts:
### ESPN’s Mel Kiper: Alabama inside linebacker C.J. Mosley. “The offensive line options here are a reach for me. The pass-rusher is, too, as I don't see Anthony Barr as a great option at this spot. The top two cornerbacks will also be gone.
“Mosley is the best player available here, and it'll be hard to keep him off the field, given his ability to cover. If the Dolphins are looking to save money at this time next year [by cutting Dannell Ellerbe or Philip Wheeler], they'll be glad they have him.”
### ESPN’s Todd McShay: Virginia offensive tackle Morgan Moses. “The Dolphins should look for an opportunity to move up to go get Zack Martin. The Steelers would be a good potential trade partner at No. 15, but if they stay here, I think Moses makes sense.
“I don't know that everyone is as high on Moses as I am, but it's hard to have a more glaring need at a position group than the Dolphins have at offensive line. Moses performed better at left tackle at Virginia than he did at right tackle, so that could make for an interesting situation with Branden Albert slotted for the left side.”
### Draftinsider.net's Tony Pauline said if Zack Martin is off the board, he either would trade down (and potentially pick an offensive lineman lower) or stay at 19 and select a cornerback or a safety (if Louisville’s Calvin Pryor is available).
### NFL Network’s Mike Mayock advocates taking Alabama offensive tackle Cyrus Kouandjio even though “there were inconsistencies in his game. That last game against Oklahoma was pretty bad.”
### NFL Films’ Greg Cosell: FSU receiver Kelvin Benjamin. “He’s a more naturally fluid athlete with more upside than [Texas A&M’s] Mike Evans. The big concern is he had too many routine drops.”
### Sports Illustrated’s Peter King: Kouandjio. “Not the tackle the Dolphins wanted, but at this point, beggars can’t be choosers. The Dolphins’ need is so big that new GM Dennis Hickey just has to do this. I expect Hickey to try to move up for Zack Martin, but I also expect he’ll find the price way too high.”
### Sporting News analyst Russ Lande: He said he would take Virginia Tech cornerback Kyle Fuller if available, even ahead of Martin.
“Fuller is the best cornerback in this draft and it’s hard to find big cornerbacks who are athletic and excel in coverage.” If Fuller and Martin are off the board, Lande said he would take UCLA guard Xavier Sua-Filo.
### NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah: Ohio State linebacker Ryan Shazier. Said it makes sense with no top offensive tackle left at No. 19. And Shazier is gaining steam as a Dolphins possibility; he met with Dolphins officials for 90 minutes on Monday.
### NFL Net’s Charley Casserly: Kouandjio, because of need.
### NFL Network’s Charles Davis: Martin. “Fills a screaming o-line need.”
### NFL Network’s Brian Baldinger: “If the medicals on the knee check out, Kouandjio is a good pick for Miami. He is a dominant player and a great run blocker when healthy. And he can start at right tackle immediately.”
### The Simms family: CBS' Phil Simms predicts Miami will get Martin. His son, Chris, now a CBS Sports Network draft analyst, predicts Miami will choose UCLA’s Su’a Filo.
### We're told the Dolphins' shifting of Koa Misi to middle linebacker remains a decent possibility (though not definite), and Misi has voiced no objections, contrary to a published report.
### Former Tampa Bay general manager Mark Dominik said Hickey advocated drafting Mike Glennon, who threw 19 touchdowns and nine interceptions as a rookie and now (according to ESPN) likely will be traded by the new Buccaneers regime, which signed Josh McCown to replace him. It wouldn’t make sense for Miami to part with a second-round pick for Glennon, if the Buccaneers can get that for him.
But if the Dolphins could acquire Glennon for a mid-rounder and later trade or cut Matt Moore, they would save a lot of cap space that can be carried over to 2015, when Miami needs it. Moore’s cap hit is $5.5 million if he’s on the team in 2014, $1.5 million if he’s not. Glennon’s is just $705,000.
### Good guy Roger Mason Jr. --- traded by Miami to Sacramento Feb. 20 and then cut --- still talks about himself as if he’s with the Heat.
He’s a presence in Miami’s locker-room before and after games this postseason, partly because he’s the union vice president but largely because “this is my team. These are my brothers. Being traded, that doesn't change. Everyone wants to play. I have to contribute in other ways."
### PLEASE SEE MY LAST POST WITH POSTSCRIPTS, NOTES, QUOTES AND REACTION FROM HEAT-NETS GAME 1.
### Couple notes in the aftermath of Seantrel Henderson’s positive marijuana test at the NFL Combine: One departing UM senior said even beyond the marijuana use, it was disappointing that Henderson allowed himself to get out of shape before the draft… Some analysts now won't be surprised if Brandon Linder ends up being drafted before Henderson….
A UM official said the program tightened loopholes in its drug-testing program last season, reducing the chance of players obtaining “clear” urine tests from friends. A person involved in the UM program said the change has reduced marijuana use on the team but did not eradicate it.
### UM tonight lost out in its pursuit of four-star Jersey City quarterback prospect Brandon Wimbish, who orally committed to Penn State.
Meanwhile, four-star Plantation American Heritage dual-threat quarterback Torrance Gibson, South Florida’s top 2015 prospect, said UM has fallen from his favorite to No. 8 on his list “because they’re not staying in contact with me.”
Gibson, who lists Tennessee No. 1, threw 19 touchdowns and three picks and ran for 10 touchdowns and averaged 9.6 yards per rush last season. But UM is vigorously pursuing another four-star dual threat quarterback: Baltimore-based Kai Locksley, who has UM in his top 10.
### Three-star Georgia-based defensive tackle Quentez Johnson de-committed from UM tonight, tweeting: "I feel as if I rushed into a decision."
### Good news for the Marlins: Though Casey McGehee signed only a one-year contract (for $1.1 million), he won’t be a free agent after this season, but arbitration-eligible instead.
McGehee is second among all third basemen in average (.315), is tied for first in RBI (23) and is batting .441 with runners in scoring position. And he's considered a good clubhouse presence.
Twitter: @flasportsbuzz.... And again, please see the last post for nuggets from Tuesday's Heat game.