Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Let's Talk About Draft, Baby!

Sure, free agency will rear its ugly head first, but there's some things we should all know before then, and that is, which areas can be left until the draft to address.  Ideally, you'd like to go into the draft with little or no needs at all so you can just draft the best players available on the board.  But with the lack of a CBA agreement forcing 5th year players into 'restriction', the free agency period could look rather anemic.  Teams aren't going to want to dole out any draft picks in exchange for restricted free agents, not unless it's someone really good or at a position of weakness in the draft.

I can tell you now that there are a couple of weak areas in the 2010 draft - unfortunately, Inside Linebacker is one of them.  Tight End is another.  These are areas that the Dolphins will want to address in free agency or trade before the draft arrives.  I'm not saying Rolando McClain shouldn't be targeted, but he may have been claimed when we choose, and then what?  So it's in the Dolphins best interest to at least get one of each during the FA signing period.

Areas of particular strength in this year's draft include Wide Receiver, Quarterback, Offensive Line, Defensive End/Outside Line Backer, Cornerback, Safety, and of course, Kicker.  It gets a bit murky with the always difficult to diagnose area of Nose Tackle, but there are more options here than there were in 2009's draft if not more talent.  For the record, the NT I graded as best in 2009's draft, Terrance Knighton, was selected 72nd by Jacksonville, finished his rookie campaign with 16 starts, 45 tackles, and 1.5 sacks, and finished the year by being voted as team captain on defense.

Below is my very first 2010 draft ranking.  Keep in mind this is NOT a mock draft, but just a list of the 32 top players available.   And keep in mind this was made before any Bowl games, and thus is likely to be a little out of date/order.  But it is my initial opinion to get things started.

I will soon begin releasing my 2010 Draft Top Ten lists, which breaks down the players at each position (WR, ILB, DT, etc) that I consider to be the best picks in the draft.  I can tell you I've already gotten into a heated debate or two over the first one I did and showed around.  Mel Kiper I ain't.

So prepare to heartily disagree with my opinions, to share your own, which I will disagree with equally as harshly, and to see a side of the off-season you won't find on any of those commercial sites.  Are you ready?


  1. The Knight who says Ni!January 5, 2010 at 4:21 PM

    Tin, your list is very hard to read. How about some simple black on white action. LOL

    As for Terrance Knighton, I'm not saying he's not a good young NT prospect but Jacksonville's defense was one notch below ours and against the run. So it's not like we lost out not getting him. I think the trifecta probably liked him, just not before the 3rd round and maybe the 4th or 5th where a lot of people had him ranked.

    I'm sure we've been scouting interior Dlinemen pretty heavily. Like Ireland said there just aren't a lot of 6-4 300+ guys who have the strength and athletic ability to play NT walking the planet. Look for them to go after lighter more athletic prospects at the NT position, like Jay Ratcliff 6-4 300. Fergy isn't a giant fat guy, he's no more than 320. They don't like big fat guys.

    When Parcells coached the Giants Jim Burt was 6-1 265 and Erik Howard was 6-3 275. Howard was the strongest guy on the team and a good athlete. But he wasn't as fierce and as mean as Burt in the middle. Burt also had quick feet to slip blocks. That's why Burt started and Howard was the backup.

    That was a different time and players are bigger now. I mean Dwight Stephenson was 6-2 255 back then. Reggie White was 6-5 290 and stronger and faster then everyone. Leonard Marshall was one of the bigger 3-4 DEs at 6-3 285 and Bruce Smith was 6-4 270 as a 3-4 DE. Now those guys are 290-300 and NTs are 300-350+.

    By the way did anyone see on that one play in the Steelers games where Soliai was chasing Big Ben, an Olineman hit him in the backfield when he wasn't looking, bounced off and fell to the ground while Soliai just turned a bit, got his feet set again and continued the chase? LOL

    Spikes before McClain?

  2. Knight,
    If you hit the little arrow in the top right corner, It will go to fullscreen and you can read it easily.

  3. Tin, not bad for a first draft. The only things that stand out are, as Knight stated, Spikes above McClain, and Mays in the top ten. There is no way he goes early first. He may even end up top of the second. The games I've seen him play he is average at best. Unless he has an amazing combine, I think he ends up in the second round.

  4. FF13, knight always complains whenever the background is not white...he's
    not the only one, either. When I first started the blog, it had a darker
    background and I couldn't stand all the whining so I gave in and changed
    it. Silly me for being colorful....

  5. To be honest I don't really know where to put Mays. I thought he was
    extremely over-rated last year, yet he was the top safety prospect in just
    about every early mock up. To be honest, I expect him to be converted to
    linebacker in the NFL, so he probably won't go very high as you say, but at
    the moment he is still being listed as a top ten prospect by most scouts.

  6. Oh, and to be honest, I have been boycotting USC games, so I had limited
    exposure to him in 2009.

  7. again, laugh all you want, but NFL scouts will always grade the Senior 2
    time national champion, with more awards, higher stats, etc over a perhaps
    more talented underclassman. Spikes and McClain are virtually the same
    size, same speed, and both smart guys with leadership skills. Either one
    is a good pick in the draft. The drop off after them is like a cliff, so
    they will go much higher than ILBs usually go.

  8. Seems like @pk 12 this yr SHOULD be pretty obvious/easy!!
    With SUH definatley gone, I'd think that @least a couple of the fan desirables/team needs prospects WILL BE THERE!!

    I'd HOPE McClain,but think that @ the least CODY,and SPIKES among a couple of the obvious others WILL BE THERE!!
    We're likely to have ""OUR"" choice of 4 or so DESIRED/NEEDED players!!!

    I'd be stoked w'any of the above mentioned,but boyyy I'd like to land DeMeco Ryan's alongside McClain!!
    Houston'd almost have to let Ryans go,what a LB core thay have CUSHING,RYANS,DILES,ADIBI,BARWIN,STUPID,STUPID,STUPID collective bargaining crap!!!
    After last yrs draft,I only envied Houstons selections!!

    Heres ONE for FANG (and EVEN ME since we don't have a game for EIGHT MNTHS,but don't tell anybody)LOL!!!
    Stupid,stupid regime coulda took BARWIN instead of PW and I'd of got the 1st 2 pks right last year!!!
    JUSKIDN BP,forgive me MIAMI DOLPHINS mother of christ,forgive me MIAMI DOLPHINS mother of christ x1000...  

  9. Tin,EVERYTIME I mentioned DezBryant as MY #1 WR of a few including your #1 WR,
    you said you had a WR in mind for the FINS,
    and adamantly said it wasn't DezBryant and yet he's ranked 14th overall (2nd WR) on your list!!!

    Did you adamately say it wasn't Bryant b/c it was LaFell,or do you not like Bryant for""OUR""FINS!!
    I hope he falls to around 44 or whatever our 2nd rnd selection is,(that'd be sweet),but I doubt he falls that far!!

  10. 13kv, you're assuming I intended to take a WR in the 1st round, which was
    not my intention. I will release my WR list very soon so I don't want too
    many spoilers!
    It's not just about who is the best in college, or drafted the highest, but
    who would fit in the best in Miami. Bryant has a great talent, but I don't
    think he's a 'Parcells guy' or a Sparano guy.

  11. I'd be stoked w'LaFell tooo,maybe even @ 12 IF he's there!! Who knows who'd be there in the 2nd??

    I think Bryant,and LaFell are the only SURE-THINGS @ WR,but I'm early-on in the process!!

    I wanted TMays realll baddd last yr had he come out,thought he was the total package,
    but apparently he had a very bad yr in coverage,I've heard nothing but negative about his coverage skills in 09,
    and didn't watch USC indepthly myself this yr either,but thought he did well in 08!!
    Simon wasn't high on him @all last yr,so I'm kinda wondering if he saw the negative b/4 most??
    I'd take him in the 2nd

  12. No, Taylor Mays would be another Strong Safety and we already have Yeremiah Bell and Gibril Wilson. We need a real Free Safety (someone who can cover, not only hit) and that's exactly where Mays' major weakness is.

    As for the WR's - I wouldn't take one at #12. Maybe if we trade down to around #20, but I'd prefer LaFell over Bryant. Also, Damian Williams (I know, Tin doesn't like USC guys...) is a great route runner. I'd say go ILB or NT in round 1 and take the best WR available in round 2 (unless a 1st round talent in a position we could need falls to us)...

  13. The Knight who says Ni!January 6, 2010 at 6:59 AM

    I did make it full screen. I'm not a fan of colored type and alternate colors. Black on white is the easiest to read. It would have been easier for Tin to just put the list on the blog like the article.

  14. The Knight who says Ni!January 6, 2010 at 7:01 AM

    I think McClain is more instinctive from I've seen.

  15. The Knight who says Ni!January 6, 2010 at 7:02 AM

    Agreed about Mays being converted to LB in the NFL. Just like Thomas Davis (Georgia) was converted from S to LB in Carolina.

  16. The Knight who says Ni!January 6, 2010 at 7:04 AM

    There will probably be good WRs available in the 2nd and 3rd rounds.

  17. The Knight who says Ni!January 6, 2010 at 7:07 AM

    I don't think Spikes will go before 20. McClain won't get past us.

  18. The problem with that is that the Dolphins obviously prefer their safeties
    to be 6' 200lbs as opposed to Mays' size. They passed on a bigger safety in
    William Moore last year, someone who had similar career as Mays, amazing
    Junior year, then in Senior year, everyone said he had coverage issues.

  19. burnum, i don't like USC, don't have anything against their players, just
    the program. They are the New England Patriots of the NCAA, and if you live
    on the west coast, the media doesn't care about any other team in the
    Pac-10. Think I'm exaggerating? I bet they spent three times as much
    advertising revenue on Rose Bowl last year when USC was in it than this year
    when it was Oregon.
    I agree with you 100% on draft priorities.

  20. I tried to do that but it was too big and the formatting wouldn't work.
    Personally, I find it a lot harder to read on bright backgrounds, so it's a
    personal preference. You can cut and paste it onto a white background though

  21. It's important to note that McClain plays in a 3-4 and Spikes in a 4-3.
    Spikes is a MLB, he has to stay his ground in the middle and react. McClain
    is allowed more freedom to flow to the ball. It's also important to note
    that player interviews and workouts will ultimately be the deciding factor
    on who a team chooses here because whoever they draft will be the leader of
    their defense. I still think both will go much higher than anticipated
    because of the lack of size/talent behind them.

  22. The Knight who says Ni!January 6, 2010 at 7:44 AM

    You're probably right.

  23. The Knight who says Ni!January 6, 2010 at 7:47 AM

    That's another reason I like McClain so much. I think he'd be a 'beast' in our 3-4 because we could move him around and take advantage of his skills by creating mismatches.

  24. I know it's early stages, but could 2010 have a majority of Dolfans on the
    same page for who the first round pick should be? It's a bit early to do a
    poll, but clearly McClain is the consensus pick.

  25. IFF McClain isn't there @ 12 , while (Spikes AND Cody AND Williams are)!!
    I hope we trade-down as far as we can a time or two,(stockpile some extra pks),
    and STILL land SPIKES,or CODY,or WILLIAMS 
    (with an ILB,NT,or WR in the 2nd,or 2 of the 3 w'the potential xtra pks)....

    MY orders of preference




    I'm ALWAYS for trading-down,especially if two or more of the desired gyz are still available!!

  26. So TIN,tell me YOUR THOUGHTS on your alum FS Nate Allen,(do you like,can he cover,is he a legit 3rd rndr)??
    I've seen their games,but paid no mind to the names,and figure you've INTENTLY seen a bunch of SFl games,
    and have read-up IN-DEPTH on the entire roster.. WILL he last till the 4th??

    He's about the right size,and has the 2nd best 40 of the top 20 or so @CBS!!
    (But would another NATE/ALLEN be even more confusing to this DBackfield)??

    Being in Ca,have you pre-arranged a HALF workday for THURS,FRI APR 22,23,
    or do you get home by 4:30 anyway's??
    Better relay the message to the West Coasters!!

    Is WALTERS FOOTBALL out of whack,or is CBS??
    The two sites names and rankings are extremly different in some cases!!

    MAYBE WALTERS aren't yet up to date,b/c for the most part they don't have much news on individuals since 2-09!
    GOTTA be WALTERS "out of whack"!!  Do you use WALTERS @all??
    Do you use that interactive "SCOUT"site I asked you about,and forwarded to you(wayyy back when)??
    Do you have a better than SCOUT interactive site you can turn me on to,(privately if preferred)??
    Or are you loyal only to cbs??

  27. ;) What about FS's Robert Johnson,Robert Vaughn,Anderson Russell,and Shann Schillinger(4.43 WOWW)??  ;)

    All are basically the BP size type,and PROBABLY have a head start on the field!!

  28. I WASN'T assuming you were thinkin 1st rnd WR!!

    I told you I liked BLaFell,and DBryant alot!!
    @ the time you weren't willing to divulge ANY INFO,
    but you said you had a WR FAVORITE,
    and you were adamant about it NOT being DBryant,
    leading me to believe that you were NOT HIGH on Bryant @ all,but he's high on your list!!

    Is that an OVERALL list,or a ""good fit for MIAMI list""??
    IF it's an OVERALL list, will DBryant be further down on YOUR""good fit for MIAMI list""
    WHYYY do you think he's NOT a BP/TS guy,cuz he's friends w'Prime-Time??

    Not that it matters,I'M not taking Bryant @12,I'M taking an ILB or NT b/4 the 2nd rnd,
    (though LaFell/Bryant would be tempting over a NT),IFF we were to trade-down 5-10 spots,IMHO!!

  29. for the most part i use NFLDraftscout, the premium site, not the CBS version
    though I go to several websites to cross check information, especially 40
    times. But most of my opinion is based on actually watching games, and lots
    of them. For example, I just completed watching 17 bowl games, just in time
    for the BCS championship.
    I pay big attention to the senior bowl week as well as other all-star bowls.
    The thing with USF is that they have so many players that get on the field
    it's nearly impossible to get a full picture of what they can do. I will
    say this about Nate Allen - he has the tools, is an incredible athlete, and
    can lay hits on people. USF's secondary has been god awful for the last two
    years, and he was injured for much of that, so I don't know if he's one of
    the reasons they sucked, or his absence was the reason he sucked. He looked
    pretty good this year when he was in there though - think he had 5 INTs?
    His best assets are speed and power. Not sure about his cover skills
    because teams didn't have to throw inside to beat us deep. FFR can attest
    to that. Be wary of anyone named Jerome Murphy or Nate Washington. There
    were parts of the last two years I wanted bth of them to be left behind on
    road trips.

  30. I think right now they'd be very interested in Reshad Jones.

  31. RJONES   SS  ????  I didn't see him @ CBS NFL DRAFTSCOUT,but he's a SS @ Walters...

    THANX for your 11:42 thoughts on Nate Allen etc,etc!! 
    I pay special attention to the ALLSTAR games too,and as many regular season,and bowl games as possible,
    but NO-WHERE near as many as you do!!!

  32. Tin,

    Just wonder if we should have another draft pick in the 6th round pick. From what I am tracking Miami did not trade away their own 6th round pick. We got Washington's 6th this year in the Taylor trade and we got the Chief's 6th in the Alleman and Ndukwe trade. Just wondering.

  33. Ralph, we don't actually know what the KC trade was for, it has not been

  34. I had found on one of the KC sites that said it was a 6th. Oh well we will find out soon.

  35. DIDN'T we give that 6th back to KC for THIGPEN??!!! That's what I thought !!

  36. I GUESS you DIDN'T GET what I was saying ;) ,prior to your initial reply to MY thought's on these FS prospects

  37. We traded our FIFTH for thigpen, thus why we don't have one.

  38. ACTUALLY I like OUR safties,(ALWAYs liked YBELL though he's gettin long in tooth),
    I've liked Culver,and Clemons for several yrs,
    AND I think Gibril @ SS and the other 3 will be fine w'a MAJOR ILB UPGRADE!!

    STILL think we'll @least take a FS in the draft b/c CClemons(o10 starter)is the only true FS on the roster!!
    MIGHT have to take an SS too,b/c of YB's age,and GWs QUESTIONABLE status??

    IS GW signed thru o10 to BIGG BUCKS,(meaning he's NOT LIKELY to be around)??
    I think he needs to be kept cuz of YBs age,and Culver's inexperience,JM PRE FREEAGENCY HO!!

  39. GOTCHA!! Hadn't looked beyond #73!!

    I'll take SCHILLINGER,or Russell w'ONE of those two 6ths or 7ths!! (heard it here first) :-$ ,LOL!!

    Of course thats IF we don't take NAllen,or Robert Johnson by the 4th...

  40. RVaughn(LIL SLOW) as one of those potential 6th or 7ths too!!

  41. Tin,b/4 you get your WR list out, I'd like it noted(LOL),that I like Fl's Riley Copper BIGG 6-3,215,
    FAST mid/high 4's,and had an IMPRESSIVE 09(800 or so w'8TDs), especially productive the last 2 mnths!!

    I know these Sth Floridians will knock him b/c he's a Gator,
    but I watched every game and he can do it all,and he finishes play's!!

    I'd take him w'a GUARANTEE he gives up baseball!!

    Fins have LIKELY had MARCUS EASLEY UConn,and 6-1 TAYLOR PRICE Ohio on their radar for a couple yrs too!!
    ALL BIGG/FAST 3rd,4th,and 5th rndrs(yet to be determined)!!

  42. No one had Marcus Easley on their radar for a couple of years, he's a one
    year wonder. Intriguing size/hands though.

  43. He MIGHT have caused a BLIP while they were going after DT??
    (GOTTA have ONE good yr b/4 you can have a 2nd)!!
    Same and LIKELY w'all the others,when THEIR schools were visited!! ;)