Friday, January 29, 2010

Senior Bowl - are you ready for some fundamentals?

There have been so many conflicting accounts of who is doing well and who isn't  at this week's Senior Bowl practices it's impossible to know exactly how many players stock has been affected.

For example, I have read about 50 reports praising Mardy Gilyard, and about 50 reports saying how lousy he's been performing.  A similiar treatment has been given to George Selvie, Perrish Cox, Ciron Black, Danario Alexander, Dorin Dickerson, Austen Lane and Cam Thomas just to name a few.  The truth is, what one scout sees as a strength, another can see as a weakness.  And it's all in the wording as well.  One guy can say a player has a dominating bull-rush and puts blockers on their backs, and the next guy could say he's one-dimensional and can't do much other than bull-rush.

Well, like with just about anything in life, these reports and opinions have to be taken with a grain of salt.  I fail to understand how one scout can say Selvie struggled in coverage as a line-backer and another say Selvie has steadily been raising his stock and has been impressive all week.  Then it dawned on me that these guys are not attending every practice.  There are separate practices for the North and South teams, held either at the same time at different locations (which would make it impossible to attend both) or at different times at the same location (which makes for a long day of watching practice).  The reporters tend to go to whichever practice contains players they are most familiar with - so the Southern reporters attend the South, and the Northern reporters attend the North.  They may check out the opposition for a while, but not with the same fervor of their own side.

And ultimately, if a player gets beat a few times in Mobile, it doesn't necessarily mean he's not the player that shows up on tape.  Anyone can have a bad day or two especially those players being asked to play in new positions.  They are already learning new plays, new terminology, new coaches, new team-mates and being inundated with media attention and attending charity and publicity events.  It's a busy week, and while it gives them a chance to showcase themselves both on and off the field, it is just part of the picture.  College career, game tape, the Combine, Pro Day, and team visits all play a significant role in a player's draft stock.  The Senior Bowl is just a part of that process, but it's singularly important because it's actual football, with Pro coaches, Pro rules, and a higher level of competition than they faced in College.

Below are the Senior Bowl rosters.  Players that are highlighted were on my Top 10 lists I published a couple of weeks ago.  The cornerbacks had the highest match rate, with 7 of my top 10 playing in the Senior Bowl and 1 playing in last week's East West Shrine game.  There were 37 matches to start the week, but two players were injured (Jon Asamoah/G, and O'Brien Schofield/OLB).

I will be keeping my eyes on Dorin Dickerson lined up at WR.  He is one of three players I want the Dolphins to draft at WR (even though he was a TE/FB in College) and want to make sure my projection was right.  I'm also interested obviously in seeing George Selvie lined up at OLB and in Dexter McCluster running the Wildcat.  And I'd love to see this Boise State cornerback everyone's talking about.  I thought his custom paint job on his 1971 prison bus/RV was hilarious.  Also, I'd like to see if Sean Weatherspoon can dispel those early-week critiques about him not being able to play inside.  

Who here will be watching and what player are you most interested in?


  1. It's the Senior Bowl this weekend?  This whole time I thought it was "Swallow Tim Tebow's Cock Week".   Someone should tell ESPN, they marked it wrong on their calender.  Yeah Tin, Dorin Dickerson has Boldin size, and as a former FB/TE, he's probably pretty's his speed?  Got a feeling we might be looking at OL as much as NT, but I'm just saying that because a) We never know what the Fins will do and b) our OL is still shaky.  Maybe we have a DE or two that converts to NT (Ni! mentioned Merling, I think Dotson could be next Fergie), maybe they feel Soliai can continue to progress.  I did read about a high energy Cam Thomas, so I'll watch for him. Just dissapointing we can't see a 3-4 and some true OLBs in action.  Also, what is your thoughts on TE Graham from the U?  Next Tony Gonzales? 

    Overall, I'm going to watch every ILB, and our coaching staff's interactions with the players

  2. The only way I would go OL is if someone like Iupati fell to us in the 2nd
    round. Otherwise, I think we did ok last year despite injuries and should
    be better in 2010 with our current set.
    Reports I've read is that Dickerson has been burning defensive backs with
    straight line speed. He beat USF pretty bad with speed last year. He's the
    only fullback/TE I can remember seeing being used on a reverse b4. His
    reported time is 4.57, but I'd say he probably runs a flat 4.5. He benches
    405 lb and is very cut, with large back/shoulder muscles so I'd say he's
    very strong also.
    I don't think there's any rule saying you can't use a 3-4, but you can't
    blitz so there may be some gray area about a 3-4 OLB being a blitzer or
    not. Still, I would expect that the Dolphins will work some kind of
    variation in there. We already know they plan on using the Wildcat on
    As for Graham, I don't buy the hype. He hasn't shown any ability to block
    at all. If you're looking for a pure receiving TE, then you'd probably be
    better off with someone like Pitta, McCoy, Stocker, and Overbay. Once you
    add all the blocking TEs and the all-around guys like Gresham, Gronkowski,
    Dickson, etc, I wouldn't rank Graham ahead of them and consider him a real
    project right now.
    Cam Thomas is the perfect example of what I'm talking about with taking
    reports with a grain of salt. I've heard he was terrible...and BRILLIANT
    this week. One guy said he had a high motor, another guy said he took plays
    off and was lazy. I watched him quite a bit at UNC and was immediately
    intrigued by his size/shape - he definitely looks like a nose tackle. It'll
    be interesting to see how he plays in the game.

  3. Yeah maybe it was the Pro Bowl where they have to run a 4-3, thought I heard something to that effect about one of the games.  Definitely not saying go OL in the 1st, but Iapati would be hard to pass up in the 2nd.  Man, Dickerson sounds like a beast, looking forward to seeing him.  I think I read O from SS saying Cam was insane high energy, got me curious.....

    The more I think of Wilfork, the best scenario would be him going to Tampa IMO, get him out of the division, but he wants $ that I don't think we should be forking over, he will be declining.....

  4. The hardest part about this week was trying to watch the practices on NFL network. Total waste of time 85% of the broadcast. Once again I dont know how I survived before TiVo. Tin, Im at least intrigued by all the players you mentioned especially Weatherspoon. Im not sure about McCluster in the cat but Id love to see him as a returner/ utility guy. I just dont know his role with Cobbs on the roster.  Id love to see Iupati in the 2nd but probably a little late.Ill record the game and try to see how the LBs and NTs play. Later guys. :)  

  5. The Knight who says NiJanuary 30, 2010 at 7:23 AM

    Tin, what prospects have jumped out at you besides the guys you're keeping your eye on?

  6. Graham could be the next Antonio Gates right???  LOL. 

    Since the last thing our team needs is another failed "project" (see Ginn & Pat White), I'm interested in seeing the other kid named Graham from Michigan.  He has almost the exact same size as Lamar Woodley (former Wolverine DE & 2nd round pick) & Woodley's conversion to OLB worked out pretty damn well.   While I admit I had seen Woodley play in a LOT of games at Michigan & was shocked that he wasn't a first round pick, I have not seen Graham play since Michigan football has really dropped off.

    Since I think it's a foregone conclusion that we're going to draft a NT, I'd like to see this kid Dan Williams & Cam Thomas play.  I already have seen Dorin Dickerson play in three games this year & IMO if he's available when we pick in the 2nd, that's a guy that needs to be considered.  

    BTW--I believe it's a HUGE advantage for the us that our coaching staff is getting an opportunity to work with & getting to know these players over the week.   Something that needs to be pointed out about that is that while this week might not produce a player that we do draft but on the flip side perhaps something may be uncovered about a potential draft pick this week that is enough for us not to draft him.  You must have successful drafts to be a solid team & I believe that after this one & most likely one more the fans will be rewarded.

  7. Tin what the heck did you do to everyone?  This place is a ghost town!  I'm actually heading over to the in-laws to catch the game and hope to pop back over here to hear whatcha all gots to say.  Hope it picks up by then, want to talk Fins!

    So Rolle (of Cardinals) wants to come to Miami?  He's worse than Gibril, and an overinflated ego to boot!  I'd definitely take the Rhodes Scholar Rolle.  With him at strong safety, and Clemons hopefully developing, we could have quite the tandem.

  8. The Pats are going to slap the franchise tag on him & there's nothing Wilfork can do about it.  For a team to give up a 1st & a 3rd & then have to break the bank for him, well, I think it's a mistake.  Our team & most others for that matter are not in a position to give up draft picks.

    I thought Wilfork's play dropped off this season from the level he was at last year & while he's a I still think he's a very good player I don't look at him as being a GREAT player.  In addition if you look at players like Jason Ferguson or Jay Ratliff,  you can definitely strike gold with a NT in the later rounds.

  9. So i get stuck fixing the in-laws sink/faucet and miss the game but I can come join the raging conversation here right?  Holy crap where is everyone?  I need a complete recap!  And a life obviously..............

  10. OK RD i'm here, but for some reason this blog no longer comes through to my email inbox.  I have to keep checking back to this blog conversation.  So some times I can't get back to someone who replies to me.  If you're still around seeing this and replying I'll check in every now and them until about 11 tonight eastern.

    I saw the most of the game.  The ever so talked about Tbow was not very good in my eyes.  The defenses dominated this game.  The north team had a ILB that looked really good, can't remember his name.  They also had DE that played well, a hybrid guy.  One of Tins Favs had some moments Sylvie I think is his name.  He is pretty raw though.  The safety from USC had a pick and played well.  Those plus a few others stood out for me, I'm not good with names tough for me to remember them.

    All the talk seemed to go to tbow all week long.  If he makes as a QB in the NFL it will take a few years.  I don't see anyone taking him very early in the draft.  If he switches to TE I think he will go higher. That would be my advise for him if were his agent.  He just doesn't look like a QB at the next level.

  11. After watching/taping the game and viewing the Senior bowl rosters!!
    I don't know how much of an advantage it was for our staff to be the SOUTH's coaches??
    @LEAST as far as the 1st rnd goes!! (I see DWilliams)as the ONLY legit TOP 20 D guy on the sths roster,
    MAYYYBEEE TMAYS (int) or TCODY,but though I've liked them for a few yrs,I have my questions in o10!!

    Thankfully,b/c of South turnovers(WTF??),we got a good look @ the NORTHS IMPRESSIVE 1st rnd D prospects!! 

    I was very disappointed w'the SOUTH'S O prospects,(we have enough fumblers)!!
    MAYYYBEEE our training room staff is mistakingly using 3&1 oil rather than muscle heating/massaging analgesics???

    MAYYYYBEE,if the NORTH had as many blatant(unforced errors) as the SOUTH we'd of got a better look @ the SOUTH'S O & D prospects!!! 
    Didn't get to see much of their D either,even though the NORTH alway's had the ball,
    (b/c for the most part the NORTH had a short field)...

    I guess being w'the SOUTH squad for the week will help"OUR" regime w'the later rnd prospects,
    and in the evaluation of 1st rnd FIN possibilities WILLIAMS,Mays,and Cody from the SOUTH..

    But from what I saw, (other than trading down into @LEAST the late teens for the above),
    I hope we draft NORTHENERS and/or UNDERCLASSMAN
    w'the 12th ,AND 43rd pk!! 

    PRESENTLY/for the last mnth,
    I WANT McClain,or Berry @12,but DWilliams,and the NORTHERN D prospects moved-up my charts today!!

    STILLL LUV Dez Bryant, LIKE SPIKES in the late teens @the earliest!!
    (MICHIGANS!!) Brandon Graham was obviously a monster today (MVP),
    JAKE should have some insight on him,and TS surely does!!

    FANG WILL LOVE Brandon Graham,(a DE that's a force in the run game AND as a pass rusher)!!
    I wonder IFFF he'll be HYBRID material (HOPE SO),though 4.74 is border-line OLB speed
    (but should suffice IFFF he has the hips),
    or IFFF he'll be strictly a small NFL DE,(in which case,he's not likely to become a FIN),IMHO!!!

    DT Penn States Jared Odrick (LATE THURS/FRI PK) didn't hurt himself,
    and I've liked REDFLAGGED RB LeGarret Blount(ORE) for a couple yrs (as a SATURDAY PK)!!!

    MANNNN,it's gonna be a LOOONNNGG offseason w'out a legitimate FA period!!!   GOFINS!!

  12. 13... <span>
    "FANG WILL LOVE Brandon Graham,(a DE that's a force in the run game AND as a pass rusher)!!  
    I wonder IFFF he'll be HYBRID material (HOPE SO),though 4.74 is border-line OLB speed"</span>

    Did he look slow to you as you watched him ?  He didn't to me no matter his time in the 40.  The problem is the dolphins need ILBs more than OLBs.  So he's probably not on the phins list of early needs. 

    Seemed to me there were many of the big names not playing, and what we saw were later first round picks on down.

    I felt the only expert being honest with us was Kris Jenkins, the rest of them sounded like a cell phone ad hocking their goods.

    I see your man love JT wants to play again next year....  Oh joy.  :)

  13. IMHO,Graham's quick enough to be a Hybrid,but as I said I PRESENTLY want the ILB McClain,or FS Berry @ 12!!
    I can wait till @least the late teens for everybody-else that's not projected in the top 10!!

    JT's NOT my man-love,he just deserves OUR RESPECT!!!
    There aren't many HOF DE's in history that were GREAT in both aspects of the D game,
    so where he's excelled should not be diminished/critisized b/c of the lesser part of his game!!

    I'd doubt you can name 5 HOF DE's that excelled vs BOTH the pass AND the run,and if you can,
    you definately can't name 10,and seeing that JT holds many NFL DL records over those top 10,
    that suggest to me that he's a top 10 NFL ALL-TIME DE!!
    So show SOME RESPECT where/when it's due!!

    His coming back WOULD BE JOYFUL!!
    JP's likely gone,and though your bad w'names,have you seen who's starting w'out JT AND JP??
    IFFF they're BOTH gone,we'd better take Graham or the TOP DE/OLB w'our 1st pk,
    and then we have ZERO ESTABLISHED QUALITY @ ILB for another yr,(UNLESS we get lucky in the 2nd)!!
    You'd better hope that JT return's,even if you can't stand his personality,
    HE'S A GREAT PLAYER,and a LEADER w'his play!!

    You say b/c he's never won a SB that he's a loser,and that teams he's on are losers b/c of him!!
    IMHO,he's simular to DANNY,a HOF'er (eventually for JT win or not),
    who did everything in his power from his side of the ball who never had the surrounding cast (YET) to win a SB!!

    He's NOT a witch just b/c he sinks while the duck floats,so why do you continuously insist on burning him @ the stake?? ZTHOMAS is my all-time favorite,but JT IS THE ALL-TIME MOST PRODUCTIVE DEFENSIVE MIAMI DOLPHIN!
    Sooo,I suggest he be APPRECIATED,even if he's prettier than you like,and irks you to look @ him!!



    FANG,Here's the Senior Bowl rosters to help-out w'the names,
    ALOT of the ""BIG NAMES" not seen today are b/c their underclassman!!

  15. ACTUALLY,w'200 or so tackles EVERY YR, 54 IS probably the most productive FIN D playr!!
    and SHOULD get a THUMBS-UP for that alone!! ;) :-D !!

  16. The Knight who says NiJanuary 31, 2010 at 8:55 AM

    Don't be shocked if we don't draft a NT in the first two rounds. The reason is there are better players at other positions in the first two rounds than any NT prospect. Dan Williams has never played NT and Terrence Cody is way out of shape to be anything more than a two down player and you can't use high round picks on two down players.

    I'd say we might target a NT prospect in the middle rounds 3rd or 4th, maybe even later. They might also look for a 2nd tier veteran Dlineman in free agency that they feel might be able to play the NT position. Even if he's only a two down player, he won't cost a high draft pick or a lot of money. Could be a lower tier RFA where we have to give up a 6th or 7th round pick, and we have three 6ths and two 7th's so we can afford to do that.

  17. 13 I've told you a number of times he has been a great player, I think I have even said he should make the HOF.  At the same time there comes a time when a team needs to move on.  For at least 2 reasons, 1st is the guy is not as good as he once was, in JTs case he's not as good as the backup.  Which brings me to the 2nd point, he takes up a roster spot for a younger hopefully
    raising player.  Every Dolphin fan in the Nation deep down knows that JTs best years are behind him.  I'm going to leave it at that, we are not going to agree on this.

  18. Then quit reduntently throwin it out there,and THEN we can leave it @ that,otherwise I'll continue to defend JT!!
    Who's the back-up that JTs not as good as?? And w'out JP tooo,we'll need to name TWO of those backups!!

    NO KIDDIN,his best yrs are behind him,but you've been belitteling him since the prime of his career!!

    ZACH's best yrs were behind him,should we have chastized him after his 1st drop-off yr,and for the next 5??

    DANNY's best yr was 14 yrs prior to his retirement,that'd of been a miserable period had we gave-up on him a yr or two after it was evident he'd never again throw 48 TDs!!

    JT lead the league in sacks some 3 yrs ago along w'a league MVP,followed by a man of the yr award!!
    Went to WASH for a yr,came back for bottom dollar b/c he LOVES the MIAMI DOLPHIN FRANCISE,
    it's city,and it's FANS!!

    YESSS, his best yrs are behind him,but he's STILL a guy that the opposition has to game-plan for,
    and he had a pretty damn good 09 in part-time duty!!

    Believe me,I want to find the next SUPERSTAR game-changing FIN DLineman,
    and I believe that the current back-ups
    need JT's input/rotation in order for that player to develope quicker!!

    I wanted to find ZACH's eventual back-up for FOUR yrs b/4 he left,so that player would be established when the time came!! But even though I realized 54's best yrs were behind him,I wasn't willing to lose the input that ZACH might have for the up-and comers!! We didn't draft that 1st rnd LB previous to 54s departure,and now like DANNY,we're STILL looking for the next ZACH,or someone that's half as good!!

    We already need @least 2 LBs,IFFF we lose JP AND JT we'll need @least 3 MAYBE 4 or 5 new LBs(w'CC's??marks)!!
    I KNOWWWW JT's STILLL BETTER than @least ONE of those 3,4,or possibly 5 needed new LBs!!!

    ILB draft depth this yr is brutal,ONLY 4 gyz are PROJECTED to go in the first 3 rnds,
    and ONLY ONE is a guaranteed 1st rndr!! (Relondo McClain Ala),but I'm sure SPIKES will go too!!

    OLB's a little better, 10 gyz are PROJECTED to go in the first 3 rnds,but only ONE is a guaranteed 1st rndr,
    (Ricky Sapp Clemson),but I'm sure @least a couple other's will go too(Weatherspoon)!!

    DE is PRETTY DEEP,12 gyz are PROJECTED to go in the first 3 rnds,and @least 3 are more than likely 1st rndrs!!

    I think we HAVE to get our ILB in the 1st,(McClain PLEASE,or Spikes),and then hopefully an EVENTUAL SUPERSTAR DE/JT's EVENTUAL replacement in the 2nd!!
    MAYYYBEE,like the last couple yrs the regime loads-up in the 1st 3 rnds w'back-2-backs @ the position of most need??  JUST PLEASE GIVE ME SOMEONE half as good as ZT,and JT once were!!

    MY ULTIMATE would be McClain @ 12,and ONE (DE/OLB preferably) in the 2nd(Wooten,Morgan,Graham,Griffin)!!
    A straight DE/pass rushing monster would be fine too,(which are also included above ^     ^        ^         ^    ),
    IFFF they can't make the NFL Hybrid transition!!

    But who knows,it's still very early,and what little of freeagency there will be,might change EVERYTHING,
    and the draft prospect rankings could get turned up-side down after the combine!!


  19. Hello 13 how are you today ?