Tuesday, April 6, 2010

2010 Draft Prospect - Mike Iupati

Well guys, April Fools' is over so this is not a joke.  I actually had a dream last night (which is odd because I haven't been aware of many of my dreams for a couple of years) that I was at the Draft Party at Sun Life Stadium Joe Robbie Stadium, and the Dolphins used their 12th overall pick to select Mike Iupati, the big Samoan guard who played at Idaho.  And since my dreams tend to be somewhat prophetic (or at least they used to before I stopped dreaming regularly), I'm beginning to see this being a real possibility.

There's no question over who is the best Guard in the 2010 draft - that's Iupati.  The question in recent months has been whether or not he could play Tackle in the NFL.  As of today, I would say no, but I would also say that about several players who are already playing Tackle in the NFL.  I think Iupati could turn into a Tackle after some serious coaching and of course experience.  

You see the ting with Iupati is, his technique isn't very polished, and he relies too much on his size and strength.  This won't hold up on its own in the NFL where everyone is faster, stronger and bigger.  But what Iupati does have going for him is that he knows he should win each battle and he knows to take things one play at a time (this is so important as an OL) and he is fierce in his attack.  He has very good feet, athleticism, and uses his hands well, but he doesn't necessarily tie it all together at the moment.

This is why I never thought of him as a top 15 pick before, but I could see it happening simply because he has all the tools, has the character, the size, the intangibles, etc.  it's all there waiting for a coaching staff to come along and make a pro-bowler.  The Dolphins coached against him in the Senior Bowl, where their South defensive line manhandled the North's O-line for most of the game - but reports through out the week of practice were very flattering towards Iupati who was probably the only North linesman who stood out and the Dolphins spent a lot of extra time with him after his Pro Day and hosted him in Davie.

With Justin Smiley on the trading block, Iupati could come in as the impending starter at Left Guard.  I don't think anyone would complain about getting a potential long-term starter on the O-line with our first round draft pick.

86 comments:

  1. Tim The EnchanterApril 6, 2010 at 10:15 AM

    Iupati could be a very good pick. The kind of pick the Steelers usually make. He's probably going to be a very good player. But if we do take him at #12 many Phins fans are going to jump out windows. LOL

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  2. That's ok, most of the windows in South Florida are right above a
    pool....right?

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  3. Tim The EnchanterApril 6, 2010 at 10:30 AM

    LMFAO!!!! Ah... that was good. LOL

    Being that I believe the draft is for building a team for the long haul and not for immediate need, all I want from the #12 pick is an impact player. Either a starter or a guy who has a role and contributes right away. A lot of fans are so caught up with the #12 pick they seem to forget we have 9 other draft picks and good players could be landed in anyone of those rounds. It happens all the time. We need to hit on a few of them, as in 3-4 who will be part of our core team for years to come. Some might fill depth roles for now and not be here in a few years and some won't pan out at all.

    In a few years most of us won't be focused on past drafts if we're a regular playoff team trying to get to the big game. But hopefully when we look at our roster, we'll know we have the talent to win a championship. That's all you can ask for as a fan.

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  4. LMAO @ jump out the window....you mean like we did with the Ginn pick? ;)
    I honestly long term would not mind an OL pick, but I would rather use our first round for something we need right now. Smiley is on the block but not gone----I know, I know cheese with that wine, Sus, but I just want a player that we can ooohhh and ahhhhh over for a bit and OL just does not do it for me. ;)   ;)   ;)

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  5. Smiley was told not to report to work-outs, and obviously something happened that the Dolphins don't even want him around.  And I'm not talking just injury issues.  My guess is that he questioned the coaching or told Parcells to to pull his head out or something like that.

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  6. I think he'd be a strange pick more than anything... I don't doubt that he'll develop into a great guard but he could be a holding penalty machine initially plus our o-line has a great amount of money invested in it already and considered an area of strength... I'd be disappointed with taking him at 12 for the same reason i'd be disappointed if we took Dan Williams at that spot, as both players would need a lot of developing and players for this position can traditionally be found later in the draft

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  7. You better believe many people would complain... Just take a look at the poll on the Herald, most people continue to be obsessed with getting a reciever, to instead end up with a guard... they'll turn into chicken little.

    That said, I think Iupati would be a good pick... I am not in love with it but I would be fine with taking him. We already were pretty nasty with Polite in short yardage situations, put Iupati between Long and Grove and it just got nastier. Which is just one aspect Iupati would improve on our team immediately, over the long term he has all the potential to develop into a pro bowl stud guard. Plus he fits the parcells mold top to bottom.

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  8. Tim The EnchanterApril 6, 2010 at 11:18 AM

    Do you really believe that? I know the one thing Parcells can't tolerate more than anything else are players who can't stay on the field. That drives him nuts. But who knows, you might be right.

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  9. Both Sparano and Ireland said the decision wasn't just about injuries and
    implied that something else was involved in the decision.

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  10. Tim The EnchanterApril 6, 2010 at 11:40 AM

    They also mentioned money which is always a big issue.

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  11. How long does it generally take for a rookie to develop at Guard? How far in your opinions is Iupati away from being a starting Guard on the Phins?

    Also, what is the asking price for Smiley? I know he has some injury/durability issues but he was ranked as the best pulling Guard in the league last year, why has no one made any offer, even if lower than the Dolphins asking price?

    Finally, and this one has been bothering me for a while now, why in your opinions do you think the Dolphins haven't Zach Thomas for the one day retirement contract?

    Go Phins!

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  12. Hi Guys. Long time no see...er...blog.
    I think that he would be a solid pick...not sexy. Just solid.  Regardless of who is taken at 12 I think that many fans will be surprised.

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  13. <span><span>"I don't think anyone would complain about getting a potential long-term starter on the O-line with our first round draft pick." </span></span>

    LOL I think you are wrong here!  LOL There will be a ton of people complaining here after the draft no matter WHO we pick.  If SUH somehow were to fall all the way to 12 people would still complain. I can hear it now "WTF? SUH? what are the trifecta thinking? He isn't even a NT! Doesn't the front office understand we need a #1 WR? etc., etc., etc." People get really attached to THEIR picks....hell three years later (even after he did nothing for  the Browns) I am still hearing about Brady Quinn!!

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  14. Where is my avatar?  Test...test

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  15. Yeah but if they draft Iupati at 12 they'd have to pay him a big contract anyway.

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  16. Tim The EnchanterApril 6, 2010 at 12:11 PM

    Money versus production because of missed games due to injury. Smiley was worth the money, he just didn't stay on the field enough. I think that is the biggest reason and maybe he didn't take conditioning as seriously as the trifecta wanted.

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  17. O-line has a great amount of money invested in it, but I wouldn't go so far as to call it an area of strength.  I can't help but see question marks everywhere.  They did put together a solid year, but Smiley's always hurt, Grove isn't too far behind him, Carey is good but I want great, and Thomas is yet to prove more than the fact that he has potential.  Jake is the man, get more of him.....

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  18. Tim The EnchanterApril 6, 2010 at 12:49 PM

    Who's your favorite prospect at each position?
    NT
    LB
    DB
    OL
    QB
    RB
    WR
    TE

    I haven't done mine yet but I will.

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  19. You'd think after watching Snyder play fantasy football and the underwhelming results from it people would learn......oh well....

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  20. If we were going to go o line in round 1 with Iuapti which has been suggested. Surely we’d be better off drafting an offensive tackle rather than a guard due to the greater positional value of a tackle. Plus Carey could really do with a push as he looks out of shape to me. Most tackles could play guard and alternatively if the rookie tackle ousted Carey you could always kick Carey inside and we’d have upgraded our Oline whatever the outcome

    This definitely isn’t the direction i’d go but i was just thinking if they were going to draft a guard that high why not an elite tackle examples - Bulaga/Trent Williams... Its unlikely (not impossible) Iupati will ever be able to play tackle

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  21. Tim The EnchanterApril 6, 2010 at 12:56 PM

    NT should be DL. All this NT talk has burned a hole in my brain.  :-E

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  22. Hey guys - long time no check in. If we get Iupati with the #12, I can see even more 20 play scoring drives and a Wildcat front that will have some real teeth to it. Sabre-toothed tiger type teeth even.

    Thanks for getting rid of the virus Tin, it was infecting your blog and spoiling the visit.

    Just watching the Barca/Arsenal game .... won't mention the score. Won't say anything about Utd either ..... as the old adage goes - if you can't think of anything good to say don't say anything?

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  23. You're right Rockphin.  I never got the whole Brady Quinn argument.  It's like someone complaining that we didn't draft Charles Rogers....

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  24. Iuapti and Long would be like Webb / Sims all over again.  Not a sexy pick, but I wouldn't complain.

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  25. I don't think either Williams or Bulaga will still be on the board at 12.

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  26. How dare you leave out place-kicker, punter and long-snapper!

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  27. It wouldn't be my pick, with so many glaring holes on the defense. It would definetely be the safest pick, going G or T, least flop potential.

    I'm not big on any WR's with our #1, Dez isn't as solid a prospect as  Crabtree or Calvin Johnson. Like last year the value for WR's seems to be in the 2nd and 3rd rounds.

    My favorite scenario would be trading up and taking their favorite prospect, or trading down for an extra pick, although neither seem likely

    Staying at 12 I love to see a FS or OLB to shore up the defense with a NT, WR,  and TE sprinkled around in some order

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  28. Tim The EnchanterApril 6, 2010 at 1:18 PM

    Hey uk! How's everything across the pond?

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  29. I have said it before on hear I would totally understand this pick. May not be sexy, but I get it. I think if the pieces fall the right way, or I guess don't fall the right way, this pwerful man could absolutely be the pick. It will come down to the phins draft board and who is at the top when the pick comes around. I believe the FO is not going to draft on need the first 3-4 rounds. They will stack their board, and whoever is there will be the pick. I say this because of Coach Sparano's comments that this year they are focusing on getting good players. They want good, talented players.

    I'm actually glad to hear this approach because drafting for need can get teams in a lot of trouble. Phin fans have already fell victim to the "need" approach way too often this past decade. Look where it got us! We have too many holes to draft for need. This is exactly why Dan Williams will NOT be a Mimai Dolphin.

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  30. I think he'd start immediately at LG, but obviously there would be competition during camp -  no one thought in 2008 that Thomas was going to be named starter just like Murphy in 2009.  Still, Iupati is better than both of those guys so he should come in as the starter.

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  31. I'd trade up using our 2011 first and a swap of 2010's picks to get Suh.

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  32. Nice, I hadn't thought of that.

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  33. LOL, I almost jumped out of a window this week thanks to Man Utd... :'(

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  34. All good here thanks Tim. I hear you seem to have fully emerged into spring in NJ. We haven't really yet.

    I see you have morphed into your latest character to keep one step ahead of the trolls - keep up the good work. I rarely bother with the comments section of the SS anymore, but I noticed the same idiot that Tin banned from here has also been neutralised from Omar's blog, so he went on Skolnick's (which no one comments on anyway).

    This time of year is even more frustrating for me as a finfan, cos I haven't really watched any of the prospects and the wait for the draft and free agency to get sorted and move on to camps seems interminable. I'm not wishing my life away, but I'm glad I have soccer to distract me! lol Unfortunately, Utd's star striker is injured. I won't bore you with the parcheesi details ;)  but it's like the Colts losing Manning. Gulp.

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  35. Tim The EnchanterApril 6, 2010 at 1:36 PM

    LOL @ Parcheesi

    The weather is awesome here. It's officially spring. It will go up and down a bit but we're in. LOL

    The troll thing is such a bore. What a waste of time.

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  36. Tim The EnchanterApril 6, 2010 at 1:37 PM

    So would I.

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  37. Tim The EnchanterApril 6, 2010 at 1:41 PM

    They bore me. LOL

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  38. But he's going to shake it off and be back in a week, mark my words. I
    actually thought it was going to be a lisfranc injury, it looked just like
    the Ronnie Brown injury last year.

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  39. You and a lot of other Utd and ENgland fans!

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  40. Guess you have to be a troll to understand one. Waste of time and a lot of other things too.

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  41. Slush babeeee, you're back!!!!! Thank gawd...it's been crazy here without ya!!! :)

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  42. Tim The EnchanterApril 6, 2010 at 2:30 PM

    The troll has signed in with an avatar on the SS using the Knight pic and went off with multiple posts. He doesn't realize that my actions force him to do more work. So ultimately I control his actions. LOL

    He also doesn't realize that his fake site doesn't draw much attention than from himself. That must be fun. LOL

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  43. Fergie's take. Certainty for derby against City, maybe for Blackburn and outside chance for Bayern (Ronney's take - coming off the bench is a possibility tomorrow). Btw, is Lisfranc a tranny? ;)  I think Rooney is a ligament - is that what Lisfranc is - I haven't googled it?

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  44. Tim The EnchanterApril 6, 2010 at 2:40 PM

    It's a dislocation of joints on the top of the foot where there are many bones. I believe it becomes a pressure issue and you can't plant without severe pain. Ginn had it in the championship game after he returned the opening kickoff for a TD and his teammates mauled him. He was ready for mini-camp after being drafted though not 100%.

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  45. true, but there is a chance an elite OT will be on the board and they represent greater value than Iupati at the spot... It's not the direction i would go, i was just kinda thinking out loud

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  46. Could be worse ukfinfan, you could be a Liverpool fan!

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  47. Tim The EnchanterApril 6, 2010 at 2:45 PM

    ALERT: Omar is asking for regular SS bloggers to reply under the troll and have him banned. He needs at least 10 regular mob members with avatars to make it happen.

    The troll is easy to find under the latest blog. He is using the Knight's who say Ni! pic and uses multiple names with that pic in a row.

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  48. That's fantastic news. Not the tranny bit....

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  49. That's retarded, just pound the hammer already!

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  50. Do you think Suh could be an effective nose or would you play him at DE in our system

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  51. Thx for the explanation Tim. Rooney seemed to do it when he planted and it's definitely being reported as an ankle ligament problem so sounds like something different here.

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  52. Liverpool? yuck, it's got liver right in the name! lol actually it's a
    lovely city, much nicer than manchester....but let them keep their culture
    center status and silly bridges, manchester has the better football team!!

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  53. Dan W - very true. Being born In Manchester, though, I could never follow those reds.

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  54. I'd play him at nose and the occasional rotation out to end. Hell I might
    put him in at ILB on a few plays.

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  55. Unfortunately i'm a liverpool and dolphins fan from Wales, So hasn't been a great past year sporting wise! haha

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  56. Disagree about Manchester being the best city, but I am biased. Manchester is my home city and L'pool is full of scallys. Liverpool being the city of culture is an oxymoron!

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  57. Tim The EnchanterApril 6, 2010 at 3:11 PM

    Agreed. It's so obvious, Tin!

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  58. Dan W - are you still in Wales or the US now? To make matters worse for you, the 6 nations didn't brighten your year up either then!? Nor mine for that matter!

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  59. We really could use Suh.  What do you think it would take to get him?  Ginn and Smiley?  Has he been in for a visit?

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  60. I'm not positive it was Omar, but I voted.  He used all caps. 

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  61. Tim The EnchanterApril 6, 2010 at 3:49 PM

    Well if the troll is impersonating him with his picture, shouldn't something be done?

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  62. Most definitely.  That menace chased me away.  I think he's lost it.  I'm all for getting off topic from time to time, but that stuff was simply manic.

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  63. Tim The EnchanterApril 6, 2010 at 4:38 PM

    At FB too. LOL

    20 reps at NT and 5 at end is how I would use him.

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  64. Tim The EnchanterApril 6, 2010 at 4:38 PM

    15 at end.

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  65. Tin, 100% behind on getting Iupati at 12. Not to many people see that because of weakness on defense. How ever if we make are offense better we give the defense less time on the field. The PBP is saving we have 50 outside visit. What is right on this?

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  66. When the lip smackers "media" asked Parcells how do you build a team ?  He said you start on the lines.  The Dolphins seemed to go away from that last year.  Maybe they will go back to that theory.  I sure hope so.  Great line play = wins, it's that simple.  D. Williams or Lupati may not be exciting to watch but we will better with either of them.

    Long, Lupati, Grove, Incognito, and Cary look pretty nasty to me !!!!

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  67. 30 is the correct number.

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  68. <span>I'd be KINDA BUMMED IFFFF we took an OLman,w'ALL the bare cupboards on D!!!</span>
    <span>""OUR"" O was pretty productive inspite of a rotating interior OLine,</span>
    <span>and 19 or so (NOT the Guards fault) TURNOVERS, ""OUR"" D ISSSS THE PROBLEMMMMM(for the most part)!!!</span>
    <span></span>
    <span>The # of QBs taken b/4 12 isn't what I thought about (W'the DMc/Washington move)!!  
    It was that NOW that Washinton is LIKELY to take the TOP OLineman,  
    MAYBE a team or two b/t Wash and us had that OLineman targeted  
    and like the TOP guy @ their next position of need more than the next available OLman..  
    (POSSIBLY a few of our NEEDED D targets by a few teams)?? But that'd mean a TOP OL MIGHT fall to us >:o  !!
     
     
    I AGREE though "" WE SHOULDN'T MISS-OUT"" !!!  
    The OLman b/4 12 all seem worth the price,(but there is that fit the scheme deal)..  
    Most of the gyz we fans have targeted are mere #12s @best,  
    so unless someone reaches,I believe that @LEAST 5 FAN FAVORITES  
    that WILL START in o10 @ some position of need SHOULD be there @ 12..(NOT INCLUDING OLmen >:o !!)  
     
    DWilliams, BGraham, DBryant, McClain, EThomas,and (Flagged JP-Paul,SKindle,SWeatherspoon,DMorgan)...  
     
    We SHOULD be able to have a choice of a few even if we're able to drop down a few spots,  
    and we SHOULD DEFINATELY BE ABLE to get who the organization really wants @ 12,  
    (other than SUH,McCoy,Berry and EXCLUDING OLmen >:o !!!) 
    </span>
    <span>I think I'll be ecstatic w'whoever we're able to land b/t 12-17,ESPECIALLY W'an extra 3rd or so rndr,  
    (I LIKE'EM ALL TO SOME EXTENT!!)  
     
    HOPEFULLY that 2nd QB doesn't get taken b/4 12,  
    (inner division foes SF & SEAT could both use a francise QB's) and pk just behind us and eachother!!</span>
    <span>I'd be KINDA BUMMED w'an OLman,unless we traded-down from 12 for one,(and even then *DONT_KNOW* >:o )!!</span>

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  69. I think we have too many holes on defense for the Dolphins to draft Iupati at #12 (especially consiedring there is a small outside chance that he lasts until the beginning of round 2), but I will never, ever, complain if the Dolphins draft an offensive lineman. I think outside of QB, that is the most important position on the football team by far. I dont think we will draft Iupati, but if we do, you wont here a complaint out of me.

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  70. I love Iupati as I have mentioned previously in this blog, but I think this is a smoke screen. The Dolphins simply have too many gaps on defense and I believe Iupati would be a luxury pick at 12, not that he wouldn't be worth it. If they can draw some attention to him it could cause another team to fall in love and grab him leaving some of the other defensive studs hanging around for Miami.

    Tin, on the Smiley conspiracy... Is it just me or does it seem odd that so shortly after Nolan was hired for the DC position, Smiley falls out of favor? I'm thinking those two did not get along during Nolan's time in SF and Justin may have voiced his opinion when Sparano was in the selection process. If he were to say something like, "I'll never play on a team coached by that idiot!" Yeah, that could probably lead to some trouble...

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  71. <span>Is it just me or does it seem odd that so shortly after Nolan was hired for the DC position, Smiley falls out of favor?</span>

    Good point, Patrick!

    All of the possibilities at #12 are making my head spin! With this proclaimed "deep" draft, maybe the Dolphins trade down for more picks?

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  72. Can, I am right with you! I would love to see the Dolphins find a trading partner and move down, even out of the 1st round and acquire multiple 2nd and 3rd round picks. The guy I would keep an eye on is Clausen... With Washington nabbing McNabb there is a possibility Clausen falls and is available at 12. If that were to happen there could be opportunities because teams love QBs and will give up a lot to get one.

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  73. Still in Wales mate, and the rugby has made for depressing viewing this year. And to compound matters i broke my arm playing rugby 3 weeks ago so i've been passing the time while off work talking about the draft on here and on the SS. Looking forward to the Bayern game tonight, it'd be a bad year for english clubs if Utd bow out!!

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  74. I really think Carey needs to pick it up this year, he looked out of shape to me last season

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  75. At least you have the opera....

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  76. That makes total sense - I hadn't even thought of the Nolan issue.

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  77. Last season? He was in the best shape of his life last season, lol. He
    just is super slow and gets beat a lot.

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  78. Ooops, you're in Wales...my opera comment was because I thought you were in
    Liverpool...oh well, chin up anyway, I hear the sheep are frisky this time
    of year ;)

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  79. All that and a broken arm - my sympathy goes out to you big time. And the draft still 2+ weeks away.
    At least Arsenal had a good excuse though! I'm off down to the pub now to watch Utd - fingers crossed. Btw, don't post the score on here - Tin is a Utd fan but watches the game hours/days later!

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  80. "Tin is a Utd fan but watches the game hours/days later! "
    You make it sound like in some sort of retarded time zone (that's right, I
    said the word 'retarded' twice in 24 hours) or on a distant planet. The
    truth is I download the games to watch at my leisure and they sometime take
    days to be posted online. I generally watch them the same day I download
    them.

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  81. Tha's just pathetic of the SS!

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  82. Okay, I'm confused.  Why would a D coordinator have any impact on an OL player?  Even if they don't get along, if I were Sparano, I'd tell them both to man up and possibly make them give each other hugs every morning. 

    Personally, I believe the Fins know they have depth there and are trying to trade Smiley while he still has value during a deep draft.

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  83. lol

    So, have you watched the Utd game yet?

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  84. no, it finished downloading at 3am. I'll watch it tonight.

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  85. OK - I'll keep mum until tomorrow!

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