There is not magic crystal ball, no seeing stones, no mirror that sees the future. If your trying to predict what the Miami Dolphins or any other of the 31 NFL teams for that matter, will do with their draft…you have about as much of a chance as asking the “Magic 8 Ball“. Go ahead, click the picture and ask “What will the Dolphins Do“? The 8 Ball never lies.
With so many needs and even more “expert” mock drafts on the internet, who will the Dolphins choose? Who knows, but the answer may lie in another form of the question. Perhaps the question isn’t who will they choose as much as what they might choose. Although breaking that down is far from science, it may be a little easier to develop an understanding of what you will see and what you won’t see on draft day….well…maybe.
If it were as simple as throwing a dart we all would know the answers. If we break down the off-season signings, the roster as it stands today and look at what is missing and what needs immediate attention, we may find a sliver of hope while digging.
The Dolphins are in a position to select any player at any time and fill a need. No single position on the current roster holds enough security to abolish that position from the draft. None.
What you “Will See”: Look for the Dolphins to use all the allotted time on the clock. 10 minutes in round 1, 7 in round 2, and 5 the rest of the way. They will work the phones and if a trade brings them a pick or two that allows them to address more, they will take it, we will get to the trading shortly.
At some point in the draft the Dolphins are expected to address the QB position. Next years draft is rumored to be weak in the QB market. One mock draft site has only one QB going in round 1 for ’09 and that is Tim Tebow of the Gators. Make no mistake, the Dolphins know this and the QB position will be addressed at some point. The rumors of course point to Henne, Ryan, and Flacco, but don’t be surprised if the Phins wait until the top of round 4 to make that move with a guy like Josh Johnson instead of spending yet another day 1 pick on the position.
The obvious position is the offensive line where the Dolphins have only Carey at LT, no true RT, free agent Justin Smiley at guard and a bunch of camp fodder. The Phins did little to address their porous line in this years free agent market. Mainly due to a lack of 2nd tier guys and they did not want to overspend on the top guys like Faneca. There is little doubt that the Phins will spend at least two high picks on lineman for the offense. For once, something went Miami’s way. This draft is full of solid NFL projected starters along the line, from Jake Long in the top 5 to Barry Richardson out of Clemson in round 4…and beyond. The Dolphins have for now, 3 first day picks and it will be no surprise to see them use two of those on the interior.
What you “Will Not” see: The Dolphins have a lot to change on a roster that was dumped for the 2nd consecutive year and if you look at the team on paper, it is hard to believe that the team will finish better than 4 or 5 wins. Just being realistic. Those wins I would attribute to luck and good coaching and motivation. The fact is, this is not a winning team.
When it comes to rebuilding, we all know in our heads that you can’t in one year. We want to believe our hearts which say otherwise. If the Dolphins go heavy on Oline like I predict and address the QB and LB spot, that leaves little in the draft to jump on. Again, barring trades.
Going under the assumption that the above holds true, I do not think that we will see wide-receiver addressed in this draft. No James Hardy, no Mario Manningham if he falls to 32 or even late 2nd. It is a need, but it is not a need that can’t wait another year.
That holds true for the Cornerbacks as well. I realize that our DB’s are some of the worst in the NFL. By far. However, I also realize that with so much in need of repair, this team has the bodies to put on the field and should the run defense improve, the corners should play better. I think we address one corner in the draft, and should a surprise happen, we could address it on day 1, but likely day 2.
The defensive line is no longer the priority it was at the start of free agency…much like special teams. The Phins will likely take a pass on DT’s until late day 2 if at all. The signing of Jason Ferguson and the young depth behind him is a signal that the Phins will use JF to bridge to the future. They will address that young monster NT next year or even the year after if Fergie holds up.
Running back is not a priority for the Dolphins which is a shame given the current crop of rookie runners. In any other year, Darren McFadden would be headed to Miami. Steve Slaton in round 3 or even Jonathan Stewart if he fell to two. The fact is that the Phins still have Brown and Ricky Williams and there are always runners on the market. Even with the injury concerns of Brown, the loss of Chatman, and of course Ricky’s problems, the Phins are not likely to use a high draft pick on a running back. Not this year. This is a need that again can wait until 2009. Ronnie Browns contract will balloon in 09 and the Phins will take a strong look at him. We may draft a late round guy or we may take the shot at McFadden, admittedly I would be surprised.
With Oline, QB, and LB being a true need this year in terms of fielding a team that can start and WR, RB, and DL being addressed to a degree in free agency and in the case of the RB an 09 issue, the only real question is where do the secondary guys fall?
Corner and Safety are the question marks. On first day? Maybe…but not likely. On day 2 early? Maybe and at least more likely. Late day 2? Probably.
With Bill Parcells “teaching” Jeff Ireland and company everything is silent. It’s a calm before a storm. Picking the brains of either would give way to no clues into the reality of the situation.
Shake the Magic 8 Ball people. If you think it holds the key to truth…you’re likely to get the answer: “Parcells Only Knows”.