The Miami Dolphins seem hellbent on finding a pass rushing LB to put pressure on opposing QB’s this coming season. Today they are working out USC LB, Rey Maualuga who does not fit that bill. Still, the Phins may be seeing him as the missing ILB that will make Channing Crowder a better player.
Maul, his name is too long to write every time, is not known as bull-rushing OLB that will kill QB’s. He is however known as a relentless playmaker which is exactly what the Dolphins need and what Bill Parcells loves. Paired inside with Channing Crowder, the Dolphins could potentially have a lethal combination.
Crowder is a run stopping LB and it just about ends there. He is not a coverage LB, not an INT machine, not a sack guy. He often blitzes but rarely makes contact with the QB and rarely puts enough pressure on the QB to force errant throws. Still, he is a valuable run stopper who moves well from end to end in pursuit.
The two of these guys would compliment each other quite well. Rey would be free to rush the QB and make plays while CC would be able to utilize his vision to work the field. When you add in Joey Porter on the outside and newly added OLB/DE Canadian product Cameron Wake on the other, the potential for a dominating defense is in place. There is one problem though. Rey Maualuga won’t be available at pick 25.
Many mock drafts have Maul going anywhere from the mid to late teens to the late 20′s. If the latter is true, the Phins could be in place to grab a steal with the 25 pick. It appears though that with teams such as the Patriots, Texans, and Chargers among others needing LB help, the Phins won’t likely see the versatile LB when they go on the clock.
The option of course is to trade up. The Dolphins however want to add 3 more picks in this years draft which may indicate a willingness to move down and not up. Should the Phins go into the draft with only 9 selections which they currently hold, they won’t likely use any to move up.
With 2 selections in the 2nd round, it’s not out of the question that the Phins could simply move one to advance 3 or 4 slots if the guy they want is there. It should be noted that the Phins are once again doing their due diligence and working out key players at their need positions. So Rey Maualuga may be nothing more than another player in the long line of deception tactics.
Would it really surprise you to see the Dolphins work out every player but they one they draft? No, me neither.
In other news, it is apparent that the Dolphins, while they won’t say it openly, are inching closer to pulling the plug on WR Ted Ginn. Now this is simply conjecture on my part, but when the GM comes out and says “Teddy is going into his third year and I think it’s time for him to really show what he was drafted here to do,” the writing may in fact be on the wall.
Ted Ginn has blazing speed. Yet last year he didn’t return punts or kicks. With Chad Pennington tossing the rock, Ginns’ speed was wasted. It was his route running and his “after catch” abilities that came into question. Often running out of bounds or away from contact instead of turning up field which is the hallmark of an up-field speed WR.
Ginn needs to learn how to use his speed and agility to better himself as a receiver and while Jeff Ireland isn’t saying “It’s a make or break year” for the 3rd year veteran, in reality it is. The Dolphins have expressed an interest in upgrading their offense with a “playmaker”. That is not something they will do at RB or QB. They completely refer to the WR position when they say that.
With Greg Camarillo signing a big money deal (for Camarillo) last year and the Phins apparent commitment to Davone Bess and Brandon London, Ted Ginn is the guy that has the most to lose. If the Phins draft a WR on day one of this years draft, it won’t be to compete with Ginn, it will be to replace him.