You’ve heard and seen various opinion on the matter. And frankly, there may not
even be an NFL Draft come April 23rd given the battle between players and owners. But please allow me to lay-out the issues in a fresh, new light. Concerning these Miami Dolphins:
1. The Offense is not productive
2. The Defense needs to continue to improve
3. More team speed is essential overall
4. The new coaches and players will have less time to prepare together (which is why new Offensive Coordinator Brian Daboll is learning the Offensive Blocking signals instead of preparing to teach new ones), and
5. There is a definite lack of depth on the roster that must also be remedied because losing players during an even longer season is a usual occurrence – especially if the league does make the move to play an extra 2 weeks.
First of all in addressing these points, I think most of you will agree that the league needs
to also increase it’s roster limit to provide for the increased injury potential as well as simply the wear-down of players looking at 18 regular season games. Remember that the change is by shifting 2 pre-season games into regular season ones. Those pre-season games were normally played by rookies and free agents hoping to make the team. Now they would be played by the starters.
But there is no doubt that of all of the concerns that the Miami Dolphins are facing above, a big-play quarterback who is a leader would be the largest asset. You know that and if in doubt, just take a look at the Baltimore Colts and Peyton Manning.
The Dolphins must, must, must draft a good NFL-quality Quarterback with this draft in order to challenge Chad Henne. The expectation is that Henne will win the battle and be the starter. And as well, that Henne will be pushed and will become better. And as Bill Parcells well knew, and now Jeff Ireland does know, a solid NFL QB in a backup role can be an invaluable commodity both as a trade option and as a need in the case of the all-too-common injury.
That said, the team is definitely not going to draft Cam Newton or any other single-wing type player. I believe that (as some media indicates) the Fins are becoming very enamored with Ryan Mallett. See the recent Miami Herald article, below:
The Dolphins have spent a lot of time with several quarterbacks, including Christian Ponder, Cam Newton, Ricky Stanzi, Andy Dalton and Colin Kaepernick. They’ve privately met with Dalton twice in the past month. But top Dolphins officials might end up spending more time with Mallett than any of them.
I believe that the issue is going to be centered around trying to draft Mallet without over-
paying for him. And suspect that Ireland will try again to trade down in order to pick up an extra draft pick while still being strategically able to draft the 6 ft 7″ tall Mallett. Hell, we need a mallet on our offense! Personally, I’d be fine with the pick at number 15 or the selection of Colin Kaepernick later in the first round by trading the #15 pick for a later first-round and a second or third round also.
Much has been made of Mallett’s alcohol troubles. He basically partied in College. Whom else has done that? Well besides you and I, there was Dan Marino who had the same knock held against him. And things turned-out pretty ok with that one.
You can absolutely forget Kevin Kolb and Matt Hasselbeck and such other crazy ideas. Besides, if they had the juice in them there would not be talk of them each leaving their respective teams….
The Fins will pick up 2-3 Linebackers and probably 2-3 Defensive Backs as well in order to upgrade/push the existing players. Channing Crowder will most likely become a rotational Linebacker and used more on Special Teams but I do not think Tim Dobbins will step in to become the starter either – look for a new face at ILB across from Dansby.
Bottom lines: The offense will be faster but will sputter early in the year and finally settle-down about week 4 and be productive. The defense will get even better. And team speed and depth will improve. By next season, I suspect that this year’s QB drafted will become the starter or else Chad Henne will be playing very, very well. One of the two.