Okay! If you have been following my pre-draft articles, I have done much research on potential Dolphins draft picks and reported my findings to you my readers. Before I get into the picks that I believe my beloved Dolphins will take in the 2011 NFL Draft, I would like to thank the people at NFL Draft Scout, National Football Post, Consensus Draft Services, UniversalDraft, and WalterFootball for their research which I leveraged to come to my conclusions. I would also like to thank all of you who have followed my articles, some of whom have contributed to a lively debate. I plan to mock the Dolphins 2011 draft picks in three articles. One article for each day of the draft. This will give you plenty of opportunity to critique my picks.
So, here it is … MassanuttenRef’s Phins Mock Draft – Round 1.
With the 15th Pick: TRADE — Chicago Bears (from Miami) select Gabe Carimi (OT – Wisconsin)
The Bears desparately need an offensive tackle to protect Jay Cutler. They gave up the most sacks in 2010 — 52 of them. The Bears can’t wait until the 29th pick to get a top tier tackle — the top five may be gone with the run by the Cowboys (#9), Giants (#19), Chiefs (#21), Colts (#22), and Eagles (#23). With Carimi from nearby Madison, the Bears will get the jump on four of the five and get a quality tackle who will likely be a starter for many years.
The Dolphins trade their first round pick (#15 – Trade Value = 1,050) for the Bears first round (#29 - Trade Value = 640), second round (#62 - Trade Value = 284) and third round (#93 - Trade Value = 128) picks. The Dolphins get three picks for one to fill the many holes they have at QB, RB, OL, TE, OLB, and WR — good job Jeff Ireland.
With the 29th Pick: Miami Dolphins select Andy Dalton (QB – TCU)
Andy Dalton is arguably the most prepared QB in this year’s draft. He has been recently rising up the draft boards. However, I discussed his virtues in an article back on March 8th. This was before he was interviewed by the Dolphins three times, before he was on ESPN with John Gruden, and before Peter King mocked him with the Dolphins at the 15th pick. I have been saving the following table which shows why Dalton is the third best QB in the draft (and maybe the best):
In the table, I have compared the five second tier QBs in the draft — primarily focusing on their 2010 passing stats. I wish for you to please focus your attention on the categories in blue, where Dalton leads in all categories. Dalton is a four year starter and two year captain at TCU passing for a total of more than 10,000 career yards — he is experienced. He has 43 career wins – he is a proven winner and suits up for every game. In 2010, Dalton has the highest completion percentage (66.1%) and highest touchdown percentage (8.5%) — he is accurate and deadly. Dalton has the lowest interception percentage (1.9%) and lowest sack percentage (2.5%) — he avoids negative plays (mistakes and losses). And, if you were wondering, Dalton also bests Gabbert in all six categories and Newton in five categories.
Dalton is truly the antithesis of Chad Henne.
Critics say Dalton does not have a strong enough arm, yet his YPA and YPC are among the highest in the draft and on his pro day threw a 60 yard completion while on the run. Critics also say he played against inferior opponents, yet his numbers did not drop when he played against an excellent Wisconsin team on the big stage in the Grand Daddy of the All — The Rose Bowl. Finally, critics say that he played in a spread offense and will have trouble in the NFL under center, yet his quick feet (quantified at the Combine with 4.27 sec in the 20 yard shuttle and 6.93 sec in the 3-cone drill) plus his intelligence and work ethic indicate that he will easily learn. Besides, the Dolphins plan to run more of the shotgun offense in 2011.
Tony Sparano will love Dalton’s intelligence, work ethic, and his ability to avoid negative plays. Brian Daboll will love Dalton’s accuracy and his demonstrated ability to work out of the shotgun to include his demonstrated ability to audible and check-off at the line. I think Dalton is the perfect pick at this position in the draft. He can come in and contribute this season if Henne does not improve — this despite the lockout’s impact on rookie QB preparation.
By the way, I might even pick Andy Dalton with the 15th pick in the draft. I am that sick and tired of seeing poor throws, stupid interceptions and needless stacks — especially, in the fourth quarter. I want to see greater accuracy, more TDs, and minimal negative plays. And, I believe the Dolphins don’t need another tall, strong armed, and slow footed QB. I believe the Dolphins will give Henne another chance. And, I believe that the Dolphins will be grateful they have Andy Dalton ready to come in after the 2011 bye-week to lead the Dolphins back to the playoffs.
Okay! This is my take on the first round. Tell me what you think!