Dolphins Likely To Draft An O-Lineman In First Round


I know this article could disappoint and anger many Dolfans, but I believe the Miami Dolphins will most likely draft an offensive lineman with their first round pick.  Trust me, I’m not super excited about the thought of another boring, first round pick on the O-line, but all signs are starting to point that direction.  That’s of course if we assume the Dolphins won’t trade away their entire 2012 draft for Luck or RGIII.

The Dolphins are between a rock and a hard place with that eighth or ninth draft pick, depending on the coin toss in February with the Carolina Panthers.  For the past four years, starting back with Parcells in 2008, Miami has a history of choosing safe, conservative “needs” in the first round.  And to their credit, Jake Long, Vontae Davis, Jared Odrick, and Mike Pouncey have all been fine selections.  No, they were not the “sexiest” picks, but these guys have been excellent at their respected positions.  This draft philosophy will continue this year based on where we are picking and who will most likely be available.

It is clear that the Dolphins have some major issues on the O-line.  They finished 30th in the league in pass protection, giving up a whopping 52 sacks on the year, which tied the team record set back in 1969.  Only the Rams and Cardinals gave up more sacks.  That’s very discouraging considering Tony Sparano was considered an “O-line genius.”

What’s even more alarming is that the Dolphins are ranked 31st in the league when they run the ball on the right side of the line, just averaging 2.27 yards.  That would be the side where RG Vernon Carey and RT Marc Colombo supposedly “hold down the fort.”  On the other hand, the Dolphins average 4.6 yards per carry when they run to the left side where LT Long and LG Richie Incognito play.  Wow, talk about a tale of two lines.  Thus, it’s pretty obvious we are flawed on the right side of the line and you better believe GM Jeff Ireland is fully aware of this.

Colombo is on the wrong side of 33 years old and is statistically one of the worst right tackles in the NFL.  In my opinion, he is the biggest liability on this team.  Any Dolfan knows exactly what I’m talking about here so there is no need to debate that.  If you need more evidence, just go back and watch tape on the Philadelphia Eagles game where he gave up three sacks alone.  You can bet that he will not be a Dolphin next year.  This opens up “need” number one on the O-line at right tackle. 

As for Carey, he turns 31 in July and will be an unrestricted free agent.  He has done some great things for this organization and we all certainly appreciate his services and leadership during his tenure here.  Unfortunately, he has regressed over the past two years and I believe his best days are behind him.  He has been susceptible to injury and the Dolphins will most likely not resign him to a new contract.  That leaves “need” number two on the O-line at right guard.

Also, backup linemen G/OT Nate Garner and G/OT John Jerry have been huge question marks the past two years.  There is a lot of uncertainty with these two being able to consistently play at a high level and stay healthy.  This would suggest the Dolphins have some depth issues and instability at these positions.  That said, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Dolphins drafted multiple O-linemen this year.

If history repeats itself, all signs are pointing towards a first round guard or tackle selection.  The philosophy and mindset of Jeff Ireland and the Dolphins is to “play it safe” with conservative first round picks.  I’m not claiming to agree with the selection of an O-lineman with that eighth or ninth pick, but I just wanted to point out the facts, since many Dolfans are hoping we select a QB, WR, or possibly a TE that can boost our 20th ranked offense and become more explosive in the red zone.  I don’t mean to ruin your 2012 draft parties, but don’t expect a “play-maker” with that first round pick.  The question is, how will you react on draft night?

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Tags: Jeff Ireland Marc Colombo Miami Dolphins Vernon Carey

  • Crackshot

    If we acquire a free agent QB I would have no problem with this – unless Blackmon is there! Moore would also benefit from this pick – I think he deserves another look – because of poor line play he didn’t often have much time & still showed promise!

  • dolphan39

    @dolphinsbuzztap too early to say about OL v DL. If we lose Solai and Langford, we need DL help just as bad

  • Cornerss

    @Crackshot Doubt blackmon gets passed the rams

  • Cornerss

    @Crackshot

  • drumzan

    Orlando Franklin with the Broncos has proved you can find an RT in the 2nd round. The way the Phins are going to get more wins is better pass rushing and protecting the QB. I would hope the Phins do everything they can to trade down and acquire picks. Then pick a pass rushing OLB like Courtney Upshaw in the later part of the 1st round. David DeCastro is looking like a beast at RG and I wouldn’t complain if the Phins got him, but spending a 1st rounder on an RG is a very pricey investment.

  • ranadicus

    I don’t think it’s fair to say Carey regressed last season since they forced him into a position change. He certainly would have been a better RT than Columbo was and either Jerry or Garner probably would have played RG as well or better than Carey. You have to throw that one on the staff.

    I agree about fixing the line though. Everybody talks about quarterbacks in the playoffs but nobody pays attention to how many great running backs/teams made it. Not to mention that watching Brady wallow in the first half against our pass rush tells you exactly how poorly even a great QB plays when under constant pressure, and if Brady can’t play like that how can we expect anybody else to?

    Personally I think we should use our high second round pick to trade back into the first round to get a lineman though. DeCastro might be the sexy name now but Cordy Glenn is where it’s at. He’s build like a guard (6-5, 340) and plays like a tackle (in fact, Georgia moved him from LG to LT this year).

  • huzzy905

    guards dont get drafted in the1st round. ot, cb, olb who rush, wr ,qb are drafted in round 1

  • RoeBlount

    LISTEN! There are good free agent linemen that will be available this year. Even good safeties and wideouts. Miami needs to do WHATEVER it takes to get RG3, Troy Drayton Kim Bokamper and other former dolphin players say the same thing. Give whatever next years picks and a player or two. We DO NOT need to draft another dang line-man in the first round. Our team needs to grow a sack take a chance and draft Robert Griffin III. A other issues can be fixed in free agency.

  • ranadicus

    @huzzy905 You need to watch more drafts. Eagles and Niners both have taken a guard in the past two seasons. Danny Watkins and Mike Lupati respectively. The first round is about talent, not position.

  • ranadicus

    @RoeBlount And if he turns out to be another Pat White we can look forward to the mediocrity that not having a first round pick for a few seasons bring us. You don’t mortgage the future of your franchise on a “chance”. This is why fans don’t run the team. If we’re going to mortgage the future for anybody it needs to be Luck.

  • TACAMO

    This is hilarious! The Phins already had Matt Kopa on their roster, however; in Tony Sparano’s infinite wisdom to go with Columbo and Carey to save his job they let Kopa go after the preseason. It should be noted that Kopa was Stanford’s best OL in 2009 until he broke his foot. Coming into the NFL, he was raw but athletic and very smart. He also had a huge upside according to Gil Brandt having only started 7 games on the OL after Jim Harbaugh switched him from the DL to OL. But rather than giving reps to Kopa at RT to allow him to develop Sparano had him practicing/playing at every position on the OL — to include C even though Kopa never snapped a ball before in his life. And so now you want the Dolphins to take another OL with their first pick in this April’s draft — which ironically Mel Kiper has 2 of the OL that Kopa mentored at Stanford, Jonathan Martin and David DeCastro, ranked among his top 15 players. It’s no wonder why the Dolphins are perenniel losers!

  • drumzan

    @ranadicus@RoeBlount 1000% agree.

  • ranadicus

    @TACAMO Um… Kopa went from the niners practice squad to our practice squad to the pats practice squad. Exactly what are you complaining about here. That we aren’t starting more practice squad players?

  • Lespaul

    Its not a sexy choice at no, 1 pick, but the Dolphins don’t score points….they lose games because they don’t score points. They can draft an O-lineman and hope he turns out to be the next Long/Pouncey, but that won’t score points. Moore is severely inadequate at starting QB and Henne had his chance. They had better start looking for the franchise QB and some linebackers that can cover NE’s tight ends.

  • Lespaul

    @RoeBlount I wouldn’t bet the farm on RGlll, but whoever gets him will be getting a great player. Love the connections to Pat White….ridiculous, perhaps you should watch some film on Robert Griffin. This is a guy who threw for over 4,000 yards, 37 TDs and 6 INTS. When did Pat White do that?

  • RandyCarlson

    ESPN said Nolan was not with the Dolphins another team was attempting to hire him.

    ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

  • Mattpatrick5

    @RandyCarlson Nolan is still under contract with the Dolphins through next year. There are a bunch of rumors out there about other teams trying to get Nolan but he is under contract.

  • RandyCarlson

    @Mattpatrick5

    I wa not sure on his contract / espn trying to muddy the water

  • JoshThaPoet

    We can get quality linemen in rounds 2-7. We need to do best available at the 8/9 pick if not trading up for RG3. If Richardson, Blackmon, Coples, etc are somehow available and we pass on them for Reiff or Martin we are idiots cause we could still trade down, increase our picks and grab one of them

  • hope for 2012

    I listen to Dolphin fans all the time, I am going on 35 years of being a fan. I am frustrated with some people opinion, in the NFL you are either the have or have not. The teams that go to the playoffs have one thing a QB, sure a couple of teams have made it without but not normally. I will tell you this until we draft a serious QB we will stay out of the playoffs. I don’t care who we have on the line. A good QB makes everyone else look bette.

  • ranadicus

    @Lespaul@RoeBlount There are college quarterbacks who put up huge number every year. They don’t all belong in the NFL. And I didn’t make a connection to Pat White, I made a connection to every QB who turned out to be a bust. White was just the example I used. How about the next Ryan Leaf if that’s better for you.

  • ranadicus

    @hope for 2012 This is the biggest lie in the world. Tell this to Philip Rivers. You have to be good before you can be great. Teams that go to the playoffs go because they belong there, not because of just one guy (with the exception being Peyton Manning). Go back to our first half against the Pats. Our pass rush had Brady dazed and confused until they shored up their protection. If Brady can’t play under those circumstances what makes you think any QB we bring in will be able to? A good QB can overcome some deficiencies but the other ten guys still have a job to do.

  • ryan828

    @Lespaul Yeah all Pat White did was throw for 56 TDs and 23 INTs in 3 seasons, and rush for 47 TDs with over 6000 yards. MORON. Stats don’t mean anything way to do some research. Oh yeah and he also rushed for over 4000 yards, as many as RGlll

  • Lespaul

    @ryan828 The stats for Griffin above were for 2011 alone…Pat White isn’t in the same league as Robert Griffin.The same naysayers of Cam Newton are singing a different tune, but yeah actually stats do tell you a lot. I played at NC State and trust me…NFL scouts do look at stats because they are the culmination of work. Griffin played against some very tough defenses in his college career and lost against some of them too. He learned and honed his skills. He is good at reading defenses and protects the ball. Who knows if he’ll be the next star, but my bet is on his attitude to work hard and get it done.

  • Lespaul

    @ranadicus@hope for 2012 fixing the O-line can be done with the draft and FA, but not acquiring a young QB to compete with Moore is just foolish. Both can be fixed at the same time…

  • ChrisLeeuw

    Pass rusher! Especially if we switch to 4-3. That’s where the 1st rnd pick should go.

  • bill.stowers

    I actually very much agree Thayer need to draft a right tackle in the first round. I’m sorry but we are not going to get luck and I don’t think that RG3 is worth it. I don’t see much promise coming out of this QB class besides luck. Our O-Line has been horrible. A good line means a better offense, expect more good things coming from reggie and Donald and Matt Moore will play even better next year knowing that he won’t belaying down every single play. That being said I also think we need to get a young QB to become the future. If tannehill slips to the 2nd roun I vote we draft him. But only if. I like taking a risk with Matt Flynn.

  • bill.stowers

    I also want to see what Pat Devlin can do. I’ve seen absolutely nothing from him. I was very disappointed that they didn’t play him at all. I vote we bring him back next year and let him battle it out.

  • koonshi9

    Alright everyone here is just my 2 cents however it has been……….wait for it…………28 YEARS since we have spent a first round draft pick on a QB, though 10 of those we had Marino solidly in place. This year in the draft we have 2 “exceptional” prospects that we can take advantage of. Now everyone is scared of getting a Ryan Leaf or Pat White, but 28 YEARS people! We could have drafted Ryan Leaf 2x over and still have had time to find Aaron Rogers or Tom Brady. Playing it safe will………wait for it……….NEVER win you a superbowl. Lets just wait for the combine and if either RG3 or Luck look as half as good as their stats we draft them!!

  • ranadicus

    @koonshi9 Neither Luck nor RGIII will be available when we draft is the problem. We’ll have to give up multiple first round picks to move up for them. My opinion is RGIII, at least as it stands now, has too many questions to take the risk. While Luck will probably be the next Herschel Walker trade (two ones, two twos and two threes minimum, probably three ones).

  • koonshi9

    @ranadicus Though that is true, I firmly believe that Stephen Ross will put lots of pressure on Ireland/TBD HC to move up in the draft for either Luck or RG3(considering Ross is needing a “big splash”. I think the dolphins need to do whatever necessary to move up and get a franchise QB even if Moore starts the season, atleast there would be good competition for both.

  • Cornerss

    Yup.Hes holding down the fort on the pats…..practice squad. Went undrafted in 2010 @TACAMO

  • Cornerss

    @RoeBlount Enough with wanting to draft wr’s. Wr’s dont win games,the qb throwing them the ball does and the lineman giving them tiem to run routes do. How often you hear of a wr giving credit to his o-line like rb’s do?

  • Cornerss

    @Lespaul@RoeBlount i think when pat white came out he was one of the most decorated qb’s in college history with records of stats and all

  • Cornerss

    @huzzy905 pouncey was a G converted to C. And even C are more so not to draft in 1st then G

  • Southbeach

    @Lespaul I just remembered to answer your question. The forum I mentioned is phinatics.com which is Brian’s forum.

  • ranadicus

    @koonshi9 @ranadicus Personally I’d rather risk a bunch of Ross’ money on Flynn than a bunch of the team’s future.

  • ranadicus

    @Lespaul @hope for 2012 QFT, but you missed the point of both his post and my rebuttal

  • ranadicus

    @Cornerss @TACAMO My point is if 3 teams have seen him as practice squad fodder what makes you think he’s so great as to post about how stupid the fins are for letting him go?

  • Lespaul

    @ranadicus@Hope Yeah, I got it…but you still need a good leader under center and someone that can compete with Moore should be brought in. The patriots are a prime example of a team that has an excellent O-line and have secured that with FA and the draft. Generally they get solid O-line from FA and late round picks. I do believe that Mankins was a round 1 pick and there was some controversy over that at the time. There is no question that Miami has suffered with poor line play for 6-7 years running. They should be able to fix it with the draft and FA. I don’t think that RGlll will be available for Miami, but given what I have seen and his character (very team oriented) he should do well. The connections to Pat White are unfounded. RGlll does run the ball when his O-line lets him down, but he is stronger and i have seen him run right over Oklahoma and Texas linebackers/safety to pick up a 1st down. I don’t know that much about Pat White, but I do know a lot about Robert Griffin. I have been watching him play ball since he was in high school in central Texas. He is a winner and I really believe that whoever lands him will be happy they did.