Draft Day 1 Complete: Phins Address Needs


The Miami Dolphins said that they needed a playmaker on offense and when the final bell sounded on day one of the draft, they hope they addressed that concern with their 44th pick overall.  QB/WR/RB you name it, Pat White.

The NFL Draft opened with little surprise when the announcement came that Matt Stafford was the overall number 1 pick for the Detroit Lions and the Rams did little to change that when despite a large thick cloud of smoke opted for OT Jason Smith at number 2.  Then, well the draft got a whole lot more interesting.

By far the biggest move of the day was the Jets moving up to the number 5 spot to get USC QB Matt Sanchez and the Browns moved down to the Jets spot at 18, then moved down 2 more times before making their first pick.  At number 3, the best LB in the draft was passed over by Kansas City who opted for DE Tyson Jackson, a Richard Seymour type player…or so they are counting on.

While teams shuffled their boards and names like Michael Crabtree dropped to San Francisco and Darrius Heyward-Bey was taken at number 7, names like Rey Maualuga, Everette Brown, and Clay Mathews fell.  With the Dolphins awaiting the New England Patriots to take a LB, the Patriots traded out of round 1 and all 3 fell into the laps of Bill Parcells and his troupe.

With the 25th pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, the Miami Dolphins selected…Vontae’ Davis – CB Illinois.

With the 25th pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, the Miami Dolphins selected…Vontae’ Davis, CB – Illinois.

The Dolphins knew they had a situation at the CB spot when the only real option on the roster was FA acquisition Eric Green.  The fact that you are trying right now to remember anything about him, explains the choice of Davis with pick 1.

Initially, the pick was met with some reservations, not nescessarily dissappointment, when most wanted one of the 3 mentioned above.  When the dust settled however, the Dolphins drafted a starting CB that will compete with Green from day 1.  A solid pick, Davis was exstatic on camera when the word came to him via cell phone while surrounded by family and friends that included older brother and SF TE Vernon Davis.

Vontae’ has said all along that his first choice was the Miami Dolphins and he got his wish.  Davis is a physical presence on the field and while he is not considered a “shutdown” corner, his coverage skills are considered one of the best in this years class.  Davis was the 2nd defensive secondary player taken in this years draft.  While deep with talent, the position lacked a clear superstar.

With Miami, Davis will provide youth, speed, and a solid CB prospect.

Following Davis, fans watched as Maualuga and Everette Brown slid into the 2nd round.  NE continued to trade and eventually ended with early back to back picks.  Selecting Darius Butler with the latter only a few picks before Miami.  The Dolphins were very high on Butler and an early Sun-Sentinel report stated that the Phins had informed him they would draft him.

Miami went on the clock and used the full 7 minute window to make their selection.  Rey Maualuga and Everette Brown selected one pick before Miami’s were no longer in play.

With the 44th pick in the NFL Draft the Miami Dolphins select…Pat White, QB, RB, WR – West Virginia.

Amid groans and dissappointment from many fans, the need for an “offensive playmaker” may have been addressed.  White is not a QB in the traditional sense.  Nor is he a WR or a RB.  Pat White is a mixture of pure talent and athleticism who can play multiple positions with little or no decrease in ability.  While the drafting of White serves as a memo to the league that the “WildCat” formation will be a focal point in next years offense, the drafting of White also signals the end of QB John Beck who will likely not be on the roster come training camp.

White will not be a 3rd string clipboard holder in Miaimi.  The speed of a WR, the vision of a RB, and the arm of a QB, White will find a contributing roll on offense.  In the WC package and also in base packages that can be disguised in a number of ways.  White will see most of his time in the slot as a WR.  White may be a stretch at 44 but with Maualuga, Mathews, Butler, and Brown off the board, he may be the safest pick.

The Dolphins want playmakers and they want players that contribute.  Evidence showed last year that the team does not like to waste players.  If you can’t play special teams, your likely gone.  Beck was a clipboard holder who would not touch the field.  White will do more than touch it, he is liable to scorch it.  The Phins now have a viable option at the number 3 QB slot that will not be a reserve.

Pat White may have been the topic of the draft for Miami fans and it’s not something that will likely change over the course of the next month if not the next year.  He will be highly debated until the fans see exactly what it is that Bill Parcells, Jeff Ireland, and Tony Sparano have in mind to take advantage of his ability.

The Dolphins would select again at 56 and after ESPN and NFL Network both moved to commercial breaks just at the Phins came on the clock, the Dolphins made a trade with the Colts.  Moving down 5 slots, the Phins picked up an extra 5th round selection.  With little left on the board at the time, the Dolphins turned to need once again and addressed an area that surely needed some youth infusion.  They did it in a giant way.

With the 61st pick in the NFL Draft the Miami Dolphins select, Sean Smith, CB – Utah.

Sean Smith is one of the biggest corners and one of the biggest players in this years draft.  At 6-4 and 204 pounds, Smith is another physical force that should roam the secondary for years.  Smith’s ability is currently attatched to his height and weight along with a very strong desire to hit people.  He fits the physical mold that the Dolphins are trying to become.

The knock on Smith is that he is not fluid, something that is teachable, and he tends to get beat deep.  However, these are coachable areas and truth be told, he will not likely be the number CB on the team as Davis will jockey for that roll.

Smith will see time behind Will Allen who will be a free agent next season.  Allen’s future with the Phins may reside on the shoulders of Sean Smith.  Smith has excellent hands as he is a converted WR/RB and led the Utes in interceptions last season.

The Dolphins will enter day 2 of the draft a 3rd rounder and a high 4th rounder.  2 5th round selections, 1 6th, and 2 7th’s for a total of 10 combined day 1 and day 2.

This draft so far also serves as another barometer for the Dolphins intentions as the selections point to the possibility of one Jason Taylor rejoining the Miami Dolphins.  The Phins have not drafted a LB or a DE/OLB hybrid.