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 Dave Blake: WAS JAKE LONG THE CORRECT PICK IN 2008? 

If you could go back to the 2008 draft, your selection at #1 would be...
Matt Ryan 7%  7%  [ 2 ]
Jake Long 93%  93%  [ 27 ]
Ryan Clady 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Other 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Total votes : 29

 Dave Blake: WAS JAKE LONG THE CORRECT PICK IN 2008? 
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Post Dave Blake: WAS JAKE LONG THE CORRECT PICK IN 2008?
I really liked Big Dave's blog this morning on the Jake Long/Chad Henne vs. Matt Ryan debate. I thought we could have a good discussion on the subject.

I was a big supporter of taking Matty Ice, but I knew Jake Long would be an anchor of our line as well. I was just worried about if he was too stiff in pass protection.
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Of all the moves that Bill Parcells has made with the Dolphins he will always be judged for taking LT Jake Long over QB Matt Ryan at the overall #1 draft position in 2008 NFL Draft. Most analysts thought Long was the safe pick but not the correct pick as you just do not pass up on a franchise quarterback if you lack one. The Dolphins had not had a franchise quarterback since Dan the Man, but an argument could be made for Jay Fiedler's leadership and smarts. Parcells hoped to balance that out by drafting QB Chad Henne in the 2nd round.

I try to be an avid observer of the ACC as I work at NCSU getting free passes to the games, so, I was not sold on whether Ryan would be worth the overall #1 pick in the draft. The reason? I have always admired BC's offensive coordinator Steve Logan, and he installed a very quarterback friendly system at BC. That, mixed with "Matty Ice" 's talent, I expected Ryan to find the end zone ... and he did 31 times. He also scored a 32 on the over-rated Wonderlic which was the highest for any quarterback entering the draft in 2008. Most teams will not draft a quarterback who gets less than 21 on the Wonderlic. You will all remember that Dan Marino scored a 13 on his.

I think what bothered me the most about Ryan was his 19 interceptions that he threw as a senior at Boston College. He had a very good offensive line, and he seemed to make rash decisions at times. What would he do at the NFL level? Well, I am the first to admit that Ryan has played better than I expected and is deserving of a first round selection in that draft. #3 overall? I am still not so sure about that, but he has deserved the nickname "Matty Ice".

In a comparison between Matt Ryan and Chad Henne's 2009 performances, Pro Football Focus rates them as good quarterbacks, but not elite quarterbacks. Keep in mind that Ryan was only in his 2nd year as a starter and looked even better than he did in 2008 showing improvement everywhere, and that Henne was starting his first season.

So, what about Jake Long? Was he the right choice? If you are Bill Parcells then you made the right choice. Look at everywhere that he has coached. All of his teams win for several years after he has left them. They are all known for having mauling offensive lines. Why does no one else seem to get it?

ESPN's KC Joyner is one of those analysts who thinks the Left Tackle is over-rated. He calls himself "The Football Scientist" and points out that "of the past nine Super Bowl winners, only one featured a first-round pick at left tackle". Also, "overall, four of the last nine Super Bowl winners had a left tackle who was drafted in the third round or later".

I like to look back at the great Don Shula, the holder of the most wins in NFL history. His offensive lines always were one of the best in the league, and he invested highly for elite left tackles and offensive linemen ... the same formula that Parcells uses. If you ever want to win consistently in the NFL then you need to have an offensive line that protects your quarterback's blind side and an offensive line that opens up gaping holes for your running backs. Look no further than the 72 Dolphins. People remember FB Larry Csonka dragging linebackers and cornerbacks down the field, but he also had some nice holes to run through.

Now, Jake Long has been everything the Dolphins expected from him ... maybe more. He has been in the league for 2 years and made the Pro Bowl both years. By making the Pro Bowl in his rookie season he kicked in some nice incentives that were written into his contract that makes him very highly paid for his position. Parcells considers him to be worth it.

CBS Sportsline's Pete Prisco rated his top 50 players in the NFL. Jake Long made his list:

Quote:
29. Jake Long, T, Miami Dolphins: He's a rock on the left side of the Miami line. He's improved greatly as a run blocker, and he excels in pass protection. He had one bad game -- the opener against the Falcons -- and then played at a high level in 2009.


I think this year should define whether taking Jake Long over Matt Ryan was the right choice as we will see whether Chad Henne is indeed the answer at quarterback. Most analysts are saying that Henne will make a major move forward in his development this year and most are saying that he is our franchise quarterback. Personally, I think Jake Long's play has all ready answered that question.

One thing to think about is that a lot was made of the fact that Parcells drafted team leaders this year. Well, both Henne and Long were team leaders themselves of their college teams. I like that formula as well.

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Sat Jun 26, 2010 7:51 am
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Post Re: Dave Blake: WAS JAKE LONG THE CORRECT PICK IN 2008?
Very nice article there by Big Dave. I'd have to agree on the point that we'll probably know for sure after this year, but so far it's looking like a no brainer.

We ended up getting an elite LT and a quality QB out of the draft. While Matt Ryan has looked pretty good so far, he hasn't looked like any sort of elite QB. He's only going into his 3rd year, so that could change, but Henne himself is only going into his 2nd as the starter.

Time will tell, but I think we won that deal.


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Post Re: Dave Blake: WAS JAKE LONG THE CORRECT PICK IN 2008?
2008 will prove to be one of Miami's best drafts.

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Post Re: Dave Blake: WAS JAKE LONG THE CORRECT PICK IN 2008?
Matt Ryan is a very good, solid young quarterback, but I thought Jake Long would be the pick early in the process and I think he was definitely the correct pick.

The foundation of a football team is the offensive and defensive line. You can have Tom Brady or Peyton Manning back there at quarterback, but if your OL is not strong, your quarterback will spend a lot of time on his back getting pounded. Elite OLT are hard to come by, regardless of what KC Joyner says about OLT being overrated.

Plus, I think Chad Henne can be every bit as good as Matt Ryan, if not better. Very good size, very strong arm with a ton of experience coming out of Michigan. Mentally, Chad is very strong, able to shake off mistakes and smart enough to learn from them.

No question, Chad Henne continued growth will be the key for Miami in 2010. That is why I was so elated to see the Dolphins acquire Brandon Marshall. Matt Ryan had 2 very good WR in Pro Bowler Roddy White and Michael Jenkins. Miami had a group of #2 and #3 WR's, but not a #1, a playmaker. Now Chad has that and I expect his play to improve from last year.

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Post Re: Dave Blake: WAS JAKE LONG THE CORRECT PICK IN 2008?
Cant argue with either pick. Some say we overpaid for Long but he has shown he can play in the league & should barring injury anchor our line for years to come.
The Falcons were just a mess , losing a bunch of players at the skilled positions & then losing a Franchise QB in the manner that they did with Vick. Also even being screwed by Parcells.
Ryan has turned that franchise around before they had a chance to become the Lions. He also has shown he should be a good player in this league for years to come.
If you hit on a QB as your first round pick it changes the whole dynamics of that franchise.

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Post Re: Dave Blake: WAS JAKE LONG THE CORRECT PICK IN 2008?
2 Years in the league, two pro bowls, nuff said

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Post Re: Dave Blake: WAS JAKE LONG THE CORRECT PICK IN 2008?
It's interesting that one thing that really hasn't been mentioned alot is the fact that Henne and Long played together at Michigan. Surely that had to factor into the decision. They were already very familiar with each other's playing styles. I would think that is an advantage since they already knew each other's tendencies. Speeds up the learning curve for sure.

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Post Re: Dave Blake: WAS JAKE LONG THE CORRECT PICK IN 2008?
Iceberg85 wrote:
2 Years in the league, two pro bowls, nuff said


Popularity contests mean nothing.

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Post Re: Dave Blake: WAS JAKE LONG THE CORRECT PICK IN 2008?
Taking a franchise QB is a popular move with the fans.
Doing so before you before the other pieces in place is a moronic football move. There are countless examples around the league of how pathetically that turns out.

Mattie would have had a rough time without someone watching his blindside. It would have been a truly awful pick if Miami took him.


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Post Re: Dave Blake: WAS JAKE LONG THE CORRECT PICK IN 2008?
Iowafin wrote:
Iceberg85 wrote:
2 Years in the league, two pro bowls, nuff said


Popularity contests mean nothing.



Ok how bout 6.5 Sacks given up in two years, Clady had 8 last season alone.

Ya we paid a lot for him, but so far he has done his job and done it better than most in the league right off the start

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Post Re: Dave Blake: WAS JAKE LONG THE CORRECT PICK IN 2008?
Iceberg85 wrote:
Iowafin wrote:
Iceberg85 wrote:
2 Years in the league, two pro bowls, nuff said


Popularity contests mean nothing.



Ok how bout 6.5 Sacks given up in two years, Clady had 8 last season alone.

Ya we paid a lot for him, but so far he has done his job and done it better than most in the league right off the start


For a number one overall, he came at a fairly reasonable price. But yes, those sack numbers are better than pointing to the pro bowl. Long is a beast, and will continue to be one.
Now his 4 year college teammate will join him in that domination.

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