We are now 11 days away from the 2010 NFL Draft, and most if not all teams have there boards set with little minor tweaks done along the way. This is a very important draft for Miami going into this regime 3rd year. The Dolphins have had solid success with the draft, in 2008 bringing in starters OLT Jake Long, QB Chad Henne, DE Kendall Langford along with big contributors in DE Phillip Merling and RB Lex Hillard. The 2009 draft produced starters at both CB spots in Vontae Davis and Sean Smith and promising WR Brian Hartline and OLT Andrew Gardner, who has provided depth at the OT position. The 2009 draft also produced reaches and disappointments so far in QB Pat White and WR Patrick Turner along with 6th round pick John Nalbone. Turner and Nalbone did not get on the field last year for Miami.http://www.phinfever.com/newsite/index. ... 6&Itemid=1
Even with those disappointments in White and Turner, the Dolphins have done a very solid job putting together a very solid, young talent base. This draft will either help turn the Dolphins into a perrinial playoff team, or set them back.
The one thing we know about this regime is they like big players, size. They have a prototype of what they want at certain positions, which can eliminate a lot of very good football players, specifically at the position that Miami will need to address in this draft, OLB. The prototype that the Dolphins like at OLB is 6'3, 245-250 lbs. If you are not close to that size, you are eliminated from the process, and I believe that eliminates players like Brandon Graham of Michigan, Jerry Hughes of TCU, Jason Worilds of VT. The Dolphins had Jason in this past week, but I wonder if the interest is sincere or a smokescreen. If the Dolphins are willing to break away from the prototype, then indeed Graham, Worilds & Hughes are in play. If not, then players like Derrick Morgan, Everson Griffen, Jason Paul-Pierre & Sergio Kindle jump front and center in the 1st round if Miami trades down or Dez Bryant is off the board.
1) Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State, 6'2, 225 lbs, 4.55 40 - Davone Bess, Greg Camarillo, Ted Ginn & Brian Hartline are all solid wide receivers and Hartline showed a lot of upside in his rookie season and lead the team with 3 TD. The other wide receivers combine had 2 more touchdowns. In 2008 the wide receivers produced 5 touchdowns. You have players on teams with more touchdown passes than the entire Miami wide receiver core. In 2008 Anthony Fasano and David Martin were the leaders in touchdown receptions with 7 & 3 respectively. Simply put, 5 TD per season from your wide receiver core is unacceptable, and if you want to become a dangerous, big play passing attack to go with your top notch rushing attack, a playmaker is needed. The question is will Bill Parcells pull the trigger, and this time I finally believe the answer to that question is yes if Dez Bryant is on the board. He is that caliber of player. Big, strong, excellent in the redzone, producing YAC and providing Henne with that go to receiver that the Dolphins need so badly.
2) Nate Allen, FS, South Florida, 6'0, 207 lbs, 4.5 40 - The Dolphins missed badly on Gibril Wilson and tried unsuccessfully to address FS in free agency, as they missed on Antrel Rolle and Ryan Clark, who signed with the Giants and back with the Steelers respectively. Allen gives the Dolphins the physical nature and size they like, but also give the Dolphins something they have lacked at the FS position, a guy with excellent range and solid ball skills. Smart, leader on the field and can be the guy to handle calls in the secondary in regards to coverages. Playmaker with 9 career interceptions while at South Florida.
3) Jimmy Graham, TE, Miami, 6'6, 260 lbs, 4.56 40 - The Dolphins really missed David Martin and his ability to strecth the field and give the Dolphins a threat against LB and safeties to go down the field. As good as Anthony Fasono was in 2008, he regressed and struggled in 2009. John Nalbone is a 5th round pick from 2009 and he never saw the field and Joey Haynos is servicable. The Dolphins have been scouting Graham since he made his appearance with the Hurrincane football team this past year. He was with the Dolphins at the Senior Bowl and they worked him out again recently. He is raw and will need work, but his upside is hard to deny and he could actually go in the 2nd round as his stock has taken off. If he is there in the 3rd round, I believe Miami will take him. Brandon Spikes, the ILB from Florida is also a consideration as his stock has dropped because of his slow time in the 40, but he is an outstanding football player.
4) Daniel Teo' Nesheim, OLB/DE, Washington, 6'3, 263 lbs, 4.73 40 - This is a guy who stock has really taken off after the combine. Thought to be a play hard, work hard guy with little physical ability, he ripped off 29 reps at 225 lbs, 37" vertical jump and the quickest 3-cone drill among the DE at 6.91. When teams look at film, they will see a guy strong enough to play the run with discipline and contain and hustle on plays run away from him. Has a variety in his pass rush to include the bull rush, swim move & club move and has active, violent hands and does a great job of recongizing screens. 30 career sacks, 47 tackles for loss and 194 career tackles while at Washington. Production, size, motor and from a major conference, something the trifecta likes.
6) Jeff Owens, DT/NT, Georgia, 6'1, 305 lbs, 4.96 40 - Bill Parcells has had success finding NT late in the draft as Jason Ferguson and Jay Ratliff were 7th round selections while Parcells was with the Jets and Cowboys respectively. Ferguson is a Georgia product and the regime may go to Georgia again as they have had Owens down to there Davie complex. Owens has incredible upper body strength as he has a max bench of 535 lbs and did 44 reps at 225 lbs at the combine. He moves well for a big man also, but he is coming off a torn ACL in 2008. The important thing about Owens is his ability to anchor against the run and demand a double team, something Owens can do and he has shown the abilty to split and beat double teams. Al Woods of LSU is a consideration here as well.
6) Kevin Basped, OLB/DE, Nevada, 6'4, 258 lbs, 4.73 40 - Explosive pass rusher for Nevada with very good production while in college. Good strength with 26 reps at 225 lbs, but needs to translate that strength on the field more and do a better job against the run. He had 23.5 career sacks, 42.5 tackles for loss and 132 career tackles.
6) Adrian Tracy, OLB/DE, William & Mary, 6'3, 248 lbs, 4.76 40 - Has the mobility and movement skills to drop into coverage as well as provide solid pass rush pressure. Need to develop more of a pass rush aresenal, as he counts on speed and power to generate pass rush. 31 career sacks and 62.5 tackles for loss with 283 career tackles.
7) Clifton Geathers, DE, South Carolina, 6'7 1/2, 299 lbs, 4.98 40 - The brother of Robert Geathers of Cinncinnati and his uncle is Jumpy Geathers of the Washington Redskins. Has nice burst and quickness for a kid of his size, good against the run and can anchor and handle double team. Long arms to keep people off of him at 37 3/4", but has the power as he did 26 reps at 225 lbs. Relies of bull rush and swim move in regards to pass rush. Raw and certainly could have used his senior year at South Carolina, but his kid has tremendous upside and could go in the mid rounds, but if he is here, the Dolphins have meet with Geathers and he is an intruguing prospect.
7) Micah Johnson, ILB, Kentucky, 6'1 1/2, 258 lbs, 5.00 40 - Highly aggressive run defender, the type of thumper that is important in a Mike Nolan 3-4 defense. Micah hurt his knee in the bowl game and it hurt his 40 time. He did improve at his pro day and ran 4.84 & 4.92, which is still not blazing by any means. That is not his strength, being a guy that can take on blockers on isolation plays, is a big hitter and can be a good blitzer up the middle is his forte along with being a reliable open field tackler. That injury in the bowl game and other knee injuries along with an academic suspension can probably explain why Johnson is projected to be a 6-7th round pick.
7) Trindon Holliday, WR/PR, LSU, 5'5, 166 lbs, 4.32 40 - World Class Sprinter who also happens to be one of the very best return men in the nation. C.J Spiller finished his career with 7 return touchdowns and Holliday had 4. He averaged 24.7 yards on kickoff returns and 15.0 yards as a punt returner and he had 2 touchdowns as both a punt and kickoff return guy. 114 carries for 762 yards and 4 touchdowns as a RB. While the Wildcat will probably not be featured as much, it will still be part of the offense. Patrick Cobbs is coming off a torn ACL and Holliday is a homerun threat everytime he touches the ball. One of the few players I believe is more explosive than C.J Spiller, he instantly improves the punt return game and combined with Ted Ginn would give Miami an extremely dangerous kickoff return duo.
In regards to Miami pick at #12, as I have stated before, I believe Dan Williams, NT from Tennessee, Derrick Morgan, OLB from Georgia Tech, Earl Thomas, S from Texas, C.J Spiller, RB from Clemson, Everson Griffen, OLB from Southern Cal, Sergio Kindle, OLB from Texas and Jason Paul-Pierre are all in play along with possibly Brandon Graham. I would be happy with most of those players at #12.