Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Lots of new content this weekend!

With this being finals week, it's been pretty hectic and I haven't been able to analyze anything the Dolphins have done recently. But fear not, because after my last final of the week on Thursday I'll catch back up. There's quite a bit to talk about, which a few trades, the whole draft and undrafted free agent signings. I'll definitely have some new stuff by Thursday afternoon/Friday morning, and I should be fully caught up by the weekend. Things slow down a bit before camp rolls around, but this has been an exciting week for the Dolphins and there's plenty to talk about so check back soon!

EDIT: And by "this weekend" I mean Tuesday. :-D

Friday, April 25, 2008

2008 Round One Mock Draft

With the 2008 NFL Draft tomorrow, I thought it was time to post my Round 1 mock draft. I've also added Miami's No. 32 pick here, just because the first round usually has 32 picks and I figured what the hell. Here's the mock, with explanations of each pick.

1. Miami Dolphins - Jake Long, offensive tackle, Michigan

Call me crazy, but I just have a feeling this is going to happen. I know it's a long shot. (Hey, that's a pun!)

In all seriousness, while Long was not my first choice (Gholston was), it's definitely a good pick and will go a long way in solidifying the offensive line. It allows the team to move Vernon Carey back to right tackle, for which he is far better suited.

2. St. Louis Rams - Chris Long, defensive end, Virginia

I think Jake Long would have been the pick here had he not gone No. 1, and now it's really a toss-up between Dorsey and Chris Long. I say they go with Long, as they might be wary to take another defensive tackle after so many failures at that position before.

3. Atlanta Falcons - Matt Ryan, quarterback, Boston College

Ryan had a long drought here for me - I had him a long time ago, and didn't again until today. It seems like Dorsey is the most likely pick, but I have a feeling they go with Ryan. In my opinion, it's the right move; the sooner they move on from Vick the better.

4. Oakland Raiders - Darren McFadden, running back, Arkansas

Gholston or Dorsey will be tempting here and they'd be my top two choices if I were Oakland, but in the end I don't think the speed-loving Al Davis can pass up on McFadden. Possibly the best player in the draft, McFadden is definitely worthy of the pick and would provide a huge boost to Oakland's running game.

5. Kansas City Chiefs - Branden Albert, Guard, Virginia

Few prospects have had their stock rise as rapidly as Albert in the past few months. He's gone from the best guard prospect and late first-round pick to a legit left tackle prospect and a top 5 pick. The Chiefs desperately need offensive line help and Albert would go a long way in improving that. You also have to imagine they could field a ton of offers if Dorsey is still available here.

6. New York Jets - Vernon Gholston, defensive end, Ohio State

As much as I like Gholston, I don't think he's the ideal pick for the Jets simply because they have a lot of money already invested in the outside linebacker position. Nevertheless, Gholston is the best 3-4 OLB in the draft and will excel in that role, plus the Jets will do anything to keep him away from the Patriots.

7. New England Patriots - Leodis McKelvin, cornerback, Troy

The Patriots will desperately try to trade out of this spot and I expect it to happen. But since I'm not projecting trades and I have Gholston off the board, I think McKelvin would be the pick. The corner spot is a little thin for them, especially after losing Asante Samuel in free agency. They could also take the best available 3-4 OLB in Derrick Harvey, but a trade out seems most likely.

8. Baltimore Ravens - Glenn Dorsey, defensive tackle, Louisiana State

To be honest, I think of Dorsey began to fall someone would trade up ahead of Baltimore and he'd be off the board. But since I'm not projecting trade and I have guys like Ryan and McKelvin gone, I think they could just take the best player available in Dorsey. He could definitely play end in the 3-4 and would create an insanely good front with Haloti Ngata and Kelly Gregg. The Ravens could also go with a 3-4 rusher in Harvey or take an offensive tackle to eventually replace Ogden.

9. Cincinnati Bengals - Sedrick Ellis, defensive tackle, Southern California

The Bengals' interior defensive line is pretty bare and Ellis would be a great pick for them here. Derrick Harvey could also be an option, as could a linebacker, offensive tackle or receiver, but Ellis is the best player available and also fills a need.

10. New Orleans Saints - Keith Rivers, linebacker, Southern California

I personally think corner is the bigger need given the additions of Vilma and Morgan, but McKelvin's going higher in my mock and I don't think any of the other guys at the position are worth the No. 10 pick. If they can't trade up for Dorsey or Ellis and McKelvin is gone, Rivers would be a sensible pick and would definitely add talent to a position that has been pretty lackluster in recent years.

11. Buffalo Bills - Devin Thomas, wide receiver, Michigan State

The Bills could definitely use another receiver to pair with Lee Evans, and all indications are the team is smitten with Thomas. He's a little raw and inexperienced, but has good physical attributes and upside and would be a good complement to Evans. A corner would also make sense here.

12. Denver Broncos - Ryan Clady, offensive tackle, Boise State

The Broncos could go a few directions with this pick including running back, wide receiver, linebacker and back. With Matt Lepsis retiring, the Broncos are pretty thin at offensive tackle and I say they go with Clady here. Obviously, guys like Chris Williams and Jeff Otah would be in consideration here too so really it's a toss-up.

13. Carolina Panthers - Derrick Harvey, defensive end, Florida

If Derrick Harvey falls to No. 13, you can bet the Panthers will pounce on him here. With Mike Rucker retiring and Julius Peppers coming off a 2.5-sack season, it's time to add some young talent to the position. And offensive tackle or power back would also make sense here.

14. Chicago Bears - Jeff Otah, offensive tackle, Pittsburgh

The Bears' offensive line is aging and on the decline, and a mauler like Otah would be the perfect addition to the group. The Bears obviously need a quarterback but there isn't really one worth it here, so offensive tackle will do.

15. Detroit Lions - Jerod Mayo, linebacker, Tennessee

The Lions have plenty of bodies at linebacker, but outside of Ernie Sims there isn't much young talent. Mayo would be a great addition to their linebackers corps and could eventually make it one of the league's better ones. Running back is also a strong possibility and you have to figure he'll consider Stewart or Mendenhall if either is available.

16. Arizona Cardinals - Rashard Mendenhall, running back, Illinois

The Edgerrin James signing has not worked out as hoped and James has never acted like he plans on having a long career anyway. The Cardinals could use a good young back to take over within a year or two and Mendenhall fits the bill. With Antrel Rolle moving to safety (stupid), the Cardinals are pretty thin at corner so Mike Jenkins or DRC could be possibilities here as well.

17. Kansas City Chiefs - Phillip Merling, defensive end, Clemson

With offensive line having already been addressed, the Chiefs use one of the picks they got for defensive end Jared Allen to work toward replacing Allen. Tamba Hali is a good player and teaming him with Merling would allow the Chiefs to move Turk McBride inside with Tank Tyler and have a young and solid defensive line throughout. The falling Keith Rivers could also be appealing here, and the receiving corps after Dwayne Bowe is pretty bare as well.

18. Houston Texans - Jonathan Stewart, running back, Oregon

The Texans have a lot of bodies at the running back position, but not much talent. Stewart would give them a legitimate No. 1 back. They could also take someone like Rivers if he fell, and a defensive back like DRC remains a strong possibility as well.

19. Philadelphia Eagles - Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, cornerback, Tennessee State

The Eagles already addressed cornerback in free agency by signing Asante Samuel, but with Lito Sheppard likely gone by the weekend a good young prospect would be a wise move. A wide receiver is also a strong possibility here, and you can't rule out an offensive tackle like Chris Williams either.

20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Chris Williams, offensive tackle, Vanderbilt

The Buccaneers failed with the Kenyatta Walker pick, so now it's time to try it again. Williams would be a strong left tackle addition to a pretty thing group that includes Anthony Davis, Luke Petitgout, Donald Penn, Jeremy Trueblood and some you probably haven't heard of. The cornerback position could be an option but keep in mind they very well might land Lito Sheppard on draft day. A young receiver would also make a lot of sense here too considering their best receiver (Galloway) is 75.

21. Washington Redskins - Mike Jenkins, cornerback, South Florida

A lot of people have Calais Campbell here and that would make sense, but I just can't see a team using this high a pick on him after the poor workouts he's had. With Carlos Rogers' season in doubt, Shawn Springs past his prime and Fred Smoot being, well, not that good, adding a corner like Jenkins would be a wise move. He could contribute to the return game as well.

22. Dallas Cowboys - Aqib Talib, cornerback, Kansas

After losing Jacques Reeves and Nathan Jones in free agency, the Cowboys could use some depth at corner and Talib would be a good addition here. Running back also remains an option but I have them addressing it a little later.

23. Pittsburgh Steelers - Gosder Cherilus, offensive tackle, Boston College

Branden Albert once looked like a strong possibility for Pittsburgh here, but those days are long gone. I think the Steelers will still go offensive line though and with Max Starks' long-term future with the team uncertain, they take Cherilus to work at the right tackle spot. They'd also probably consider Jonathan Stewart if he were to fall to this point.

24. Tennessee Titans - Limas Sweed, wide receiver, Texas

The Titans are lacking a true No. 1 receiver, and who better than an extremely talented player and former Vince Young teammate in Sweed to try and fill that void? Sweed has great size and hands and while Vince Young is close to beyond hope in the opinion of this writer, a former college teammate couldn't hurt. A defensive end to replace Antwan Odom would also make sense here.

25. Seattle Seahawks - Dustin Keller, tight end, Purdue

Having added T.J. Duckett and Julius Jones in free agency, running back is no longer as glaring a need and the Seahawks have other options with this pick. The Seahawks lack a real receiving threat at tight end and Keller is the only one even worthy of consideration in Round 1. A dark horse for this pick in my opinion would be Miami safety Kenny Phillips.

26. Jacksonville Jaguars - Kentwan Balmer, defensive tackle, North Carolina

Defensive line is a priority for the Jaguars inside and out, so it's a good bet they address it in some form here. I'm going Balmer to help fill the Marcus Stroud void, though a pass rusher like Lawrence Jackson or Quentin Groves is certainly possible too.

27. San Diego Chargers - Brandon Flowers, cornerback, Virginia Tech

One of the few needs for San Diego is cornerback after the loss of Drayton Florence in free agency, so I'm expecting them to address that need here in Flowers. A team as talented as San Diego can also make picks based on talent, so there are plenty of other directions they could go here too. Even a running back is a possibility with Michael Turner now in Atlanta.

28. Dallas Cowboys - Felix Jones, running back, Arkansas

If Darren McFadden doesn't fall for enough to entice Jerry Jones to trade up and grab him, Jones will settle for Arkansas' other back in Felix Jones. Julius Jones is gone and Marion Barber III appears to be a long shot to stay beyond 2008, so Felix Jones would be a great addition. Coming from Jerry Jones' alma mater doesn't hurt the situation.

29. San Francisco 49ers - DeSean Jackson, wide receiver, California

Jackson is a little on the small side, but he's a comparable athlete to Ted Ginn, Jr. and would add a potentially great deep threat to San Francisco's unimpressive receiving corps. They could also look at other receivers like Malcolm Kelly or James Hardy, or a pass rusher like Quentin Groves to team with Manny Lawson.

30. Green Bay Packers - Antoine Cason, cornerback, Arizona

The Packers' starting corners are both over 30 now, so it's time to add some talented youth to the position. I think Brandon Flowers is the pick if he falls this far, but since I have him going earlier I think Cason is the next logical choice.

31. New York Giants - Tyrell Johnson, safety, Arkansas State

With Gibril Wilson off to Oakland and Sammy Knight projected to start, safety is a big need and word is Johnson will be the first off the board. If he goes before the Giants then Kenny Phillips would probably be next in line. A linebacker like Dan Connor is really the only other justifiable direction to go in my eyes.

32. Miami Dolphins - Quentin Groves, defensive end, Auburn

Even if Jason Taylor plays for the Dolphins in 2008 (which I doubt), he's not going to be around much longer. In addition, Joey Porter was a free agent bust in 2007 and I think Parcells & Co. will want to find some young pass-rushing outside linebackers for the 3-4. Groves is a perfect fit for that role and would be a great pick for Miami at the beginning of Round 2.

Dolphins release eight players

The Dolphins have trimmed off some of the very bottom players from the roster to clear some space for the upcoming drafted and undrafted rookies. Eight players in all were let go, with seven being waived and one failing a physical. For more info and analysis on these moves, check out the following video, and also check out the updated projected depth chart below. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

DB Will Billingsley signed; regular season schedule released

The Dolphins finally got me, signing someone so obscure even I had never heard of him. The team added safety Will Billingsley on Monday. Billingsley was undrafted in 2007 and had yet to sign with anyone until we picked him up two days ago.
Also, the team's regular season schedule has been released. To find out more about Billingsley and hear some of my comments on the schedule, check out the following video. Enjoy!


Friday, April 4, 2008

Miami's options at No. 1

I'll probably cover this with a video closer to the draft, but I've written an article for on the Dolphins' situation with the No. 1 overall pick, what options they'll explore and what they are likely to do. If you're interested, you can read the article here.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Dolphins' draft positions set; team receives two compensatory selections

The Dolphins received two compensatory picks of the 32 allocated to NFL teams today - a sixth-round pick and a seventh-round pick. The picks are the results of Miami's actions in 2007 free agency based on the players lost and gained. Meanwhile, the entire seven-round draft order has been released and the Dolphins draft positions are set. They are as follow, with round first and overall pick in parentheses:

1 (1)
2 (32)
2 (57)
3 (64)
4 (100)
6 (195)
6 (204)
7 (208)
7 (245)

The second pick in each of the last two rounds is the compensatory selection.