Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Draft Countdown updates its mock draft

Scott Wright's Draft Countdown has updated their mock as of March 10, and let me just say I hope things don't go for the Dolphins as he's predicting right now.

Now don't get my wrong, this is not slight on Wright. (That rhymes!) Wright is a great draft expert and he always makes clear with his mock drafts/rankings that they aren't where he thinks guys should go, but rather simply where he thinks they will go.

Here are Wright's predictions for Miami's first three picks (our first-rounder and two second-rounders) as of yesterday, accompanied by my reactions:

Round 1, Pick 25: Clay Matthews, LB, Southern California

This wouldn't be my first pick, but it's not one I'd be surprised to see. Matthews is a talented linebacker and a great worker, and he would certainly upgrade Miami's pass rush. The team is known to be looking for help there as Matt Roth is mediocre and Cameron Wake is a huge question mark. Aging Pro Bowler Joey Porter still has the talent, but he's really all Miami's got when it comes to rushing the passer consistently.

In place of Matthews, I'd prefer to see a wideout like Darrius Heyward-Bey or Hakeem Nicks if available. (Wright has Heyward-Bey to the Bears at 18, before Miami picks, and Nicks to the Giants at 29.) Based on who Wright has going after Miami's pick, I'd ideally take Illinois cornerback Vontae Davis, who is going to Baltimore with the pick after ours in this mock.

Round 2, Pick 44: Darius Butler, CB, Connecticut

This would be a great pick here, as Butler is a great athlete and cornerback is certainly a need position with the departure of Andre' Goodman in free agency. If we don't go corner in Round 1, we almost certanly will in Round 2 and this would be a fine choice.

If we ended up taking someone like Vontae Davis in 1 (or were going to use our other second-rounder on a corner rather than this one) I wouldn't mind seeing someone like Ohio State wideout Brian Robiskie. A pass-rusher is also possible sometime in this round.

Round 2, Pick 56: Pat White, QB/WR, West Virginia

No, no, no, no, no, no, no. Did I mention no? This would be an absolutely awful pick and I would be very upset if Miami went this route here. This is one point where Wright actually makes a mistake, rather than just a prediction I don't care for. In his explanation for this move, Wright says:
"Will take the "Wildcat" to a new level..."
Since the Dolphins unveiled the wildcat against New England in Week 3, the media and fans have been making too big a deal of the thing. Yes, it was quite successful it's first few games. But the facts are that 1) it is only a very small part of our offense; and 2) it wasn't really that successful most of the time after those games against New England and San Diego.

The wildcat formation is not our offense. It's just one formation we occasionally use, like any other. We are not drafting a player solely to utilize in one formation in the second round, especially someone like Pat White who has waste written all over him.

White's problem is that he refuses to fully embrace the wideout position, which is where he's destined to play in the NFL. I don't care how good he looked in the Senior Bowl or NFL Scouting Combine - he's not going to be an NFL quarterback. His best bet to make a career in the NFL (and some money) is at receiver, and if his heart isn't into that and he's not worth taking nearly this high.

Wright himself had a great blog entry on March 5 that compares White to Eric Crouch. He uses Antwaan Randle El as an example of a college quarterback that showed he was committed to working as a wideout from the moment his collegiate career ended. White, while possibly more talented than Crouch, is like the former Nebraska quarterback because his heart is set on playing quarterback. This will cause his progression as a wideout to suffer, as it did with Crouch.

Would I take White in the fourth or fifth round? Sure. But I would never use a second-round pick on a guy destined for a position he doesn't want to play, and I don't believe Parcells would either. That just has 'mistake' written all over it.