Saturday, April 30, 2011

Dolphins select versatile Tulsa fullback Charles Clay in sixth round

The Miami Dolphins stuck with the offensive side of the ball for the fourth consecutive pick in 2011, selecting former Tulsa fullback and tight end Charles Clay with the 174th overall pick in the sixth round of the draft.

To move up five spots from No. 179 and select Clay, the Dolphins gave up one of their two remaining seventh-round selections--the No. 218 pick. The Dolphins cannot trade the 235th pick because it is a compensatory selection.


Background

A Little Rock native and the son of a former Arkansas Razorback, Clay made an immediate impact at Tulsa as a true freshman with an 69 receptions for 1,024 yards and seven touchdowns while adding 304 yards on the ground.

After a Conference USA all-freshman season, Clay followed up with 38 passes for 464 yards and nine touchdown catches. He then hauled in 39 catches for 530 yards and five scores as a junior.

Clay earned the second All-Conference USA honorable mention of his collegiate career as a senior, averaging 6.6 yards as a rusher while racking up 526 yards and a team-high seven touchdowns as a receiver.

Measuring in at 6-foot-3 and 239 pounds, Clay excelled at the NFL Scouting Combine in February by posting a 4.73 forty time and ranking near the top of his position in the broad jump, 20-yard shuttle, and 60-yard shuttle.

Considered a bit of a 'tweener as a fullback, tight end, and H-back, Clay was ranked by CBSSports.com as the top fullback in the 2011 draft class.


Analysis

I can't say I'm thrilled with another trade up, as Clay strikes me as another guy that may not have been special enough to warrant surrendering a seventh-round pick to move up five spots in the sixth round. No team between No. 174 and No. 179 selected a fullback or tight end, and I'm not sure who the Dolphins thought was a threat to grab Clay ahead of him.

I also have to say I'm a bit surprised the team left Nevada tight end Virgil Green on the board in the sixth round, but the Dolphins' front office obviously liked the similarly-athletic and talented Clay a bit more for what they were looking for.

It's a bit concerning how much Clay's receiving number slipped after his freshman season, but that likely has more to do with the team around him and the offensive philosophy than any drop in talent on his part.

While he's certainly not a running back at the next level, he has the ball-carrying experience and power to be a short-yardage guy. Clay is also an excellent receiver out of the backfield and at the tight end spot as indicated by his collegiate career.

While he gives good effort in blocking, his technique needs a lot of work in this area, and that is one thing could prevent him from being a full-time tight end or fullback. A big knock on this guy entering the draft was that he was somewhat of a man without a position, but he's certainly versatile and has appealing receiving skills.

While the Dolphins really need a quality No. 2 tight end to play alongside Anthony Fasano, I don't really see Clay as a threat to any of the unproductive tight ends from last year's roster. He may line up there some times to create mismatches, but his primarily role should be that of an H-back that moves around and catches passes.

That being said, the guy that might need to start worrying about his job is fullback Lousaka Polite. A fan favorite who excelled as a blocker in 2009 before a down season last year, Polite offers little in the receiving game and might not fit the kind of offense new coordinator Brian Daboll is installing.

We all know and love Polite for his near-flawless success rate at converting short-yardage situations, but the reality is that the traditional fullback position in the NFL is dying rapidly. Clay, who has plenty of experience as a ball carrier, offers similar ability to Polite with added athleticism and receiving skills.

It's a bit too early to hand any sixth-rounder a significant role on the offense, but don't be totally surprised if Lousaka Polite is a surprise cut in September before he even sees the last year of his contract.

As always, check out the updated projected depth chart reflecting these transactions here.


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Dolphins add playmaker in fourth round with WR Edmond Gates

The Miami Dolphins added some much-needed speed to their receiving corps today, adding Abilene Christian wide receiver Edmond Gates in the fourth round (111th overall) of the 2011 NFL Draft.

Gates joins first-round lineman Mike Pouncey and second-round running back Daniel Thomas as the team's third consecutive pick on the offensive side of the ball to begin this year's draft.

Currently, the Dolphins have no fifth-round selection (dealt to Washington in the trade up to select Thomas). The team is scheduled to pick again in the sixth round (179th overall) and twice in the seventh round (218th and 235th overall).


Background

A Texas native, Gates grew up in a rough neighborhood with his father serving 18 years in prison for murder. He initially took a scholarship to Tyler Junior College to play basketball, but was dismissed after one season.

After being recruited by Abilene Christian to play football, Gates caught 12 passes in 11 games as a freshman at while racking up 402 yards on 14 kickoff returns as an honorable mention all-conference pick.

Despite missing two games as a sophomore with a leg injury, Gates started 10 games for the Wildcats and caught 31 passes for 716 yards and eight scores.

With the departure of Johnny Knox to the Chicago Bears and the NFL, Gates emerged as his team's top receiver. He earned first-team All-Lone Star Conference honors after catching 49 passes for 702 yards and five touchdowns.

Gates exploded as a senior, starting 12 games and racking up 66 receptions, 1,182 yards and 13 touchdowns.

Measuring in at 6-feet and 192 pounds, Gates ran a 4.37 forty at the NFL Scouting Combine in February.  He was widely regarded as a potential day two selection, and was the best overall player available on Mike Mayock's board when the Dolphins selection.

Analysis

More so than with Pouncey and Thomas, this is the first pick the Dolphins have made this weekend that I really like in terms of need, potential and value. The Dolphins didn't reach for Gates, they didn't trade up to get him, and he's just the kind of player the team's passing game has been lacking.

Mentioned in my Dolphins wide receiver offseason preview in March, Gates has blazing speed and good body size and strength. He has long arms, good hands, and is a willing participant as a blocker.

In terms of question marks, Gates' rough childhood and dismissal from junior college are things that likely concerned NFL teams, although he seems to have found his path and didn't have any issues at ABU.

Gates also carries all the concerns of a small-school prospect, although fellow Wildcat Johnny Knox hasn't had any trouble making the transition. He's also pretty raw and will need to refine his route-running, which will limit him to simple go routes and crossing patterns early on.

Dolphins fans should also temper any hopes of Gates being a dynamic return man simply because of his blazing speed. While he averaged nearly 29 yards per kickoff return as a rookie, he didn't handle those duties during his final three seasons in college and it's still unknown whether or not the Dolphins will try him there.

Gates should step in immediately as the Dolphins' No. 4 receiver as a rookie, seeing occasional time on offense as Brian Daboll will look for a few big plays bombs or end-arounds and reverses. Bottom-of-the-depth-chart types like Roberto Wallace and Marlon Moore will have an even bigger battle on their hands to make the roster in 2011.

In the long-term, Gates has the upside to be a quality starter and could eventually supplant Brian Hartline as the team's No. 2 receiver alongside Brandon Marshall and Davone Bess. His potential to stretch the field and garner attention from the safeties could drastically help the underneath passing game.
 
Many have compared Gates to the Steelers' Mike Wallace, who has racked up over 2,000 yards and 16 touchdowns on a 20.3-yard average in two pro seasons. If Gates can become anything close to that type of player, the Dolphins' offense could really take the next step.


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Brian Catanzaro's top 15 prospects for draft's third day

This is Brian Catanzaro, blogging with intense frustration at 3:17am.

With no trade partners in sight, the Dolphins selected Florida center Mike Pouncey with the No. 15 pick. Bad pick? No. Underwhelming? Absolutely. Pouncey is a big, athletic, and battle-tested rookie who will get first crack at the Center position. He’s a plug-and-play interior lineman with very little chance to bust because he’s too athletic and refined to fail at both center and guard.

The trade-up from No. 62 to No. 79 for running back Daniel Thomas bothered me for a few reasons. Although I like Thomas’ size-speed combo, he seems too lanky in the lower body to sustain an NFL pounding. I had five running backs on the board rated over Thomas: Kendall Hunter, Jacquizz Rodgers, Jordan Todman, Taiwan Jones, and Delone Carter.

 Did Jeff Ireland really think Daniel Thomas was the last stud back in this draft? If he did, I’ll have to agree to disagree. Losing a fifth- and seventh-rounder to trade up for Thomas was unnecessary at best. I would’ve preferred to trade down from the No. 79 pick.

Luckily for our patience, Dave Wannstedt’s draft day futility in selecting cornerback Jamar Fletcher over quarterback Drew Brees in the 2001 draft and linebacker Eddie Moore over wide receiver Anquan Boldin in the 2003 draft leaves me bulletproof.

So, here we are. Day 3. We have a fourth, sixth, and two sevenths--barring any trades--to put a final stamp on this draft. These are the 15 players I’m looking at.


1) OLB Chris Carter, Fresno State (6-1, 248) —  Carter had 11 sacks for the Bulldogs in 2010 and ran a 4.62 forty with 23 bench reps this past February. If the Dolphins can make an exception to the the 6-4, 250-pound outside linebacker they usually seek, they could have a find here.

2) WR Edmond Gates, Abilene Christian (6-0, 192) Hands-catcher with sub 4.4/40 speed... would make a great No. 4 receiver.

3) RB Jacquizz Rodgers, Oregon State (5-6, 196) Think Warrick Dunn. Rodgers would make a fine compliment to the 230-pound Daniel Thomas.

4) OG Clint Boling, Georgia (6-5, 308) Boling is a four-year starter with great size and the versatility to play both guard spots and right tackle; similar to Nate Garner

5) TE Luke Stocker, Tennessee (6-5, 258) Anthony Fasano was the only Dolphins tight end to catch a pass before Week 17 last year. Stocker is a classic in-line blocker with great size and good hands. 

6) RB Kendall Hunter, Oklahoma State (5-7, 199)I give Hunter a second-round grade; similar to Ray Rice when he came out of Rutgers. 

7) QB Ricky Stanzi, Iowa (6-4, 223)Although Stanzi is more of a West Coast Offense quarterback, he has enough size and arm to work in Brian Daboll's offense. 

8) CB Davon House, New Mexico State (6-1, 200)Not a need, but it’s a crime that a CB of House’s ability is available in the fourth round. 

9) WR Denarius Moore, Tennessee (6-0, 194) Moore, one of the true speedsters left in this draft, had 981 yads and nine touchdowns at Tennessee in 2010. He's the perfect player to slip onto the field for 10-15 plays per game to keep defenses honest.

10) TE D.J. Williams, Arkansas (6-1, 245) Williams could be a heck of an H-back if new offensive coordinator Brian Daboll can carve a niche for him. The Dolphins have spent a lot of time with him.

11) RB Taiwan Jones, Eastern Washington (6-0, 194) Jones ran a sub 4.4 forty at his pro day after dominating the Big Sky Conference with 1,742 rushing yards. A back with Jones’ raw ability lessens the need to sign a free agent when business opens up.

12) OT Lee Ziemba, Auburn (6-6, 317) Started 52 games at left tackle for Auburn and projects as a guard in the NFL. Depth is needed on this offensive line, too.

13) TE Jordan Cameron, USC (6-5, 254) —  Cameron has the measurables to be a great developmental tight end despite only catching 16 passes at USC.

14) RB Jordan Todman, UConn (5-9, 203) Can someone please explain to me why Todman is falling? His vision and shiftiness as an inside runner is similar to that of Thomas Jones.

15) WR Dwayne Harris, East Carolina (5-10, 203) Eerily similar to Davone Bess in the 5-10 yard zone. Great hands, route running skills, and competitiveness.


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Friday, April 29, 2011

Dolphins trade up, land RB Daniel Thomas in second round

The Miami Dolphins' new-look backfield just got it's first new face, as the Dolphins trade up into the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft to select former Kansas State running back Daniel Thomas.

Without a second-round pick following last offseason's acquisition of wide receiver Brandon Marshall, the Dolphins traded their third (79th), fifth (146th), and seventh (217th) round picks in the draft for the Washington Redskins' 62nd overall pick. The pick was originally held by the Chicago Bears.

The selection gives the Dolphins a talented, young back that can carry the load for an offense that may very well lose Ronnie Brown, Ricky Williams, and Patrick Cobbs to free agency this offseason.

As it stands, Lex Hilliard and Kory Sheets are likely the only holdover running backs likely to return in 2011 as exclusive-rights free agents.

Following the trade, the Dolphins now have picks in the fourth (111th) and sixth (179th) rounds, as well as two more seventh-round choices at 218th and 235th overall. 


Background

A Hilliard, Fla. native, Thomas attended Hilliard High School where he was a standout quarterback and safety. As a senior, he recorded 57 tackles and an interception on defense, while throwing for 936 yards and 11 touchdowns and rushing for 1,100 yards and 11 scores on offense.

Offered a scholarship by the University of Florida but failing to qualify academically, Thomas initially attended Northwest Mississippi Community College, where he rushed for 1,118 yards and 13 touchdowns over two seasons.

After attending Butler County Community College and Manhattan Christian College in 2008 to get his academics in order, Thomas transferred to Kansas State in 2009, earning first-team All-Big 12 honors and the conference's Newcomer of the Year award after rushing for 1,265 yards and 11 touchdowns.

As a senior in 2010, Thomas erupted to rush for 1,585 yards and 19 touchdowns on a 5.3 yard average. He once again earned first-team All-Big 12 honors while ranking seventh in the nation in rushing yards and tied for fifth in ground scores.

Widely regarded as a top-five running back in this year's class, Thomas ran a 4.62 forty and posted 21 bench reps in pre-draft workout. He had a private workout with the Dolphins on April 14.


Analysis

Purely from a talent standpoint, Thomas is a fine second-round pick and absolutely fills a need for the Dolphins. He's a big, sturdy back that hits the hole hard and has good vision. He doesn't have breakaway speed, but he's good at breaking tackles and can handle a high number of carries.

Thomas also has a background at quarterback from his high school days and some at junior college, so in one sense he could be a potential replacement for Ronnie Brown in the wildcat. However, that formation's success waned heavily last year, and with both Dan Henning and David Lee off the staff, it remains to be seen just how much we'll see it in Miami, if at all.

On the negative side, Thomas is a bit slower than you ideally want in a starting running back and he's had issues with ball security, as indicated by his seven fumbles as a senior. He's also not a great blocker yet, though he certainly has the size and strength to be effective in that area.

My main issue with this pick is not the player--Thomas was worthy of a pick at that spot, and the Dolphins absolutely needed to inject some youth into their running game. If the Dolphins can shore up their blocking up front, Thomas should be quite successful as an NFL ball carrier.

That being said, Thomas doesn't have any features that make him particularly stand out from many of the other running back prospects in this class, which begs the question of why the Dolphins felt he was worth surrendering three picks to move up to acquire.

The only running backs backs taken between No. 62 and the Dolphins' original third, No. 79, were Oklahoma's DeMarco Murray (Cowboys) and LSU's Stevan Ridley (Patriots), meaning that the Dolphins theoretically could have stayed home and had a chance at the likes of Kendall Hunter, Taiwan Jones, Jacquizz Rogers, Jordan Todman, Dion Lewis, Derrick Locke, Alex Green, Bilal Powell, Roy Helu, and many more.

Trading one of their three seventh-round picks certainly isn't the end of the world, and losing a fifth isn't all that bad either (especially if you draft guys like John Nalbone). Thomas could turn out to be a high-caliber running back in the NFL, which will certainly help the Dolphins' offense and take pressure off the quarterback.

One just has to wonder if Thomas is special enough to warrant moving up for when he's missing that one standout attribute that makes him a really special prospect, and when he plays a position that rarely features on guy and is so often reliant on the offensive line for success.

Stay tuned Saturday for more Dolphins draft coverage in the final four rounds. And as always, check out the updated depth chart to reflect these transactions here!


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2011 NFL Draft: Analyzing All 32 Picks of the First Round

The first round of the 2011 NFL Draft has come and gone, and it certainly lived up to the hype in terms of surprises.The Falcons gave up an arm, a leg, and then some to move up to pick Julio Jones, and Jake Locker surprised many by being the second quarterback off the board ahead of Blaine Gabbert.

While we won't know how good or bad these 32 picks were until four or five years from now (maybe less if anyone takes the JaMarcuss Russell or Vernon Gholston route), but I feel like I have a pretty good idea of how each team came out of the first round.

Below, I examine all 32 picks of the first round, analyzing them based on value, need, potential immediate contributions, and the other players remaining on the board at the time of each pick.


1. Carolin Panthers select QB Cam Newton, Auburn

This pick was widely assumed for some time, and the Panthers made it happen. I understand the pressure of why they did it, but I'm not a Newton fan in terms of pro potential. I think it's going to take him a few years to even get an NFL playbook down, and even then I'm not sure he has the football IQ and coverage-reading skills to warrant this selection.


2. Denver Broncos select OLB/DE Von Miller, Texas A&M

This pick is a little confusing to me, because the defensive line (especially the interior) was a much bigger need in the transition to the 4-3 scheme. Miller is a bit undersized to put his hand down very much, but I also think he's out of place at linebacker in the 4-3. Miller should be a good pass rusher regardless of the scheme, but Marcell Dareus would have made more sense to me.


3. Buffalo Bills select DE Marcell Dareus, Alabama

I never really bought the Blaine Gabbert talk, and it was pretty obvious the team was going to take whoever the Broncos didn't between Dareus and Von Miller. It's a bit of a shame the Broncos picked Miller, because he would have been a much bigger impact player here on a team with no pass rushers. Still, Dareus is an ideal fit at end in the Bills' 3-4 and should be quite productive.


4. Cincinnati Bengals select WR A. J. Green, Georgia

This is one of those picks that has been assumed all offseason, and it happened just like many of us thought it would. You could argue that a quarterback was a need here considering how serious Carson Palmer seems to be in his retirement plans, but the Bengals will be without a true No. 1 receiver with TO moving on and Ochocinco likely on the outs. Green is a rare talent and an excellent addition for the Bengals' offense in rebuilding.


5. Arizona Cardinals select CB Patrick Peterson, LSU

I don't place the Cardinals' secondary as quite as big a need as I do quarterback and outside linebacker, but there wasn't a clear-cut rusher to take here and it's arguable that Peterson is the best overall talent in the draft. Whether it's at corner, where he's more than capable, or safety, Peterson should be an effective playmaker for the Cardinals for a long time.


6. Atlanta Falcons (from Cleveland) select WR Julio Jones, Alabama

Do I like Julio Jones? Yes. Will he be a great weapon for Matt Ryan? Absolutely. But would I have given up what Atlanta did for this pick to grab him (a first, second, and fourth this year and a first and fourth next year)? Absolutely not. This team had too many needs on defense to give up a wealth of picks for one receiver when they already have an elite one (Roddy White) on the roster. Unless you're looking at receiver as your only need and the player is a once-in-a-generation Calvin Johnson kind of talent (which Jones is not), this trade just isn't worth it.


7. San Francisco 49ers select OLB Aldon Smith, Missouri

I never really considered Smith going in the top 10, but it's not entirely surprising. Opting against a potential franchise signal-caller, the 49ers added a much needed pass rusher to their 3-4 scheme. Smith has all the physical tools to be a stud and should fit in nicely.


8. Tennessee Titans select QB Jake Locker, Washington

I can't say I saw this coming. I'm not surprised Locker went in the top 15, but I am a little shocked the Titans took him with consensus No. 2 quarterback Blaine Gabbert still on the board. Kerry Collins has nothing left in the tank though and Rusty Smith is hardly an elite prospect, so I can't blame the Titans for going after a guy early.


9. Dallas Cowboys select Tyron Smith, USC

People talked about Anthony Castonzo, Prince Amukamara, or one of the defensive ends here, but in the end the Cowboys did just what a lot of people thought they would. Smith is fairly raw, but he's highly athletic with a ton of room to grow. If he pans out, he should be protecting Tony Romo's blindside for years.


10. Jacksonville Jaguars (from Washington) select QB Blaine Gabbert, Missouri

A lot of people had the Jaguars considering Christian Ponder in the middle of the round, but when Gabbert fell to 10 they obviously felt like he was worth moving up for. David Garrard is hardly the worst quarterback in the league, but he just can't seem to take Jacksonville to the next level. I commend the Jags for moving up to grab a talent like Gabbert.


11. Houston Texans select DE J. J. Watt, Wisconsin

I was primarily expecting a pass rusher here, and I was pretty shocked the team with the worst pass defense in the NFL passed on Prince Amukamara. While he wouldn't have been my first choice, Watt is a quality 3-4 end prospect and solidifies the Texans' line under Wade Phillips.


12. Minnesota Vikings select QB Christian Ponder, Florida State

This is much higher than I expected Ponder to go, as I had him going to Buffalo in the early second round. The Vikings obviously felt like they needed to land a quarterback of the future now, however, and Ponder was obviously they man. He's as NFL-ready as any quarterback in this draft and could start as a rookie, but I worry if he isn't Chad Pennington 2.0 with similarly limited upside.


13. Detroit Lions select DT Nick Fairley, Auburn

Despite much bigger needs everywhere else on the roster, the Lions obviously went best player available when Fairley fell into their laps. Obviously the thought of Fairley and Ndamukong Suh in the middle is frightening, but with Corey Williams and Sammie Hill already on the roster, I just have to wonder if Amukamara or Castonzo wouldn't have been a better choice here.


14. St. Louis Rams select DE Robert Quinn, North Carolina

Quinn slipped farther than his talent would indicate because of a benign brain tumor and having sat out last season due to suspension, but this is a great get for the Rams. They could have used a defensive tackle as well, but Quinn is a highly athletic rusher that complements Chris Long well.


15. Miami Dolphins select C/G Mike Pouncey, Florida

My heart wanted Ryan Mallett with this pick, but considering he's still on the board heading into Friday, the general consensus in the league doesn't have him as a first-rounder. I'm not all that thrilled with the Pouncey pick, especially since he's slated to play center rather than filling out of the guard holes, but he's fairly safe and should be an effective starter as a rookie.


16. Washington Redskins (from Jacksonville) select OLB Ryan Kerrigan, Purdue

Kerrigan isn't going to wow you with his speed or raw ability, but he's a strong all-around player and I like his chances of transitioning to an outside linebacker role. He should be productive against the run and good for 7-10 sacks a year, which is more than plenty opposite Brian Orakpo.


17. New England Patriots (from Oakland) select OT Nate Solder, Colorado

A lot of us thought Cameron Jordan was a naturally fit at defensive end here, but the Patriots threw us a curveball and went offensive tackle. Solder is raw but has a ton of upside and could be the long-term replacement for an overrated and aging Matt Light.


18. San Diego Chargers select DE Corey Liuget, Illinois

This is a pick I had previously mocked earlier this month, but I ended up having Liuget go at No. 14 so he was unavailable here in my final predictions. But I always said he profiled equally well as a 3-4 defensive end, and it seems the Chargers agreed. He should start as a rookie.


19. New York Giants select CB Prince Amukamara, Nebraska

I was pretty surprised by this pick, as the Giants have used a handful of early picks on cornerbacks in recent years and have some pretty good ones already on the roster. I would have imagined a lineman on either side of the ball would make more sense, but I do like Amukamara as a player.


20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers select DE Adrian Clayborn, Iowa

Clayborn isn't your pure pass rusher, but he fits the mold of a Buccaneers end as kind of a "lightweight defensive tackle" that can get some push from the outside. The Bucs went heavy at tackle last year and Clayborn should excel next to Gerald McCoy.


21. Cleveland Browns (from Kansas City) select DT Phil Taylor, Baylor

Nick Fairley seemed like a possibility for the Browns at No. 6, and I like them moving up to get Taylor here. The team needs defensive tackles for their new 4-3 scheme and Taylor is a monster in the middle that can really plug holes and disrupt things.


22. Indianapolis Colts select OT Anthony Castonzo, Boston College

I originally mocked Solder here, but I think the Colts made out even better with Castonzo. He started an incredible 54 games in college and has more left tackle experience than anyone, making him a very safe rookie starter that should upgrade the line in front of Peyton Manning.


23. Philadelphia Eagles select OG Danny Watkins, Baylor

I feel about this pick like I do about Miami taking Pouncey, in that it's a solid selection, but one that wouldn't have been my first choice. Watkins should be a fine starter at guard, but I view tackle as a bigger and harder-to-fill need, which is why I might have gone with Gabe Carimi. Jimmy Smith would have been a nice addition to the secondary, too.


24. New Orleans Saints select DE Cameron Jordan, California

Jordan was primarily profiled as a 3-4 defensive end and actually projects a bit to defensive tackle in the 4-3, but I don't expect that's where he'll play in New Orleans aside from moving inside on certain downs. Nevertheless, Jordan is a natural athlete that is reminiscent of the bigger ends the Saints have added in the past like Charles Grant and Will Smith.


25. Seattle Seahawks select G/T James Carpenter, Alabama

Some might call this a reach, but Carpenter's stock had been on the rise and he gives the Seahawks another young talent at either guard or tackle. It is a bit surprising that Seattle didn't go for one of the three quarterbacks available, but I don't hate the Carpenter choice at all.


26. Kansas City Chiefs (from Atlanta through Cleveland) select WR Jon Baldwin, Pittsburgh

The offensive line was a need here and I'm a little surprised they didn't take Carimi, but I do like the Baldwin pick. He's got an excellent blend of hands, size, and speed and adds a legitimate second receiver to the Chiefs' offense that was lacking beyond Dwayne Bowe.


27. Baltimore Ravens select CB Jimmy Smith, Colorado

The Ravens missed their pick at No. 26 due to failed trade talks with the Bears, but it doesn't matter as they got the guy they wanted all along. Smith has some character concerns, but he injects some much needed youth into the Ravens' secondary.


28. New Orleans Saints (from New England) select RB Mark Ingram, Alabama

Don't get me wrong--Ingram should do just fine in New Orleans and is probably a better long-term prospect than Pierre Thomas or anyone else they have. That being said, I don't think he was worth trading up for to acquire, and the Patriots got another steal of a deal by landing a 2012 first-rounder.


29. Chicago Bears select OT Gabe Carimi, Wisconsin

The Bears tried to move up to No. 26 to take him, but it turns out they didn't need to as the Chiefs went with Jon Baldwin. Carimi appears to have been undervalued in this draft, but he should be an immediate starter at right tackle and even projects to guard if that doesn't work out.


30. New York Jets select DE Muhammad Wilkerson, Temple

As much as it pains me to say, this is an excellent pick for the Jets. Their defensive line had been getting really old and needed some more talent, and Wilkeron is an absolute stud. He should be highly effective at end in Rex Ryan's 3-4 scheme.


31. Pittsburgh Steelers select DE Cameron Heyward, Ohio State

With Aaron Smith and Brett Keisel both on the back-end of their careers, it makes sense for the Steelers to look long-term. Heyward is a prototypical 3-4 end that should bookend Ziggy Hood for years.


32. Green Bay Packers select OT Derek Sherrod, Mississippi State

Another pick I had previously mocked prior to changing it for my final projection, Sherrod gives the Packers options with Chad Clifton getting older. Sherrod projects as a starter at right tackle and may even be an option on the left side if Bryan Bulaga busts.


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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Dolphins select OL Mike Pouncey with 15th overall pick

The Miami Dolphins went the safe route with their first-round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, selecting Florida center/guard Mike Pouncey with the 15th overall selection.

Pouncey is the twin brother of former Florida lineman and teammate Maurkice Pouncey, who was a Pro Bowl selection for the AFC Champion Pittsburgh Steelers as a rookie after starting all 16 games at center.

After playing defensive line during his freshman year at Florida in 2007 due to injuries, Mike Pouncey started 14 games for the Gators at right guard in 2008 and earned second-team All-SEC honors.

Pouncey again started all 14 games his junior year, earning first-team All-SEC and second-team All-American honors at guard and helping the Gators to a Sugar Bowl win over Cincinnati.

With brother Maurkice gone to the NFL in 2010, Pouncey moved to center and started every game as a senior. Despite some early snapping troubles, he was an All-SEC selection for the third consecutive year.


Analysis

Though widely regarded as as sub-part prospect compared to his brother, Pouncey (6-5, 303) was generally considered a mid-to-late first-round selection, and mocked to the Dolphins at No. 15 by many. (Though not by me.)

Pouncey has all the strength and athleticism you look for in a starting NFL guard. He's a solid pass protector and a good run-blocker that gets a great initial push off the snap and gets to the second level well. He's an excellent downfield blocker with plenty of experience and good bloodlines.

Some might consider his numerous botched snaps early in his senior year as an issue, but I don't really see it as one. Anyone can learn to snap with enough practice, and he projects as a starter at guard as well if the Dolphins decide he's a best fit there.

That's primarily my issue with this pick. I like Pouncey's ability, because he is a versatile guy that projects as a starter at a need position for the Dolphins. I am not, however, sure he was worth the 15th overall pick, as it would have been nice to trade down and acquire more picks and I'm not sure Pouncey was someone we had to have them.

I'll like this pick more if the Dolphins commit to starting Pouncey at left guard, because otherwise he doesn't really solve a problem for us. The Dolphins re-signed Richie Incognito with the intention of starting him at center, so adding Pouncey at center would still leave two guard spots with holes and/or questions.

Assuming Pouncey starts at guard, the Dolphins will likely let Nate Garner and 2010 third-rounder John Jerry compete for the other spot. However, I assume the Dolphins would prefer Garner to be available off the bench, and they could look to free agency (*cough* Logan Mankins *cough*) for a starter inside.

As much as I wanted Ryan Mallett here, because I believe he will be an elite quarterback in this league, I can't really hate this pick the more I think about it because as a guard, he does solidify the Dolphins' offensive line that was so detrimental to the team's running game in 2010.

Another line of thinking that also makes sense with Pouncey is immediate contributions, which he will likely be able to do in 2011 where a rookie quarterback probably would not.

What will be interesting to see is if/when the Dolphins do address the quarterback position with no second-round pick currently in-hand. I personally like Chad Henne, but it doesn't seem like the team entirely believes in him and I would have to imagine they'll look for someone to groom in 2011.

Stay tuned throughout the weekend for constant coverage and analysis of the rest of the Dolphins' draft, and be sure to follow me on twitter!


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2011 NFL Draft - First Round Live Chat

Similar to what I do on Dolphins game days, I'll be hosting a live chat for the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft on the evening of Thursday, April 28th.

The draft will begin at 8:00pm eastern on ESPN and the NFL Network, and my live chat will begin approximately half an hour prior at 7:30pm eastern.

All are welcome to join the live chat for Miami Dolphins and general draft discussion!

See you there!
Chris J. Nelson

2011 Final Two-Round Mock Draft

It's Christmas in April, as the 2011 NFL draft is finally upon us with the first round tonight. Speculation and draft talk has consumed an offseason marred by a lockout, so it's really all us die-hard football fans have.

I've made a lot of changes since my mock just a week ago, trying to sift through all the valid nuggets of information and all the BS spread by teams and agents for the purpose of misinformation.

I have mocked the draft's first round every year beginning in 2005, and even expanded things to the first two rounds last year. My third mock draft for 2011 was two rounds and that continues with this version.

For those keeping score at home, here are how many first-rounders I have correctly predicted to their drafting teams since 2005. Let's hope I can stay in the 8-11 correct range this year!
  • 2005: 11
  • 2006: 7
  • 2007: 9
  • 2008: 8
  • 2009: 10
  • 2010: 8

For reference, you can read my first mock draft from February 9th here, my second mock from March 1st here, my third mock from April 2nd here, and my fourth mock from April 23 here.

Now, on to the picks...





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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

2011 NFL Draft: Miami Dolphins Pre-Draft Workout Roundup, Part III

The 2011 NFL Draft is now just a day away, and the Miami Dolphins are likely finalizing their draft board, if they haven't done so already.

That doesn't mean the names of players that have drawn interest from the Dolphins have stopped emerging, and in my third (and likely final) pre-draft workout round-up article before the draft begins Thursday, I look at five more such players.

I already covered a handful of players worked out by the Dolphins in my first article of this kind, and I broke down a whopping 33 more players in part two of that series.

Additionally, I've been keeping track of all the known players to have worked out for the team in my pre-draft interest tracker here.

Now, on to the newest five names added to that list...



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Brian Catanzaro's 2011 Two-Round NFL Mock Draft

This is Brian Catanzaro for the The Miami Dolphins Spotlight. I began contributing to this site in March 2011, and now that the lockout is.. ahem.. over.. I look forward to providing more commentary here!

Has someone told you that they know where Ryan Mallett, Jake Locker, Andy Dalton, Christian Ponder, Colin Kaepernick, and Ricky Stanzi are going? Do yourself a favor and ignore them. Everything is up in the air.

Think about it. Dalton was a late second/early third rounder last month, and has apparently risen a consideration for the Titans with the No. 8 pick. My question is.. WHY? And is it real? Is it a smoke-screen? Arrgghh!! 

Here is my two-round mock draft. There are a few shockers in comparison to consensus "Big Board," as you'll see...


First Round

1) Carolina Panthers select QB Cam Newton, Auburn* (6-5, 248)

Newton’s upside and superstar persona makes him the No. 1 pick of the 2011 NFL Draft. Believe it or not, the Panthers are an ideal landing spot for a rookie quarterback. They have a solid 1-2 punch at running back in Jonathan Stewart and Mike Goodson, three Pro Bowl-caliber linemen in Jordan Gross, Ryan Kalil, and Jeff Otah, and a young receiver tandem in David Gettis and Brandon LaFell that started to break out late last season.


2) Denver Broncos select DT Marcell Dareus, Alabama** (6-3, 319)

This already poor Broncos D cannot expect to stop the run or push the inside pocket with former Dolphin Kevin Vickerson, Marcus Thomas, and Ryan McBean as the incumbent top three defensive tackles. Dareus will be the first building block on this Broncos defense in need of a complete overhaul.


3) Buffalo Bills select OLB Von Miller, Texas A&M* (6-3, 246)

Let me get this out of the way first and foremost—I’m shocked that Von Miller is viewed as a top-five lock. His 28 sacks in ’09 and ’10 were impressive, no doubt, but I don’t see him running around slow-footed offensive tackles for 10+ sacks every season like he did in college. I grade him as a mid-first rounder, and I’ll look for him to be as underwhelming as I predicted with Glenn Dorsey and Aaron Curry. He’s a better fit as a weak side 4-3 outside linebacker, where he can protect his somewhat undersized lower body and use his speed, instincts, and tackling ability without an offensive tackle in front of him.


4) Cincinnati Bengals select WR A. J. Green, Georgia* (6-4, 208)
  
Green, Jerome Simpson, Andre Caldwell, and Jordan Shipley form a tremendous young wideout group that any quarterback will find attractive. Look for the Bengals to target a quarterback in the second round.


5) Arizona Cardinals select CB Patrick Peterson, LSU* (6-0, 219)

Blaine Gabbert is a popular projection here, but I see the Cardinals signing veteran quarterback Marc Bulger and continuing to develop second-year man John Skelton. The Cardinals have been known to draft king-sized athletes in the first two rounds, and it wouldn’t surprise me if Peterson is No. on their board. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Peterson, and Greg Toler give the Cardinals a great young trio of young corners.


6) Cleveland Browns select DE Robert Quinn, North Carolina* (6-4, 265)

Quinn may have been the No. pick if not for a benign brain tumor and an NCAA suspension that robbed him of his junior season after illegal contact with an agent. An elite athlete with sub 4.6 speed at 265 pounds, Quinn fits in perfect at defensive end in Dick Jauron’s 4-3 defense. The Browns are scary thin at both end and tackle.


7) San Francisco 49ers select QB Blaine Gabbert, Missouri* (6-4, 234)

Even though Jim Harbaugh is saying all the right things about impending free agent quarterback Alex Smith, look for the team to take Gabbert at No. 7 even if he takes a full year or two to develop. In an NFC West as weak as any division in NFL history, grabbing a potential franchise quarterback sets the team up quite nicely for the future.


8) Tennessee Titans select DE Cameron Jordan, California* (6-4, 287)
Surprise! Word out Tennessee this morning is that the Titans are deciding between quarterback Andy Dalton and defensive tackle Nick Fairley for the No. 8 pick; I’m not buying it. Da’Quan Bowers and Nick Fairley have been falling, while Jordan has been pushing his way up into the top-10 as a three-down player with the versaility to move inside. With Quinn gone and defensive ends Jason Babin and Dave Ball (19.5 sacks last season) hitting the free agent market here, Jordan makes the most sense to me.


9) Dallas Cowboys select OT Tyron Smith,USC* (6-6, 307)

This USC product cemented himself as an early-to-mid first rounder when he walked into Lucas Oil Stadium at 307 pounds—27 pounds heavier than his USC listing. With great feet in pass protection and terrific strength for his size, he’s very similar to Broncos left tackle Ryan Clady if he can keep his weight above 300 pounds.


10) Washington Redskins select QB Jake Locker, Washington (6-2, 231)

Mel Kiper commented last year that Mike Shanahan would have taken Jake Locker with the No. 4 pick in the 2010 Draft had he come out as a junior. Did Kiper blurt out something Shanahan wanted to keep quiet this year?


11) Houston Texans select DE J. J. Watt, Wisconsin* (6-5-290)

Watt, whom Mike Mayock called “one of the best pure 3-4 defensive ends I’ve seen in a long time,” gives the Texans a building block for Wade Phillips’ new 3-4 defense. He can also move inside to defensive tackle when the Texans, as expected, show a few 4-3 looks.


12) Minnesota Vikings select WR Julio Jones, Alabama* (6-3, 220)

General manager Rick Spielman and head coach Leslie Frazier are pleasantly surprised to see Jones—a Sidney Rice clone—still on the board at No. 12. If Rice re-signs, he’ll form a great trio with Jones and Percy Harvin.


13) Detroit Lions select CB Prince Amukamara, Nebraska (6-0, 206)

Amukamara’s ability to diagnose receiver routes is needed on this defense. If the team can re-sign Chris Houston and move Alphonso Smith (five interceptions in 12 games last year) to nickel back, this secondary will improve ten-fold.


14) St. Louis Rams select DT Corey Liuget, Illinois* (6-2, 298)

Time has run out for Gary Gibson and Darell Scott to step up at defensive tackle. Liuget’s ability to plug the inside on run plays makes him the pick over push-and-swim defensive tackle Nick Fairley. Steadily climbing up draft boards, Liuget is a solid two-way defensive tackle who can take advantage of one-on-one matchups next to nose tackle Fred Robbins.


15) Miami Dolphins select QB Ryan Mallett, Arkansas* (6-7, 253)

Yep, they did it. Mallett’s off-the-field problems are well-documented, but lets give him the credit he deserves for learning Bobby Petrino’s NFL-style offense quickly after transferring from Michigan. Mallett’s proven work ethic trumps my concern regarding his recreational drug habits in college, and the Dolphins can’t put Chad Henne back at quarterback after Stephen Ross and Tony Sparano promised the Dolphins’ fanbase an offense that puts points on the board and takes shots downfield.


16) Jacksonville Jaguars select DE Ryan Kerrigan, Purdue (6-4, 267)

Although defensive tackle Tyson Alualu and Terrance Knighton are a solid young duo inside, defensive end is a concern after Jeremy Mincey led the team with just five sacks. Kerrigan is very similar to current Jaguar Aaron Kampman—a relentless pass-rusher with good size and more athleticism than he’s given credit for. It really would’ve been handy for Derrick Harvey and Quentin Groves to live up their draft status right about now.


17) New England Patriots select DE Cameron Heyward, Ohio State (6-5, 294)

Bill Belichick reached for Richard Semyour in 2001 and Ty Warren in 2003 because they were perfect fits. Despite an underwhelming 2010, Heyward looks like a perfect 3-4 run defender in Belichick’s defense.


18) San Diego Chargers select OLB Brooks Reed, Arizona (6-2, 263)

General manager A. J. Smith makes a big reach here at No. 18 to get a Tasmanian-devil-like pass-rusher in the Clay Matthews mold. Shaun Phillips—one of four players with 7+ sacks-per-year since 2005, needs a running mate on the other side. Shawne Merriman, Larry English, Antwan Barnes, Jyles Tucker, and Antwan Applewhite have failed to eclipse 5.5 sacks in the last three years.


19) New York Giants select DT Nick Fairley, Auburn* (6-4, 291)

GM Jerry Reese always takes a big athlete in the first (Jason Pierre-Paul, Kenny Phillips, Hakeem Nicks, Aaron Ross, Mathias Kiwanuka) and would likely do the same if Fairley slipped to this spot. Fairley could free-fall if the Titans pass on him at No. 8 because only three teams picking between No. 9 and 18 run a 4-3 defense. Of those 4-3 teams, defensive tackle is far down on the “needs” list for the Lions and Vikings.


20) Tampa Bay Bucs select DE Aldon Smith, Missouri* (6-4, 263)

DE Stylez White led the Bucs with only 4.5 sacks last season. GM Mark Domenik and HC Raheem Morris are ecstatic to see this 20-year-old pass-rushing talent fall through the cracks.


21) Kansas City Chiefs select WR Torrey Smith, Maryland*(6-1, 204)

A wide receiver with Smith’s speed could be the missing pieces on an offense with Jamaal Charles, Dwayne Bowe, and Tony Moeaki already in place. Chris Chambers had a mere 21 catches, 213 yards, and one touchdown as the team’s No. 2 wide receiver.


22) Indianapolis Colts select OT Anthony Castonzo, Boston College (6-7, 304)

Try as he might, general manager Bill Polian hasn’t been able to provide Peyton Manning with a decent left tackle since three-time Pro Bowler Tarik Glenn retired in 2006. Holdover Charlie Johnson has done his best following the embarrassing bust of Tony Ugoh in the 2007 draft (Colts traded their ’08 first to move up from No. 126 to No. 42 in 2007 ), but Johnson is hardly a franchise left tackle. To make matters worse, starting right tackle Ryan Diem turns 32 this July.


23) Philadelphia Eagles select OT Gabe Carimi, Wisconsin (6-7, 314)

Andy Reid signed Jon Runyan to a 6-year, $30million contract in 2000, which made him the highest paid offensive lineman in NFL history at the time. Runyan responded with 160 consecutive starts, and made the Pro Bowl in 2002, which is difficult for a right tackle to do. Even though Carimi was a four-year starter at left tackle in college and has worked out at guard for a few teams, he’s very similar to Runyan. I see Carimi as a 10-year rock for the Eagles at right tackle and an immediate upgrade over Winston Justice.


24) New Orleans Saints DE Jabaal Sheard, Pittsburgh* (6-3, 267)

Sheard, who had nine sacks in his final nine games at Pittsburgh, is rising on draft boards. You can bet defensive coordinator Gregg Williams will be pounding the table for more playmakers in the front seven, as no Saints defender had more than six sacks last season. Sheard may also be able to play outside linebacker in certain alignments, adding to his versatility.


25) Seattle Seahawks select C/G Mike Pouncey, Florida (6-5, 303)

Look for Pouncey to immediately start at left guard and form a great nucleus with left tackle Russell Okung and right guard Max Unger. Pouncey, one of the safest picks in the first round with plug-and-play ability at all 3 interior line spots. Talk about bloodlines—his twin brother Maurkice Pouncey was third in votes for Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2010.


26) Baltimore Ravens select CB Jimmy Smith, Colorado* (6-2, 200)

Here-in lies the beauty of having Ray Lewis. Smith has all of the physical ability, but needs to play with more consistency on the field and more maturity off of it. Haloti Ngata, Terrell Suggs, and Chris McAlister all had personality and/or consistency problems until they played on a team with Ray Lewis leading drills. If Lewis can get Smith’s attention, the Ravens could have a shut-down cornerback on their hands.


27) Atlanta Falcons DE Da’Quan Bowers, Clemson* (6-3, 281)

Bowers falls because he’s strictly a 4-3 player with a problematic knee. General manager Thomas Dmitroff can reward himself with a high-upside player here because the team has so few imminent needs. If healthy, Bowers will be expected to replace 33-year-old John Abraham as the team’s primary pass-rush threat by 2013.


28) New England Patriots OT Derek Sherrod, Mississippi State (6-6, 305)

Sherrod may not be as big an athletic as the four offensive tackles drafted above him, but he was every bit the college football player. The questions now will be, do the Patriots start Sherrod immediately at left tackle and should they slide Sebastian Vollmer over to the right side?


29) Chicago Bears DT Marvin Austin, North Carolina* (6-2, 309)

After being suspended for the 2010 season, Austin entered January’s pre-draft process as a mid-rounder who could only play in the East-West Shrine Game. Three months later, Austin is a no-brainer here at No. 30 with Matt Toeania and Henry Melton as the incumbent defensive tackles.


30) New York Jets select DT Phil Taylor, Baylor (6-3, 334)

Sione Pouha has done a fantastic job in place of oft-injured (and now released) Kris Jenkins at nose tackles over the last two years. Adding Taylor—one of the few mammoth defensive tackles in this class—allows the Jets to strengthen two positions by moving Pouha back to defensive end.


31) Pittsburgh Steelers DE Stephen Paea, Oregon State (6-1, 303)

 Mike Tomlin drafted Missouri defensive tackle Ziggy Hood in the first round two years ago after watching him put up 38 reps on the bench at press at 6-foot-3 and 300 pounds. Paea had 49 bench reps at 303 pounds and could be a perfect 3-4 defensive end.


32) Green Bay Packers select WR Randall Cobb, Kentucky* (5-11, 191)


This isn’t just your typical Super Bowl team getting greedy at the end of the first round, as James Jones is expected to leave as a free agent and Donald Driver approaching 37. Cobb—a poor-man’s Percy Harvin—will essentially be a starter in an offense that often goes five-wide. Cobb’s return ability also allows shutdown corner Tramon Williams and receiver Jordy Nelson to focus on their primary roles.


Second Round

33) Patriots – RB Mikel LeShoure, Illinois*
34) Bills – QB Christian Ponder, Florida St
35) Bengals – QB Andy Dalton, TCU
36) Broncos – DE Adrian Clayborn, Iowa
37) Browns – CB Aaron Williams, Texas
38) Cardinals – LB Justin Houston, Georgia*
39) Titans – LB Akeem Ayers, UCLA*
40) Cowboys – TE Kyle Rudolph, Notre Dame*
41) Redskins – RB Mark Ingram, Alabama*
42) Texans – CB Brandon Harris, Miami (FL)*
43) Vikings – DT Muhammad Wilkerson, Temple*
44) Lions – OT Nate Solder, Colorado
45) 49ers – RB Kendall Hunter, Oklahoma St
46) Broncos – S Rahim Moore, UCLA*
47) Rams – LB Mason Foster, Washington
48) Raiders – QB Colin Kaepernick, Nevada
49) Jaguars - G Danny Watkins, Baylor
50) Chargers – G Ben Ijalana, Villanova
51) Bucs – CB Marcus Gilchrist, Georgia
52) Giants – RB Taiwan Jones, Eastern Washington*
53) Colts – DT Jurrell Casey, USC*
54) Eagles – QB Ricky Stanzi, Iowa
55) Chiefs – LB Chris Carter, Fresno St
56) Saints – RB Jacquizz Rodgers, Oregon St*
57) Seahawks – WR Greg Little, North Carolina
58) Ravens – WR Edmond Gates, Abilene Christian
59) Falcons – WR Jerrell Jernigan, Troy
60) Patriots – G John Moffitt, Wisconsin
61) Chargers – OT Jah Reid, Central Florida
62) Bears – C Stefen Wisniewski, Penn St
63) Steelers – LB Dontay Moch, Nevada
64) Packers – CB Curtis Brown, Texas 


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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Former Dolphins tight end, broadcaster Jim Mandish dies at 62

Former Miami Dolphins tight end and radio broadcaster Jim "Mad Dog" Mandich has passed away after a 14-month long bout with bile duct cancer. He was 62.

After a prolific collegiate career at Michigan that earned him All-American honors and eventually an induction to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2004, Mandich was drafted by the Dolphins in the second round of the 1970 NFL Draft.

A member of the 1972 Dolphins team that completed what remains the only perfect season in NFL history, Mandich played eight seasons with the team and one with the Pittsburgh Steelers before retiring following the 1978 season.

Mandich, who still ranks 14th in receptions and 18th in receiving yards in Michigan school history, caught 121 passes for 1,406 yards and 23 touchdowns during his nine-year pro career.

Following his playing career, Mandich became one of the most beloved sports radio broadcasters in all of South Florida, serving as a Dolphins analyst from 1992 to 2004 as well as from 2007 to 2010.

Mandich is survived by his wife Bonnie and their three sons, Mark, Michael, and Nick.


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Monday, April 25, 2011

Miami Dolphins 2011 NFL Draft Player Interest Tracker


Below is a list of players that have drawn pre-draft interest from the Miami Dolphins in some form. Details about the Dolphins' contact with each player can be found in parentheses on the right, and clicking on any player takes you to the detailed article on the Dolphins' contact with that player.

(Last updated: April 25, 2011)

Defensive Backs

Defensive Linemen

Linebackers

Offensive Linemen


Quarterbacks


Running Backs

Tight Ends

Wide Receivers

Saturday, April 23, 2011

2011 Two-Round Mock Draft 4.0

The 2011 NFL Draft is just five days away, and it's amazing to think how much things have changed since the offseason began three months ago. Things we thought we "knew" in January now seem ridiculous.

Of course, it's still difficult to pinpoint everything that's going to happen, and some teams are just downright more difficult to read than others.

I myself have mocked the draft's first round every year beginning in 2005, and even expanded things to the first two rounds last year. My third mock draft for 2011 was two rounds, and that continues with this version.

For this keeping score at home, here are how many first-rounders I have correctly predicted to their drafting teams since 2005:
2005: 11
2006: 7
2007: 9
2008: 8
2009: 10
2010: 8

For reference, you can read my first mock draft from February 9th here, my second mock from March 1st here, and my third mock from April 2nd here.

Now, on to the picks...



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