Friday, May 8, 2009

Dolphins Depth: Defense

We've drafted, the dread and speculation, the wait time, all gone. Yet as fans, it is true that this never really leaves. Speculation, like energy, just exerts itself into another direction, and for us Miami Dolphins, there are many directions in which this speculation can branch.

Miami attacked the skills position in this past draft, bringing in Cornerbacks Vontae Davis and Sean Smith, and safety Chris Clemons. They also drafted a project OLB in J.D. Folsom, and signed Defensive ends Ryan Baker and Orion Martin, and Nose Tackle Louis Ellis as undrafted free agents.

Hence, a reshaping of the defensive side of the ball is expected, and I assume it will look something like this:

D-Line: In 2008, the Miami Dolphins carried 10 Defensive linemen, including Hybrid LB/DE Matt Roth. Using the same number for available spots, Miami's Defensive Line should look similar to this:

Defensive Ends: We can assume that Miami's starting ends will consist of a rotation between Kendall Langford, Phillip Merling, and Randy Starks. Lionel Dotson had a solid year, and seems to continue to show promise, and as of now John Denney is our Long Snapper. We also acquired Tony McDaniel this offseason from Jacksonville who has prototypical 3-4 DE size, and the versatility to play all 3 positions at the line for Miami. The last spot should be a battle between Rodrique Wright, and undrafted free agents Ryan Baker and Orion Martin, but it's likely neither of them make it so the Dolphins have room to carry additional linebackers.

  • My picks: Phillip Merling, Randy Starks, Kendall Langford, Lionel Dotson, Tony McDaniel and John Denney.

Defensive Tackles/Nose Tackles: Jason Ferguson is the starting nose tackle in our 3-4 scheme. Outside of that, it's likely a battle for 1 spot between Paul Soliai, Joe Cohen, and undrafted free agent Louis Ellis. I expect to see Soliai win the battle, but it's his last chance to prove himself.
  • My Picks: Jason Ferguson, Paul Soliai. Cohen and Ellis will battle for a practice squad spot.
Linebackers: In 2008, the Miami Dolphins carried 6 linebackers, not including Matt Roth, whom they listed as a hybrid LB/DE on the roster. That said, I will assume they'll carry more than last year. The Miami Dolphins linebacking corps should look similar to this:

Inside Linebackers: Channing Crowder and Akin Ayodele will likely be the starters, similar to last season, and Reggie Torbor will be the immediate backup. Miami has more versatile OLB that can play ILB if the need arises.

Outside Linebackers: Joey Porter and Matt Roth are locks. The organization also seems to be extremely high on Canadian import Cameron Wake and Erik Walden. I believe that they will carry more than seven linebackers though, and thats where the battle ensues. Other candidates to make the team on the roster are William Kershaw, George Tearrius, Charlie Anderson, JD Fossom, and Quentin Moses.
  • My Prediction: Channing Crowder, Akin Ayodele, Reggie Torbor, Joey Porter, Matt Roth, Cameron Wake, Erik Walden, Charlie Anderson, Quentin Moses. Folsom and Kershaw should battle for a spot on the practice squad.
Secondary: The Miami Dolphins carried 10 defensive backs last year, and with some differences, I expect to see the same number on the opening day roster this year. Here's how the Miami secondary should look:

Cornerback: Incumbent starter Will Allen will likely start the season opposite rookie Vontae Davis. Eric Green and Sean Smith should battle for the nickel and dime, and Jason Allen and Nathan Jones should be on the roster as well.

Safety: Newly signed Gibril Wilson will team up with Yeremiah Bell to create one of the hardest hitting safety tandems in the league. Chris Clemons has already impressed through rookie camp and will likely be the first alternate, with Tyrone Culver behind him.

  • My Predictions: Will Allen, Eric Green, Vontae Davis, Sean Smith, Jason Allen, Nathan Jones, Gibril Wilson, Yeremiah Bell, Chris Clemons, and Tyrone Culver. Joey Thomas, Will Billingsley, Scorpio Babers, Courtney Bryan and Ethan Kilmer should compete for two practice squad spots.


Since I last posted, a great deal of events have taken place through, with, and around our organization. These are some of the things that occurred this past week and some links for you to jump to and gather information for what I couldn't cover.

  • The Miami Dolphins owner has come to agreements with Margaritaville owner Jimmy Buffet about renaming Dolphin stadium. So what's the new name for our franchise's and several other south florida franchise's home you ask? Landshark Stadium. Personally, I don't like it. Hell if you think about it, the Shark is the Dolphins enemy in the waters, why name it that? To read more visit ESPN's story.
  • Rookie Minicamp was the headline story for the Miami Dolphins this past weekend. Several rookies impressed, amongst them Vontae Davis and Sean Smith. The Miami Herald's Armando Salguero, Sun Sentinel's Ethan Skolnick, and Sun Sentinel's Omar Kelly all had coverage. (those are day one links, daytwo links can be found above or to the side of those)
  • Jason Taylor saga continues, as he has yet to sign anywhere, talks continue everywhere, and Miami remains hesitant.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Jason Taylor and Other News

It appears that Miami is in negotiations with Jason Taylor. It also appears that they aren't the only team interested. I figured this might happen, and would love to have Jason back in a Miami uniform.

That said, the newly drafted Miami Dolphins have requested the numbers for their uniforms for the 2009 campaign. I was really pulling to have receivers wearing numbers in the 90's, but none chose any of those numbers. Here are what they chose:

Pat White - 6
Vontae Davis - 24
Chris Clemons - 30
Sean Smith - 31
J.D. Folsom - 59
Andrew Gardner - 63
Brian Hartline - 82
Patrick Turner - 84
John Nalbone - 86

These numbers aren't yet official, but it's important to have an idea of what they are for when camp comes around. This way, if any of you attend, you can spot who's who.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Dolphins Release John Beck

In an inevitable end to a relationship that never really had a chance, the Miami Dolphins release John Beck.

General Manager Jeff Ireland had this to say:

"We want to thank John for his work ethic and his professionalism, We wish him well in the future."

I wish him the best of luck in all his future endeavors, and thank him for his time as a Miami Dolphin.

Monday, April 27, 2009

UDFA Signings

It looks like Miami hit the phones quickly after the draft was over, and began signing some undrafted prospects they may have been eyeing.

Although it is not official, NE Patriots Draft has a list updating all the signings and by whom.

As of now, the Dolphins have "unofficially" signed TE Jared Bronson (Central Washington), OG Mark Lewis (Oregon), DE Ryan Baker (Purdue), LB Orion Martin (Virginia Tech), WR Chris Williams (New Mexico St.), OC Alex Derenthal (Temple), WR Brennan Marion (Tulsa).

Other Notables signed already are:
LB Antonio Appleby (Virginia)- Patriots
LB Darry Beckwith (LSU)- Chargers
LB Frantz Joseph (Florida Atlantic)- Raiders
DT Chris Baker (Hampton)- Broncos
LB Lee Robinson (Alcorn St)- Broncos
LB Dannell Ellerbe (Georgia)- Ravens
S Otis Wiley (Mich State)- Giants
LB Dallas Reynolds (BYU)- Eagles
WR Kevin Ogletree (Virginia)- Cowboys
OT Alex Boone (Ohio State)- 49ers
OG Cedric Dockery (Texas)- Saints

More updates will come as they become available.

Grading the Phins Draft

The long awaited draft weekend has ended, and after much speculation about nothing, we now know who the new Miami Dolphins are. Parcells, Ireland and Sparano went into the draft with the plan of attacking Miami's needs. Their draft strategy was simple, there is quality in quantities. While I trust this regime wholeheartedly, I disagree with some of the picks. Then again, I don't get paid millions of dollars to draft for any NFL franchise.

Entering the draft, Miami's biggest needs as analyzed by most were CB, WR, OLB, and NT. It's safe to say Miami addressed these needs, although not necessarily in the way that most of us wanted or predicted.

Miami had a weak secondary entering this draft. They addressed the cornerback position with not one but two stud players at the cornerback position. With their 25th pick, they drafted Vontae Davis, who has the best physical tools of any corner to come out of college in the past three years. They also drafted Seasn Smith with their 61st pick in the draft. Smith could be considered a steal, as many many mock drafts had him going in the first round. In addition, in the 5th round, Miami drafted FS Chris Clemons. Clemons is going to ensure that the safety position remains covered throughout the season. He was probably the best pick the Phins made in day 2.

The second position of weakness was wide receiver. It would be unreal to say that it wasn't addressed, because it was. Now, do I think that it was addressed properly? NO!! The Dolphins obviously could not have known or avoided the wide receiver run that took place during the late first round to the early second round. That run wiped Nicks, Britt, and Robiskie, and the other top receivers where gone since before the 25th pick. Since they couldn't take any of those receivers, they took back to back receivers in the 3rd and 4th rounds. That though, is not even what I criticize. I criticize who they took with those picks. The Dolphins took Patrick Turner and Brian Hartline. Now, I've done much scouting and analyzing of this draft, and I can honestly say that those guys would have easily been there during the 6th and maybe even the 7th round.

The third position of need, Outside Linebacker, was addressed in the 7th round. Yeah, the 7th round... I can't believe it either. Even more surprising, when the 7th round came along, I was surprised at the remaining prospects, and dared to get excited. Hell, Beckwith was there, so was Worrell Williams.. but noooo, they took JD Folsom... who??

The fourth position of need... wait, need? The front office doesn't seem to think so.

On the bright side, although I initially didn't like the pick, the Dolphins drafted Pat White. Now, after thinking alot about this pick, White might just be a great addition. He's going to play some Wide receiver, return some kicks, and take somewhere around 7-10 snaps at QB per game. That's not bad, especially if he becomes a successful utility player in the NFL, ala Antwaan Randle El.

Another couple of great picks were Chris Clemons and John Nalbone. Clemons addressed not only our future at safety but insurance at a poosition that lacked it. Nalbone is also not only insurance at the Tight end position, but someone whom the trifecta will groom, and now it doesn't force them to sign any of our two free agent tight ends next offseason if this kid comes along.

Overall, Miami's draft was not great, but it can be if just the two corners we selected pan out. We really don't know how well this draft really goes until 2-3 years down the line, and so, grading the teams picks, specially right now after having seen the players play ZERO NFL games, is pointless, but I'll do it anyways. My final grade for the Miami Dolphins 2009 NFL Draft is: C

Sunday, April 26, 2009

2009 NFL Draft: Day 2

So we're done? Yes we're done! Day 2 had its ups and downs as a fins fan and someone who considers themselves somewhat knowledgeable about football, college football, and all the processes involved with both sports.

- Dolphins open the day by drafting 2 wide receivers, both of whom I haven't heard much of, while other "better" receivers according to experts were still on the board. Initially, I was disappointed, but after seeing that Patrick Turner caught 49 passes for 749 yards and 10 touchdowns for USC last season, I'm a bit more relieved. Brian Hartline will not be any more than a 4th receiver at the NFL level in my opinion, but he may be a great gunner in special teams.

- In the 5th round they went on to draft John Nalbone, TE from Monmouth. This guy was the beginning of a nice set of picks by Miami. Nalbone ranked in the top 5 in all his measurables as a tight end except his vertical. He is a cheap man's Pettigrew.

- Also in the 5th round, Miami addressed the secondary yet again in this draft by bringing to Miami the future at safety, Chris Clemons. Clemons won't be starting this year since we have two brilliant safeties, but he'll have a couple good players to learn from, and he can spell them every once in a while, or become a decent back up if one of them goes down.

- In the 6th round, Miami drafted Andrew Gardner, OT from Georgia Tech. This pick is more likely a project that anything else. Gardner has to be a quick tackle to have started at GT where they run the option a while lot. I don't think he will represent much more than a 3rd string tackle in Miami this season.

- With what became their last pick in the draft, Miami picked J.D. Folsom. Folsom is a linebacker from a small school who has the size that Parcells and company love. I dislike this pick simply because there were much better linebackers on the board that could have been drafted and likely actually pushed for a roster spot.

Overall: I liked just a couple of picks today, and felt like all the others were either reaches, or just didn't fit overall. I hope I'm wrong, I hope the picks pan out. Today though, I grade the dolphins with a D.

NFL Draft Live Thread: Day 2

Today we continue rounds 3-7 in the draft. In case you were not around yesterday, and haven't had a chance to check who our new Baby Phins are, Miami drafted Vontae Davis, Pat White, and Sean Smith yesterday.

Today, Miami enters the day with the following 7 picks:
23rd pick in the 3rd rd, 87th Overall
8th pick in the 4th rd, 108th Overall
25th pick in the 5th rd, 161st Overall
29th pick in the 5th rd, 165th Overall
8th pick in the 6th rd, 181st Overall
5th pick in the 7th rd, 214th Overall
28th pick in the 7th rd, 237th Overall

Lets Hope they make the best of it!

Again, like yesterday, I encourage you to drop by and give you opinions about the draft. I'm checking on an often basis, and will respond to any of your comments. Updates will come as the draft goes on and Miami makes their picks, similar to yesterday's style.


With the 87th Pick in the NFL Draft, the Miami Dolphins select Patrick Turner, WR, USC. There were other receiver options I liked more, and other options in general that I feel were better. This, I think, was not a good pick.

With the 108th pick in the NFL Draft, the Miami Dolphins select Brian Hartline, WR, Ohio St. Looks like Miami is addressing the need positions quite heavily. The positive to this is that you can only miss so much, so maybe they can hit on atleast one of these guys and find a number 1 receiver as a late round gem.

With the 161st pick in the NFL Draft, the Miami Dolphins select John Nalbone, TE, Monmouth. Good pick here. The kid's measurables rank amongst the top tight ends in the draft, and may be a real sleeper at the position. Considering Miami has 2 of their 3 TE's as free agents next offseason, this is a great pick.

With the 165th pick in the NFL Draft, the Miami Dolphins select Chris Clemons, S, Clemson. I like this pick as well. I think he would have gone earlier, and he provides not only someone to learn from our good safeties, but someone to spell them and as depth at the position in case one of them gets injured.

With the 181st pick in the NFL Draft, the Miami Dolphins select Andrew Gardner, OT, Georgia Tech. Not a horrible pick. Provides the depth needed at tackle and considering that GT runs the option, he must be mobile enough to play the position.

With the 214th pick in the NFL Draft, the Miami Dolphins select J.D. Folsom, OLB, Weber State. This pick addresses the OLB position, although not with an elite pass rusher as everyone expect before the draft.

The Dolphins trade their 237th pick to the Kansas City Chiefs. KC will give the Dolphins "consideration" in next years draft.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

2009 NFL Draft: Day 1

We conclude a busy day of drafting with an overall expression of what we liked and disliked in the first couple rounds of the draft.

- Oakland drafts Darius Heywerd-Bey with the #7 overall pick. Ahead of Crabtree... They may be the most retarded franchise in the NFL. Detroit gets unlucky, Oakland is just retarded. To cement my opinion, they go out and draft Michael Mitchell in rd 2. I have never heard of the guy, and ESPN didn't even have footage on him. Kiper estimates they could have waited until rd. 5 atleast to have drafted him... I'm glad in not a Raider fan.

- New England screws Miami, twice! They took Ron Brace, Darius Butler.. both Miami targets... I hate them!

- I can't believe that Rey Rey and Everette Brown fell to the 2nd round...

- If it only cost a 6th for TB to move up 2 slots in the 1st round, couldn't Miami have given up a 6th and moved up 4-5 slots in the early 2nd to land Brace? Butler? Brown? Maualuga? Ridiculous!

Now to Miami's picks"

25th Pick- Vontae Davis... Love it, a physical monster. He'll excel under this regime, and I expect he will be a stud corner for years to come.

44th Pick- Pat White... I know not what to say about this pick. I don't want to deliberately question the great and well trusted minds that run this organization, but, cmon... how much can the wildcat do? White brings versatility, but I'm interested in seeing how he will be used..

56th- was traded to Indianapolis for their 61st overall and their 5th round pick.

61st Pick- Sean Smith... Great Pick, 2 corners in day 1 which could shore up our secondary. This was also a value pick, and Smith should have gone much earlier.

Overall: I would have liked to see some different names on this list, but considering that a ton of great player went right in a span of 5-7 picks before our 44th, we kind of got screwed. The wide receiver run in the late first-early second killed the chance for Miami to pick up a stud receiver.

For Day 1: C/C+ Grade.

NFL Draft Live Thread

Ladies and Gentlemen, the day we have all been waiting for since the end of the season has arrived.

We have called in sick, canceled family events, and gotten our liquor ready for today. Pop open the caps and get your shot glasses ready, in 3 hours, the NFL draft will begin.

I will update this post after every pick, and I will sum up the day after out last pick today. During the coming week, we will analyze in depth how the Dolphins drafted, and how it affects the organization.

Lastly, I wish the Jets, Bill, and Patriots the worst of luck today. I hope all their players are busts!!

With that said, lets get this party started!! Go FINS!!


With the 25th Pick in the NFL Draft, our Miami Dolphins select Vontae Davis, CB Illinois. This will definitely strengthen our secondary. I still think we should draft another corner later in the draft.

With the 44th Pick in the NFL Draft, our Miami Dolphins select Pat White, QB/WR, West Virginia. This is an interesting pick. Does this mean Miami is enhancing the wild cat? The run on Wide Receivers made me throw up in my mouth a little bit, but oh well.

The Miami Dolphins have traded their 56th pick to the Indianapolis Colts for their 61st pick overall and Indianapolis's 5th round pick.

With the 61st pick in the NFL draft, the Miami Dolphins select Sean Smith, CB, Utah. Great pick to shore up our secondary!!