After a rather uneventful March, it is now time to jump into draft coverage headfirst. I'm going to start my draft coverage by going through the players who either the Dolphins or the local papers have identified as those that the team has interviewed, met with, or attended workouts for. If the team has already put in resources to look at these guys, then we should too.
I'll start today with the quarterbacks. Again, these are simply the QBs that have already had some type of contact with the organization, that I am aware of.
I will organize the prospects into tiers, as such:
- First tier: First-round talent
- Second tier: Second or third-round talent
- Third tier: Mid-round (4-5) talent
- Fourth tier: Late round (6-7) or FA talent
FIRST TIER PROSPECTS
1. Matt Ryan, Boston College
- Pros: Strong leader, intelligent, good size, excels with short to intermediate passes
- Cons: Inconsistent accuracy, relatively immobile, lacks a solid deep ball, average arm strength, limited upside
- Compares to: Matt Schaub, Chad Pennington
I'm not real high on Matt Ryan. I think he's benefiting a lot from being the best quarterback in a pretty weak draft class for that position. And given the importance of the position, it's inevitable that the best prospect each year will have his status elevated, even if he perhaps doesn't quite deserve it. Now I'm not trashing Ryan. I think he's a great prospect, but he has far too many holes and deficiencies for Miami to take him number 1 overall - and with the picks they have now, that is the only chance they will have to take him.
2. Brian Brohm, Louisville
- Pros: Intelligent, good size, lots of experience, good accuracy and touch
- Cons: Limited upside, average leader, injury-risk, lacks mobility, could be a system-player
- Compares to: Drew Brees
If Brohm were to slip into the second round, he would represent good value for Miami, but I still don't think they should be investing another high pick into a QB when the verdict is still out on John Beck. Brohm is the type of player who is just as likely to turn out a bust as he is to be a solid starter. The system he played in during college certainly inflated his numbers and that might be masking some deeper inefficiencies in his game.
SECOND TIER PROSPECTS
1. Joe Flacco, Delaware
- Pros: Excellent size, strong arm and good deep ball, smart, durable, decent upside
- Cons: Not much experience against top competition, mechanics could use some work, did not play in a pro-style offense
- Compares to: Derek Anderson
Like a lot of people, I'm pretty high on Flacco. I like him much better as a prospect than either Ryan or Brohm. Granted, Flacco will require some significant development time, but Miami can afford him that time. I am a little scared about his experience coming almost exclusively out of the shotgun formation. As a physical specimen, he has everything you are looking for, but the mental aspect of the game needs work. If he reaches Miami in the second or third round, they have to consider him, although I don't think he's worth Miami's first second-round pick (32 overall).
2. Chad Henne, Michigan
- Pros: Strong leader, great arm strength, loads of experience
- Cons: Decision-making is spotty, pocket presence needs work, sloppy fundamentals, average accuracy
- Compares to: Joey Harrington
I don't think Henne has enough upside to justify drafting him in the second or third round. He tends to get jumpy and break down in the pocket, and far too many of his passes get broken up or intercepted. He is too erratic to be a franchise signal caller.
3. Andre' Woodson, Kentucky
- Pros: Strong arm, avoids turnovers, handles pocket pressure well, some scrambling ability, significant upside remaining
- Cons: Mechanics, inconsistent, trouble reading coverages, leadership is not where it needs to be
- Compares to: Jason Campbell
Like Flacco, Woodson needs a lot of time to develop himself into an NFL starter. He may have the highest future potential out of any QB in this draft, but it will take time to bring that level of play out of him. While the physical tools are there for the most part, his lack of a strong leadership mentality may cripple his development. A lot will depend on the kind of coaching he will receive in the NFL, and Miami certainly has the staff to bring out the best in Woodson. Using the third round pick on him is an option.
FOURTH TIER PROSPECTS
1. Kyle Wright, Miami (FL)
- Pros: Good size, mechanics, and arm strength, significant upside
- Cons: Poor decision-maker, too easily flustered under pressure, very inconsistent, lacks leadership, wasn't very productive at the college level
Wright essentially lacks all the intangibles that a QB needs. With the physical tools he has, there is still upside there to be tapped, and for a seventh-round pick or as a free agent, it may be wise for Miami to pursue the local product and see if they can't develop him into something of value.
Check out Samuel's site Phinaticism for all your Dolphins news and commentary.