Miami Dolphins Report

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Miami Dolphins Report

After a miraculous turn around season in 2008, the Miami Dolphins took a small step back in 2009, finishing 7-9 and third in the AFC East. After the season, the team cut ties with the often talking OLB Joey Porter, the free agent bust Gibril Wilson and veteran Akin Ayodele.

In return, the Dolphins have signed ILB Karlos Dansby to be a leader on the defense and improve a position that was a question last year. Channing Crowder should thrive playing next to Dansby inside the 3-4 defensive system. With Dansby being better in coverage, Crowder will be able to roam a bit more and get more pressure.

The newest addition is to the offensive line and comes in the form of hard-nosed, nasty man, Richie Incognito. The “bad boy” comes to Miami with a track record of personal fouls, suspensions and a list of players who do not like him. However, he also comes wit experience and the type of playing style that can help the Dolphins offense strengthen its already powerful running attack. He also provides enough depth that will make veteran Justin Smiley expendable. The 29 year old guard has a big injury risk year in and year out, and if the front office can garner enough interest, Smiley could be shopped around.

The biggest acquisition for the Dolphins this offseason was the addition of defensive coordinator Mike Nolan. Nolan comes from Denver where he transformed a 4-3 defense from nearly worst in the league into a 3-4 defense that ranked 7th overall. That’s an incredible number when you put the players into place in just one off-season. He’ll hope to do the same here.

Nolan inherits a defense with an inexperienced pass rusher, a newly acquired ILB, an impressive defensive line rotation, a pro bowl strong safety, a question at free safety and two second year cornerbacks with a world of potential.

Vontae Davis and Sean Smith both started an extended amount of games as rookies and should only continue to improve. Smith needs to work on his tackling, but he was very good in coverage. Vontae was the bigger playmaker of the two and is a solid tackler. Factor in they didn’t have as much safety help as you’d like two rookies to have, they did a very good job. Randy Starks had a pro bowl caliber season and Kendall Langford, Paul Soliai and Phil Merling showed signs of growing improvements.

As for the offense, the hope is for a returning and healthy Ronne Brown at this point. Teamed with Ricky Williams, the two have a chance to make a huge impact. Running behind big Lousaka Polite definitely helps their cause. Polite is also a very consistent option and 3rd and 4th downs with short yardage to go.

With the offensive line and the depth at the position set, the wide receiver and tight end positions become the most questionable areas on the offense. Anthony Fasano dropped off a large amount last season and there was no real number one receiver. Davone Bess is an amazing option as a slot receiver, while Brian Hartline and Greg Camarillo showed signs of becoming long term number 2 receivers. The Dolphins still find value in Ted Ginn, who has shown signs at times, but has failed to do so on a consistent basis. He also had a bad case of drops at the beginning of the season. The team also hopes to see some more improvement from Patrick Turner, the big possession receiver that can turn into a solid red zone threat.

The quarterback position is set as Chad Henne enters his second season as starter. Henne has shown the ability to make all the throws. He needs to work on his accuracy and decision making, but there is no question he is the future. Tyler Thigpen, Pat White and the returning Chad Pennington round out the quarterback position and provide great depth.

With the NFL draft right around the corner, the Dolphins have 9 picks to improve the team. I will provide 3 team mock draft options. The only differences in the drafts are the first 4 rounds.

Mock Draft 1:

1. Everson Griffen, OLB, U.S.C
2. Demaryius Thomas, WR, Georgia Tech
3. Torrell Troup, NT, U.C.F.
4. Terrell Skinner, FS, Maryland
6a. Shawn Lauvao, G, Arizona State
6b. Andrew Quarless, TE, Penn State
6c. Adrian Tracy, DE/OLB, Williams & Mary
7a. Kevin Thomas, CB, U.S.C.
7b. Conte Cuttino, RB, Stony Brook

Mock Draft 2:

1. Earl Thomas, FS, Texas
2. Demaryius Thomas, WR, Georgia Tech
3. Daniel Te’o-Nesheim, SOLB, Washington
4. Jeff Owens, NT, Georgia
6a. Shawn Lauvao, G, Arizona State
6b. Andrew Quarless, TE, Penn State
6c. Adrian Tracy, DE/OLB, Williams & Mary
7a. Kevin Thomas, CB, U.S.C.
7b. Conte Cuttino, RB, Stony Brook

Mock Draft 3:

1. Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State
2. Morgan Burnett, FS, Georgia Tech
3. Antonio Coleman, SOLB, Auburn
4. Linval Joseph, NT, East Carolina
6a. Shawn Lauvao, G, Arizona State
6b. Andrew Quarless, TE, Penn State
6c. Adrian Tracy, DE/OLB, Williams & Mary
7a. Kevin Thomas, CB, U.S.C.
7b. Conte Cuttino, RB, Stony Brook

With each of the drafts, the main needs of WR, SOLB, FS and NT are addressed with quality players. Offensive line depth is added. As well as a tight end with tons of potential. Another pass rush prospect to back up Cameron Wake on the weakside as well as a long armed cornerback to help in nickel and dime situations. The final pick is my sleeper running back, an insurance policy for the oft-injured Brown and the elder Williams.

These drafts and free agent pick ups should help the Dolphins compete for the top spot in the AFC East yet again in 2010.

__________________
My Dolphins Mock:
1. Everson Griffen, OLB, U.S.C
2. Demaryius Thomas, WR, Georgia Tech
3. Torrell Troup, NT, U.C.F.
4. Terrell Skinner, FS, Maryland
6a. Shawn Lauvao, G, Arizona State
6b. Andrew Quarless, TE, Penn State
6c. Adrian Tracy, DE/OLB, Williams & Mary
7a. Kevin Thomas, CB, U.S.C.
7b. Conte Cuttino, RB, Stony Brook
by Gage, Miami Dolphins Draft Guru

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