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Tuesday, April 18, 2006

The case for a WR

I know what you're going to say ... The Dolphins have Chris Chambers coming off a Pro Bowl, Marty Booker had a good season last season and Wes Welker had his most productive season catching the ball with 29 receptions as the No. 3

Here's my opinion: That is a good stable of receivers for a 9-7 team. For a team that is trying to do as Chris Chambers said and host the Super Bowl, not so great.

Chambers is indeed a surging force in this offense. I look for him to benefit tremendously from the addition of Daunte Culpepper and I sense in him a greater willingness to step out as a leader and performer on offense. If he were a stock, he'd be offering dividends.

But after that there is a lot of uncertainty.

First I thought it was a big mistake to lose Bryan Gilmore. He was relatively cheap to keep on the team (He went to SF for $585,000 this season) and he was a tough competitor with the rare combination of upside and experience.

Marty Booker is a good player -- perhaps the only good starter Rick Spielman brought to Miami -- but he'll be 30 years old this year and is on a financial time clock that is ticking. Booker is signed through the 2008 season, but his salary that year is $4.3 million which is quite expensive for a No. 2 receiver. That means the Dolphins have only this year and next with Booker under a more reasonable salary even as he continues to age.

Finally, Welker is pound-for-pound the toughest player on the Dolphins. If he were a dog he'd be a pitbull. But he is what he is -- a good No. 3 receiver and special teams specialist. He's not the future at the position.

That means the Dolphins need help, especially when you consider that they have invested sooo much on getting Daunte Culpepper. The biggest mistake a team can make is to have a great quarterback and foofs at WR.

You simply do not hire a gunslinger and not give him ammunition. Jimmy Johnson did that in the late 90s and he wasted Dan Marino's final few seasons as a result.

So you need to give Culpepper enough instruments to make beautiful music. I'm not saying the Dolphins MUST take a receiver in the first round, but I could understand it if they do, and failing that, I expect they'll take one in later rounds.

Who?

I don't know but I do know who it won't be: Ohio State's Santonio Holmes and Florida's Chad Jackson will be so outta here by No. 16, it won't be funny.

But Miami's Sinorice Moss will probably still be hanging around, if for no other reason than he's 5-8 and 185 pounds. Wisonsin's Brandon Williams, Notre Dame's Maurice Stovall, Pittsburgh's Greg Lee and Arizona State's Derek Hagan will also be available, although it's unlikely they are first-round type players.

One guy I LOVE for his later-round potential is Todd Watkins of BYU. He's almost as fast as Moss, he likes to block which is rare, and he's 6-2 1/2. Yes, the guy needs polish, but that's the reason he's not going in the first round.

27 Comments:

Anonymous Tom (Nashville, TN) said...

Great insight, Armando. And, unlike some other columnist at a competing South Florida paper (ahem - sunsentinel), you actually update your blog regularly... Thanks for the daily fins fodder to keep us going as the draft draws near.

7:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

am definitely digging the blog, along with the opportunity to comment when I disagree... at least one of either Santonio Holmes or Chad Jackson will be available at 16. mark it down...if not, then there will be a steal available at another position of need

9:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love you ARmando, but I think Marty Booker is pretty good and will get better. But I agree the Dolphins should add a receiver

9:19 PM  
Anonymous Brian said...

I went to Pitt undergrad, and if we can get Greg Lee in a late round he's got a lot of potential.

12:15 AM  
Blogger TimAtlanta said...

Armando,

What about Fred Gibson (4th round pick by the Steelers last year) or Cliff Russell? Are these guys busts, or do they have a legitimate upside?

While I agree that we need to get more dynamic at WR, there are no such talents in this draft. We can find really talented athletes (QB's) in the 2nd day that Mularkey can teach (remember Slash?).

Or, better yet, get creative on offense with the personnel we already have, such as;

With the depth at TE - Use McMichael as a WR at times. What a matchup problem for the opposing defense, especially if Teyo Johnson is coached to play like he should. And we now have Peelle to play a more blocking TE style.

Ronnie Brown (if we still have Ricky) and Travis Minor can both play on the perimeter and are excellent receivers.

Cleo Lemon just sits around growing mold. Use his athletic ability in some capacity. Again, Mularkey has done this before, with success.

12:24 AM  
Anonymous Boomer said...

Armando, sorry mate, but you should have got someone who knows about the draft to write this for you. Hagan, Williams and least of all Greg Lee garner ZERO 1st round consideration. Lee is a 2nd day guy and so, more than likely, is Williams.

4:47 AM  
Blogger Chuck said...

Holmes or Jackson will be there at
16. The 1st wr off the board will be Denver at 15. The drop off from there is huge.I would not waste a pick on a WR until round 7.

12:02 PM  
Blogger The Dude said...

The likeliest teams to pick a WR ahead of the Fins are the Ravens (13), Eagles (14) and Broncos (15). And while Holmes and Jackson could conceivably go to any two of these three, I think only Jackson will be swept up by the time No. 16 rolls around.

The Ravens need to add to their aging defense and have a big hole at DT. The Eagles too need defense and will probably address their WR needs in the later rounds. The Broncos are targeting Jackson at 15.

Which means Holmes should be there at 16. And if Saban does in fact make his draft choices according to “value,” Holmes would be a no-brainer here. I love Holmes and it wouldn’t surprise me if he’s a Dolphin on April 29. Although I agree with Armando and I too love this kid Watkins from BYU.

1:25 PM  
Blogger CubanCulebra said...

Guess I should've read this post before responding to the first. The Dude is on the money. Either Chad or Holmes will be there at 16 (most likely Holmes) and if value is the key, well then, any one of those guys at 16 is gravy. But I think a trade down is the play for Saban if he can find a partner. The only team I can see that would benefit greatly by moving up to 16 would be the Colts. You got the Texans, Broncos, Vikings, Patriots, Panthers, and Jets possibly eyeing RBs, so a top prospect may be gone come Indi's turn to pick. The Colts are already a SB contending team. RB seems to be their only DIRE need. But, they only have 6 picks in this years draft: 1,2,3,5,6,6. Would they be willing to exchange 1's with Miami and gives us their 2,&3? Perhaps they send us 1,2,3 an we send them 1,4? I dunno if something can be worked out there. But if Miami moves down to #30 there could still be an Ashton Youboty available, or Sinorice Moss, or Bobby Carpenter, or Nick Mangold. Anyone of those guys could start and improve this football team. I'd take Mangold or Youboty at 30, exchange 2's and give up a two or all three sevens to move up in the 2nd round and get a DeMeco Ryans who is suppose to be a monster in the 3/4 or Gabe Watson who could be that NT plugger Saban is looking for and then take a CB and WR with the two picks in the third. Maybe Dee Webb, CB out of Florida who is 5'10 and runs a 4.41 and Jonathan Orr, WR out of Wisconsin that is 6`2 and runs a 4.25.

1:24 AM  
Blogger Dat RoRo Kid said...

i like chad jackson...dude is carved out of stone.

gunslinger without ammo does remind me of the JJ-era...anyone remember (of course you do) Yatil Green? yeeeesh.

4:25 PM  
Blogger CubanCulebra said...

I bought Yatil Green a corn dog at the Youth Fair when I was fifteen. True story. I was working the stand and he came up and I told him I'd take care of it. He was extremely polite. I've spent a worse $3.25 in my life, but I'd love to have that country ass "what about them Cowboys" shmuck work it off. I'll never forgive Huizenga for pushing out Shula to give that metal-head jerk a go, who then pushed out the best QB the NFL has ever known, turned over the organization to a mustache with legs and well, the rest is history. Thank God for Nick Saban.

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