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Monday, April 24, 2006

Get me an OLB, please

It's obvious the Dolphins need an outside linebacker out of this draft after LaVar "Freelance" Arrington has picked the Giants in free agency and there won't really be anyone else out there worth much respect until the round of June veteran cuts.

So the Dolphins will almost certainly draft an outside linebacker, although not necessarily in the first round.

The argument for taking an OLB in the first round is that a pretty solid one may be available. I know A.J. Hawk will be gone and so will my favorite Chad Greenway (who knows, maybe the Dolphins get lucky and he slips to them). But there are some mid-round candidates that show promise.

And, really, the NFL is filled with outside linebackers that came into the league in the middle rounds and turned into starters -- I remind you Channing Crowder played some at outside linebacker last year although he's better suited for the ILB spot.

Anyway, guys like Alabama's Demeco Ryans (good production) and Stanford's Jon Alston (excellent 4.58 speed) may be available when the Dolphins pick in the third round and possibly beyond. One guy I would stay away from is Ohio State's Bobby Carpenter.

Carpenter tests out like a stud and has the pedigree of having played for a bigtime school and coming from an NFL family -- his dad was former NFLer Rob Carpenter. But all that ability and legacy simply doesn't translate on the field, I don't know why.

Anyway, Miami's need at the position is clear. If the season started today, the Dolphins would put either Donnie Spragan or Dedrick Hodge in the starting lineup. Neither has proven to be a pass-rush threat in the past and both are probably better suited for duty as experienced backups.

In fact, if the Dolphins don't find a capable starting caliber player at this spot in the draft, I would make the case they have taken a step back in the position from a year ago.

I would even advocate they revisit the idea of signing Junior Seau for one more season. I know Seau has been injured most of the last two seasons and is pushing 76 years old now.

Bit I think he would be agreeable to signing a one-year minimum salary deal and he is still better than either Spragan or Hodge.

Anyway, I want to know who the draftnerds would suggest the Dolphins draft. I might even pass along the suggestions to the Dolphins if you can make a logical case for someone in particular.


Blogger The Dude said...

Armando, I agree that Jon Alston could conceivably be there at No. 82 in the 3rd round. He would be a very nice fit. He was tremendously effective as a blitzer at Stanford and was a punishing hitter – two things Saban will look for when adding an OLB.

Two other guys I like a lot that could be there in the later rounds:

1. Terna Nande, Miami (OH): He’s extremely strong, athletic and fast. He has the potential to be a “sideline-to-sideline” type of linebacker.
2. Clint Ingram, Oklahoma: An aggressive playmaker who is always around the ball. Like most late rounders, he’s raw but has a lot of potential.

I have faith that Saban will find the right guy to fill the OLB position somewhere in this draft. I know he has his eye on several guys and I do not think he’s looking to bring back Seau at this point.

2:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Armando, how bout Ernie Sims. I know he is better suited for inside, but can he not be an effective pass rushing outside LB?

3:56 PM  
Blogger Ottawafan said...

I too am hopefull the C. Greenway will slip to us and it is very possible. Guys like Ernie Sims are shooting up the charts so maybe we will have a shot at Greenway. One thing to keep in mind is now that Capers is here, will we be in more 3-4 fronts? If so then maybe a guy like Wimbley would be a good choice. I beleive he could make a good pass rusher at the OLB spot. We could even move him to DE on 3rd downs, kind of like R. Mathis of the Colts. Just food for thought. I think though that if we are to go in the direction of OLB then we should explore the option of trading down a couple of slots. Most of these linebackers will still be there in the last third of the first round.

4:55 PM  
Blogger Armando Salguero said...

I am truly impressed by The Dude's commentary. As for Ernie Sims, he came to Florida State with all this great hype and, in my opinion, he never really played to the billing. He's a nice player, but in talking to three scouts, one had him middle of the first round, and the other two gave him low second round grades. They said he was inconsistent. The Dolphins haven't shown great interest in Sims, according to his agent.

4:55 PM  
Blogger The Dude said...

Thanks for the props, Armando! This type of knowlege can only come by owning a DirecTV dish, watching A LOT of NCAA & NFL football (NFL Sunday Ticket/ESPN GamePlan) and, of course, having a lot of time on your hands. Oh and being a die hard Dolfan is key.

5:10 PM  
Anonymous Steve said...

The question is what type of OLB are the coaches looking for? Will the 3-4 be used more than last year? Or will it be mostly a 4-3 line up on the base downs like it was last year? At #16 there isn't a OLB I'd take to play on at SLB. Trading down and taking Carpenter would be my move if Santonio Holmes isn't available. Or if you trade down you can maybe take Manny Lawson, but that's more of a "we are going to use 3-4 more than 4-3" move. If they are stayin with the D how it was last year I wouldn't invest a 1st day pick on an OLB that's goin to be in there for 2 downs.

6:24 PM  
Blogger Armando Salguero said...

Hey Steve, you're not reading this blog religiously, buddy. Last week when Dom Capers was made available to the media, I posted about the new defensive coordinator's philosophy for Miami.

He said, basically, that he intends to run the defense similarly to what he did in Jacksonville when he was the DC there. Those Jags of 1999-2000 employed both the 3-4 and 4-3 alingments.

Capers said he loved the idea of making offenses prepare for both schemes and changing from one to the other from game to game, indeed, from play to play.

So that's the 411 on which alignment Miami will use. Hope that helps, but you are warned. Next time you miss a post, you're fined.

12:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the Dolphins stay in the 3-4 alignment, I think Saban likes the bigger OLB. I would say Manny Lawson or Kamerion Wimbley would be one of my choices.

2:02 AM  
Anonymous J-Bird 76 said...

You have to look at drafting a quaterback that you intend to trade later in the same way you look for a good stock. Meaning you are looking 3rd round or later for someone with skills who may blossom into a starter in the league. This is where you find your Matt Schaub's, Matt Hasselback's, Aaron Brook's, Mark Brunnell's etc. If you invest a 3rd rounder or lower and can get back a 1st or 2nd rounder in the future for that prospect then you have a great deal. The problem with taking a QB in the first round to trade him later is what kind of return on investment are you going to get? Teams don't like to trade two number ones for a player and when it has happened it usually hasn't worked out all that well...Sean Gilbert, Keyshawn Johnson, Ricky Williams, and I believe Joey Galloway. Teams just aren't looking to give away two number ones and they probably aren't going to give up a 1st and 2nd or a 1st and a 3rd in the same draft for a QB prospect who hasn't played that much. Does anyone really think San Diego was going to get two first rounders for Phillip Rivers? The only way I see the Phins taking Culter is if he is by far their highest rated player on their board or they decide not to do the Harrington trade. They'd be better off taking someone like Omar Jacobs in the 3rd or 4th round assuming he is available and trying to develop him as a potential trade chip in the future much the way Schaub has developed into a hot property for the Falcons.

11:33 AM  
Blogger John Dolfan said...

I love it! Armando is up and running for a short while and already he is demanding loyalty in the form of religious readers. You will get that when show the kind of perservance that Jason Cole has shown in his forum.

Anyway, as for OLB, my vote is definitely for Junior no matter what the Fins do in the draft. He still has gas in the tank and is better than 99 % of the alternatives.

11:36 PM  
Blogger Armando Salguero said...

John, it is true the blog is only an infant, but I'm not, buddy. I've been covering the Dolphins since 1990 and there are people who read my stuff -- some like it, some hate it -- religiously and have done so for a looooong time. But I'll try to do better in this forum to make you happy.

12:43 AM  
Blogger John Dolfan said...


Well Armando, for the record, I was not trying to insinuate that you were a newbie to covering the Fins. On the contrary I have read your material when you wrote for the Sporting News weekly update column. You remember, 1995, pre-internet, pre-direct television (when I was lucky to watch 4 games a year)? I was always grateful for whatever scraps of information came my way.

My point regarding Jason Cole is that he has done his blog religiously for 3+ years now. During that time he has: answered some of the most inane questions ever asked, let people vent at the organization and didnt try to hide the comments critical of him. All of this he has done, for the most part, with class. As a result he has inspired many people to be loyal readers. Although I suspect a note of sarcasm in your comment, you do not have to do anything better. You just have to do this blog thing longer. When you have shown loyalty to your blog readers for as long and as zealously as Jason has, you will have our loyalty too.

6:56 PM  

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