Insider draft review
You should believe Nick Saban.
When Saban drafted DB Jason Allen in the first round, there was no one on the board he would have loved to have more. The Dolphins had a conviction on Allen and no one else at that point. Given Saban's history last year, I like the idea of him picking a guy he has a conviction about.
Would he have loved to have nose tackle Haloti Ngata? No doubt.
Kamerion Wimbley or the Cromartie kid as has been suggested in some other news outlets? No way.
I spent some one-on-one time with Allen on Sunday morning and he said the things I love to hear from a rookie pick. "I need to get to work to do a lot of improving to become the player I can be in the NFL," he said. "I have a lot to learn. But I come in thinking I'm going to be a good player for this team and eventually start."
I hate to hear it when guys you're paying $10 million to understate themselves or their goals. They better reach for the stars if they hope to soar at all. So that was cool.
The rest of the picks? I love that Miami got, not one, but two WRs. Derek Hagan seemed very sharp on his conference call, enough to recognize his shortcomings of not showing good hands at the Senior Bowl.
I believe you must recognize your errors and shortcomings before you can correct them. You have no idea how many players I've dealt with that didn't have the ability to see themselves objectively so they couldn't fix what was wrong or lacking in their game. Jaime Nails comes to mind.
Anyway, I like that both Hagan and Devin Aromashodu have played top-tier competition in college and both played in a pro-style offense. I believe one of the reasons many rookie receivers struggle so much their first year is they haven't faced top-caliber competition in lower division leagues or haven't played in the pro set.
The reason UF receivers struggled so much in the NFL after being so great in college is they no longer where playing in the Fun and Gun thing Steve Spurrier used. The pro-style is simply a big adjustment.
And while the top-tier conferences -- the Big 10, the SEC, the Big 10-12 -- offered great comp., they were running leagues for so many years. Their receivers had to get used to playing in a pro-set instead of the wishbone while guys like Mike Irvin or Brett Perriman or Brian Blades could play right away.
It was, I believe, because they came from a pro set offense that played top-flight comp.
Anyway, that's my unscientific theory why some receivers take a while to find their NFL footing.
The two D-tackles? The Dolphins took a shot with both and the most important thing you should remember is both are projects. Both have obvious drawbacks, but both also have one or two traits that give them a chance to produce.
Fred Evans can dunk a basketball at 305 pounds. He just has incredible explosion and that's big for a nose tackle. Yeah he went to a tiny school but he originally signed with Illinois to play in the Big 10 and he killed Texas A&M in a game last year.
Rodrique Wright is an insurance guy who may not play this year. He's got a reputation of not playing with urgency, but maybe part of that is the shoulder injury he had that the Dolphins discovered. I think he'll be stashed on injured reserve and we'll see him again in 2007.
As for fourth-round pick Joe Toledo ... sorry don't know enough yet to form an opinion. Just being honest.
OK, tell me what you think and whether you agree or not. I wonder why I just wrote that. You guys tell me what you think whether I ask or not.