Some observations coming out of the combine
In that regard the Dolphins are reliving the misfortune of 2005 when Nick Saban, armed with the second overall pick, complained to his staff that there was really no one worth using the pick on. The Dolphins eventually picked Ronnie Brown.
Now don't get me wrong, there is talent in this draft. But there is not one clear-cut, can't miss guy out there. Jake Long is a monster, having benched 225 pounds a combine-high 37 times in recent days. But most scouts agree he's not as suited for instant success in the NFL as what Joe Thomas was last year. And Thomas did not go No. 1.
Chris Long? Great pedigree, great production and he was coached by Bill Parcells disciple Al Groh at Virginia -- which is perhaps the biggest reason I believe Long will be Miami's choice if they keep the first pick. Parcells trusts Groh's opinion and Groh loves Long, so Parcells will love Long.
The problem is if the Dolphins are going to run a 3-4 defense, that means Long will have to play standing up a lot. And he's never done that. Yes, he might turn into Willie McGinest, who Parcells turned into a stand-up player after he played mostly down at USC years ago, but just because one guy made the transition doesn't mean the other will.
Personally, I think Ohio State's Vernon Gholston has greater potential than Long. He's quicker, faster and is still learning so his potential to become better is greater than Long's. Long has been immersed in football all his life and isn't likely to improve exponentially. Gholston started playing as a sophomore in high school and is still very raw. I love this guy, but I doubt the Dolphins would pick him No. 1. Too unorthodox.
You know of Miami's need at quarterback. After nearly a decade of trying to find the next great Dolphins quarterback, the Dolphins are still searching for the next great Dolphins quarterback. They will select a quarterback in this draft, no question about it. They cannot be convinced John Beck is the future and it is simply good stewardship to have multiple quarterbacks in the pipeline.
But Matt Ryan with the first overall pick? That is hard to fathom. Although Mel Kiper insists that's the pick, the truth is Ryan simply will not be the highest-rated player on Miami's board at No. 1. Yes the guy has great intangibles, but neither from a physical nor production standpoint can he be ahead of Darren McFadden, the two Longs and --here's a surprise -- even USC defensive tackle Sedrick Ellis. All of them are more likely to succeed in the NFL than Ryan, who threw a bunch of interceptions and has unimpressive mobility.
Glenn Dorsey of LSU? He has undisputed first overall pick written all over him if not for a ton of buts. He's great BUT he's probably better suited for the 4-3. He's great BUT he didn't work at all at the combine. He's great BUT he's been injured a lot. He's great and plays hurt BUT that left tibia fracture he had in 2006 still is not completely healed and that is a concern.
So what does that make Dorsey? A prospect haunted by a bunch of questions. Just like most of the other guys.