Dolphins may be telegraphing their intentions
The Dolphins seem to be leaning toward picking Michigan offensive tackle Jake Long No. 1 in the draft, adding help at the 3-4 rush linebacker second, and maybe, only maybe, getting a quarterback sometime after that.
How do I know? Read the signs.
The Dolphins have had initial contact with Long's agent Tom Condon, colleague Jeff Darlington is reporting on The Herald's website. Condon, who also represents Matt Ryan, did not talk to the Dolphins about the Boston College quarterback. The talks centered on a contract for Jake Long exclusively.
What does this mean? It means Ryan is not the guy and how many times have I written that on here? Anyway, before we jump to conclusions about Jake Long, understand these preliminary negotiations do not preclude the Dolphins from also talking to Chris Long's agent.
But maybe the Dolphins don't give a hoot about pretenses.
They may just legitimately want Jake Long. That is what I believe. And I believe this, not just because of the Condon meeting. At the USC pro day last week, a handful of scouts were asked what the Dolphins were likely to do and all said Jake Long was the team's choice based on what they'd heard through the NFL grapevine.
The same week, coach Tony Sparano was asked to run down his lineup along the offensive and defensive fronts. He had no body at right tackle, or no body at left tackle if, as has been suggested, the Dolphins move Vernon Carey back to right tackle. I don't mean to say the Dolphins didn't have anybody as a slight. It is a fact. There was not a body on the roster the team had at the position.
So that pretty much paints a clear picture of how big Miami's need is there. All told these circumstances point to Jake Long first and everything to follow after that. And there is more.
What if Bill Parcells really was telling the truth when he said he has no intention to trade Jason Taylor? That would again suggest the team can hold off picking Chris Long No. 1 and instead take a player that might require a little more polishing later in the draft and plug him in a year or two from now when Taylor is gone. A player like Quentin Groves comes to mind. Lo and behold, the Dolphins are hosting Groves today as part of their Top 30 visits.
And there is more ... Remember I have told you how Sparano sees John Beck as a guy that will be part of the team's nucleus the next few years? That suggests the QB situation is not so dire in his eyes as to demand reaching for Ryan. Again, the Longs seem like Miami's focus, particularly Jake Long.