With Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams slated to become free agents, both Sean Tomlinson and I have running back Mark Ingram landing in Miami with the 15th pick. But Brian Miller from Phin Phanatic doesn’t see things going down that way.
1. It seems like everyone is mocking Mark Ingram to the Dolphins. What are your thoughts on that and the running back situation in general?
I don’t believe the Dolphins will use the 15th overall pick on Mark Ingram as many believe. I firmly believe that they will try to trade that pick and move into the latter half of round 1 and gain a second-round pick back. With that pick, later in the first, I think they will look at either an offensive lineman, perhaps Mike Pouncey, or maybe a quarterback. The Dolphins’ management have a history of investing later picks at the running back spot and I believe they will look at rounds 2-5 to find a runner instead of round 1. The team will try to add a running back via free agency if that starts again and if the labor situation is resolved, I think that both Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams are likely to be gone. The team seems to prefer a more dynamic backfield than what they have had over the last three seasons.
2. Aren’t there more pressing needs in Miami than running back? I mean, they could also invest in just keeping Ronnie Brown or Ricky Williams. What other positions should they look to address in the draft?
Look for Miami to go with speed guys at wide receiver and linebacker and possession guys at the tight end spot. They will also invest in a quarterback but when and who is hard to predict. The Dolphins need to revamp their offensive line and I know that is a priority for the team. Receiver is more a luxury and they may pass on this in the draft and gamble on free agency occurring before the start of the season. My order of priority would be offensive line, quarterback, linebacker, and then RB/TE/WR.
3. What about the quarterback situation? One more year for Chad Henne?
The Dolphins will give Chad Henne another year, his final year of his rookie contract. The team currently has Tyler Thigpen and Tom Brandstater on the roster but Thigpen is a tendered free agent so there is no guarantee that he will be around at the start of the season. The Dolphins will look at adding a veteran quarterback at some point but their options are rather limited regardless of the labor situation. The Phins don’t have the draft picks to trade for a Kevin Kolb or a Kyle Orton and there is no guarantee that they could land Matt Hasselbeck or get a trade done for Carson Palmer…or that they would want to. They will have to find someone to compete with Henne, though, and I look for them to add a QB through the draft and another veteran when teams are allowed to make player moves.
4. Is there a specific player you’re hoping they land?
This year I don’t have any favorites in round 1. I really hope the team trades out of the 15 spot and can address more positions via that trade. I like Pouncey but he is not a flashy pick. Of the quarterbacks, I’m partial to the big arm of Ryan Mallett. I also like DeMarco Murray of Oklahoma and Kendall Hunter of Oklahoma State. Both I believe would be immediate upgrades at the running back position. I can say that I am not a fan of Cam Newton and hope he is drafted far before Miami gets on the clock.