Miami Dolphins Scouting Report: DeAndre Hopkins

Today I'm going to be looking at another potential receiver prospect for the Miami Dolphins: DeAndre Hopkins.

Hopkins (nicknamed "Nuk") is a receiver out of the high-powered Clemson offense. He is 6'1" and 214 pounds. He ran a 4.57 40-yard dash and was measured at a 36 inch vertical at the combine last weekend.

Hopkins has the size and skillset to be a number one receiver as a pro. He is a good route runner and does an excellent job of faking defenders out to get open. He has good hands and rarely drops the ball. He is also very good with the ball in his hands. As soon as he has the ball he looks upfield to make a play.

He doesn't have blazing speed, but he definitely isn't slow. He uses what speed he does have to his advantage and is a big time playmaker. I was impressed with his body control. He looked like he was out of bounds on a few receptions that I saw, but when the replay was showed he was actually in bounds.

Hopkins did play against lesser competition at times in the ACC, but his physical abilities can't be ignored. I don't know if he will ever be an elite wide receiver, but he can still be a great number one guy. He will sometimes try to do too much and end up losing yardage. He'll learn pretty soon, though, that he isn't playing against college defenders anymore.

I like Hopkins a lot. He seems like an excellent second round pick for the Dolphins and he would do very well in Miami's offense.

Here is some tape on Hopkins. This will give you a good idea of what he was able to do last year.

Thanks for stopping by. Email me at I'm also on twitter @PaulDSmythe.

Miami Dolphins Scouting Report: Tavon Austin

I'm continuing my series of scouting potential receiver prospects for the Miami Dolphins. Today I'm going to be talking about a guy who just this weekend put on a show at the NFL Scouting Combine.

That receiver is Tavon Austin out of West Virginia. Austin is a tiny little guy. He measured at 5'8" tall and 174 pounds, but he makes up for it in pure speed.

Austin was a versatile playmaker in the explosive West Virginia offense. At the combine he ran a 4.34 40-yard dash, which was second to only Marquise Goodwin out of Texas. He projects as a late first or early second round pick in the draft this year, but I don't expect he'll be available when Miami picks in the second.

It almost doesn't seem fair to classify Austin as a receiver because he lined up at running back so much, but due to his small size he will be considered a receiver in the pros. He is blazing fast, makes great cuts, and has amazingly quick feet. He has excellent vision with the ball in his hands and is a guy who can break a lot of big plays.

Austin's biggest negative is his height. It wouldn't be a problem if he was a running back, but since he is a receiver it hurts him. From the tape I watched it was hard to get a grip on how he is catching the ball, so I had to do a little searching on him. Here's something by Dan Kadar with SB Nation:
Doesn't always catch the ball with his hands. Austin will let the ball get into his body to make a catch. He went over the middle at times for West Virginia, but dropped some passes anticipating a hit.
Austin is a very interesting prospect for a team with an already established top receiver. If Miami were able to get one or two other receivers then I would love for them to take Austin in the second round, but I doubt the Dolphins end up with him because he will likely be taken before that.

Because of his size I have Austin as the fourth best receiver for the Dolphins behind (in order) Cordarrelle Patterson, Keenan Allen, and Justin Hunter. If I were a team who already had a big receiver or two I might consider putting Austin higher on that list, but for Miami I have him at four. His size concerns me too much for a team like the Dolphins.

Here is some film on Tavon Austin from this year. Enjoy.

Thanks for stopping by. Email me at I'm also on twitter @PaulDSmythe.

Miami Dolphins NFL Combine: Cornerback Preview

Hello Dolphin Shout and all Miami Dolphin Fans!

Here are some interesting NFL Combine cornerbacks to measure:

Xavier Rhodes
6-1, 217 pounds, 4.54 40-yard dash
A high first round prospect with an overall player ranking of 23rd and the third ranked cornerback. He played for nationally ranked Florida State in the fifth ranked ACC.

Rhodes has eight career interceptions in 39 starts since the start of his 2010 sophomore season where he had four picks. As of 2011 his opponents tended to avoid his physically aggressive side of the field, as he had just one 2011 interception and three more as a 2012 junior.

He is widely regarded as one of the most physical cornerbacks in the country. He displays the desired length, athleticism, ball skills, and aggressiveness to cover large NFL wideouts.

David Amerson
6-2, 194, 4.59
A second or third round projection and the 68th ranked overall player. He is also ranked as the eighth best cornerback. He started 35 games versus the fifth-ranked ACC and has 18 career interceptions.

A one-time favorite in 2010. He led North Carolina State and the nation with thirteen 2011 sophomore interceptions, which was just behind the NCAA record of 14. He had five 2012 interceptions in his less than stellar junior season when he was burnt deep on a regular basis. Amerson was a projected first round selection before his 2012 season, despite a highly questionable forty time. Now that he has been proven to be beatable, it might be wise to take a close look at his hip flexibility, back-peddle agility, less than fluid transitions, and overall speed concerns.

Here is what he did before becoming an old man in 2012:

Logan Ryan
6-0, 190, 4.53
A second round projection. Rated as the sixth best cornerback and the 52nd overall prospect. He played for a 9-4 Rutgers team in the seventh ranked Big-East.

Ryan has two full years of starting experience as a junior coming into the NFL. In his initial 2011 season as a freshman starter he registered an amazing 67 tackles (six for a loss) and two forced fumbles, which suggests that he is an aggressive run defender at the CB position. He had three interceptions with 13 pass break-ups in that same year. As a 2012 junior he put it in another gear with 97 tackles (five for a loss) and four interceptions with 17 pass break-ups.

Ryan has fluid hips with good size and tends to aggressively end-up wherever on the field the ball happens to be while playing with total dis-regard for his own being as a sound tackler. He has 26 starts with seven career interceptions and his coaches say that, "He is a smart, tough, disciplined player with a tremendous work ethic and talent. He has represented our program in first-class fashion, and we know he will continue to excel when playing on Sundays."

Rutgers is rarely on the tube, and Ryan was an initial after-thought due to the level of competition but has made the watch-list because of an inspiring bio and video highlight research.

Jordan Poyer
6-0, 182, 4.49
Another late first to early second round projection. As a senior played against the second best nationally ranked Pac-12 and for the 20th ranked Oregon State team. He is the 40th overall ranked prospect and the fifth best projected cornerback.

Poyer is another one of three Jim Thorpe finalists and also a Bednarick (top defensive player) finalist. He was voted a first team All-American and is the first from Oregon State to do so since 1967.

As the team co-captain in his second starting season he was a thief of seven 2012 interceptions (2nd in the nation) with four additional 2011 interceptions. Poyer had another two picks as a 2010 sophomore backup. He is a nationally top ranked kick and punt returner. He was a backup safety and leading tackler in special teams in his 2009 freshman season. Poyer has a total of 13 interceptions for his career in approximately 26 starts.

Poyer has led the number two ranked Pac-12 conference in interceptions for two successive seasons. His opposition during those two seasons includes 2013 first and second round receiver prospects such as California's Keenan Allen and USC's Robert Woods. He is also competing on a daily basis against his own highly ranked wide receiver teammate Marcus Wheaton. He has a pick-six in each of the last three years versus NFL quarterbacks like Brock Osweiler and Matt Barkley.

He models his true leadership style of passionate, aggressive physical play after his favorite NFL player Ray Lewis, yet he brings it to the cornerback position with great athleticism and ball skills. Poyer, who absolutely loves everything about the game of football. is most definitely the type of playmaker and leader the Dolphins should be looking at. He is a favorite from this side of the fence, and I believe that he would be a second round steal for the Miami Dolphins.

The first 56 seconds of this next video should do it for you. Look at him against Brock Osweiler.

Senior Bowl Practice Evaluation:

Senior Bowl Draft Profile:

Jonathan Banks
6-1, 185, 4.52
A late first to early second round prospect, the 35th ranked player, and the fourth ranked cornerback. He is an SEC (see Milliner) Mississippi State senior with four 2012 interceptions. He is the winner of the Jim Thorpe best defensive back in the nation award.

Banks had 45 collegiate starts with seven 2009 games as a freshman free safety. He started the remaining three years of his career at cornerback. He had 16 career interceptions and took three to the house, with two against Tim Tebow.

He is indeed the type of playmaker the Miami Dolphins are searching for, however, the thing to focus on for him is a glaring sub-standard forty yard dash for a cornerback. I like him a bunch, but he needs to run a sub-4.50 for an all-out recommendation to pick him at twelfth overall. I would still have no hesitation what-so-ever choosing him in the second round!


After watching this video and the others included, one can't help but be reminded of Jonathan Banks' skills prior to a past knee injury. It seems as though he is getting back to his old tricks! He drew closer to other favorites at twelve during the writing of this paragraph (regardless of his combine forty).

Dee Milliner
6-1, 198, 4.47
A first round top 10 projection. He is an Alabama 29 game starting junior with six career interceptions and two National Championship rings. Milliner is the fifth overall player in the 2013 draft and the number one ranked cornerback. On top of that he came out of the always number one ranked SEC.

In fourteen 2012 games he went up against seven of the Nation's top 11 ranked teams, and six of those teams were from within his own conference, which he led in pass break-ups with 22. The seventh top 11 team he started against was number one Notre Dame in the National Championship game where Alabama won. Milliner also had a 2012 game against the 24th ranked Michigan Wolverines.

Though he had just two interceptions with one and a half sacks in 2012 he is widely considered the most well balanced cornerback in the draft due to strong coverage skills. He is also a beast versus the run.

He is a very aggressive, consistent player and the Dolphins could not go wrong with selecting the fifth overall prospect, though he may not be available at pick twelve. He also might not be the big playmaker desired in Miami (we shall see). Milliner is a well-rounded Jim Thorpe Award (Best Defensive-Back) runner-up. With just six career picks, keep an eye out for potential sub-par back peddle, transitional footwork, and hand-eye ball skill drills.

Jamar Taylor Boise State Sr.
Phillip Thomas Fresno State Sr.
Bacarri Rambo Georgia Sr.
Robert Alford Southeastern Louisiana Sr.
Robert Lester Alabama Sr.

Desmond Trufant Washinngton Sr.

Official Complete Combine invite list

Follow the "underwear Olympics" Feb. 23-26 on NFL Network.

Remaining Combine workout schedule:
» Monday, Feb. 25: Defensive linemen, linebackers
» Tuesday, Feb. 26: Defensive backs

THANK-YOU for an Open-Minded Read, and we look forward to your angle of view ;)!!


Analyzing the Miami Dolphins Options at 12th Overall

This off season is really an exciting time for the Miami Dolphins and their fans, as it should be. Miami is more than $40 million under the cap, and the talk is that Miami is going after one of the best free agent wide receivers available. Plus, the Dolphins have five picks in the first three rounds. You've got to love it.

But wait, Jeff Ireland is heading the charge, and I get the feeling he knows what's at stake.

If the Dolphins sign a free agent wide receiver, then that opens up options for the 12th pick.

The first option is filling other needs on the team, and with that here are my options if available:

  • Dee Milliner, CB
  • Kenny Vaccaro, S
  • Chance Warmack, G
  • Jonathan Banks, CB
  • Lane Johnson, OT

If Miami is not successful in signing any free agent wide receiver, then here are my picks at 12:

  • Cordarrelle Patterson, WR
  • Keenan Allen, WR
  • Tavon Austin, WR
  • Justin Hunter, WR

One scenario is Miami trading down to acquire additional draft picks. Here are some of my choices later in the first round:

  • Terrance Williams, WR
  • Zach Ertz, TE
  • Tyler Eifert, TE
  • Alec Ogletree, ILB
  • Manti Te'o, ILB
  • Matt Elam, S
  • any of the other names from the above lists

This is my take on how the first round may play out. I would like to see us trade down and still have a shot at most of these selections. Chances are Warmack, Vaccaro, and Milliner will be gone before pick 12, but there is a lot of talent available in the Dolphins need areas. The second round could also bring in some true talent.

Let me know how you envision the first round playing out. Email me at

2013 NFL Combine Receiver Preview

Hello Dolphin Shout and all Miami Dolphin Fans!

The 2013 NFL Combine is upon us and 300 top collegiate prospects will continue on their quest to impress those that control the colors of their NFL dreams. Follow the "underwear Olympics" February 23-26 on NFL Network.

Combine workout schedule:
» Saturday, Feb. 23: Tight Ends, Offensive Linemen, Special Teams
» Sunday, Feb. 24: Quarterbacks, Running Backs, Wide Receivers
» Monday, Feb. 25: Defensive Linemen, Linebackers
» Tuesday, Feb. 26: Defensive Backs

Here are some combine wide receivers to look at.

Aaron Dobson
6-3, 203 pounds, 4.33 40-yard dash
Dobson is another second round prospect who comes in listed as the seventh rated receiver and 51st ranked overall prospect. Marshall University's senior wide-out Dobson made his name against his regularly scheduled opponents in the eleventh ranked Conference USA.

In a limited 2009 freshmen role he converted fifteen catches for 362 yards and four touchdowns including a single outing with four receptions, 127 yards, and two TD's. As a 2010 sophomore he led Marshalls Herd with 44 receptions for 689 and five touchdowns with one being a 96 yard effort. Dobson's Junior 2011 season saw him reel-in another 49 balls for 688 and twelve touchdowns as the team's leader on all counts. His 2012 Senior season as team captain accounted for 57 catches, 679 yards with three touchdown while absent from two games. For his 47 games played career he accrued 165 receptions, 2398 yards, and 24 touchdowns.

Dobson as a long-strider has only elite straight-line speed for spreading the field though he has become an intelligent route runner in learning how to set up those that are sitting on the deep pattern. He is built perfectly for the wide-out position with great length while possessing strong hands for beating press coverage as well as for catches in heavy traffic. He also has excellent hand-eye coordination with a soft touch for the one handed magic act. Dobson is a tough, strong runner that fights till the whistle for yardage, and he is also a willing down-field blocker.

Markus Wheaton
5-11, 183, 4.44
Wheaton is a projected second round prospect while being slotted as the eighth receiver and has an overall player ranking of 55th. He played for the country's 20th ranked Oregon State Beavers in the second ranked Pac-12 conference.

Wheaton was a reserve 2009 freshman with (eight receptions, 89 yards, and eleven end-around sweeps for 79 yards and a TD). He started eight games as a 2010 sophomore while accruing (55 receptions, 675 yards, four touchdowns), and 27 rush attempts for 220 yards with two TD's. As a junior he started all twelve games for (73 receptions, 986 yards and one touchdown) as well as 25 rush attempts for 190 yards. Wheaton had a breakout senior season tabulating 91 receptions for 1244 yards and eleven touchdowns.

During his career he rushed for over 500 yards in accruing over 1000 all-purpose yards in three of his four collegiate seasons, but he is also Oregon States all-time career receptions leader with 277 in surpassing Chad Johnson and TJ Houshmandzedeh. In 33 collegiate starts his great hands gathered 2994 receiving yards and 16 touchdowns. Markus Wheaton is another very productive, athletically versatile, good route running, field stretching receiver, and he can play the slot, or as a wide-out.

Robert Woods
6-1, 190, 4.47
Woods is a second round prospect and the fifth rated receiver. He is listed as the 41st overall prospect. He is a junior out of the University of Southern California and played against the nation's second ranked Pac-12 conference.

In joining USC as the number one ranked High School receiver prospect he started all thirteen games of his freshmen season for the 2010 Trojans. On one occasion he had a game with 12 receptions for 224 yards and three touchdowns while totaling 65 catches for 792 with six TD's for his initial season. For his encore sophomore season as a thirteen game starter he snatched seventeen balls in the season opener and had a 2011 total of 111 receptions for 1292 yards and fifteen touchdowns. His 2012 junior season stats were slightly derailed due to team interior offensive issues including that of quarterback Matt Barkley. As well, the country's most explosive sophomore player joined Woods as USC's starting receiver corps. Woods again started all thirteen games in accruing 76 receptions for 846 yards with eleven touchdowns while many (including Barkley) faulted the going away from Woods as a major reason for USC's 2012 woes.

Robert Woods as a three year favorite comes to the NFL with 39 collegiate starts while gathering 252 receptions, 2930 yards and thirty-two touchdowns. He is another highly productive accomplished route runner with good hands, vision, and speed while also being an experienced return man. Woods is a hard worker that thrives to get better. He can play any of the receiver positions and is a willing blocker as an unselfish teammate.

Tavon Austin
5-09, 175, 4.38
Austin is a projected late first to early second round draft selection as the fourth rated receiver, and he has an overall prospect ranking of 39th. He is a senior out of West Virginia which was the Countries 10th ranked team in receiving yardage. The Mountaineers Big 12 Conference is the third ranked conference in the nation behind only the South-Eastern (SEC) and Pac-12 conferences.

He started 4 games as a 2009 freshman with 15 receptions for 155 yards, a 58 yard receiving TD and a 98 yard kickoff return to the house. In 2010 he started 11 games with 58 receptions for 787 yards and eight receiving touchdowns. Tavon ranked eighth nationally in 2011 with 101 receptions for 1186 yards (3rd nationally) with eight TD receptions. He also led the FBS in all-purpose yards with (182 rushing 1 TD, 268 punt and 938 kick-return) yards with 2 TD's. As the 2012 winner of the Paul Hornung award given to the nation's most versatile player he led his conference and was second nationally in all-purpose yards with 112 receptions for 1289 yards and 12 touchdowns, 72 rush attempts for 643 yards and 3 TD's, 978 return yards with 2 touchdowns for a total of 2910 yards.

This kid has 41 extremely productive collegiate starts in 52 games played as a slot-receiver (288 receptions, 3413 yards, 29 touchdowns) as well as six rushing with five special teams touchdowns, and he will be an NFL starter for somebody in 2013!!

He is already well versed at doing everything that made the Pats slot receiver what he became when at his best (after four-plus years in the league), while Austin has the speed and quickness to run circles around Wes Welker. Better Pray that the tea-toddlers don't land him!

Austin is a tough little broad chested guy as a game breaking, play-maker with great vision, hands, exquisite route running, and elite speed! Though he is only a reasonably legitimate first round option for the Dolphins if Miami lands it's true number one receiver in Free Agency! He would be a huge upgrade to our beloved Davone Bess, and Tavon Austin would be an absolute steal with a second round pick no-matter the circumstances!

Reggie Who?? Simply DBess Who??

Don't forget these guys from the senior bowl article:
Terrance Williams
Quinton Patton

Or these guys from Paul's scouting pieces:
Cordarrelle Patterson
Terrance Williams
Keenan Allen
Justin Hunter

Official Combine invite list

THANK-YOU for an Open-Minded read, and we look forward to your viewing angle of the combine prospects!!


Miami Dolphins Scouting Report: Justin Hunter

I am continuing my Miami Dolphins receiver prospect series today with Tennessee wide receiver Justin Hunter.

Hunter is 6-4, weighs 200 pounds, and is a junior like his Tennessee counterpart Cordarrelle Patterson. It baffles me that Tennessee wasn't able to do very well last year with both Hunter and Patterson on the team, but that's a different story.

Hunter is an amazing athlete. His height is excellent and he uses it well with top-notch body control. He has great speed and quickness. From what I saw he has pretty consistent hands. I witnessed a few drops, but I don't think his hands will be too much of a problem in the NFL.

Hunter tore his ACL during his sophomore year in 2011, which has really hurt his draft stock, but other than injuries he really doesn't have any major negatives. He is a tad unrefined and could use some work in that area, but I'm not too concerned. He was incredible pre-ACL, and the big question is whether or not he can fully return to that form. He looked great this year, and I expect he will only get better.

If Cordarrelle Patterson is a mini Julio Jones then Justin Hunter is a mini AJ Green. Neither guy is quite as good as AJ or Julio, but they definitely have a lot of similarities. I would love it if we drafted Hunter in the 2nd round. He has boatloads of upside and would be a really exciting player in a Dolphin uniform.

Here is some tape on Hunter. The first video is him in 2011 pre-ACL tear. The following two are him this year.

Thanks for stopping by. Let me know what you think about Hunter. Email me at I'm also on twitter @PaulDSmythe.

Miami Dolphins Scouting Report: Keenan Allen

I'm continuing my look at potential Miami Dolphins draft prospects today with Keenan Allen out of Cal.

Allen is a 6'3" 195 pound junior. He was the beneficiary of a lot of targets due to the fact that his half-brother, Zach Maynard, was the quarterback at Cal.

Allen is considered by more than a few to be the top receiver prospect in this year's class, which is pretty impressive considering how deep this class is. I don't personally view him as the best receiver, but I can see why he's up there.

Allen is an excellent route runner. He has pretty consistent hands. He is pretty fast and uses his speed well when running after the catch. He isn't as good as Cordarrelle Patterson with the ball in his hands, but he can still make things happen. I did notice that he seems to try and make cuts that are a little too tight, resulting in him slipping and the play being dead (college rules, of course).

He also has a really nice catch radius, which he displayed a little too often due to poor quarterback play by Maynard.

He doesn't have many negatives that I can see, which is probably why he is in the discussion for the best receiver in this class. Apparently he has had problems with drops, though I didn't notice anything too serious in the tape that I've watched.

To me, nothing about him really jumps out at you other than his excellent catch radius, but he is the complete package and could do really well at the next level. I do expect Cordarrelle Patterson to jump him as the consensus top receiver in this class as the draft approaches. Allen is an excellent receiver who can be counted on to make plays, but he isn't nearly as explosive as Patterson.

If I'm picking a receiver for my team I want the playmaker. Allen may be the better all around receiver, but Patterson will make more plays for you.

I think a little too much stock is being put into Allen's production. Sure, he was hampered by Maynard's spotty passing, but his production was also helped significantly by the sheer number of targets he received from his half-brother.

Here is some film on Allen from his sophomore year:

And from his senior year. You'll see what I mean by Maynard holding him back:

Thanks for stopping by. Email me at I'm on twitter @PaulDSmythe.

Miami Dolphins Scouting Report: Terrance Williams

Today I'm continuing my series of analyzing top receivers in this draft class who the Miami Dolphins could potentially draft.

Today I'm going to take a look at receiver Terrance Williams.

Williams is a 6'1", 201 pound senior out of Baylor. He isn't in the debate for the best receiver in this year's class, but he is definitely up there. I am expecting him to go some time in the second round, which might make him an attractive option for the Dolphins.

Terrance has very good hands. He is very reliable and can be counted on to catch the ball when it's thrown his way. He is also a very good route runner, which is important in a west coast offense. He makes quick cuts on his routes and does a good job of getting open.

He is a fast receiver. He's not explosive by any means and doesn't have blazing fast speed, but his speed is definitely an asset. He is a good athlete who can make some nice catches. He has prototypical west coast offense size.

Williams is not a dominant receiver. He is very reliable and can be counted on in tough situations, but he's not going to completely dominate anyone. He isn't an awesome runner after the catch, but he's not bad at it either. If he is put in the right system he could produce at a very high level.

Williams, in my mind, is an excellent west coast receiver. He runs great routes, has really good hands, and is pretty fast. He isn't my favorite receiver in this class, but I would still be very excited if he joined the Dolphins. He would fit in really well with what Miami is trying to build.

I am going to put up a few videos. The first is him during the 2011 season with Robert Griffin III throwing him the ball for a few games.

This one is him from this past season.

Williams was a popular choice among a lot of you guys and I can see why. He wouldn't cost a first round pick and could work very well in Miami's offense.

Thanks for stopping by. Email me at I'm also on twitter @PaulDSmythe.

What is Jeff Ireland's "MO"?

As the day for free agent negotiations with other team's players approaches maybe we should look back on what the Miami Dolphins modus operandi (MO) has been in the past. Free agent signings of players from other teams begins March 12.

Starting back two years ago when Parcells was out of the picture Ireland's best moves have been the ones that he didn't make. He didn't go after Kyle Orton, which turned out to be a brilliant move. He didn't try very hard to bring Matt Flynn here last year, and since Flynn couldn't beat out a rookie third rounder it seems like another great move on his part.

He has had his failures. That is for sure. And I will stay away from them for the most part. Those failures since Parcells departure have been more along the lines of not bringing in a wide receiver because of the departure of "Brandumb" Marshall, when (in my opinion) he had plenty of time and opportunity to do so. Legedu Naanee? Really? Come on Jeff. Some would say not making much of an effort to get Peyton Manning would be another failure.

Ireland bringing Matt Moore here was a great move, and if we give him credit for Cameron Wake then he has made a few really good decisions that have worked out well for the Dolphins. Just for the record, I think Cameron Wake is the best Defensive End in the NFL, and yes that means better than JJ Watt.

Let's get back to free agency and the Dolphins. The "MO" of Jeff Ireland is to not bring in any big names and/or the large contracts that come with them. He has tried to bring in players with upside that don't require spending huge amounts of money that cause problems with salary cap. It hasn't always worked out.

For that reason I don't think he will go after Mike Wallace, Dwayne Bowe, or Greg Jennings. I would like to see him bring in both Wallace and Jennings, but I know that will never happen.

If he does go after anyone, don't look for him to get into a bidding war with any other team. When the Steelers defensive back Ryan Clark tried to use Ireland to gain leverage with the Steelers Ireland backed off.  When Matt Flynn began to shop himself around the league last offseason Ireland backed off.  He isn't going to get backed into a corner, and he isn't going to let the player's agents manipulate him. As a former businessman myself I admire that about him.

So for those of you that are like I am and want the Dolphins to bring in one player that could really help the team like Wallace or Jennings, don't get your hopes up. I don't think it is going to happen.

The Value of Philbin's Values for The Miami Dolphins

Joe Philbin’s decision to divest himself of troubled players like Brandon Marshall, Vontae Davis and Chad Johnson may have placed Miami on shaky ground when building the roster. Athletes at this level have plenty of documented issues, but many times those same players have game changing talent. The value placed on character could be critical to the Dolphins finally making it back to the top of the NFL.

Can the Dolphins afford to cast aside troubled children to fit the Philbin mold? What value do Dolphin fans place on character? Is the Miami criterion too strict? Will it lead to an unremarkable roster? How does it affect free agency and the draft? These are the questions that will shape the future in Miami.

Looking at the dismissed players can define a set of values deemed unwanted on the roster. A “me first” attitude is at the top of the list. The one trait all three players shared was a complete self-centric view of life. This trait often leads to off-the-field issues as well as problems with teammates in the locker room, on the practice field and during games.

These behaviors frequently interconnect and create a personality profile. “Me first” in a personal relationship outside of football causes issues when the other person in the relationship does not agree. It becomes a test of wills leading to high profile altercations unrelated to football. When the volatile mixture of alcohol or drugs is introduced, better judgment is impaired and only bad things will happen in “me first” relationships. The second important value trait would then be sobriety.

Sobriety is not easy in the NFL for many players. The temptation is too great to use performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) to gain an edge. The league will allow players to take shots of Toradol to be able to tolerate the pain of playing the game, while drug testing for other substances. The expectation to play with pain, is the rite of passage in the NFL. Pain meds are acceptable in the locker room, but mix those same pain meds with alcohol at a club and foolish decisions are certain to follow. Staying away from the clubs during the season and certainly before practice days, eliminates potential issues. So a third criterion would be to avoid being a celebrity. With all the temptations, it can only lead to trouble.

The old adage, “nothing good happens after midnight,” isn’t only true for NFL players; it is true for everyone. As the night wears on the folks with better sense have gone home and police are well aware. Even though the NFL provides free taxi service to any player at any time, some will still choose to get behind the wheel. Obviously, they know calling a taxi at two o’clock in the morning through team sources will mean the team knows someone has been a bad boy. Which leads to the next criterion, beware the witching hour. Getting off the streets before midnight is a simple way to avoid trouble with the law.

These are the four traits Joe Philbin would like to avoid.

1.    Me first attitude
2.    Alcohol and drug abuse
3.    Celebrity football players
4.    After midnight

These traits must be measured against the questions asked above:

What value do Dolphin fans place on character?

The majority of Dolphin fans had grown tired of Brandon Marshall’s me-first antics. There were whispers that Marshall had more than a little to do with Chad Henne never gaining the confidence to break out as an NFL QB. The other side of that coin would be, if Henne could not handle Marshall’s harassment in the huddle, he would probably not make it in the NFL anyway. Having experienced the volatile mixture of Marshall and Henne, it was probably an easy decision to trade Marshall, even if doing so left Miami without a top-flight receiver.

This exemplifies the proper sequence, rookie Ryan Tannehill should gain control of the team and be comfortable in that role prior to being asked to handle a personality like Brandon Marshall. In other words, an established leader like Tom Brady can handle a me-first personality, but placing that burden on a young QB is adding to an already pressure packed position. Bill Parcells is known for preaching that QB toughness is garnered by placing those players in difficult situations, but Parcells truly only ever groomed one decent QB, Phil Simms. Has anyone ever heard Simms speak to or be seen around Parcells? Simms was the exception, not the rule. Parcells built a philosophy based on an anomaly and that is why he was unable to duplicate it.

Is the Miami criterion too strict?

Vontae Davis obviously had issues with alcohol and perhaps other substances the public is unaware of. Davis did not perform well in practice because he was often hung over from partying the night before. Joe Philbin comes off as a very up-front type of coach, a player’s coach who will say what needs to be said. By doing this, Philbin does not keep players guessing what he is thinking and does not have to remain aloof because what he thinks is unclear. Therefore, it is logical from the outside, to assume Philbin told Davis exactly what was expected of him and what Joe thought was unacceptable. Clearly, Vontae did not take heed to what Philbin expected.

Anyone who has ever stepped in a football locker room knows this is a land of Alpha Males dominated by “A” personalities. Coaches walk a fine line when they are considered player friendly because player friendly is often misconstrued as a sign of weakness. In a locker room, a coach must remain the one voice and when he speaks the players must listen. If a player breaks this rule and is allowed to get away with it,
as Miami fans saw with Cam Cameron, the hierarchy of the locker room is broken. Davis did not listen and if the situation had not been resolved, Philbin could have lost the locker room. This means the strictness, the code, must not be broken or it will lead to 1-15 seasons. Losing Davis hurt the Dolphins in the short term, but keeping him would have been far worse in the long term.

Will it lead to an unremarkable roster?

Having a celebrity like Chad Johnson can add a name, but does not make a roster more valuable. Johnson falls into a category where his presence in the locker room was not conflicting with his coach, but once out the door the team was no longer as important as his own celebrity. Jason Taylor was a celebrity in Miami but not for the wrong reason. This is a criterion where Philbin must not allow his small town nature to dictate his roster. Michael Jordan was a celebrity but he was also the greatest basketball player of all time. Payton Manning and Tom Brady are celebrities, but they would be welcome in Miami.

This rule cannot be cut and dry, Miami needs the face of a player as the signature of the team. The problem is when the wrong player becomes the face of the franchise, as was the case with Chad Johnson. When Johnson’s antics become how the football world views the Dolphins, serious issues will soon follow, as they did before Johnson’s release. The perception of Chad Johnson could easily become the perception of the Miami Dolphins. There is a fine line when dealing with celebrity players and the line is drawn by one rule of thumb, the
team must be more important to the player than stardom. In the case of Chad Johnson, the team came second or more specifically, Johnson’s value to the team was not great enough to tolerate his celebrity.

How does it affect free agency and the draft?

In review of the three questions already asked and by relating them to actual players, the value of having values is clear. Over the long term, adhering to the values will create a harmonious team from which stars will rise. The effect of not following the values leads to poor long-term personnel decisions. Knowing Brandon Marshall is a borderline personality but trading two 2nd round picks for him, led to dumping him for two 3rd round picks. Drafting Vontae Davis in the first round when he slipped in the draft due to maturity concerns led to dumping him for a 2nd round pick.

The net value was a loss for both players. When considering a player like Percy Harvin, take a look at the mistakes already made and resist the temptation to allow talent to override values. Following the value rules when dealing with players could mean a player like Ray Lewis is left on the table, but players like Lewis are few and far between. Lewis would not be considered a problem child now and he was not considered one when he was drafted. Lewis is an exception, just like Simms was an exception and exceptions should be treated with flexibility but should never be the principles that create strategic rules.

When strategic personnel rules are guided by values there is a greater chance for success in the long term. When these rules are disregarded it rarely leads to a good end. This can easily be seen when a team Like the Philadelphia Eagles dismisses its values and brings in players that do not fit the mold in the quest for a Super Bowl. The coach is fired, there is no longer a structure in the locker room and the team is in total disarray.

Patience Dolphin fans... It takes time to build from the bottom into champions. It starts with placing the proper value on values.

Miami Dolphins Scouting Report: Cordarrelle Patterson

I am going to start a series of posts where I analyze some of the top receivers in this year's draft class and how they would fit with the Miami Dolphins.

Please bear with me as I am not too well versed in some of the terms used for scouting players. I am very much an amateur at this, so I will do my best.

The first receiver I am going to take a look at is Cordarrelle Patterson out of Tennessee.

Of all the receivers I've seen thus far the 6'3", 205 pound Patterson is by far my favorite.

He is incredibly explosive and is a threat to take it to the house on any play. Patterson is extremely hard to bring down in the open field, and you will rarely see him tackled in a one-on-one situation as he routinely makes opposing defenders miss.

Patterson is very quick and excellent at cutting on the run. He was very versatile in Tennessee, lining up as a running back and even throwing the ball a few times.

He is considered a somewhat raw prospect. He's only played against FBS competition one year, although he did really well in that year. At times his hands are inconsistent. He catches the ball with his body a little too much. Sometimes he'll run a short slant and catch with his body to protect the ball from the defender, which is good, but other times he'll catch with his body unnecessarily. That is something he will need to develop when he comes into the NFL.

Patterson is a game changer at receiver. His big time playmaking ability and versatility make him a home run threat whenever he has the ball. He can be a little inconsistent at times catching the ball, but a good coaching staff can fix that with some work on his technique.

The positives far outweigh the negatives with Patterson, which is why I have him as my number one receiver in this class and would love to see him in a Dolphins uniform.

I see a lot of similarities between Patterson and Julio Jones. Patterson isn't quite on Julio's level, but that's not a knock on Patterson. That is a testament to Julio being one of the top three receivers in the NFL. I have also heard Patterson compared to Demaryius Thomas, which is not a bad one either, but I see a lot of Julio in him.

I'm going to post some tape of Patterson for you guys courtesy of Thanks for stopping by. Email me at I'm also on twitter @PaulDSmythe.

You Tell Me: How Important Is a Great Quarterback?

Here's something we haven't done in a while.

First, a little background information: the purpose of the "You Tell Me" segments is to ask a question and to hear your response before we start saying anything. This way we can get your opinions without influencing them with our own.

So here it goes. You tell me. Just how important is it for the Miami Dolphins to have a great quarterback?

By great I don't mean elite. In my opinion there are only four or five quarterbacks I would call elite: Brady, Manning, Rodgers, and Brees.

I'll let all of you to decide what great means and how important it is to you.

Let me hear it.

Miami Dolphins Free Agent Review: Running Backs

Reggie Bush may be the only Miami Dolphins free agent running back, but he is one worth discussing. In this article I will not be reviewing other team's free agent running backs simply because Miami already has a roster full of young capable backs.

Reggie Bush, RB, Miami Dolphins
6' 203 pounds
New Orleans stats in five seasons:
524 carries for 2,090 yards and 17 touchdowns. 294 receptions for 2142 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Miami Dolphins stats in two seasons:
443 carries for 2,072 yards and 12 touchdowns. 78 receptions for 588 yards and three touchdowns.

At 27 years of age and with a history of getting injured, he may not get the big contract from Miami he is seeking, but can he be blamed for looking for a big payday? He came to Miami with low expectations from the fans and the media. He never rushed for more than 581 yards in a season with the Saints, yet in his first season with The Dolphins he ran for 1,086 yards. In his second season he ran for 986 yards and could have gone over a 1,000 yards, but because of injury his pace was slowed. He added six rushing touchdowns in each of his two seasons with Miami, but his receiving totals were down.

He has not been a trouble maker in Miami. He has attempted to be a leader and set positive goals for himself. Jeff Ireland brought him in the same season he drafted Daniel Thomas, so in my opinion Ireland had plans to utilize Bush heavily. In two different systems under Sparano and Philbin Bush has become the complete back: everyone we thought he would be when he was drafted out of USC in 2006.

What it comes down to between Miami and Bush is simple: money. If the Dolphins are not able to sign Bush Miami has options already in place.

Daniel Thomas, RB, Miami Dolphins
6'1" 233 pounds
Career stats in 2 seasons:
256 rushes for 906 yards and 4 touchdowns. 27 receptions for 228 yards and one touchdown.

If Thomas were a super villain he'd be the Riddler because there are questions all over him.

In two seasons Thomas has played in 25 games because of injuries. In the 2011 draft Ireland traded up in the second round to select him and it wasn't hard to understand why. Thomas' college numbers were 545 rushes for 2850 yards and 30 touchdowns in 2 seasons at Kansas State. But, in the NFL he has not lived up to that. I will not fault him because of injuries, but in 256 rushing attempts he has fumbled five times, losing three of them. He is not the type of back that can make up for those fumbles with his dynamic play. For his size he does not run with force of a 233-pound back either, but he is young and has yet to play in a full season. To his credit his four rushing touchdowns were all in 2012.

Lamar Miller, RB, Miami Dolphins
5'10" 218 pounds
Career stats in one season:
51 rushes for 250 yards and one touchdown.

Was drafted in the fourth round in 2012 out of the University of Miami, and he could have been drafted higher if not for injury concerns. His college numbers in two seasons were 335 rushes for 1918 yards and 15 touchdowns. With a 4.4 speed at only 21 years old he is a steal in the fourth round. Miami's coaches did not appear to be confident in Miller's blocking ability or his grasp of the system, but I think he should have seen more action to get him the necessary real time reps needed. In my opinion he was drafted to be the starting back in Miami.

Marcus Thigpen, RB, Miami Dolphins
5'9" 195 pounds
Career stats in one season:
38 kick returns for 1,040 yards and one touchdown. 26 punt returns for 316 yards and one touchdown.

At 26 years old Thigpen was signed from the CFL after spending three seasons there. He spent 2009 with the Saskatchewan Rough Riders and 2010-2011 with the Hamilton Tiger Cats. He was an undrafted free agent in 2009 with the Philadelphia Eagles. He was waived and signed by the Denver Broncos only to be waived before the start of the season. While in Hamilton he was used as a returner and his numbers were impressive: 1,722 combined return yards and four touchdowns in 2010 and in 2011 1,520 combined return yards and one touchdown. He may not have the tools to be an every down back, but his return game can't be denied.

Jonas Gray, RB, Miami Dolphins
5'9" 225 pounds
Stats from senior year at Notre Dame:
114 rushes for 791 yards and 12 touchdowns.

At 22 years of age it will be interesting to see if he makes the 53 man roster going into 2013. He started 2012 on the PUP list from ACL surgery that previous November. He is a big back who showed in his senior year he can score, and given a full offseason and training camp maybe Gray can turn some heads. Although one-cut power backs are a dime a dozen in the NFL.

The only way I can see the Dolphins adding a running back is through the draft or as an undrafted free agent. Bush has done his job, but is it good enough to stay in Miami? Ireland created this situation and it's up to him to fix it.

Let me know what your thoughts are and thank you for your time.

Email me at

Dolphin Shout in the Mainstream Media...Almost!

Dolphin Shout nearly made it to the big show. Yep, that's right. About four or five weeks ago I had a call from Paul. He told me that a production company doing a special on the Dolphins was trying to locate me for something that I had written on the Shout.

I really don't want to turn this post into a story about me, because it is more of a post about the Dolphin Shout and the people that were involved with the project itself.

The person that I talked to on the phone was Bethany (I won't use her last name on this site). Bethany works for a company called Intersports and they were doing a Don Shula special that aired Saturday afternoon. It was called Shula 347. Maybe some of you saw it. Bethany had run across a story that I posted sometime in June of 2012. It was post about superstitions back in the heyday of the Dolphins 40 years ago.

Here is an excerpt of that post that caught Bethany's attention:
"When I had season tickets many years ago, my friends and I had a tradition.  We would get to the game early and eat at the Arthur Treachers Fish and Chips across the street from the Orange Bowl.  On the way home we would stop at the Lums in North Miami Beach on A1A.  During the away games we would go outside and toss a football around during half times.  For some reason we felt if we didn't do those things the Dolphins would lose.  During the 1972 season this seemed to work very well.  We were convinced that these traditions were the reason the Dolphins went undefeated that year.  Looking back at that time now, I think all the beer we consumed on game days had a lot to do with the delusional idea that where we ate could influence a game.  Then again who could argue with our theory?"

That single paragraph caught Bethany's eye and she asked if I could do an interview that might possibly air on that show (Shula 347). If you saw the show you would know that her request didn't work out and I never made it, which is fine with me.

To be honest I don't do this for myself. I'll be the first one to tell you I am not a writer! For me, it's all about Dolphin Shout. This site is different than any of the others on the net. Neither the comments section nor the posts are led around by mainstream media. We think for ourselves here on the Shout.  So, for all of you that send in your comments and those that provoke the thoughts of our community, keep up the great work. You never know when your comments and posts will catch someone's eye on the outside and lead to an opportunity you never dreamed of.

Thank you Paul for developing the best Dolphins blog site on the net and to Bethany of Intersports for her hard work and professionalism.