USC LB Brian Cushing
schraggyj with the pick...
While it is uncommon to see a linebacker drafted in the top ten, it is not uncommon for Bill Parcells to draft a linebacker in the first round. In ten first round picks, Bill Parcells’s squads have taken four linebacker, two cornerbacks, one quarterback, one offensive lineman, one defensive lineman, and one wide receiver. Seventy-percent of the time Parcells led teams take a defensive player in the first round.
The Dolphins, like the rest of the NFL, are still transitioning to a 3-4 defense. And like most of the NFL, they have a few needs. They lack a power NT to play over center. However, there doesn’t appear to be any defensive tackles that would be worthy of taking at #25. I would consider Ron Brace (he’s huge) a reach at this point and there is a chance that Brace would be available at #44, the Dolphins first second round pick. It should be mentioned that center is also a possibility at this pick since the Dolphins just dealt their center to the Raiders after signing Jake Grove—a former Raider starting center. The Dolphins paid Grove 14 million in guarantees, so I doubt they feel that he is a back up.
The general consensus is that the Dolphins will either go with a wide-receiver, cornerback, or linebacker. All three are areas of need. So let’s play the scenario game—starting with wide receiver.
Right now Bill Parcells, Tony Sparano, and future Hall of Famer1 Chad Henne are all traveling together visiting draft prospects along the way. Henne is throwing to the likes of Percy Harvin and Hakeem Nicks under the watchful eye of Dolphin’s executives. Outside of Ted Ginn, Jr., the Dolphins lack a consistent wide receiver threat. If either Harvin or Nicks is available, the Dolphins would probably jump at the opportunity. Personally, I see them taking Nicks because he is a great possession receiver for Chad Pennington (the ultimate possession QB) and because Percy Harvin seems like Ted Ginn 2.0.2 However, Harvin and Nicks are both off the board and any other wide receiver pick at this point seems like a reach.
Cornerback is a strong possibility and if Malcolm Jenkins or Vontae Davis is on the table at this point I think the Dolphins pull the trigger. However, that probably isn’t going to happen. Additionally, the Dolphins recently signed Eric Green from the Cardinals, but he is likely better suited as a nickel-back. That leaves a few possibilities. The Dolphins could either go with Darrius Butler, Alphonso Smith, or even DJ Moore. I would not be surprised if the Dolphins pull the trigger on any of the three. However, there are some intriguing second round CB prospects including Utah’s Sean Smith and Macho Harris. Ultimately, I’m passing on CB for linebacker mainly because of who is available in this particular mock draft and because I believe that one of those cornerbacks may still be available for the Dolphins to grab at #44.
The Dolphins need linebackers like the Chief’s need linebackers, defensive lineman, a second wide receiver, right side of the offensive line, and a kicker. Okay, it isn’t that bad, but outside of Joey Porter and Channing Crowder, the Dolphins have definitive linebacking needs. At this point, the Dolphins take the best available linebacker and that is Brian Cushing. First, there is no player of his caliber available in the second round. Second, Cushing brings great flexibility. He is able to play any linebacking position as well as get penetration up the field and flexibility is a key in a 3-4 defense. Flexibility could also be synonymous with intelligence considering it takes brains to be all over the field. Finally, Cushing is known as an intense, aggressive player who tackles well. That sounds like Bill Parcells football player. Therefore, with the twenty-fifth pick the AP 2009 Mock Draft, the Miami Dolphins select Brian Cushing.
Previous pick: LB Clay Matthews
Read more: Scouting Report (Mocking the Draft)
On the clock for tomorrow: Baltimore Ravens (Ben S) and the Indianapolis Colts (craig in calgary)
Click over for the schedule and current draft results.
|Pick||Round 1||Selection||Date||Community Approval|
|1||Detroit Lions - UCrawford||LB Aaron Curry||Weds. March 10th||Forgot to do a poll|
|2||St. Louis Rams - Lanier63||OT Jason Smith||Monday, March 16th||67%|
|3||Kansas City Chiefs - TonyG88||OT Eugene Monroe||Monday, March 16th||56%|
|4||Seattle Seahawks - mikvogel||DT B.J. Raji||Tuesday, March 17th||46%|
|5||Cleveland Browns - HIV2Elway||WR Michael Crabtree||Tuesday, March 17th||37%|
|6||Cincinnati Bengals - mistamic||OT Andre Smith||Weds., March 18th||43%|
|7||Oakland Raiders - mushin||WR Jeremy Maclin||Weds., March 18th||38%|
|8||Jacksonville Jaguars - DThomasReigns||WR Percy Harvin||Thursday, March 19th||29%|
|9||Green Bay Packers - JasonM||
DE/OLB Everette Brown
||Thursday, March 19th||68%|
|10||San Francisco 49ers - Harry Feltersnatch||QB Matt Stafford||Friday, March 20th||61%|
|11||Buffalo Bills - ArrowDread||LB Rey Maualuga||Friday, March 20th||50%|
|12||Denver Broncos - Keyser Sose||DE Brian Orakpo||Monday, March 23rd||58%|
|13||Washington Redskins - Official Arrowhead Pride Parade||T Michael Oher||Monday, March 23rd||64%|
|14||New Orleans Saints - cmpotter||CB Vontae Davis||Tuesday, March 24th||46%|
|15||Houston Texans - ChiefsDude||CB Malcolm Jenkins||Tuesday, March 24th||61%|
|16||San Diego Chargers - Helmets||DE Tyson Jackson||Weds., March 25th||58%|
|17||New York Jets - NJChief||QB Mark Sanchez||Weds., March 25th||77%|
|18||Chicago Bears - Holmeslice||QB Josh Freeman||Thursday, March 26th||28%|
|19||Tampa Bay Buccaneers - madtheory||DT Peria Jerry||Thursday, March 26th||45%|
|20||Detroit Lions (from Dallas) - UCrawford||
DE Aaron Maybin
||Friday, March 27th||54%|
|21||Philadelphia Eagles - Chiefsfan717||TE Brandon Pettigrew||Friday, March 27th||60%|
|22||Minnesota Vikings - kcsno56||WR Hakeem Nicks||Monday, March 30th|
|23||New England Patriots - connerman||RB Chris Wells||Monday, March 30th|
|24||Atlanta Falcons - RedNose||LB Clay Matthews||Tuesday, March 31st|
|25||Miami Dolphins - shraggyj||LB Brian Cushing
||Tuesday, March 31st|
|26||Baltimore Ravens - Ben S||Weds., April 1st|
|27||Indianapolis Colts - craig in calgary||Weds., April 1st|
|28||Philadelphia Eagles (from Carolina) - Chiefsfan717||Thursday, April 2nd|
|29||New York Giants - ChiefsFan90s||Thursday, April 2nd|
|30||Tennessee Titans - Lvl.99||Friday, April 3rd|
|31||Arizona Cardinals - THE_TRUTH||Friday, April 3rd|
|32||Pittsburgh Steelers - McWhirt33||Monday, April 6th|