Just a few more days. That's it. In just a few more days, we can't put this draft talk to bed and talk about "what was" rather than "what might be." I love the draft as much as anyone. But the speculation does get old eventually.
So what are we going to talk about today? What else - draft speculation. Well, that and Brandon Marshall. After all, you can never get enough B-Marsh. At least not for a while.
Here's some of the headlines from this past weekend.
Defense believed to be priority and Morgan believed to be the favorite
I know there's a large contingent who hope to see the Dolphins shock the NFL landscape and draft Clemson running back C.J. Spiller with the 12th pick on Thursday night. But I just don't think there's even a chance it happens. I'd imagine many people probably agree with me.
So it should come as no surprise that one scout tells the Palm Beach Post that the Dolphins "have to go defense," adding that Miami is "not going to wait." This scout believes that Miami's focus is probably on three players - rush OLB Derrick Morgan, free safety Earl Thomas, and nose tackle Dan Williams. And that scout "can't see it going any other way."
In fact, this scout goes one step further, saying that Morgan will be "the guy" if he's still on the board at number 12. When asked by the PBP if he really believes Morgan is Miami's top priority, the scout added:
"I 100 percent do. He’s the guy. I can’t guarantee it, but if I was a betting man I would put my money on Morgan. To me, he fits the mold like a glove. It’s perfect."
Of course, as I type this, I'm reminded of the report that broke on draft day last year that claimed the Dolphins would definitely draft cornerback Darius Butler with the 25th pick if he was still on the board. So it is important to take these reports with a grain of salt. And remember - this is the time of "misinformation." The Dolphins could be floating this idea that they love Derrick Morgan in hopes of either finding a trade partner who wants to move up in the draft to take Morgan at #12 or to get a team to trade into the top 10 to take Morgan in hopes of the player they really want falling to them.
You never know.
At the same time, it makes a ton of sense. Morgan does possess the prototypical height and weight that this regime likes in their outside linebackers. But Morgan isn't an elite pass-rusher from what I've seen. And I question if he has the athleticism necessary to turn and cover when asked to do so.
Maybe I'm just stupid. But I really believe there are better conversion linebackers out there. I see Morgan more as a 4-3 defensive end than I do as a 3-4 outside linebacker. Anyone else agree?
Marshall saying and doing all the right things so far
I know what you're thinking. It's only been a few days and he's now a very rich man. So of course Brandon Marshall will be in great spirits and do all the right things early on in his Miami career.
Even still, this article from the Miami Herald's David J. Neal is a must-read. Some highlights are below.
On Vernon Carey's charity event:
"I just told him, `Hey, man, I'm having a golf tournament,'' Carey said. ``He was like, `I want to come.' '' Carey shook his head, imitating a double-take. `` `OK!' Actually, I just asked him to sign a football and he offered [to come]. That shows good character in the guy wants to come in and do community work. That's a good sign."
On his attendance in Miami's offseason training program:
That morning, Marshall had worked out at the Dolphins' facility. No big deal, except Fridays are just makeup days for missed workouts.
"For the guy to get signed Wednesday, come and work out Thursday and then make a workout up Friday that he wasn't even on the team to miss is quite impressive,'' linebacker Channing Crowder said.
On how he introduced himself to his new teammates:
"As soon as he got there, he went around the locker room introducing himself to everybody, trying to learn everybody's names,'' Patrick Cobbs said. "That goes a long way. He could've come in, everybody knows who he is -- and not cared to know anybody else. But didn't matter who you were, he introduced himself to you."
So far, so good. The honeymoon in Miami is in full effect right now.
Busy week ahead for Miami...or not?
I like when two writers who cover the same sport put out contradicting information in one weekend.
On Saturday, Armando Salguero wrote a piece that was centered around the idea that the Dolphins still had a lot on their plate and that there would be a busy week in Davie this week as we lead up to the draft. This article comes just a day after his co-worker at the Herald, Jeff Darlington, tweeted about how a "team source" informed him that the Dolphins "will probably be quiet" until the draft.
So which one is it?
On one hand, the Dolphins still have a decision to make about Jason Taylor. They are still shopping guard Justin Smiley. And Ronnie Brown could be traded away on a moment's notice if the price is right.
On the other hand, Taylor is just getting back from a mini vacation and the Dolphins are believed to be holding strong that they will make no decision on JT until after the draft - if he can wait that long. Ronnie is rehabbing from an injury and it's probably a long shot to think another team will offer up anything of value in exchange for the now 28 year old back. And Drew Rosenhaus said on Sunday night that he believes Justin Smiley will not be traded by the Dolphins this week.
[Quick aside: if Smiley is not traded, could he really come back to a team that requested he stay away from their facility and not participate in their training program because they were looking to trade him?]
Busy week ahead? Maybe. Maybe not. But it sure as hell will be exciting regardless as the draft is now just days away.