Enough already about that overblown Jeff Ireland/Dez Bryant story. Let's talk about something that matters - like the Dolphins' new first-round pick who will take the field in his new #98 Dolphins jersey on Friday for the first day of a three day rookie mini-camp.
We'll have plenty of time to learn about Odrick between now and the regular season. But let's get to know Odrick - the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year last year - a little bit better right now.
Back in December when Odrick was named the winner of that award, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette had a good piece about Jared that featured some quotes from legendary Penn State head coach Joe Paterno. Besides comparing him favorably to some of the greatest defensive players to ever wear a Penn State jersey - Matt Millen and Mike Reid to be specific - Paterno added:
"Odrick is an outstanding football player, and I think that he deserves everything he's got. He's been a leader. He practices hard. He even played hurt. He practiced hurt. He's a big-time player."
Of course, you would expect to hear praise like this from a player's college coach. So I decided to turn to SBN's Penn State blogger. Mike Hubbell runs Black Shoe Diaries and I e-mailed him to ask him his thoughts about Odrick. He directed me to a piece he wrote about Odrick leading up to the draft. In his e-mail response to me, Mike also added, "You guys got a really good player. If he stays healthy you will be very happy with him."
I like the sound of that. Below is just part of Mike's excellent write up on Odrick:
Strengths: Odrick has tremendous power and strength and a good motor to go with it. When he is on his game, he is unblockable. Several teams tried to contain him with double teams all year long with little or no effect. He loves to initiate contact and uses his hands well to fight off the blocker and gain leverage. There's a reason why Jared Odrick is listed as most experts as a first round draft pick. I won't say he's as good as Ndamukong Suh, but he's in that category.
Weaknesses: He may be a bit on the small side to play the middle in the league which leads many to believe he would be a perfect fit at defensive end in a 3-4 scheme, but he may lack the explosiveness to be an effective pass rusher off the edge. There were a few plays or a few games here and there where he looked like he didn't give everything he had. When he gets tired he tends to play a little too upright. But those moments were few and far between and I can't be certain there weren't outside factors like injuries or illness to blame.
Be sure to check out the full scouting report by heading over to BSD.
So with all this said, are you ready to roll with Jared Odrick? Or are some of you still disappointed that the Dolphins went with the best "five technique" defensive end available in the draft?