The Friday Five: Daniel Thomas the key to the 2011 Dolphins draft class

Ever since last week's NFL Draft, one of the most polarizing picks has been the selection of Kansas State running back Daniel Thomas in the second round by the Miami Dolphins. It seems that fans nor experts can agree on whether or not Thomas will prove to be worthy of the second round pick the Dolphins traded up for to acquire the big back.

As we have already mentioned, the trade up itself was actually a steal for the Dolphins - at least based on the famed draft value chart. But that won't mean anything if Thomas doesn't prove to be worthy of the 62nd overall selection.

That's where we begin this week's "five."

1. Was Daniel Thomas a steal late in the second round? Truthfully, "steal" is not the first term that comes to mind when I think about the Dolphins taking Thomas at the bottom of round two. But Michael Lombardi seems to believe he was a steal, starting off his Five Things I Liked column by writing, " I liked Daniel Thomas, the running back from Kansas State who the Miami Dolphins traded up to draft in the second round. When the trade was announced, I thought Miami would select quarterback Ryan Mallett. I do worry about Thomas' ball security, though, as he had 11 fumbles in his career in two years."

You know, if this is an example of something Lombardi liked about the draft - at the top of his list, in fact - then I'd hate to see what he'd write if he didn't like a pick. Lombardi didn't exactly give Thomas a ringing endorsement. Still, I'm always encouraged when one of the more respected analysts (and former NFL exec himself) supports a pick that I wasn't exactly a huge fan of.

Not to be too much of a pessimist, but here's what I see when I watch film of Thomas (which you can watch for yourself by clicking here). I see a one cut runner who lacks a burst. He can't get to the edge. And despite his size, he rarely breaks tackles (I counted two against Nebraska) and typically goes down on initial contact. I also didn't see much wiggle, though I've read scouting reports that claim he has quick feet for a kid his size.

I see a back who follows his blocks and will be most effective behind a very good offensive line. I didn't see any kind of improvisation, usually running where the play was designed even if the hole just wasn't there.

Of course, he was selected by people who make these decisions for a living. I'm just a lowly fan. So I'm going to hope I'm wrong about him.

in three years, though, the success of the '11 Miami Dolphins draft class will likely hinge on the kind of career Thomas is putting together in Miami.

2. Scouts Inc.'s Matt Williamson sees a Dolphin on the verge of breaking out. His name? Koa Misi. In an article for ESPN, Williamson lists Koa among his "soon to be stars." But that's not all. Williamson writes that "Vontae Davis and Sean Smith could be on the cusp of becoming perhaps the premier tandem of corners in the league."

"In fact, I think the Miami defense as a whole is on the verge of establishing itself as one of the truly elite units in the NFL," writes Williamson. From his keyboard to God's ears - that's all I got to say.

3. Don Shula isn't a big fan of Bill Parcells. On with Dan Le Batard, Shula was asked about Parcells. Shula's response?

"I don’t think much of him," said Shula. "I’m not a big Parcells fan. He was here and I guess tried to get it done, but it didn’t happen. And he’s moved on, and that’s been his history."

Translation: Shula says Bill's a little bitch who quit because he didn't prove to be as smart as he thinks he is.

4. Ryan Mallett preparing for "payback." Seriously. I'm not making this up. Mallett's father told the Boston Herald that Ryan was angry because the Dolphins told him they were interested in trading up for the big quarterback. But the Dolphins drafted Thomas in the second round after moving up and were unable to trade back into the third to take Mallett.

So Ryan's response to this? "Payback." Yeah - maybe in five years or so. Because he's not getting on the field anytime soon in New England.

5. Is CBS crazy? How could they let Gus Johnson walk away? The man is a broadcasting icon right now, whose arrow is still clearly pointing up. And now we're going to e deprived of great calls like this one.

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