Hello everyone, and welcome to my new Thursday morning column, where each week we'll take a look at just about anything related to the NFL, as well as plenty of off-topic items. There will be plenty to talk about over the next few weeks, beginning with the NFL Combine and free agency, and continuing through the slew of pro day workouts and draft fodder that will lead up to the 2012 NFL Draft on April 26. After that ... well, things will slow down a tad, but I expect things to remain plenty exciting around these parts if we have a new quarterback and pass-rusher in tow this offseason.
I'll also be answering any questions left for me in the comment section, so feel free to fire away with questions about any Dolphins- or football-related topics, music, movies, TV, etc. I genuinely enjoy interacting with everyone on this site, and I hope this column will allow me to further do so.
At last, the 2012 NFL Combine is here ...
The proto-meat market known as the NFL Combine is officially underway in Indianapolis, and though the good stuff won't begin until Saturday when the offensive line group hits the field, there will be plenty of intrigue surrounding the measurement and weigh-in portion of the Combine. Is Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III really 6'2"? Is Arizona State quarterback Brock Osweiler really 6'8"? Is Memphis nose tackle Dontari Poe really 350 pounds?
The main event on Friday should be the 7 a.m. coin flip that will determine whether the Dolphins or Carolina Panthers have the No.8 pick in the draft. Not necessarily a life-or-death situation for the Dolphins, since Carolina's draft board will likely be very different from what Jeff Ireland and the Dolphins construct over the next two months. Still, it'd be nice to have a crack at a primo pass-rusher with that No.8 pick, yes?
These are the five things I am most excited to see at the Combine
1) Melvin Ingram's entire workout on Monday
2) David Wilson and Lamar Miller in the 40-yard dash on Sunday
3) Brock Osweiler's performance during throwing drills on Sunday
4) Luke Kuechly's entire workout on Monday (he may be my all-around fave prospect in this draft class)
5) The entire defensive back class performing on Tuesday
Should be a great weekend of workouts. However, it's going to take a miracle to convince me that the Dolphins shouldn't use their first-round pick on tweener superstar Melvin Ingram.
Have to admit I was shocked to hear that the Packers actually reached a deal with uber-diva tight end Jermichael Finley instead of hitting him with the Franchise Tag (as they were expected to do). And then I started to think about the deal's implications regarding soon-to-be-free-agent quarterback Matt Flynn. I cannot imagine why the Packers would bother franchising a backup quarterback when it's not even a guarantee that any of the quarterback-needy teams in the league will fork over high draft picks for Flynn. Then again, maybe Green Bay knows something that I don't.
What I do know, however, is that the Packers should strongly consider ponying up some funds for stud center Scott Wells. Take it from us, Green Bay--you really do not want to forgo that position.
Are people actually down on Melvin Ingram right now?
I absolutely caught the Melvin Ingram fever during Senior Bowl week last month, and it likely won't be going anywhere soon. If the Dolphins are really running a 4-3 hybrid defensive scheme next season, it makes a ton of sense for Miami to use its first-round pick on the South Carolina defensive end, who boasts tons of talent in a somewhat compact (more like horizontally packed) 6'2", 276-pound frame. Ingram is a load to handle at the line of scrimmage, and has the explosion and technique to mount an effective, consistent pass-rush in the NFL.
Some NFL Draft analysts don't seem as high on Ingram, though, and talk about him as if he's very much a bust-destined pass-rushing prospect. He might not have ideal height or arm length for an NFL pass-rusher, but compared to North Carolina's Quinton Coples, Ingram looks like a model citizen who just happens to have the athleticism of Dwight Freeney and the versatility and strength of Justin Tuck.
Expect these same analysts to fall all over Ingram if he mauls the Combine. Ah, the media--so predictable at times ...
On a non-football note, what are some of the television shows and newly-released movies you guys are currently watching?
I am really only watching Justified and Archer right now (both are FX shows), and I can't help but feel like I am missing out on some of the under-the-radar shows currently airing. My fiancee does force me to watch The Voice every Monday, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't somewhat enjoy that show (it destroys American Idol, in my opinion). Are there any noteworthy shows you guys have been watching this winter?
As for movies, I recently picked up Drive on blu-ray. I saw the film in theaters last fall, and I was honestly blown away by how good it was. It's admittedly artsy at points, but it has two great car-chase scenes and some relatively insane plot developments (very much in the "Just how bad can this deal get?" mold found in films like Scarface). The film is crazy violent (and this is almost certainly an understatement), however, so be prepared if you decide to check it out.
That should do it for the first edition of my new column. Like I said earlier, feel free to hit me with any questions in the comment section. I'll mention and answer several of your questions next Thursday.
Enjoy the NFL Combine, everybody!