We're less than five weeks away from the 2011 NFL Draft. And while the league's players and owners continue to drag out this lockout, the draft might be the only football event we get to enjoy for months - depending on how the courts rule on April 6, of course.
So the draft is really all we got right now. And earlier this week, I posted the first post in a series of posts that will allow our community to vote and put together a Miami Dolphins draft board position by position. The first installment focused on the quarterback position. The results are a little surprising.
1. I guess many fans are high on Ryan Mallett. That's the main thing I take away from our poll where over 1200 fans cast their ballot. It was Mallett who fans rated as the second best quarterback available in the 2011 draft - trailing only Blaine Gabbert. Mallett also received over 20% of the first place vote.
Maybe I shouldn't be so surprised, though. Mallett is probably the best pure passer available. Nobody throws with a combination of velocity, accuracy, and touch quite like Mallett. And fans often times are more willing to overlook the "character concerns" that surround draft picks. After all, it's not our money. But will NFL teams - the Dolphins in particular - feel comfortable enough with Mallett to take a chance on the kid?
The Christian Ponder hype machine has also kicked into high gear. He received nearly 10% of the first place votes. Meanwhile, Dolphin fans are not too high on Cam Newton, who finished ranks fourth on the community board.
Here's how our Miami Dolphins Community Quarterback Draft Board looks:
|1. Blaine Gabbert
2. Ryan Mallett
3. Christian Ponder
4. Cam Newton
5. Colin Kaepernick
|6. Jake Locker
7. Andy Dalton
8. Ricky Stanzi
9. Greg McElroy
10. Pat Devlin
2. It was big news on Thursday that Bill Parcells would be taping a 90 minute ESPN draft special. It made headlines when Dolphins spokesman Harvey Greene said that Parcells was "not associated with the team anymore in any official capacity." Of course, it was reported back in January that Bill wasn't with the team anymore. Dolphins CEO Mike Dee confirmed that during a radio interview.
The ESPN special, meanwhile, will be called Bill Parcells Draft Confidential. I just wonder if Bill will talk about his decision to approve the selections of Pat White and Patrick Turner.
3. Are the Dolphins just doing their homework, or are they planning something? That's what I find myself wondering this weekend as the Dolphins fly around the country to hold private work outs with Blaine Gabbert and Cam Newton - the top two quarterbacks in the draft (at least, according to most). Could the Dolphins be planning a move up into the top five? Unlikely - the cost would be rather large. But what if one of these two were to slip beyond the first five picks?
4. Despite all his faults, I have a ton of respect for Tony Sparano. His comments about his view for the offense - that the Dolphins will still be a run-first team - show that he's not afraid to stick to his convictions. The owner wants the Dolphins to be an "air it out" team like they were with Dan Marino. Most fans want the Dolphins to become a pass-first team. And yet Tony refuses to give in.
Omar Kelly's tweet on Thursday sums it up well. "After spending time with Sparano this week I clearly sensed if he's going out - is a dead man walking - he'll be doing it on HIS TERMS." I'm good with that. Like I said earlier this week, it's his job on the line - not ours. He doesn't have to give a crap about what we as fans think. That's the kind of coach I'll roll with anytime.
5. Some guys should be on Twitter; other guys shouldn't be. This week, Brandon Marshall finally got going on Twitter - and he's a recommended follow, in my opinion. Tony McDaniel, on the other hand, probably should think twice. Last night, McDaniel was apparently pulled over for going 86 in a 55 - and tweeted about it while being pulled over. He then asked for fans to "pray" for him before crossing the line and referring to the cop that pulled him over as a "f-gg-t" (of course, he didn't censor himself).
Maybe it's time for Tony to put down his iPhone for a little while.