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Alonso: Dolphins' Next Star Linebacker?

Former Bill, Eagle Could Shine In Miami

Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Of the 254 players selected in the 2013 NFL Draft, after three seasons, only seven defenders, or 2.76% -- have made the Pro Bowl.  If you're wondering whether any of those seven guys were drafted by Miami, well . . . no, they weren't. Also, in case you're wondering, that isn't good news, since the Dolphins' first, second and third round picks, including the third overall pick,  were on that side of the ball. However, they do have the NFL's 2013 Defensive Rookie of the Year from that draft, former Buffalo second-rounder Kiko Alonso.

When he arrived via trade from Philadelphia two weeks ago, the general consensus among team faithful was that we'd been taken; "Alonso? he's injury prone, man; come on . . ."   He did suffer one significant injury - an ACL he blew out while training during the 2014 offseason, which caused him to miss the entire regular season.  he then tore (which is not the same as rupturing; a tear typically requires a much shorter period of rehab) the same ligament during a game last November, causing him to miss the final month of the season.  It's understandable that some would be skeptical of such an acquisition.

That's the bad news. the good news is that when he's been on the field, Alonso has been a stud.  As a rookie in 2013, he had an interception in three of his first four games.  When was the last time Miami had a player -- rookie or veteran -- who had interceptions three out of four games?   If we've ever had a guy do anything like that, it hasn't happened recently.

Alonso, born in 1990, in Newton Massachusetts, attended high school in Los Gatos, California.  He was offered scholarships to both Oregon and Utah and chose Oregon.  He ran 4.74 forty and had a 30.5-inch vertical leap, at the 2013 combine and would likely have been a first-round pick that year, were it not for several highly publicized off the field incidents, including one for which then-Oregon coach Chip Kelly suspended him for the entire 2010 season. Alonso was reported to have broken down someone's front door.  Heck, the Dolphins have a linebacker who's played pretty well for them the past few years, and he was once reported to have broken down someone's front door, so it's not the end of the world.  At any rate, here's hoping Alonso can become the star of the 2013 draft that the Dolphins tried to select themselves at the time, but came up short.  He's already shown that he has the talent; he just has to stay healthy.