MIAMI (CBSMiami.com) – Despite the league being in overall chaos, the 2011 NFL Draft is still set to start just after 8:00 p.m. Thursday night. The draft is filled with intrigue and more questions than answers as teams try to figure out how to deal with free agency and the draft starting on the same day.
For the Miami Dolphins, they hold the 15th pick in the first round of the NFL draft. The Fins offense has more holes than all the cheese in Switzerland. Pretty much the only positions set in stone are left and right tackle and slot receiver. Everywhere else on the offensive side of the ball needs help.
But at 15, there simply aren’t a lot of good offensive players that could justify using the 15th pick. But, that could change if the Dolphins have made a decision about the future of quarterback Chad Henne.
If the Fins want to keep Henne, they will avoid a quarterback in the first three rounds of the draft. But, if the Fins aren’t sold on Henne and don’t want to invest to bring in a free agent, the draft holds at least a couple of possible quarterbacks the Fins could target.
Ryan Mallett stands nearly 6’7” tall and has a rifle attached as his right arm. He does get flustered as the rush comes and is slow, but he’s the best pure-passer in the draft.
Christian Ponder of Florida State has seen his stock rise and could sneak into the first round. He’s a classic West Coast passer who is extremely intelligent and keeps his nose clean.
Finally, there’s Colin Kaepernick, who will be available probably into round 2. Kaepernick has a very strong arm to get the pass in on a dime and has the wheels to get around the field and out of trouble.
Past quarterback, the running back position has Mark Ingram as a potential pick. He’s a classic blue-collar running back who will run between the tackles, block, and catch balls out of the backfield.
There’s also offensive lineman Mike Pouncey of Florida to consider. Or the Fins could throw everyone a curveball and draft a defensive player.
The Fins will likely try their hardest to trade down in the first round to acquire an extra second round pick lost in the Brandon Marshall trade last year. If the Fins stay put, they will probably target either Pouncey, Ingram, or Mallett.