Sunday, May 17, 2009

Draft Analysis: Dolphins clearly not keen on smokescreens

Leading up to the Draft, I paid particular attention to the wonderful work of Simon Clancy, who was writing a guest column on Dave Hyde's blog.

Clancy kept a very detailed list of which players had confirmed interviews and visits with the team. He tracked which players
a) Interviewed at the Senior Bowl.
b) Interviewed at the Combine
c) Attended or worked out at the respective school pro day and shown specific interest in.
d) Privately worked out on campus or at Davie.

He did this because over time, Jeff Ireland, Bill Parcells and Brian Gaine have made it quite evident that they rarely consider a player on draft day who they didn't meet with in the run-up to the Draft. For instance, you need look no further back than last year when every player that Miami drafted, with the sole exception of Phillip Merling, was worked out at least once or interviewed at length by the team. And even in Merling's case, the team was still present at the Clemson pro day.

So keeping track of this list of players gives you a very clear idea of which players are in play to be drafted by Miami.

So was it the same this year? Let's go through Miami's selections and see how many appear on the list:

On the list
  • CB Vontae Davis
  • QB Pat White
  • CB Sean Smith
  • WR Patrick Turner (not on the list, but he did meet with the team in Davie and at USC)
  • WR Brian Hartline
  • TE John Nalbone
  • LB J.D. Folsom (not on the list, but Miami did work him out at WSU Pro Day)
Not on the list
  • S Chris Clemons
  • T Andrew Gardner
While not every player was on the list, a majority of them were, and most importantly all six of the top six draft picks were on the list. That shows that when it comes to the top of the draft, Miami isn't going to stray from who they know very often.

It's also interesting to note that WR Brennan Marion, signed as an UDFA, was also on the list.

So let this be a lesson and keep this in mind next year: If your favorite top college player hasn't been worked out or interviewed by the team, there's a really good chance he's not going to hear his name called by Miami on Draft day.

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