Saturday, September 26, 2009

Reader Question: Looking ahead to 2010 Draft

Here's a question I received in response to my recap of the Colts game:

From what you posted about the Colts game, are you thinking linebacker with the first or second round pick in the 2010 draft?

Linebacker is clearly a concern for this team when looking into the future, and the team's struggles thus far this season with pass rushing and covering the middle of the field have only made the spotlight brighter.

The bottom line is that aside from Channing Crowder, the starting LB unit is ancient. Akin Ayodele (30 years old), Joey Porter (32), and Jason Taylor (35) are all past their prime and the team will see only diminishing returns from them from here on out. Matt Roth (26) can help this situation by returning to full health by Week 7 when he's eligible to be activated off the NFI list and proving that he's worth keeping around for another contract. But Roth alone is not the answer to Miami's real LB woes concerning pass rush and coverage.

Ayodele and Crowder are both useless as blitzers, and they both struggle in coverage as well. The same can be said for their backup, Reggie Torbor. The team is so desperate for inside linebacker help that they are resorting to switching Charlie Anderson's position! Good luck with that. The team desperately needs an infusion of talented youth on the inside that is athletic enough to both cover well and blitz. And yes, I believe the early rounds of the draft are where they should be looking for this.

Here are the other areas of critical need that must be addressed early in next year's draft:
  • Nose tackle
  • Wide receiver
  • Coverage linebackers
Luckily, it seems as if each of those needs will have a good amount of top prospects to choose from.

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