Monday, April 5, 2010

McNabb Trade Shifts Dolphins Draft Outlook

April 5, 2010

The McNabb era in Philly is officially over, and the Kolb Generation has now begun. With Donovan McNabb being shipped to the Redskins, Washington no longer will seek the services of a rookie quarterback from the upcoming draft. At least not in the first round with the fourth overall pick.

The mock draft consensus on the Skins' first pick pointed toward one Jimmy Clausen, but his name has since been scratched off the board for obvious reasons. That leaves Washington with room to address other positions of need on their roster, perhaps on the offensive unit (e.g., running back, wide receiver, etc).

This shakes the foundations of every other pick from the fifth overall onward. In terms of the Miami Dolphins, this could benefit or harm their draft plans with the 12th overall pick.

If Clausen is taken somewhere between 5th and 11th overall, then Miami could have a lucrative prospect fall into their laps in the first round. Then again, if Clausen was never in the plans of any other team that selects before Miami, the McNabb trade does not make one bit of a difference.

But commom sense shows otherwise.

After reviewing the teams following Washington in the opening round, there is a clear need for a franchise QB among most of those organizations. The Kansas City Chiefs (5th pick), Seattle Seahawks (6th pick), Oakland Raiders (8th pick), Buffalo Bills (9th pick), Jacksonville Jaguars (10th pick) and Denver Broncos (11th pick) all have their starting QB jobs virtually wide open. That leaves the possibility of Clausen, or any other top QB prospect, being taken by those teams very likely.

Since Miami is secure at the QB spot, that makes any QB selection prior to Miami coming on the clock a positive. Why? Because that leaves other highly touted prospects on the board and available for Miami's taking. Perhaps the likes of Derrick Morgan (DE), Dez Bryant (WR), Jason Pierre-Paul (DE) or Earl Thomas (S) will become available to the Dolphins as a result.

What could hurt the Dolphins is if the Redskins reach for Bryant with their first pick. This would send ripples throughout the entire draft in favor of teams drafting receivers at higher picks than expected, possibly lowering the chance of Miami snatching a WR in the second or third rounds.

Thus, the unpredictable nature of the NFL offseason continues to mold the outlook of the upcoming draft. Even draft day could bring surprises of its own, with trade-ups and trade-downs still in play. One thing is for certain, Washington's selection at the four spot will be significant for Miami. The anticipation of April 22nd only continues to grow and Mike Shanahan's latest move has made DolFans even more eager to see what's in store for the Fins.

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