With quarterback always one of the most talked about positions during the run-up to the NFL Draft, there’s always a heightened amount of attention paid to the prospects at that position and this year is no different.
Last week, I put together the opinions of some draft experts on Auburn’s Cam Newton and Arkansas’ Ryan Mallett and today, our own expert, John Congemi, lets us know what he thinks about some of the guys that could very well be on the Dolphins’ radar this Spring…
Guest Blog, by John Congemi
Having the 15th selection in this year’s draft doesn’t put the Miami Dolphins in a strong position to select Newton or even Missouri’s Blaine Gabbert. It looks, though, like the Dolphins are going to bring plenty of arms into Davie and evaluate the majority of this year’s draftable quarterbacks over the next six weeks. Some of the names that are being tossed around are Nevada’s Colin Kaepernick, Washington’s Jake Locker, Florida State’s Christian Ponder,just to name a few. I have a few thoughts on these names and some others that the Dolphins might consider as April rolls around.
Kaepernick was impressive to me at the Senior Bowl. His practice habits were good and the velocity on his passes were clearly the best of all the quarterbacks. He does have some mechanical and delivery issues that might lead to not being accurate, especially on the deep ball. From all reports, Colin is a great kid, but I believe that he’s a quarterback that might not be a starter right away. His intangibles are off the charts in terms of speed, character and experience but the lack of running a pro-style offense might delay his progression.
Locker probably left millions of dollars on the table last season when he decided to stay in school and bypass the possibility of being the first player selected in last year’s draft. His senior season wasn’t as promising as he would have liked, and exposed some accuracy issues. Locker is a tremendous athlete with a gifted right arm. He can make plays outside of the pocket, but can he make enough from within the pocket to make a impact as an NFL quarterback?
Ponder is a mystery to me because he really stood out during the week of the Senior Bowl. He looked the most polished of all the quarterbacks during the week and that translated over to the success he had in the game. Injuries have always been Ponder’s red flag, particularly because he has suffered several to his throwing arm. His combine performance was efficient and his movement is comparable to that of Kaepernick and Locker. I would lean more towards Ponder because of the offense he ran at FSU and his projected ability at the next level. Remember, none of these three quarterbacks are, in my opinion, first round guys, but they can all provide help and competition at the position.
Others to consider at the position are TCU’s Andy Dalton and Mallett. Dalton’s impressive because he led his team to places they have never been, and he did it by making good decisions all season long. He played well on the biggest stage at the Rose Bowl, and can physically do all the things an NFL quarterback will be asked to do. The issue of the spread offense will come up, but I believe that he can overcome the lack of experience and compete quickly. During this time of year, always remember that the game tape is definitely the most important thing to the GM’s and the scouts, and all of these guys have had plenty of success to make the transition.
The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed by The Finsiders Blog represent those of individual writers, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions, policies or desires of the Miami Dolphins organization, front office, coaches and executives. Writers' views are formulated independently from any inside information and/or conversation with Dolphins officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.
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