Sad chapter ends

Maybe Eddie Moore could have become a good linebacker for the Dolphins had it not been for his injury problems. We'll never know that, but what we do know is that his selection as the Dolphins' top pick in 2003 was a big mistake that proved costly. And, now, if Moore ever is to become an impact player in the NFL, it will be with another team.

Nick Saban closed the book on the Eddie Moore chapter Wednesday when he sent him to New Orleans in exchange for another linebacker, Courtney Watson.

The trade was move, in part, because the two linebackers were inherited players who didn't fit their coach's system. Moore, for example, was way too small and too light for Saban's 3-4 system.

But even under the old system, Moore never showed why the Dolphins made him their second-round pick when they could have had Anquan Boldin instead.

It was one of way too many draft mistakes by the Dave Wannstedt/Rick Spielman regime, and it might only be topped by the selection of Jamar Fletcher in Round 1 in 2001.

We knew immediately the pick was suspect when Moore himself on the night of the draft expressed surprise at having been selected as early as he was.

Come on, now, a college player saying he went earlier than expected? That practically never happens.

Moore is a nice guy who has tried hard to make things work, but the truth is he wasn't a great prospect coming out of Tennessee, which made his selection all the more puzzling.

The word is this was totally Wannstedt's pick, and it was made because he felt he absolutely had to have a young linebacker at a time when wide receiver was a more pressing need to just about everyone else.

If Moore hadn't been drafted so high, the fact he contributed nothing in three seasons with Miami wouldn't be so bad. But teams just can't waste second-round picks and no pay the consequences.

Those consequences for the Dolphins have been seen in the form of four straight playoff-less seasons, which matches the longest drought in team history.

After Saban's first draft with the Dolphins, we're thinking that picks like Moore might be a thing of the past. We can only hope now that Moore doesn't go on to have a stellar career with the Saints -- even though that's difficult to envision.

At best, we can see Moore becoming a special teams contributor and a decent backup at linebacker. But we'll never be a star, and he certainly never should have been drafted in the second round.


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