Draft Day 1 Analysis

Now that we've had a few hours to digest what the Dolphins did on the first day of the 2009 draft, it's easier to evaluate their work in the first two rounds. The selection of two cornerbacks and quarterback/wide receiver Pat White might have been surprising to those who thought the Dolphins really needed a pass-rushing linebacker and a pure wide receiver. But were they good picks?

One thing for sure, the Dolphins certainly got players who accomplished a lot in college.

Vontae Davis was a two-time first-team All-Big Ten Conference selection; White was a three-time All-Big East choice; and Smith was a third-team All-American last fall.

But none of the three were slam-dunk, can't-miss prospect; otherwise they would have been picked sooner than they were.

With Davis, the issue concerns his coachability and whether he can ever make the most of his tremendous physical gifts; with White, it's a matter of finding enough ways to get him the ball to justify having picked him in the second round; and with Smith, the concern is whether he has enough speed to play at cornerback in the NFL or whether he'll have to be moved to safety.

The feeling here is that all three of them have too much ability not to become good NFL players. College production always should be the first barometer to evaluate players for the next level, so the outlook is good for Davis, White and Smith.

About Davis' personality, one would think the Dolphins have the right people in place to get Davis straightened out if it needs to be done.

In terms of need, adding Davis and Smith helps shore up a secondary that really need cover help. Davis probably will end up starting as a rookie, and Smith could join him in the starting lineup before too long. At the very least, Smith should see plenty of action next fall, particularly when the Dolphins face tall receivers like Randy Moss and Terrell Owens.

White will add another dimension to the Wildcat offense, improving the passes out of that formation because, let's face it, Ronnie Brown isn't much of a passer. With White, the Wildcat now has even more possibilities because the threat of the pass will be even greater.

The Dolphins also were able to add a fifth-round pick by moving down five spots before they selected Sean Smith, so that's an added bonus.

The only gripe we would have with the Dolphins' work in the first two rounds is that perhaps picking White was a bit of a luxury for a team that has many other needs, such as a pure No. 1 wide receiver, a backup nose tackle and linebacker help.

The Wildcat was fairly effective last year and probably could have gotten by again next season with Brown as the trigger man. There is no question it will be better with White taking the snap, but did the Dolphins need to worry about other positions instead?

That's a legitimate question, but it doesn't change the fact the Dolphins got themselves three good-looking players on Saturday.


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