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Tag:2012 NFL Draft
Posted on: February 23, 2012 6:27 pm
 

Dolphins OK with 'short-term' fix at QB right now

The Fins are open to a long- or short-term fix at quarterback. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

INDIANAPOLIS -- Perhaps you've heard already: the Miami Dolphins are in the market for a quarterback. There are myriad rumors about who they want; Matt Flynn works because Joe Philbin's his old coach. Peyton Manning works because, well, he's Peyton Manning. What about Robert Griffin III? And don't sleep on Ryan Tannehill, who Mike Sherman coached at Texas A&M.

According to Philbin and general manager Jeff Ireland, the team is in fact open to a short-term solution at the position, despite having never successfully filled the role since the departure of my esteemed colleague Mr. Marino many moons ago.

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"I don't think it has to be a long-term solution," Ireland said. "I think you can get a short-term solution. Obviously you'd like a long-term solution, but you can do both. You can certainly try and get both in that regard. But it's my job to try and grow the team for today and for the future. And Joe's responsibility is to try and win today with a mind to the future as well."

Philbin echoed Ireland's sentiments, saying that there's "not necessarily" a preference when it comes to acquiring a quarterback for the future or a quarterback who can step in right now and win.

"Not necessarily," Philbin said. "The quarterback is an important position in the offense and an important position on the football team. We've got to have a player perform with success at that position. But we don't have a mandate that the player has to be 24-years-old or 33-years-old or 29-years old.

"We're looking for a manager, a leader, an accurate passer, a decision maker and a guy who can make a play when we need it. And however that shakes out, it's fine by us."

Since Marino departed, the Dolphins have rolled out the following quarterbacks as starters: Jay Fiedler, Damon Huard, A.J. Feeley, Gus Frerotte, Sage Rosenfels, Brian Griese, Joey Harrington, Daunte Culpepper, Cleo Lemon, Trent Green, John Beck, Chad Pennington, Chad Henne, Tyler Thigpen and Matt Moore.

That's sixteen quarterbacks since Marino last played in 1999. The Dolphins, more than almost any team in the NFL (with the possible exception of the Redskins) need a long-term answer at quarterback.

But that long-term answer might not come this year, especially whatever short-term solution they're eying gives the Dolphins a chance to win now.

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Posted on: February 23, 2012 4:55 pm
 

OT Martin says he's top tackle 'without a doubt'

Stanford's Martin doesn't exactly lack for confidence. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

INDIANAPOLIS -- Stanford's Jonathan Martin is NFLDraftScout.com's third-ranked offensive tackle in the 2012 NFL Draft. He would absolutely disagree with that assessment, however.

And Martin, who measured in at 6'5" and 312 pounds, said as much on Thursday at the NFL combine, stating that he is "without a doubt" the best tackle in this draft. He then compared himself directly with NDS' top-rated tackle, USC's Matt Kalil.

"I don't know if there are specifics I can really name," Martin said when asked to compare the two. "I just think all around I'm a better player. He is own right is a really good player. We have similar offenses so I've watched a lot of him on film these past couple of years also."

Martin confirmed a report from Rob Rang of NFLDraftScout.com that he's been dealing with food poisoning and that he wouldn't do any lifting or field drills at the combine because he's "been sick the last couple of days," waiting until his pro day to workout.

When asked about contact with teams, Martin said he hasn't had "any formal interviews yet." He did say that he he spoke to the Redskins on Wednesday night and hasn't had any contact with the Lions as of yet.

In the latest slate of mock drafts, only Pat Kirwan has Martin "sliding" -- and Pat pegs Martin to the Cardinals at 13 (everyone else has Martin going eleventh-overall to the Chiefs). He's a top-end talent with plenty of upside. And, as Rang pointed out, missing the combine workouts won't hurt him too much.

There should be one or two pro scouts in attendance for Stanford's pro day.

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Posted on: February 22, 2012 10:44 am
Edited on: February 22, 2012 10:50 am
 

Luck could throw at combine; Colts might nix it

Luck

By Josh Katzowitz

Robert Griffin III already has made the decision that he most likely will not to throw at the scouting combine, saying “It’s still up in the air but I'm probably not going to throw." Instead, he only will toss the ball in front of scouts at Baylor’s pro day on March 21.

Although it was reported last weekend that likely No. 1 pick Andrew Luck also won’t throw in Indianapolis this week, ESPN.com is reporting that Luck could throw and that he’ll be prepared to do so.

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That’s the word from quarterback trainer George Whitfield, who has worked with Luck in three sessions heading into this week’s combine and who also tutored Cam Newton before the 2011 draft. Whitfield also plans to work with Luck in Palo Alto, Ca., in the weeks leading up to Luck’s March 22 pro day.

"There are things he wants to work on, but this is refinement not an installation or a surgery," Whitfield told the website. "It's about getting reps and he's really a marvel to watch. Very sound. Very consistent. Physically impressive. A power guy. A strong guy which people underestimate. One thing we've been doing is working the throws out on the perimeter -- those throws outside the hash marks."

Bob Kravitz of the Indianapolis Star reported that Luck originally wanted to throw at the combine but that the Colts advised against it. So, the chances are good that Luck probably won’t throw, especially if his (almost-assured) future employer is advising against it.

But in case there’s a last-minute change of mind, Luck sounds willing to throw and is ready to make it happen.

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Posted on: February 21, 2012 10:59 am
 

RG3 probably won't throw at combine, wants 4.4 40

Griffin's legs will speak for the quarterback at the combine. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

Robert Griffin III is one of the more interesting athletes at this year's NFL combine. He's a big-time athlete whose stock can only go up as the draft approaches. If he shines at the combine and at his Pro Day -- now scheduled for March 21 -- teams will scramble for the No. 2 pick the Rams currently hold.

But it won't be because of his throws, as Griffin said on the Dan Patrick Show that he "probably" wouldn't throw at the Combine.

"I don’t think so," Griffin said Tuesday. "It’s still up in the air but I'm probably not going to throw."

RG3, as Rob Rang noted recently, already said he was unlikely to throw at the combine. Griffin might not need to throw, however. He's going to run the 40-yard dash, and if he posts a sub-4.4-second time, it's going to generate some buzz. Griffin thinks he can.

"I think there's a possibility," Griffin said before acknowledging he'd gone under 4.4 in the 40-yard dash before.

Griffin ran track in high school (he owns a pile of Texas state records) and early in his career at Baylor (he set a Midwest Regional record for the 400-meter hurdles) so speed isn't an issue. Size is Griffin's issue; as CBSSports.com's Clark Judge pointed out in his recent combine preview, Griffin's measurements in the coming week are something to watch.

(The size versus speed thing is also why the RG3-Cam Newton comparisons are just silly. Newton's 6'5", 248 pounds. Griffin's 6'2" 220. If Newton could run a 4'4" he'd be Superman. Literally.)

But it's speed that will really cause teams to fall in love with Griffin. If he goes sub 4.4, the biggest winner is St. Louis, because the auction for that top pick is going to get hot and heavy.

Speaking of auctioning for Griffin's services, it's also worth noting that RG3 signed with Adidas. The shoe company announced the news on Tuesday and Griffin confirmed it on Patrick's show. And we dug up this first Adidas commercial with Griffin, who Adidas is wisely marketing as "RG III."

You know, what with their three-stripe logo and all.



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Posted on: February 20, 2012 11:52 am
 

Sherman likens Tannehill to Favre, Rodgers

New Fins OC Mike Sherman thinks Tannehill is a Favre-like leader. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

When it comes to quarterbacks in the 2012 NFL Draft, the general consensus out there is that Ryan Tannehill is the No. 3 signal caller behind Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III. But that doesn't mean he's doomed to falling in the draft, as there are plenty of potential suitors picking in the top half of the draft.

One such suitor, the Miami Dolphins, recently hired Tannehill's coach at Texas A&M, Mike Sherman, as its offensive coordinator. And Sherman, speaking to Omar Kelly of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, said that Tannehill reminds him of Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers.

"Like all good quarterbacks he had great poise. Very confident in any system, west coast or not," Sherman said of Tannehill. "Any quarterback has to be confident in his own skin and believe in himself. They always say a great quarterback makes those around him better. I thought [Brett] Favre did that. I think Aaron Rodgers does that. I think Tannehill does that as well."

We'll forgo debating the comparisons between Favre and Rodgers, made only on the premise that Tannehill is a leader. Instead, we'll point out that it was actually Sherman who moved Tannehill to wide receiver before the 2008 season. Tannehill lost out in the competition for quarterback to Stephen McGee and Jerrod Johnson and remained a wide receiver in 2009.

Tannehill caught over 100 passes for more than 1,400 yards in two years before being moved back to quarterback, and completed more than 60 percent of his passes for 5,388 yards, 42 touchdowns and 21 interceptions over the next two years.

But again: Sherman's the guy who moved him to wideout. It's impressive as hell that Tannehill was a dominant college wide receiver, and even more impressive that he transitioned back to quarterback, but if he was "like Brett Favre," the move to wide receiver is an indictment of someone here.

Oh yes, and Sherman was fired from his job as Texas A&M head coach after this past season.

Having said all that, we tend to agree that Tannehill's stock is on the rise and that he's highly unlikely to even fall towards the end of the first round. NFLDraftScout.com's Dane Brugler slotted him as high as sixth to the Redskins in the latest 2012 NFL Mock Draft. (Rob Rang has Tannehill going 22nd overall to the Browns.)

But if new Dolphins coach Joe Philbin feels the same way about Matt Flynn as Sherman apparently feels about Tannehill, it won't matter much that the Dolphins OC is that interested in his former wideout/quarterback protégé.

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Posted on: February 17, 2012 12:00 am
 

Could the Vikings be interested in Luck, RG3?

Ponder will start for the Vikings again in 2012. (Getty Images)
By Josh Katzowitz

Assuming Andrew Luck goes with the No. 1 pick to the Colts in April’s draft and then somebody trades up to take the Rams spot at No. 2 to select Robert Griffin III -- still somewhat of an assumption, of course -- the Vikings won’t have a shot at either of them.

That’s because Minnesota will pick at No. 3 and because the Vikings took a quarterback in the first round last year. And while it seems somewhat silly that Minnesota would entertain the idea of replacing Christian Ponder so quickly -- Ponder began the year behind Donovan McNabb and played decently for one of the worst teams in football before injuring himself and giving way to some spectacular performances by Joe Webb -- it’s not out of the realm of possibility I suppose.

Especially when general manager Rick Spielman goes back and forth when discussing Ponder’s future with the club.

"I know we're very confident in Christian, but if one of those quarterbacks is too good to pass up, you also have to weigh that in too," Spielman told local reporters, including the Minneapolis Star Tribune. "But we're very, very confident in what Christian Ponder brings. As we go through this process and our coaches come into this process and we put this thing together in April, I don't know where we'll be."

Although Luck and Griffin could be categorized as “too good to pass up” by Spielman, that might say more about the team’s confidence in Ponder -- who was 2-8 as a starter while completing 54.3 percent of his passes for 1,853 yards, 13 touchdowns and 13 interceptions last year -- than anything else. The Rams, for instance, most likely won’t stick around the No. 2 spot because they’ve already got full confidence in Sam Bradford.

The Vikings, though, will vet Luck and Griffin, interviewing them at the NFL combine and perhaps having them make visits to Minnesota.

“We'll be at their workouts, yeah," said Spielman, who said last month that Ponder would be his starter heading into offseason workouts. "We'll be doing full monty on [Luck] and RG3."

Chances are, Ponder will be safe from having to compete with Luck and Griffin for Minnesota’s affections (Webb, though, might be a different story). But the Vikings will do its due diligence either way.

Said Spielman: “You never know what happens on draft day, and I would rather be over-prepared than under-prepared."

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Posted on: February 16, 2012 9:09 am
 

Pick-Six Podcast: Peyton Manning's latest surgery

What will the latest surgical report do to teams' interest in Manning? (Getty Images)

By Will Brinson & Ryan Wilson

Peyton Manning was sick of Randy Moss stealing the spotlight, obviously. Taking the attention back Wednesday was a report of a fourth procedure on Manning's neck, which, actually, probably didn't make Manning happy.

We break down that news, discuss how it affects Manning's value on the open market, what it means for "politician" Jim Irsay and all the Manning news that's fit to print.

Then we break down whether or not Andrew Luck is a "once-in-a-lifetime prospect," if Robert Griffin III can realistically compete with Luck for the No. 1 draft pick, where he would fit in the NFL. We also talk about Terrell Owens being broke, the possibility of Moss going to the IFL, Jerry Jones wanting Super Bowl L to come back to Dallas and what it means with Ron Jaworski getting the boot from the MNF booth.

(Did we mention that you should subscribe to the podcast via iTunes? And if you can't listen to the podcast below, download it here. And if you'd like to keep working while listening in your browser, pop that puppy out in a new tab here.)


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Posted on: February 7, 2012 12:35 pm
Edited on: February 7, 2012 1:03 pm
 

NFL announces 2012 draft order

The NFL draft will be held April 26-28. (US Presswire)
By Josh Katzowitz

Now that the 2011 season is completely over, it’s time to look ahead to the NFL draft. Here is the order in which teams will select from April 26-28.

One brief note:

Since the Panthers and Dolphins had the same winning percentage and strength of schedule marks, there will be a coin flip at the NFL Combine to determine the order in which they pick. Same goes for the Chiefs and Seahawks.

[Related: Click here for more CBSSports.com NFL Draft coverage]

1.Colts
2. Rams
3. Vikings
4. Browns
5. Buccaneers
6. Redskins
7. Jaguars
8. Panthers
9. Dolphins
10. Bills
11. Chiefs
12. Seahawks
13. Cardinals
14. Cowboys
15. Eagles
16. Jets
17. Bengals (from Raiders)
18. Chargers
19. Bears
20. Titans
21. Bengals
22. Browns (from Falcons)
23. Lions
24. Steelers
25. Broncos
26. Texans
27. Patriots (from Saints)
28. Packers
29. Ravens
30. 49ers
31. Patriots
32. Giants

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com