Dolphins Notes: 3/28

Jake Long, Chad Henne kick off organized workouts
During the lockout, coaches will not be able to conduct offseason conditioning programs like in years past. Instead, the Dolphins are currently relying on Jake Long and Chad Henne to lead players through weight lifting and conditioning. According to reports, about thirty Dolphins were present for day one of the workouts that will run four days a week.

Some of the notables in attendance included Cameron Wake, Randy Starks, Chris Clemons, and Channing Crowder. But no worries, other Dolphins, like receivers Davone Bess and Roberto Wallace, are putting in work as well. The Miami Herald’s Jeff Darlington offers this video as a sneak peek into their routine.

Darlington’s co-worker at the Herald Armando Salguero informs us that Brandon Marshall has been hitting the weights for six weeks now, which could be the most of any Dolphin as he attempts to rebound from what has to be considered a disappointing season for his standards. So rest assured, even though we are in the midst of a lockout, the Dolphins will be ready for the 2011 season whenever it begins.

Dolphins workout Ingram today, Mallett tomorrow
The Dolphins reportedly worked out Mark Ingram today and are scheduled to workout Ryan Mallett tomorrow. Reading much into these pre-draft workouts would be a waste of time. Teams, especially the Dolphins, tend to throw smokescreens out there in the form of workouts/interviews or leaked interest in a prospect in order to conceal which players truly have their consideration.

With these two prospects, though, I believe the Dolphins are just doing as much homework as they can on some possible first-round selections. Both will likely still be on the board when the Dolphins pick at 15th overall, if not still available in the event they are able to find a partner to trade down with later in the first round. Both would also fill huge needs, as Ingram is the consensus highest rated back in this year’s class and Ryan Mallett, the best pure passer.

Mock draft talk
ESPN’s AFC East blog revealed some of the network’s “draft experts” mock drafts today. Of the eight experts, not surprisingly, five have Mark Ingram going to the Dolphins with the 15th overall selection. I’m still not a fan of taking a running back that high unless they are truly a can’t miss prospect. Ingram is going to be a good pro, don’t get me wrong, but I think the Dolphins could easily find a solid starter at the running back position in the second, third, or even fourth round.

The three other picks, though, were quite surprising. NFL.com’s Pat Kirwan slotted Nebraska cornerback Prince Amukamara to the Dolphins. Personally, although Amukamara has potential to be a lockdown corner in this league, I think the Dolphins are pretty set at cornerback. Vontae Davis had a breakout year in 2010 and he’s only going to continue to get better, and Sean Smith actually graded out as one of the best cover corners in the entire league. The other two mocks had Nolan Nawrocki projecting Jake Locker to the Dolphins and a computer simulation from Draft Tek predicting the Dolphins will select Boston College offensive tackle Anthony Castonzo. I have to say, I would be extremely disappointed with either of those selections.

I get the feeling Locker’s stock has been plummeting in the minds of NFL GM’s for awhile now, despite the majority of media outlets still maintaining his first round grade. And as far as Draft Tek’s mock goes, if the Dolphins are going to address the offensive line that high in the draft, it better be a guard or center. Right tackle Vernon Carey is certainly replaceable down the road, but he’s still solid enough to hold down the job for the time being, as the Dolphins rebuild what was a pathetic interior in 2010. Speaking of mock drafts, be on the lookout for my pick in Bloguin’s inaugural mock draft on April 8th. Also, I plan on kicking off Phins Phocus’ 2nd annual mock draft sometime in the next few days.

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