For the fourth straight year, the Miami Dolphins used a second-round pick on a quarterback, selecting West Virginia's Pat White with the 44th overall pick. White, a record-setting player in college, joined John Beck (recently released) and Chad Henne as recent selections, to go along with the trade that brought Daunte Culpepper to Miami prior to the 2006 season.
While there is still some debate as to what type of future White will have in the NFL, the Dolphins view him as a quarterback, while one scout recently told Omar Kelly of the Sun Sentinel that Miami is trying to "revolutionize pro football by bringing the spread to the NFL."
From Kelly's article on April 28, 2009:
"He's no gimmick. He's dynamic. He's a little bit raw as a [quarterback] but has a good foundation. He's going to get better," one player personnel director said, admitting White was rated among the top-50 players on his team's draft board. "He wasn't going to be there in the third round."Miami's "wildcat" offense was the talk of the NFL for much of the 2008 season, while several teams attempted to run their own variations with varying degrees of success. The Dolphins themselves ran into some problems in the postseason, as the Baltimore Ravens defense completely shut them down in a 27-9 loss in the opening round of the AFC playoffs. So, can the spread offense work in Miami, or elsewhere in the NFL? I'm not convinced.
Defenses in the NFL are faster and more athletic, while defensive coordinators are smarter and more innovative. Players like White aren't going to be able to consistently out-run defenders like they did in the college ranks. I'm not saying it can't work, I'm just not sold on the idea as a regular offense until somebody actually does it and succeeds with it.
1 (25) Vontae Davis, CB, Illinois
2 (44) Pat White, QB, West Virginia
2 (61) Sean Smith, CB, Utah
3 (87) Patrick Turner, WR, USC
4 (108) Brian Hartline, WR, Ohio State
5 (161) Johnathan Nalbone, TE, Monmouth
5 (165) Chris Clemons, S, Clemson
6 (181) Andrew Gardner, OT, Georgia Tech
7 (214) J.D. Folsom, OLB, Weber State
Grade: B. Aside from selecting White, Miami used four of its top five picks to stockpile wide receivers and defensive backs, two areas of concern entering the offseason. Prior to the draft there were some rumblings about Vontae Davis and his work ethic, while his former college coach, Ron Zook, wanted to hear none of it, even comparing him to Hall of Fame cornerback Rod Woodson.
The Dolphins also nabbed Utah's Sean Smith in the second round, as he recorded nine interceptions the past two years, including this one-handed grab against Wyoming:
Third-round pick Patrick Turner has great size, but lacked big play ability at USC until his senior season, catching 49 passes for 741 yards.