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MIAMI'S IN TROUBLE?


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Posted: 6 hours 24 minutes ago

Virginia's Long rising quickly; Titans' defensive dilemma

Adam Schefter By Adam Schefter | NFL Network

OAHU, Hawaii - In a way, top-rated draft prospects are a lot like stocks, with their values rising and dropping daily.

But just over two months before the 2008 NFL Draft, the value of Virginia defensive end Chris Long is undeniably growing.

Three well-connected NFL sources in Hawaii for Sunday's Pro Bowl each said, independent of the other, that there is mounting evidence to think Long will be the No. 1 overall pick in April's draft.

Until now, the names most prominently mentioned as the potential No. 1 pick have been LSU defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey, Boston College quarterback Matt Ryan and Arkansas running back Darren McFadden.

Mayock's rankings

Find out who Mike Mayock's top five prospects are at every position. His choices might surprise some of you draft followers out there. Click here for the complete rankings.

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» Mayock's top 20 prospects

But now, there is growing buzz around Long, who had been regarded as a sure-fire top-5 pick.

The Dolphins are scheduled to pick in the top slot, and the widespread consensus is that Miami football operations chief Bill Parcells believes there is less risk with Long than any other potential No. 1 overall pick.

Long has the talent, the character and the genes to allow the Dolphins to rest easier about investing around $35 million worth of guaranteed money in him.

Should Long go No. 1, as some now are predicting he will, it will be similar to events in other seasons. Every year there is a player or two mentioned as the potential No. 1 pick, and then another player seemingly comes out of nowhere to lay claim to the top position.

Last year it was LSU quarterback JaMarcus Russell who climbed past Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn to become the top pick.

In 2006, defensive end Mario Williams unseated USC running back Reggie Bush and Texas quarterback Vince Young in the days leading up to the draft.

And in 2005, it was quarterback Alex Smith who bypassed California quarterback Aaron Rodgers in the weeks before the draft.

The No. 1 overall pick regularly turns out to be a player few forecasted it to be in December and January. This year, that player is looking more and more like Long, the son of Hall of Fame defensive end Howie Long.

The younger Long uses his hands well, gets tremendous leverage and has a non-stop motor. That could carry him all the way to the top of the draft, and to Miami.

I DON'T LIKE THIS AT ALL...............

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paul_k (2/13/2008)
Richard Nixon (2/13/2008)
I would really like Chris Long to fall to us, but I fully expect him to be gone in the first two picks.

I'd love to get Long, but would the Falcons draft him when we already have Abraham and Jamaal Anderson?

I seriously doubt it. Jamaal Anderson was a top 10 pick in the first round. to draft another DE one year later would be to declare Anderson a total bust. I think a large part of why Anderson was unproductive in his rookie year was his position coach. he was not developed at all and did not improve throughout the season. Now that we have a d-line coach who has coached a very good d-line in JAX, I think Anderson will benefit tremendously and may even play well enough in 2008 to make everyone forget his terrible rookie season. hope hope

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Richard Nixon (2/13/2008)
In case anyone forgot, he's a 3-4 defensive end with 19 TFL's along with his 14 sacks and 9 passes defended, he could start at defensive tackle and be a probowler at that spot within two years.

Not trying to be argumentive, but if you want a defensive tackle why not draft Ellis or Dorsey, two guys who have demonstrated abilities equal or nearly equal to Long (many would argue more equal)?

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Bobbyj (2/13/2008)
Richard Nixon (2/13/2008)
In case anyone forgot, he's a 3-4 defensive end with 19 TFL's along with his 14 sacks and 9 passes defended, he could start at defensive tackle and be a probowler at that spot within two years.

Not trying to be argumentive, but if you want a defensive tackle why not draft Ellis or Dorsey, two guys who have demonstrated abilities equal or nearly equal to Long (many would argue more equal)?

Because Long can play either defensive tackle or defensive end on a given play, which will likely become important if Abe doesn't make it 16 games, and he is clearly the most dominant defensive linemen available no matter where he plays.

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grendel (2/13/2008)
Richard Nixon (2/13/2008)
In case anyone forgot, he's a 3-4 defensive end with 19 TFL's along with his 14 sacks and 9 passes defended, he could start at defensive tackle and be a probowler at that spot within two years.

On run downs he could come in for Abe and absolutely control the right side. On pass downs he could come in as the UT and give us another pass rusher up the middle, maybe playing next to Babs and giving us 4 penetrating rushers.

Exactly. There shouldn't be a time in which Long does not have a role.

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Richard Nixon (2/13/2008)
Bobbyj (2/13/2008)
Richard Nixon (2/13/2008)
In case anyone forgot, he's a 3-4 defensive end with 19 TFL's along with his 14 sacks and 9 passes defended, he could start at defensive tackle and be a probowler at that spot within two years.

Not trying to be argumentive, but if you want a defensive tackle why not draft Ellis or Dorsey, two guys who have demonstrated abilities equal or nearly equal to Long (many would argue more equal)?

Because Long can play either defensive tackle or defensive end on a given play, which will likely become important if Abe doesn't make it 16 games, and he is clearly the most dominant defensive linemen available no matter where he plays.

There's no doubt he's the number 1 DE but at 275 lbs., I wonder if he would be the dominant run stopper up the middle that 316 lb. Dorsey would be. I just looked at the top DTs on NFL Draft Scouts and couldn't find a 275 pounder until about the 20th ranked DT. I know Long has a non stop motor and certainly has good genes, but would he be able to hold blocks in the middle?

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trubirdfan4life (2/13/2008)
I don't think that we need to get a DE. We need a DT and a MLB first on the defense. then we need a safety, and a DE only for backup duty and I think chauncey davis will be back.

Were alright at safety just watch Jimmy will take the job and never look back.

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Bobbyj (2/13/2008)
Richard Nixon (2/13/2008)
Bobbyj (2/13/2008)
Richard Nixon (2/13/2008)
In case anyone forgot, he's a 3-4 defensive end with 19 TFL's along with his 14 sacks and 9 passes defended, he could start at defensive tackle and be a probowler at that spot within two years.

Not trying to be argumentive, but if you want a defensive tackle why not draft Ellis or Dorsey, two guys who have demonstrated abilities equal or nearly equal to Long (many would argue more equal)?

Because Long can play either defensive tackle or defensive end on a given play, which will likely become important if Abe doesn't make it 16 games, and he is clearly the most dominant defensive linemen available no matter where he plays.

There's no doubt he's the number 1 DE but at 275 lbs., I wonder if he would be the dominant run stopper up the middle that 316 lb. Dorsey would be. I just looked at the top DTs on NFL Draft Scouts and couldn't find a 275 pounder until about the 20th ranked DT. I know Long has a non stop motor and certainly has good genes, but would he be able to hold blocks in the middle?

Dorsey won't give us the versatility or interior pass rush Chris Long could provide. With only one real pass rushing threat available, we need someone with his abilities. As for his size, he's possibly a little undersized for the interior, but he's going to bulk up entering the NFL and he was dominant as a 3-4 defensive end, it's unlikely that he would suddenly wear down if moved inside simply because he doesn't have the usual bulk.

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Richard Nixon (2/13/2008)

Dorsey won't give us the versatility or interior pass rush Chris Long could provide. With only one real pass rushing threat available, we need someone with his abilities. As for his size, he's possibly a little undersized for the interior, but he's going to bulk up entering the NFL and he was dominant as a 3-4 defensive end, it's unlikely that he would suddenly wear down if moved inside simply because he doesn't have the usual bulk.

I like Dorsey a lot, if he drops to us, that would be a ridiculous improvement on our part. And I can't see throwing more money at DE unless we put Andersons fat ##### in as DT. But would Long stand up to swapping out spots on the line? And wouldn't it be best to stick with the type of system a player has excelled at? I actually don't know, it's why I'm asking. I can see drafting a guy later on and switching positions on him, but for someone your gonna be paying top 5 money to, I would hate to have another project player.

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Think about the benefits of drafting Chris Long would be for us if he falls to us.

1. He's a great player all in his own. He's got an unparalleled motor, he's a student of the game, and he's nothing short of relentless.

2. He's going to sub in for our DEs to give them rests, allowing us to rest our DEs without sacrificing any pass rush that we would have to do with Chauncey Davis.

3. He'd provide an extra pass rusher on obvious passing situations.

4. He's a football player who just makes plays. I know I sound like John Madden, but that's really the only way to describe Chris Long. I honestly think that he would've been drafted before Gaines Adams last year. He's that good.

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sporkdevil (2/13/2008)
Richard Nixon (2/13/2008)

Dorsey won't give us the versatility or interior pass rush Chris Long could provide. With only one real pass rushing threat available, we need someone with his abilities. As for his size, he's possibly a little undersized for the interior, but he's going to bulk up entering the NFL and he was dominant as a 3-4 defensive end, it's unlikely that he would suddenly wear down if moved inside simply because he doesn't have the usual bulk.

I like Dorsey a lot, if he drops to us, that would be a ridiculous improvement on our part. And I can't see throwing more money at DE unless we put Andersons fat ##### in as DT. But would Long stand up to swapping out spots on the line? And wouldn't it be best to stick with the type of system a player has excelled at? I actually don't know, it's why I'm asking. I can see drafting a guy later on and switching positions on him, but for someone your gonna be paying top 5 money to, I would hate to have another project player.

If there is anyone that could do it on a consistent basis, it's Long, he has an incredible motor that even outshines his physical talent. It's unlikely that he could ever find a system that he can't fit in, he's very intelligent and always plays his position the absolute best it can be played using perfect technique and his natural abilities. He's just hands down the best player in the draft.

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Twinblade (2/13/2008)
Even if Chris Long falls to us, hes no need and will be passed up and be taken by Jets.

very true. it would be great to have him but i reeaaally dont see us taking him. imagine the criticism blank, TD, and smith would take for drafting a DE for the second year in a row in the top 10. they want to stay as far away from the media as possible.

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bossFALCON (2/13/2008)
Twinblade (2/13/2008)
Even if Chris Long falls to us, hes no need and will be passed up and be taken by Jets.

very true. it would be great to have him but i reeaaally dont see us taking him. imagine the criticism blank, TD, and smith would take for drafting a DE for the second year in a row in the top 10. they want to stay as far away from the media as possible.

They wouldn't get criticized when John "Glass Groin" Abraham gets hurt 2 weeks into the season and we don't lose our entire pass rush due to it.
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Welcome to Atlanta (2/13/2008)
bossFALCON (2/13/2008)
Twinblade (2/13/2008)
Even if Chris Long falls to us, hes no need and will be passed up and be taken by Jets.

very true. it would be great to have him but i reeaaally dont see us taking him. imagine the criticism blank, TD, and smith would take for drafting a DE for the second year in a row in the top 10. they want to stay as far away from the media as possible.

They wouldn't get criticized when John "Glass Groin" Abraham gets hurt 2 weeks into the season and we don't lose our entire pass rush due to it.

of course they wouldnt. the media only notices negative things about the falcons.

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grendel (2/13/2008)
bossFALCON (2/13/2008)
Twinblade (2/13/2008)
Even if Chris Long falls to us, hes no need and will be passed up and be taken by Jets.

very true. it would be great to have him but i reeaaally dont see us taking him. imagine the criticism blank, TD, and smith would take for drafting a DE for the second year in a row in the top 10. they want to stay as far away from the media as possible.

TD and Smith didn't draft anyone for the Falcons last year

i know that but the falcons drafted a DE in the top 10 last year. if we drafted a DE in the top 5 imagine what they would be saying. blank doesnt want anybody in the falcons organization in the media right about now.

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