SBNation NFL Mock Draft, Pick 1: The Miami Dolphins Select...


No. 1
Pick by The Phinsider

Chris Long
Defensive End
Virginia

With the first overall pick in the 2008 SB Nation NFL Mock Draft, the Miami Dolphins select... Chris Long, DE, University of Virginia.  Matty I, head blogger at SB Nation's Dolphins blog, The Phinsider, made the pick and provided this analysis:

  With the first pick in the SB Nation Mock Draft, the Miami Dolphins select Chris Long, DE, Virginia.

I wish I had any kind of idea as to who the Dolphins might be leaning to.  But I don't, and nobody really does.  At the scouting combine, an executive for another team said, "It all starts with the Dolphins and not a single person here has any idea what they're going to do."  Matt Mosley, of ESPN.com, went so far as to say that the Dolphins are "the most tight-lipped organization in football right now."  So, really, it's anybody's guess as to what the Fins will end up doing.

However, I can make an educated guess.  And I have a feeling that it's really going to come down to one of the "Longs" - either Jake Long or Chris Long.  There's no denying that the Dolphins have a glaring need along the offensive line, where they still lack 2 starters for the upcoming season.  But Jake Long is reportedly not quite as polished and athletic as Joe Thomas was last year.  And Thomas didn't even go first overall - he went third.  So I think Chris Long will be the pick.  He doesn't fill a need (yet, though I expect Jason Taylor to eventually get traded prior to, at the very latest, the trade deadline in October), but he's a typical "Bill Parcells" player.  He's got great talent and a great motor, is very bright, knows the game inside and out, and is a high character person.  If you ask me, he's the safest pick for the Dolphins.  And since this franchise is being forced to invest $35+ million in guaranteed money to a player who is unproven at this level, the Dolphins simply can't afford to take a risky pick and have it backfire.  That kind of mistake could set this franchise back even more.

Matt Miller, host of this site as well as owner of New Era Scouting, provides his analysis below:

Drafting Chris Long is not only the smart pick, it is the right one. Long has the potential to anchor a defensive line for the next 10 years. He is also a high character player and person who will not be a cancer to the franchise. He is legitimately a franchise player. Long will become a force in Miami's 3-4 hybrid defense, most likely playing right end. He has the ability to stop the run and rush the passer, and is also a stud in pursuit. Long will give Miami the cornerstone that the franchise can be built on. With the talented Channing Crowder already on the roster, Miami is building a respectable young defense.

Grade: A ::  Chris Long Scouting Report - New Era Scouting :: Matt Miller's Top Five Remaining Prospects - OT Jake Long, RB Darren McFadden, DT Glenn Dorsey, DE Vernon Gholston, QB Matt Ryan

And thus we are under way.  The St. Louis Rams, represented by Turf Show Times, are now on the clock!

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