Miami Dolphins - AFC East
Illinois CB Vontae Davis
Illinois CB Vontae Davis
Posted Apr 27, 2009

Miami Dolphins - AFC East, 2009 Draft Selections & Prospects

Miami Dolphins

- 2009 NFL Draft Breakdown and Analysis
1st Round
| 2nd Round | 3rd Round | 4th Round | 5th Round | 6th Rd | 7th Rd

CFN 2009 Draft Central & Team-by-Team Picks and Analysis


25 25 1st Round
Vontae Davis, CB Illinois  5-11, 205 (Jr.)

Without question, in terms of pure physical skills, Davis is the best corner in the draft with 4.4 speed (in a class that has problems finding sub-4.4 prospects), a linebacker-like 25 reps on the bench, a 36” vertical, and fluid quickness. His older brother, Vernon Davis of the San Francisco 49ers, was also a workout marvel. However, they both seem to have the same dog streak. He played last year like he was counting the minutes before he could turn pro and wasn’t nearly the playmaker he should’ve been. Had he not been a pain in the butt for the coaches (try to get a strong word out of the Illini coaching staff about him) and had he focused on having a great year, realizing the mega-payday he would’ve received as a top ten pick, he would’ve been everyone’s No. 1 corner off the board. He’ll go relatively early based on pure physical talent, but he’ll bounce around the league teasing teams with his raw skills.
CFN Value Rank:
Second Round    CFN Position Rank: 5
12 44 2nd Round (from Washington) 
Pat White, QB/WR West Virginia 6-1, 197
Forget about what White isn’t and focus on what he is, and also throw out the notion of what a pro style quarterback needs to be. Yes, White will likely make his money as a receiver and a slash type of pro, but he wants to be a quarterback and someone will give him a shot … at least for a few practices. No, White isn’t going to be Peyton Manning, and no, he won’t be Michael Vick; he doesn’t have the arm. But what he can be is a devastating weapon to use in a Wildcat-like formation or 10-of-15 plays a game and he’ll force opposing defensive coordinators to spend at least a day to prep for him. While he doesn’t have elite speed, he’ll effortlessly run for first downs and he has a more accurate, stronger arm than he gets credit for. More than anything else, he’s a winner. A peerless leader who’s tough as nails, he’ll have no problem earning the respect of his teammates. Any offensive coordinator worth his salt will be drooling at the possibilities.
CFN Value Rank: Third Round, but as an all-around prospect    CFN Position Rank: 6
29 61 2nd Round (from Indianapolis)  
Sean Smith, FS/CB Utah 6-3, 210 (Jr.)

A freakishly good all-around defender, Smith can be used as a very tall, very aggressive corner, or he could grow into an elite free safety. He moves like a much smaller player with 4.5 speed and decent quickness, and he’ll have no problems holding his own with bigger receivers once he gets a little bit stronger. When he puts on the extra bulk, and he will, he’ll be a terror of a safety. He’s not fluid enough to be a regular at corner, even though that’s where he’ll be tried out at first, but don’t be shocked if he’s asked to switch positions early on. He could even become a wide receiver if he’s willing to put in the time to use his combination of speed and size to create major mismatches.
CFN Value Rank:
Second Round    CFN Position Rank: 5
23 87 3rd Round
Patrick Turner, WR USC 6-5. 220
He went from being undraftable to an interesting late round prospect after the season. Way too slow and not nearly productive enough considering his high school résumé, and the offense he played in, he opened up eyes at the Combine and in Senior Bowl practices. More fluid this off-season than he ever appeared to be at USC, his combination of size and hands make him a safe flier.
CFN Value Rank: Sixth Round
   CFN Position Rank: 19
8 108 4th Round (from Oakland)
Brian Hartline, WR Ohio State  6-2, 185 (Jr.)
He should've come back for another year, but the writing was on the wall that the Buckeye offense just wasn't going to do much with the passing game with Terrelle Pryor under center. Hartline went from undraftable to a possible No. 3 inside receiver after showing phenomenal quickness at the Combine. Far more quick than fast, he's not going to burn anyone deep and he's not going to shove anyone around, but he has the potential to be decent.
CFN Value Rank: Sixth Round
   CFN Position Rank: 23
25 161 5th Round
Johnathan Nalbone, TE Monmouth 6-4, 260
The raw skills are there with excellent size and tremendous speed and quickness, but he's a workout warrior. He has made himself a prospect through training and was good at Monmouth, but he's a flier. A safe late pick because of his skills and upside, he could be a deep sleeper if he devlops as a blocker.

CFN Value Rank: Free Agent
   CFN Position Rank: NR
29 165 5th Round (from Indianapolis)
Chris Clemons, FS Clemson 6-0, 208
Speed, speed, speed. A sub-4.4 runner with lighting fast coverage skills and the ability to hang with any receiver, he can be groomed into an ideal zone defender with his unlimited range. However, he doesn't play nearly as well as he works out. He doesn't hit anyone and despite his 40 time, he was stunningly stiff and slow in the agility drills.

CFN Value Rank:
Sixth Round    CFN Position Rank: 36
8 181 6th Round (from Oakland)
Andrew Gardner, OT Georgia Tech 6-7, 300
Gardner worked his tail off, or on, and bulked up over the course of his Yellow Jacket career to become a strong all-around blocker. He's always working and always willing to do whatever is asked, but he's not a natural blocker or an athlete and he'll always be an overachiever. However, he could stick around thanks to his versatility and attitude. He could end up at guard.
CFN Value Rank: Fifth Round
   CFN Position Rank: 15
5 214 7th Round (from Cleveland)
J.D. Folsom, LB Weber State 6-3, 230
Purely a special teams prospect, and a flier for the defense, he's a good athlete with nice range and good small school production. With the raw skills to potentially stand out in camp, he has upside. What he doesn't have is NFL skills and will have to shine in a niche role early on.

CFN Value Rank: Free Agent
   CFN Position Rank: NR


The Draft Was ... The building block for the future. It's a great draft, but not one that'll reap immediate rewards (outside of Jake Long) considering most of the early picks (Phillip Merling, Chad Henne, Kendal Langford and Shawn Murphy) will need time, and considering that six linemen were taken. Long had better be a perennial all-pro in what could be among the most second-guessed No. 1 pick ever.
Best Value Pick: Phillip Merling, DE Clemson. 2nd round. Considering what Jacksonville had to do to get the underachieving Derrick Harvey at the eight, Merling was a steal at the 32.
Biggest Reach: Jake Long, OT Michigan. 1st round. Long was the need pick who was the best tackle in the draft, but OT was one of the biggest strengths. If Miami could've traded down, it could've gotten someone like Chris Williams or Jeff Otah and had more to show for it.
They Should've ... Gone after a receiver. There's still a glaring lack of weapons for Chad Henne, John Beck, or whomever the quarterback turns out to be. Bill Parcells is building from the line up, but a flier on a mid-range receiver would've been nice.

# Pick  
1 1 1st Round Jake Long, OT Michigan
Huge, tough, and surprisingly agile, Long's a mammoth all-around blocker who does almost everything at a high level. Tremendously strong and with an attitude that punishes defenders, he's a sure-thing NFL run blocker who can step in on day one and produce. The big issue, for a player worthy of a top selection and all the money that comes with it, is his potential against speed rushers. He had a problem against Ohio State and now he'll have to show he can consistently handle NFL ends with quick first steps. He can step in right away and play right tackle; he'll make a lot of money and will be paid a ton to not be a sure-thing left tackle. That's not to say he can't play on the left side, but he might be better on the right.
CFN Value Rank: Top Five Overall
1 32 2nd Round Miami      Phillip Merling, DE Clemson
The upside is limitless if a coaching staff is willing to be patient and will work with him on becoming a more refined pass rusher. He's great at getting to the quarterback and creating pressure, but he needs to become a better closer, which likely would've happened if he had stayed for his senior season. With excellent size, he can be a near-perfect end in a 4-3 and has the quickness to grow into a top pass rusher in a 3-4. Always working and always on, he never dogs a play and is always going full-tilt. While he was hurt and wasn't able to work out as expected this off-season, that only got some teams excited about the possibility to get him on the cheap. There's no real downside, and he could become special in a few years.
CFN Value Rank: First Round    CFN Position Rank:
26 57 2nd Round   Chad Henne, QB Michigan
With the right coaching and a little bit of time to fine-tune his arm and his mechanics, he could turn out to be a steal. Strong with a gun of an arm, he can make any throw and can drive the ball to any spot needed at a high NFL level, but he needs time to throw and he needs a good line to work behind. He's not going to move too much and he needs to step up and fire or else his accuracy wavers; he's not going to make anything happen on his own. He could become another Matt Schaub who sits behind someone for a little while and builds a big buzz before getting a big payday in the free agency market.
CFN Value Rank: Late Second Round   CFN Position Rank: 3
3 66 3rd Round (from Detroit)   Kendall Langford, DE/DT Hampton
An oversized end at 287 pounds, he could end up sitting inside or playing in a 4-3 scheme. Really strong and really tough, he does a little of everything and can be molded into whatever defense he plays in. However, he needs a lot of work and a lot of time. There almost no refined technique whatsoever and he'll need a ton of coaching and a lot of time. With his tools, the potential is there for big things if given the chance.
CFN Value Rank: Fifth Round   CFN Position Rank: 16 (as a DE)
11 110 4th Round (from Denver)  Shawn Murphy, OG/OT Utah State
A former JUCO transfer, Murphy came to Utah State and was a solid starter for two years. He's a little old after spending three years on an LDS church mission and he still needs some serious fine-tuning on his skills and his technique. One of his big plusses is his versatility. At 6-3 and 320 pounds he could be a big tackle or a solid guard. While he won't do any one thing well, he could grow into a nice backup.
CFN Value Rank:
Fifth Round   CFN Position Rank: 12 (as an OG)
10 176 6th Round (from trade)  Jalen Parmele, RB Toledo
He was the Toledo running game last season. At 224 pounds with good straight-line speed, he can also run inside and make a quick cut and bounce it outside in a hurry. However, he's not going to make too many people miss and he's not as hard a runner as his size might indicate. While he'll be purely a backup and special teamer, he'll work his way on a team and will find a niche.
CFN Value Rank: Sixth Round 
CFN Position Rank: 16
29 195 6th Round   Donald Thomas, OG Connecticut
While he's not a huge inside presence, he's one of the better athletes among the guards and is one of the few who can get on the move. He's be a nice fit for a zone-blocking scheme and isn't bad in pass protection, but he's not going to beat anyone up and he needs a lot of seasoning. A total unknown, being discovered playing pickup basketball, he's a true rags-to-riches story who has a world of potential is someone has a little patience.
CFN Value Rank: Fifth Round 
CFN Position Rank: 6
38 204 6th Round  Lex Hilliard, FB Montana
Very strong and very tough at just under 6-0 and 231 pounds, he's a pounder of a runner and a tough blocker. Purely a tailback in college, he's not fast enough to be a third down back in the NFL and he's not going to be a regular starter. However, he could be a hard-charging change of pace back as well as a blocker. He has to prove an Achilles tendon injury isn't going to be a further problem
CFN Value Rank: Free Agent  
CFN Position Rank: 5
38 245 7th Round  Lionel Dotson, DT Arizona
While he had a good senior year, he played like the bulked up defensive end he was. Not a big body, he's only 283 pounds and he times slowwwwww. He hasn't been able to tough it out through a variety of injuries and he doesn't have the strength to survive as an every down tackle, but he could be a decent interior pass rusher and he'll do the work needed to get better.
CFN Value Rank:
Fifth Round to Sixth 
CFN Position Rank: 22