Dolphins Have A Marshall Plan

Steve O Speak

In a bit of a surprising move the Miami Dolphins won the Brandon Marshall sweepstakes, by trading two 2nd round picks for they young and talented (troubled) receiver. There is little doubt that this trade makes the Dolphins better and is a direct answer to the Jets trade for Santonio Holmes earlier this week. What is surprising is the price the Dolphins paid, and the fact that they were even in on this deal from the get go.

Miami under Bill Parcells has been much shrewder with their draft picks and assets then they have in the past. So it is a bit surprising that they were willing to move two premium picks for Brandon Marshall. They paid a much higher price then the Baltimore Ravens paid for Anquan Boldin or the Jets paid for Braylon Edwards (last year) or Santonio Holmes. Now Marshall could very well be the best receiver of that bunch (but don’t count out Holmes) but it was still a steep price to pay considering the Ravens and Jets were no longer vying for Marshall’s services. It looked as though Miami’s chief competition for Marshall’s services was the Seattle Seahawks, and their 2nd round pick wasn’t until pick number 60. Meaning they would have had to add plenty to match the Dolphins 2nd rounder this year (pick 43). So it does seem like the Dolphins overpaid for Marshall.

Marshall does give Miami the number one receiver that they have been searching for and plenty of size for the red zone. Quarterback Chad Henne has to be the happiest man in south Florida right now, since he has someone reliable to throw the ball to. By adding a top flight wide receiver the Dolphins will know for sure whether Henne is their quarterback of the future. Marshall should also make the Dolphins other receivers better since he will draw more double coverages and team’s best corner backs. While their previous receiving corps was always much maligned in the press, I believe that there was some solid talent there already. Now guys like Hartline and Bess should have plenty of opportunities to make plays. But make no mistake the Dolphins passing attack will start with Marshall and his presence should boost that entire offense. The Dolphins are no longer solely a running team as opposing defenses will now need to respect their passing attack as well.

Denver did a great job forcing the Dolphins to raise the stakes for Marshall a player they didn’t want, and one that didn’t want to be there. Getting two 2nd round picks for him in these two drafts is a steal. This year’s draft is incredibly deep and having the 43rd pick is basically like having a late first rounder in most drafts. And right now next year’s draft looks just as deep if not deeper, which should give the Broncos the chance to grab another top prospect. The important thing for the Broncos is to make sure they draft smart and don’t make a rash decision like, drafting Dez Bryant with the 11th overall pick. I know people will say that Bryant fills their ‘need’, but I think that is grossly overvaluing him. What makes it even more problematic is that 2011 is shaping up to be for receivers what 1983 or 2004 drafts were for quarterbacks. It doesn’t make much sense to grab a lesser receiver now, when you can wait a year and take an elite front line wideout. Denver got into trouble last year by pigeonholing positions of need to particular draft spots and ended up with one of the worst drafts last season, despite having two first round picks and three second round picks. They can’t allow themselves to make the same mistakes again, and need to add quality players if they hope to compete for the AFC West.

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