Draft Experts Weigh In Early on Fins' First Rounder

Never overlook a good nose tackle, our mother always said.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Getty Images
    MIAMI - MAY 02: Executive Vice President of Football Operations Bill Parcells watches practice on May 2, 2008, during Miami Dolphins Rookie Mini Camp at the Dolphins practice facility in Davie, Florida. (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)

    There's two weeks until the scouting combine, just less than a month until free agency begins, and nearly two and a half months before the actual, blessed, glorious, wonderful NFL draft (it's how babies are made) -- but that certainly hasn't stopped all the talking heads and bloggers from prematurely predicting whom the Dolphins'll pick at number 12.

    Naturally, because they've predicted them, none of these players will probably end up chosen by Bill Parcells. He's a man of mystery, and predictable only if you like a team comprised entirely of tight ends from New Jersey. But with our first football-less Sunday of the offseason coming up, and our brains set to "FRESH MEAT," let's have a look at who's trending aqua and orange.

    The most popular projections:

    ILB Rolando McClain, Alabama
    [7 nods: Mel Kiper and Todd McShay, Don Banks, RotoTimes, Walter Football, Football Jabber, Football Draft Analysis]

    WANT! Of course, so does everyone else.

    OLB Sergio Kindle, Texas
    [6 nods: Bucky Brooks, Pro Football Weekly, Football's Future, NFL Mocks, Draft Board Insider, RedZone Report]

    Yes, please.

    NT Dan Williams, Tennessee
    [5 nods: Fox, Rob Rang, DrafTek, Fantasy Football Jungle, NFL News & Rumors]

    Miami absolutely must find a replacement or understudy for Jason Ferguson. They allowed just 93.7 rushing yards with Ferg in the game, but gave up 135.6 after the 35-year-old went down with injury. Williams had a stellar Senior Bowl week under the watchful eye of Dolphins staff, while the more heralded Terrence Cody showed up for the same job interview tremendously fat and sloppy. Were it up to us, Williams for no. 12. 

    DE Jason Pierre-Paul, South Florida
    [4 nods: Evan Silva, Draft Countdown, NFL Draft Dog, QI Sports]

    Pierre-Paul is raw and a junior, though he comes with loads of upside. The Dolphins, bless their hearts, needed help yesterday.

    RB C.J. Spiller, Clemson
    [3 nods: New Era Scouting, NFL Draft 101, Weller & Bryan]

    Spiller racked up 310 yards at Sun Life already. Ricky Williams has only one more year. Just sayin'.

    WR Dez Bryant, Oklahoma State
    [3 nods: Scout, Draft Matters, Draft Zoo]

    Best attribute: not Ted Ginn.

    CB Joe Haden, Florida
    [2 nods: Draft King, Fantasy Football Xtreme]

    There's no way Miami wasts a first round pick on a corner after grabbing Sean Smith and Vontae Davis last year.

    OLB Brandon Graham, Michigan
    [2 nods: Mocking the Draft, National Football Post]

    Graham terrorized Tony Sparano's South offense at the Senior Bowl, but it probably won't be enough to vault him over others at the same position.

    Also receiveing votes: WR Arrelius Benn of Illinois (Saturdays 2 Sundays), NT Terrence Cody of Alabama (Draft Huddle), and OLB Ricky Sapp of Clemson (Chad Reuter).

    Huh. You think people noticed the Dolphins' issues at linebacker?

    Projections will change, of course, as teams move to fill certain needs with free agency, ignore Joey Porter, and the whole board becomes a Jenga game. Meanwhile, you can keep an eye on the latest palm-readings over at Phinsider, who update their draftboard every Friday.