• Dion Jordan suspended 4 games Dion Jordan suspended 4 games DE Dion Jordan is suspended the first four games for violating the NFL’s policy on performance enhancing substances.
  • Mike Pouncey has hip surgery Mike Pouncey has hip surgery Fins OC could be out for 3 months
  • Fins suspend S Don Jones Fins suspend S Don Jones For his twitter comments about Ram's DL Michael Sam
  • Fins select OT Ja'Wuan James in 1st round Fins select OT Ja'Wuan James in 1st round James should challenge for the starting RT spot


Ireland Conference: Truth or Smokescreen?

ireland2 150x150 Ireland Conference: Truth or Smokescreen?

How much of Jeff Ireland’s conference was a smokescreen?

As a rule of thumb, I typically ignore 95% of all Fins related “news” (rumors) circulating around the web in the weeks leading up to the NFL draft. And the other 5% I take with a grain of salt. Teams are throwing up smokescreens, trying to disguise their true intentions.

That being said, Jeff Ireland has become more “media friendly” this year, and had a pre-draft conference yesterday. This is not like the Jeff Ireland of old. So maybe we have a kinder, friendlier Jeff Ireland?

Possible. Ireland had a lot of answers for the media’s questions. But how much of that is truth, and how much is smokescreen?

I thought I’d take a few highlights from Ireland’s conference, and break it down to see if it was smokescreen or truth.

–Having ammunition to trade up/down in the draft

True….having 11 picks in the draft does give you flexibility to move around. And it would not shock me to see the Fins trade up. But I don’t see Miami trading down.

Currently, Miami has 64 players under contract. 5 are destined for the practice squad. And let’s say that 10-12 are training camp fodder. That leaves 47 out of 53 spots….and 11 picks. See where I’m going?

Miami doesn’t need more picks. If anything, Miami probably ought to trade up, shedding a few picks and putting themselves in a position to get more talented players.

–Feeling that a lot of the elite talent might be gone at #12

True…if you believe that Miami is seeking to upgrade their OL with the first pick. The big 3 OTs: Joeckel, Fisher, and Johnson are all expected to be gone by #12.

–Have not even begun to speak to any teams about trading

Smokescreen…..teams put out feelers all the time. This doesn’t mean there is a trade in place, but I promise you the Fins are finding out which teams might be willing to trade up/down.

–CB Brent Grimes will be healthy and should be available for off-season workouts. (Read: we aren’t in need of a CB.)

Smokescreen….kinda. ACL injuries are tough to return from. And even if we get a healthy Grimes, there isn’t much behind him.

I don’t expect Miami to take a guy like Xavier Rhodes with the #12 pick, but there is still plenty of talent available in the second and third rounds. I think the Fins will have drafted at least 1 if not 2 CBs by the time they hit the 4-5th rounds.

–Need to improve the OL, but comfortable with Nate Garner and Jonathon Martin.

Smokescreen….the Fins HAVE to improve the OL. Martin struggled some last year, especially at LT. And the last time Garner started at LT? Against the Eagles in 2011. It was NOT pretty.

The Fins signed Lance Louis, but I think he is more of a “depth” type signing. I look for the Fins to try and improve the OL via the draft early and ofmoong>–Wide Receiver is now a position of strength (Read: Not drafting a WR early)

True……you don’t spend the kind of money on guys like Wallace, Gibson, and Hartline to draft a guy like Austin or Patterson at #12. So scratch them off your list. Miami might hit a receiver deeper in the draft, but don’t look for one in the first few rounds.

–Manti T’eo’s visit

Smokescreen…..the Fins do need some depth at the linebacker position, but I don’t see them investing a higher level draft pick for depth. Wheeler and Ellerbe are starters, and the coaching staff is high on Misi. But if T’eo falls to the mid rounds……who knows?

So if you read between the lines, it appears that Miami might be willing to trade up to grab one of the top three OTs. Ireland mentioned that he’d love to have a bunch of “Mike Pouncey’s and Jake Longs” on his team.

I know with a lot of fans there would be much “wailing and gnashing of teeth” if this were to happen, though I’m not sure why. (I’ll leave that debate for another article.)

But before you break out your pitch forks and torches, go back and reread my opening paragraph. Could this all be a smokescreen?

I guess we will find out in a two weeks. boss Ireland Conference: Truth or Smokescreen?

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James Lancaster

When not fighting crime or sleeping, James enjoys working out, playing with his K9 partner and his kids, participating in his "On The Fin Side" radio show, and working on this website.
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